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  #1  
Old 2010-12-17, 11:25 AM
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Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

Not sure where to start with this...

My father-in-law loved opera and recorded & cataloged (index cards) hundreds of hours from the radio during the 60s-80s(?). We have hundreds of reel2reel tapes that we hate to toss - much love/work went into the collection.

Can anyone here point me or provide guidance on what to do with a collection like this?

Any thoughts would be appreciated

thank you

Last edited by tped; 2010-12-17 at 11:30 AM.
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  #2  
Old 2010-12-17, 12:36 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

ya might wanna contact the folks over at archive.org

wish i had the time and space to take on this project, sounds like an amazing collection!
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  #3  
Old 2010-12-18, 06:29 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

I'll head over to archive.org too, thank-you very much, AAR.oner

It is pretty amazing collection - A lot of Saturday Afternoon @ the Met, I think. My wife recalls her father listening and taping, jumping up to skip commercials and such. I'm guessing somewhere around 400 tapes - cataloged two ways (in recipe boxes/index cards). Lots of love, care and time went into this - I hope we can find a good home
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  #4  
Old 2010-12-18, 11:15 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

You might also try a local university's library or music department. My alma mater had a massive collection of classical & jazz recordings. Maybe even the Library of Congress, they do lots of preservation/archiving of music.
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  #5  
Old 2010-12-18, 11:50 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

Wouldn't that be problematic? I mean these recordings being bootlegs (probably) and the institutes you mention being 'official'?
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Old 2010-12-18, 02:15 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

They are off-air recordings, not bootlegs. Given the length of time they span, some of them could easily be the only existing copies of the shows. No problem at all.
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  #7  
Old 2010-12-18, 05:46 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

Do you NEED to do anything with it?

Why not keep it in clean, dry conditions and really take your time over finding someone who really wants or needs it? It sounds like it could be real 'treasure trove' for someone like your father-in-law. Have you considered whether or not the Met might be interested? There may be performances in there that they've considered lost for years, by artists who may have passed away long ago...... There may be record labels that specialise in this. If you're feeling business-like, you may have the starting point for your own record label.

You could, of course, transfer it and torrent it here. mdshrk1 has made a vocation out of jazz and classics here.

Would you have the time or the inclination to transcribe the record cards into a format that could be circulated to interested parties? Word doc, text doc or similar?

It would also help others if you had some indication of what speed they were recorded at, what track config they have (2 or 4 track), what size of reels they are on, and crucially - what tape type. There's serious issues with Ampex tape of a certain era, and you may find these to be unrecoverable

Last edited by GRC; 2010-12-18 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 2010-12-18, 08:40 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

Interesting topic,


Google the 'Savory Collection', take a read of something special re recordings from the 30's and 40's. A story that this one resembles.....

From the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/ar...ic/17jazz.html


http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/20...for-jazz-fans/

http://www.thejazzmann.com/news/arti...ive-jazz-reco/



Once you read this you might change your mind.
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  #9  
Old 2010-12-18, 11:02 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

No real NEED to do anything, just offered to research options for my Mother-in-Law. I'll attempt to contact some of the suggested sites/institutions suggested here.

I'll also take a look at the tapes to see if I can gather more info on tracks speed and such, perhaps attempt to sample a few if the player works. I'll take a closer look at the indexes too - see if I can better describe the collection.

Thank you for all the suggestions
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  #10  
Old 2010-12-19, 02:41 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

That is nice of you to offer up the collection.
You're a good dude - Merry Christmas!!

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Old 2010-12-19, 04:22 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

"After making the recordings, Mr. Savory, who had an eccentric, secretive streak, zealously guarded access to his collection, allowing only a few select tracks by his friend Benny Goodman to be released commercially. "

Does this remind anyone of anyone....?
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Old 2010-12-19, 05:12 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

Jan 2010 saw the 100-year anniversary of radio broadcasting from the Met - I don't know if they dug out any recordings for the event, but that would have been an ideal time to approach them with your collection.... they may still be interested, though.

http://operamusicbroadcast.com/2010/...politan-opera/

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mapleson_Cylinders

and

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...log.aspx?id=73
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  #13  
Old 2010-12-19, 05:25 AM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

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Originally Posted by tped View Post
I'll also take a look at the tapes to see if I can gather more info on tracks speed and such, perhaps attempt to sample a few if the player works.
"The Player" = the original recorder that he used? This may give some clue as to the type of tape - make/model, sometimes speed and track configuration are specified on front panel, sometimes on the rear.

Take great care with the tapes. It may be best to spool them backwards and forwards prior to playing. You might want to investigate if you can do this on your machine without 'lacing' the tape via the headblock, to reduce any wear on the tape. I routinely do this with my tapes from the late 1970s, which are showing signs of their age.

Ask here or PM me if you want to discuss more.
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  #14  
Old 2010-12-20, 06:51 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

Not sure if it is the original, but (probably) the last deck used by my father-in-law is in the basement with the tapes - I think it's an AKAI. The deck and and tapes are a few hours from here, so I will bring some of this home the next time we visit. I'll post more details and start transcribing and sharing the contents of index cards somewhere online ... I have a feeling that the gang on this forum will let me know if collection is worth it!

I suppose I'd also need to find a local stereo shop to check and clean the tape deck since it has been in storage for >20 years with the tapes. I have a usb/RCA-Jack gizmo for the computer that can probably be used to digitalize a sample. Hmmmm ... this is beginning to feel like a hobby!?!

Regardless how this all pans out - I truly appreciate the feedback and encouragement here. My mother-in-law has no idea what an 'online forum' is, but is tickled that the discussion is going on. Thank you all for that!

Merry Christmas
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  #15  
Old 2010-12-20, 09:12 PM
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Re: Looking for a good home: Opera Collection from 60s and 70s

keep us posted, this sounds like an amazing archive of a genre that isn't covered nearly as well as rock & pop has been

let us know the deck make/model as well, there are some excellent resources out there for repair &/or maintenance
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