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Broadcasting and Orchestra Libraries Branch.

This year our branch session was on the topic of Bolshoi Theatre, performing arts, and Radio-Canada. New developments, new approaches.

The first paper, 'Reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theatre--Reconstruction of the Library' was presented by Boris Mukosey (Bolshoi Theatre Music Library, Moscow) and Sergey Konaev (Bolshoi Theatre Music Library Archive, Moscow).

Although in existence for many years, the Music Library Archive of the Bolshoi Theatre began to exploit its resources only in the 2000s, when the Bolshoi produced some operas and ballets based on archive research. When the opera house closed for restoration in 2005 and the archive moved to a temporary venue, to be then finally moved back last year on the occasion of the reopening, the need for a more intensive care and preservation of its heritage became a priority. Consequently, in 2007 staff was appointed to reorganize the music library.

The reorganization of the archive posed many challenges, some caused by the music materials themselves, the distinctive nature of which did not fit the standard rules presented by Russian library software, or whose attribution could be problematic. It has been difficult to reconstruct original works and identify different versions because of the layers of markings on the materials. Consultation of IAML rules, UNIMARC manuals, and the online catalogues of Italian music libraries has been very helpful in making cataloguing choices. Finally a photographic preservation of the scores has been preferred to digitization, because it can ensure a very good image quality at a lower price: for each score, title page and first music page, sometimes followed by any other significant pages, are imported to software specially configured for the music library, which enables cataloguing and access to the document from different points.

The exploitation of the music library heritage, which includes also important personal collections and legacies of famous authors and performers like Suk and Koussewitzkij, is now in progress: music materials are being used for music performances and recordings and constitute an important source for musicology research; unfortunately, although the project aims to open the archive to a wider range of users, a free access to the documents via the web will not be possible because of copyright protection of performance materials.

The second paper of the session 'Beyond Text Research; How Digitization can Facilitate New Approaches in the Field of the Performing Arts' was given by Willem Rodenhuis (Library Universiteit van Amsterdam).

Inspired by a short history of filmed image, from the first frames to Youtube, accompanied by an excursion through digital tools from the Nineties to today, this presentation explored the "popularization process" that has occurred to the transmission of information through non-text sources, encouraged by the unrestricted implementation of digital resources.

With an eye to a possible historical approach to the digital revolution, Mr. Rodenhuis underlined its irreversibility and its inevitable consequences, defining digital revolution as a "permanent revolution": the circulation of more information, accessible to everyone; influencing research results and encouraging cooperation; being also a means to increase the visibility of information producers and a benefit used for cultural or commercial purposes.

Nevertheless, although digital revolution has brought important and indispensable mutations in methods and results, it has not altered the fundamental stimulus of research, curiosity.

Norayr Meyvalian (CBC/Radio Canada--Montreal music library) presented the final paper on 'Enhancing the Radio Canada Music Library's Services to Address New Broadcast Platforms'.

CBC/Radio Canada is a radio station broadcasting in English and French throughout Canada; music content is available via the web (only in Canada) at, where users can choose between different kinds of music and create their own favorite compilation. The site is connected to the virtual music library; the library contains about 500,000 CDs and digitized vinyl discs and about 100,000 music scores used for recordings or produced for CBC/Radio Canada commissions. Scores are also preserved as PDF files but are not available on the web nor for external consultation.

The digital library hosts about 1,600,000 files, with a daily increase of about 500 files kept in two 45 TB servers exchanging data between Toronto and Montreal; about 15,000 files are broadcast every month with an average of 100,000 listening per month. High-quality digital copies kept in both servers are broadcast in MP2 format.

Radio Canada purchases CD and music files for about 100 to 110 albums a week. After purchase, all non-digital music tracks are digitized and music files are catalogued and transmitted via intranet to be broadcast: catalog data are visible in both an English and French database, connected by an interface; data on the web platform is available for searching by title, album, performers, composer and label. Probably in the future the two databases are going to be unified.

In spite of the general worsening of economic conditions, archive funding is not going to be cut.

Further information is available at: www;; www;

Sabina Benelli, Secretary

Nienke de Boer, Chair
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Article Details
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Author:Benelli, Sabina; de Boer, Nienke
Publication:Fontes Artis Musicae
Article Type:Conference notes
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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