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Bankston Suarez Final Report

Bankston Suarez Final Report

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Published by Sarah Bankston

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Published by: Sarah Bankston on Dec 14, 2010
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02/06/2014

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SUABAN MUSICMUSEUM: A JAZZCOLLECTION 
INLS 520FALL 2010
 
Sarah Bankston&Armando Suarez
Image taken from http://adeepergroove.podbean.com/2009/11/01/jocs-touch-of-jaz
 
Project 
 
background
 
This past spring Donald Hart, the well-known business tycoon and amateur musicologist,donated his entire jazz collection, roughly 4,000 items, to our institute, the Suaban MusicMuseum. We’re thrilled to receive this rich and varied collection. Hart’s jazz interests are far-reaching, and his wish is to open up his collection to researchers and enthusiasts alike, in order tobring about a greater understanding of and appreciation for jazz, both as musical genre andcultural movement.
The
 
Collection
 
This collection is physical in nature, with a major undertaking in process to digitize it in itsentirety. While the entire collection pertains to jazz in the 20
th
century, there are some specialrelationships within the collection. Some of the items are related in that they were owned by aparticular musician or come from a particular region. There are also larger relationships createdby the items belonging to a particular subgenre of jazz.
 
This collection consists of a variety of mixed media:I.
 
Audio Recordings (vinyl, cassettes, and CD)II.
 
Video Recordings (reel-to-reel, VHS, laserdisc, DVD)III.
 
PhotographsIV.
 
Literature (letters, interviews, journal articles, newspaper clippings, books, etc.)V.
 
Sheet musicVI.
 
SouvenirsVII.
 
InstrumentsVIII.
 
Paraphernalia (guitar picks, reeds, drum sticks, etc.)IX.
 
Posters
The
 
Users
 
 
Possible users interested in the collection include:
 
I.
 
Musicologists
 
II.
 
Faculty and students in music departments
 
III.
 
Scholars
 
IV.
 
Jazz aficionados
 
V.
 
Musicians
 
 
Users’ needs will vary depending on their particular interests, including research andeducational purposes, historical background, or just merely personal interest. Whilepeople with a personal interest may be satisfied with the scantest of information about theitems, the researchers will want to have as much information as is available.
 
 
The organizational system will be maintained by staff members of the jazz departmentwithin the museum, including curators, cataloguers/registrars, and a digital specialist.
 
 
The collection will be used for cultural initiatives by organizing exhibits around items inthe collection, and cultural events will be created to generate interest in this American art.These exhibitions will be recorded and eventually placed online for users who could notattend in person.
 
Scholars, professors and students will be encouraged to use the online collection forresearch purposes. However, the aim of the collection is not only to attract experts andenthusiasts, but also to expose it to users who might not otherwise be aware of such aunique American cultural phenomenon.
The
 
Ideal 
 
 System
 
 
Since we realize not everyone interested in this collection will have the means to visit ourinstitution and see the exhibitions, we want all potential users to be able to connect with itas intimately as possible through an online environment.
 
Our vision is to create a robust website that includes a catalog of the materials, a visualdatabase, and an interactive timeline to place the items in perspective of the developmentof the various jazz movements. We plan to develop a faceted search within the catalog sothat users may limit for artist, album, subgenre, era, and beyond.
The
 
Challenges
 
 
Digitization of the entire collection will pose various challenges, such as appropriatingfunding to hire new staff to aid our current digital specialist.
 
While digitizing some of the items, such as the literature, photographs, audio recordings,letters, and sheet music will be time consuming, the process is relatively easy. On theother hand, three dimensional objects will pose new challenges for our institution. Issuesinclude generating funding for new technology, careful handling of the instruments andother delicate materials, and discovering and creating standards to digitize the items.
 
Issues with categorizations and descriptions might develop due to the size and variety of the collection.
 
Preservation of sound and image quality on some of the older audio and video recordingsmay pose a challenge depending on the physical state of the materials.
 
There may be copyright issues that need to be cleared up before proceeding with large-scale digitization and broadcast of some of the collection.
 
Since the aim of the institution is to create an interactive digital system, devising it willtake a lot of creativity in order to enhance user-experience.
 
The challenges enumerated above will be addressed in various ways. We have received atechnology grant to purchase equipment and hire new staff for digitization efforts.Digital consultants will be sought to help resolve issues with delicate or awkwardmaterials. Finally, the current staff will undergo a series of training sessions and

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