Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Libraries, Music at MIT Oral History Project records
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Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries’ Music at MIT Oral History Project records span the years 1999 to 2018. The project was created and managed by the Lewis Music Library. The project interviewed twenty-nine individuals who were MIT faculty, staff or former students with a connection to music at the Institute. Some individuals were interviewed multiple times.
The collection is divided in to two series. The first series, Oral History Project Records, consists of files from the project manager, Forrest Larson, that document the behind the scenes work that contributed to the management and promotion of the project. Between 2010 and 2012 the interviews were video-recorded. Some excerpts from the video interviews were used in presentations and are included in the Project Records series. The series includes high quality WAV audio files for each interview. The series is arranged in alphabetical order.
The second series, Oral History Interviews, includes all fifty of the interview audio, video, and transcript files that were publicly available on the Music at MIT Oral History website. The interviews explore the formal academic music program, ensembles of the MIT Music Section, student-run performing groups, and the history of the Lewis Music Library. The files are organized in folders by interviewee. Within each interivewee folder there may be multiple interview folders. Each interview folder includes the audio file, transcript file, and supplementary materials such as photographs and “chapter” documents that note the time-stamp at which certain subjects were discussed in the interview. The duration of interviews varies and ranges from about forty minutes to two hours. The series is arranged in alphabetical order.
The 2022-042 accrual is was filed into this series in alphabetical order.
- Creation: 1999 - 2018
- Larson, Forrest, 1958- (Interviewer, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Materials in this collection are open unless they are marked as restricted. Restrictions are noted in the container list.
Conditions Governing Use
Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries’ Music at MIT Oral History Project records span the years 1999 to 2014. The project was created and managed by the Lewis Music Library. Forrest Larson, project manager and Libraries' staff member, conducted the interviews and was responsible for production of the audio, video, print transcripts, and metadata. The project interviewed twenty-nine individuals who were MIT faculty, staff or former students with a connection to music at the Institute.
358 Gigabytes (3,462 digital files, including submissionDocumentation files)
1.287 Terabytes (37 digital files)
Language of Materials
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lewis Music Library's Music at MIT Oral History Project was active from 1999 to 2012. The project captures a slice of the history and culture of music at the MIT through in-depth recorded audio and video interviews with MIT music faculty, staff, and former students. The interviews explore the formal academic music program, ensembles of the MIT Music Section, student-run performing groups, and the history of the Lewis Music Library. In addition, the interviewees discuss their professional lives and activities beyond the Institute. The collection also includes project records from Lewis staff member, Forrest Larson, who conducted the interviews and managed the project.
Technical Requirements note
The audio and video files can be accessed with the VLC Media Player. The other files will likely be accessible via modern word processing software. The range of format types and accessibility is not yet fully determined. For any formats that are inaccessible with available software, use QuickView Plus to view the file.
Digital Materials Location
Collection materials are digital-only and are currently unavailable for online access. Advance notice is required for use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Original material donated in 2015 and 2016 by Forrest Larson.
Additional accrual in 2021 July by Forrest Larson via external hard drive.
Processing Information note
Forrest Larson conducted all interviews and was responsible for production of the audio, video, print transcripts, and metadata. The MIT Academic Media Production Services (AMPS) provided some production and web-based content delivery services (TechTV) for the project.
For the original two accessions, 2015-040 and 2017-010 were processed by Jessica Venlet, digital archives fellow.
Technology used during processing: Robocopy scripts (for transfer), Droid (inventory files throughout processing, have multiple reports at different stages, ID formats), Sophos (virus scan), FSlint – part of BitCurator environment (de-dup tool), Handbrake (video format conversion from DVD). Information and reports with collection in metadata\submissionDocumentation folder.
There are two interviews that will need more work on video format converison (Keyser Dec 17 and Keyser Dec 2). See metadata\submissionDocumentation for text file with more details on the issue.
The accrual accession, 2022-042 was donated by Forrest Larson on a transfer external hard drive. It was processed by digital archivist, Joe Carrano and intern Laura Crook Brisson. WAV were transferred using TeraCopy for Windows and the remaining files using rsync in November and December 2021 and the hard drive was then wiped.
There were errors or curruption of multiple files in the hard drive supplied by the donor. For that reason, all uncaptioned high quality videos were not retained among a few other video files. See processing information of the invidiual entries in the interviews series for more information.
At the request of the donor, Joe Carrano added embedded metadata to each audio and video file in the accrual using BWFmetaedit tool and Exiftool. The audio and video stream checksums were generated, stored, and checked before and after to ensure the underlying content did not change with addition of the metadata.
Processing Information note
Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Libraries, Music at MIT Oral History Project records
- Ready For Review
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2021 August 20: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.
- 2022 October 19: Joe Carrano, digital archivist, edited the collection level notes, extent, and listing to reflect accrual accession 2022-042
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