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Who is speaking?: putting recordings in context

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National Library of Latvia
Presentation type: 
spoken paper
8 October Wednesday
Start time: 
CFB Auditorium

The digital collection of Latvia’s historical sound recordings ( has a particular sub-collection which includes radio-broadcasts from the 1930s, recorded by „Sound studio Da Capo”. These broadcasts cover all kinds of events, in various degrees of completeness, and are recorded on Draloston brand records.
When the time came to create metadata for these recordings, quite a lot of them proved to be a challenge. The information about the recording was etched on the label, showing the date and event or speaker, but nothing more. If there was only one speaker, that information would be almost sufficient, but in some cases the entire event was recorded on several records, involving many persons and different subject matters. So – who are all those people speaking?
Unexpectedly, another resource of the National Library of Latvia proved very useful – that of digitised newspapers. A 1930s newspaper and periodical collection has been not only digitised but made searchable, therefore it was possible to find information about events in the 1930s, and establish the participants of certain events. This presentation will show how one digital collection helped to put data and context into another one.
These historical recordings will form part of audio content offered in a new European Union funded project „Europeana Sounds”, running from 2014-2017.