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Program National Recording Preservation Plan

Publications & Reports

The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan

The National Recording Preservation Plan has been devised to provide a blueprint to "implement a comprehensive national sound recording preservation program," as mandated in the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Congress specified that the program established by the Librarian of Congress under this legislation "shall ... increase accessibility of sound recordings for educational purposes." Preserved recordings can benefit the public only if they are made available for listening. Technological, institutional, and legal impediments to broadened access create daunting challenges for the national preservation effort. This plan identifies the audio field's most important preservation and access problems and offers recommendations for surmounting them.

Download the report (PDF, 1.21 MB)

Initial Study for the National Recording Preservation Plan (Completed 2010)

As mandated by National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, in 2010, the Library of Congress completed its study "The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age." Its intent was to compile a snapshot of the state of the nation's recorded sound legacy.

Download the report (PDF, 4.32 MB)

ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation

The "Guide to Audio Preservation" is a co-publication of ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collections), CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) and the Library of Congress, it was made possible through funding from the Recording Board, along with contributions from CLIR and an anonymous donor. This 200+ page publication is a primer for the non-specialist (collectors, archivists at universities, libraries and historical societies) to help them manage their collections of audio recordings.

Download the study External

The Orrin G. Hatch — Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act: A Guide for Sound Recordings Collectors

Passed by Congress in 2018, the Orrin G. Hatch – Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act constitutes some of the most significant legislative reforms to American copyright law in 20 years. Among many provisions, the legislation fundamentally reshapes music licensing and the legal status of sound recordings made before 1972, bringing these recordings under federal copyright law for the first time.

This report looks at the Music Modernization Act from the perspective of libraries and archives.  It clearly explains each section of the law it as it applies to curators of recordings and provides a thorough summary of the legislation and its implementation. It will serve to guide holders of recordings in their efforts to preserve sound recordings and make them accessible through digital streaming.

Download the report (PDF, 1.81MB)

Radio Preservation Task Force Seminar (April 27 -30, 2023)

Interview with the Kitchen Sisters

Audio Preservation Through Imaging Conference, Library of Congress, July 2016

The Library of Congress hosted scientists and preservationists from around the world at a first-of-its-kind conference exploring new technologies that foster the preservation of sound recordings through digital imaging.

Radio Preservation Task Force Seminar (February 25-27, 2016)

Radio Preservation Task Force logo

In February of 2016, the Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) held its first conference, a three-day event, headquartered in Washington, DC, to discuss issues or radio history, cultural significance and long-term preservation. An audio recording was made of many of its panel discussions.

Listen to the panel discussions

Additional Publications

Publication #133: Survey of Reissues of U.S. Recordings (PDF, 575KB)

Publication #135: Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives (PDF, 506KB)

Publication #137: Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes (PDF, 444KB)

Publication #144: Copyright and Related Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Unpublished Pre-1972 Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives (PDF, 342KB)

Publication #146: Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings under State Law and Its Impact on Use by Nonprofit Institutions: A 10-State Analysis (PDF, 570KB)