Training in digitizing and preserving the sound archives of Bangladesh Betar recently continued with a second UNESCO/IPDC funded workshop this year. Since the first workshop in March 2005, that was conducted by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) also with the support of UNESCOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), Bangladesh Betar made great efforts to develop its archive.
In order to further support Bangladesh BetarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s encouraging efforts AIBD and UNESCO invited Shubha Caudhury, Director of Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology in Delhi, to assist the archivists in digitizing and enhancing the tape catalogue system in the second held end of October in Dhaka
Shubha Chaudury, who has been IASA Vice-President for many years and who conducted numerous workshops archiving in many parts of the world, shared her vast experience with Bangladesh BetarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s archivist. She analyzed their archiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s legacy catalogues in detail and guided the participants in developing their catalogue system. The archivists had already started to convert their old book catalogue system to a CDS/ISIS database. With the insights from this workshop they were able to upgrade their database and to continue to work with it on a more professional level.
The activities of this follow-up workshop also focused on improving the digitization of audio tape recordings. In order to speed up the process of converting the analogue tapes to digital formats and to ensure professional quality standards AIBDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Engineering Consultant Karl Lippe installed state of the art digital equipment for the conversion workstations. In two music production studios computers were installed and equipped with professional sound cards, so that in future new productions can directly be produced in digital formats.
However the quality of the conversion process does not only depend on the equipment, but equally on the skills and care of the operators. Therefore Karl Lippe trained the studio operators, who are concerned with the digitization of tapes, in the strict procedures, which are necessary to ensure a persistent quality of the work. Step by step and hands on he went through with them the whole conversion process.
There is still a lot of work and also considerable investments ahead of Bangladesh Betar before their aim of a fully digital archive is achieved. But their own initiative and the support from AIBD and UNESCO/IPDC have enabled them to do the first successful steps on this long road.