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Grant Awarded to Marr Sound Archives

The UMKC Libraries' Marr Sound Archives is thrilled to report that it was awarded $33,323 from the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk grant for the project Preserving 1940s Radio Broadcasts on Severely Damaged Lacquer Discs

IRENE Audio Preservation System

The Marr Sound Archives holds over 400,000 audiovisual items, with a focus on the American experience as reflected in recorded sound. Included in the collection are 62,000 radio broadcasts, many of which are currently being digitized in-house for preservation. A small portion, however, reside on lacquer discs that are too severely damaged to be digitized with conventional audio equipment. This project will use the IRENE audio preservation technology, a non-contact imaging method, located at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC). This technology is currently the only solution to obtain the content from these damaged discs.

The broadcasts on these damaged discs were recorded in the 1940s and include world news, news commentary, radio dramas, and performances by the Kansas City Philharmonic. These unique primary resources hold a piece of history and reflect the culture of the period, which will prove fruitful to researchers in the fields of history and media.

Council on Library and Information Resources logoThe Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted: May 01, 2020