There was a lot of reading today, but I had already done most of the musical artist readings for the last class.
The densest reading for me was the one related to metadata. I think I get the big picture about metadata, but the way the article explained some details of it may quite possibly be the most boring thing I have ever read. As the reading got more specific in terms of library metadata and archive metadata though, it became more enjoyable, especially when it specified that the purpose of library metadata is for ease of access, which I guess makes sense; that is what libraries are for. It was also not hard to believe that cooperation in metadata development has been more difficult for museums than libraries, as museums can have more divergent motivations and purposes in comparison to libraries, which are united by a common interest. One thing that intrigued me is the possibility of a single metadata system, worldwide, like a materials dewey decimal system. How feasible would this be, and how long/much money would it take to develop? The advent of computers makes this seem more feasible, but the sheer labor requirement to enter new data (the development of the database and standards seems difficult but doable) would be the biggest challenge. It seems like it would be impossible for such a database to ever be complete.
As far as ethics go, and intellectual property, there seems to be lots of tension between archival recording dissemination/repatriation and copyright law. I think this is partly a function of the fact that recordings and what the things are that are being recorded are less tangible than say a logo or a piece of property as far as ownership goes, and when a piece of sound creatively comes from a culture or a group of people, it is difficult to decide who owns the item that previously had no need to have a legal ownership established. This is one ethical downside of archiving some cultures; it is disturbing and introducing a modern or possibly western concept of law to a culture that may not respect such a thing. It has the potential to create arguments and divides within a culture, and just for the sake of a piece of research? Weighing the costs and benefits, I’m going to say that one should find a different research topic or possibly reconsider making recordings of especially volatile cultures/groups, as anything can happen over time.
The musical artists were of course the most interesting, and they get more interesting as time goes on as I recognize more names and songs are available to be heard on the internet. I love Dave Lewis Trio’s “David’s Mood.”