8. Organisation

In an archive, recordings for each species are best held on separate reels, each successive recording (or series of recordings) received being spliced onto the relevant reel. At the same time the reel and 'cut' (i.e. individual recording) number will be entered on the data sheet. The reels should be housed in boxes labelled on the 'spine' with the species name and stored in alphabetic or some other systematic order. Obviously reels for the different classes of animals should be kept separate and BLOWS uses a different colour for labelling each class of animal. A sheet or card giving brief details of each 'cut' should be kept in the box (or they could be written on the box). An announcement dictated onto the tape, giving data sheet number, species name and recordist, should precede each 'cut'. This not only identifies each recording but also facilitates its location if leader tape is not used between recordings.

Normally the archive recordings will be first generation copies of selected portions of original field tapes (which usually contain much that is not worth preserving and, in any case, are often long-play). An additional copy of each batch of recordings received (or the selection made from them) should be made and stored separately. This will serve as a duplicate copy for security purposes.

Ideally recordings will be submitted to the archive as first generation copies on standard play tape at a speed of 19 cm/sec or 38 cm/sec with announcements already dictated onto the tape and with data sheets completed. It is then simply a matter ·of adding those of each separate species to the appropriate reels and making a straight security copy of the whole batch as a 'collection'. In practice, however, recordings are received in many different forms requiring different kinds of processing. The most basic form might be a collection of unedited original recordings with field notes from a recordist who has died. Since some of the material will - by the very nature of wildlife sound recording in the field - be unsuitable for archive use, a selection will have to be copied off onto species reels, with announcements added at the beginning of each 'cut' and data sheets completed from the field notes. Contributions may also be received in a variety of other forms. They may each require different treatment to achieve copies of the required 'cuts' on species reels and a duplicate copy as a collection.