Michigan State University’s Vincent Voice Library
Project Number Ten – 1992
Michigan State University’s Vincent Voice Library maintains a collection of recorded voice (and other audio) information dating from the dawn of recording technology to present. Materials include selected speeches and historical events involving international figures as well as items of interest to MSU specifically. The Voice Library provides materials to the MSU community students via traditional analog audio cassettes. Patrons generally physically visit the Library to listen to the cassettes onsite, or to pick up their copy cassettes.
MSU is pursuing digitizing part or all of these holdings in order to provide for long-term archiving of the data, and to provide better ways to deliver the material via our campus Ethernet and over the Internet. Already we have digitized some samples from the collection; listeners with appropriate Gopher clients (eg Sun or Next workstations) can hear these samples by connecting to gopher.msu.edu and selecting items from the Vincent Voice Library subdirectory.
The samples already online prove the viability of both on-campus and remote Internet access to the data. A remote Internet site must have reasonably good connectivity (at least 56K) for reliable playback. We have also demonstrated a hybrid deployment in which a Next server on a local Ethernet delivers local sound files, and other Internet-resident text files are delivered via dial-up SLIP.
MSU was active in organizing the recent Gopher Workshop sponsored by CICNet. Audio is a special case of the problem of handling large documents in Gopher; we are pursuing with the Gopher developers how to extend the new Gopher+ protocol (announced at the Workshop) to support labeled “index markers” to allow users to browse an audio “document”.
The effort to digitize and organize the holdings of the Voice Library would be undertaken by Voice Library staff. Staff in the MSU Computer Laboratory would mount the data in Gopher, trouble shoot any network problems, investigate use of appropriate technology (such as networked compact disks), and work with the Gopher community to extend support for networked audio (e.g., supporting other Gopher clients).
Dr. Maurice Crane, director, Vincent Voice Library.
Marty Courtois, database coordinator / Gopher liaison, MSU Libraries.
Dr. Hiram Davis, Director, MSU Libraries.
Dennis Boone, Gopher programmer, MSU Computer Laboratory
Richard Wiggins, Gopher coordinator, MSU Computer Laboratory
Dr. Lewis Greenberg, Director, MSU Computer Laboratory