Digitizing of and Internet Access to
Materials from the Vincent Voice Library
Project Number 26 – 1993
Manager, Central Systems Services
MSU Computer Lab
Michigan State University
311 Computer Center
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
Dr. Maurice Crane
Head, Vincent Voice Library
Michigan State University
Established in 1962, the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University houses over 50,000 audio recordings dating from the dawn of recording technology. Represented are the voices of Florence Nightingale, Queen Victoria, P.T. Barnum, Thomas Edison, and thousands of other historical figures. Many of the holdings are unique or rare. In early 1992, the MSU Computer Laboratory established MSU’s central Gopher service, and mounted samples from the VVL for Internet access. On October 19, 1992, the final Presidential debate took place at MSU; the MSUCL digitized and mounted the entire debate audio for Internet access. Users at hundreds of universities around the worldwide Internet have accessed these documents.
We propose to create a digital archive of a substantial set of holdings from the VVL. We will set up a hierarchy of magnetic disk and robot media (digital tape or CD Rom) to house this archive. Audio documents will be served to users across the Internet via Gopher and World Wide Web. Currently we are seeking grant funding in support of the project.
- use technologies that interoperate with NSFNETInitially we will use the Internet Gopher to deliver audio documents over the NSFnet and the Internet at large. Gopher is one of the core technologies in use today, leading growth among Networked Information Retrieval tools on the NSFNet backbone, and MSU is a leader in the Gopher community. We are also keenly interested in the potential for integrated clients such as Mosaic, working with World Wide Web servers, to support networked hypermedia, allowing annotation of voice documents with text and images.
- how library & other info resources…in networked teachingStudents and scholars find that analysis of the spoken word can augment reading, providing insight and deeper understanding. The ability of teachers to call on a library of historical voices provides a rich instructional resource in a variety of disciplines: history, political science, English, psychology, etc.
- are collaborations involving different types of institutions, organizations, and agenciesThis is a joint endeavor of MSU Libraries and the MSU Computer Laboratory. Dr. Crane, the head of the VVL, has built one of the largest collections of voices anywhere by collaborating with a wide variety of people and organizations in almost two decades of effort.
- observe the contemporary economic imperative to “do more with less” while providing an “elegant” approach to networked teaching and learningThe proposal uses existing staff with supplemental student labor and cost-effective client/server and robot tape storage technologies.
- manifest a high degree of replicability and long-term viabilityNot only does the proposal set a model for others to follow, it helps MSU preserve unique historical documents for future generations, while opening their access to the worldwide Internet.
We will bring a Next workstation with client and server installed on the one machine. This will allow us to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Gopher delivery model on a standalone machine. (We have used this technique already in offsite demonstrations.) If the lecture hall is large, an amplifier would be useful. If a high-speed Internet link is available, we will also demonstrate playing of sounds in real time over the net.