“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible”
― Frank Zappa
Three years ago, a survey team identified a staggering 569,148 time-based media objects on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University—that’s over half a million sound recordings, video recordings, and reels of film. The earliest items documented in the survey report date back to 1893.
However, that report doesn’t mention what might be considered IU Bloomington’s oldest time-based media of all. That’s not because we didn’t do a thorough job. Rather, it’s because the items in question don’t look or behave much like the media we were surveying—discs, reels, cylinders, cassettes, and so forth. Instead, they’re pictures in books. And pictures in books seem well outside the scope of the Media Preservation Initiative.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t play them back—and some of them are pretty exciting.
Just a few months ago, I crossed the fourth floor of Wells Library from the elevators, located the volume with call number AP30…
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