By the way who knows if there are no vitaphone records there too...
Public broadcaster music library closing, CD’s to be digitised, destroyed
By Marc Montgomery | [email protected]" target="_blank
Friday 23 February, 2018
Canada’s public broadcaster CBC (English) and Radio-Canada (French) is going through massive changes.
The sprawling headquarters of the Radio-Canada network in Montreal have been sold, and the organisation will move to new and much smaller rented quarters being built on one of the former parking lots. PHOTO- google street
With huge funding cuts from the government and increasing costs, this has meant equally massive staff and production cuts. Rapidly developing technological developments are also driving the changes.The broadcaster, with its stations across the country has, over the decades, amassed a vast collection of recorded music and other artefacts.
Shortly after his death in 1997, the collection of legendary CBC broadcaster Clyde Gilmour was donated to the CBC . It consisted of more than 10,000 long-play records, 4,000 CDs, programme scripts, notes, correspondence, files, tapes and reference materials. This was added to the already extensive and often historic collections at the public broadcaster PHOTO-CBC
In 2012, and subsequent to a massive budget cut, the CBC began a policy of digitizing its collection to save space and storage costs, even as a move began to sell off buildings and move into smaller quarters.
Digitized and destroyed
The main French-language production centre of Radio-Canada in Montreal has also been digitising its collection. However recently it was revealed that most of the collection of over 200,000 CDs will be destroyed when the process is completed in 2019, prior to the move to new quarters in 2020.
Radio-Canada will keep the recordings that it produced. PHOTO- Pascale Poirier
The collection consists of some 151,000 CDs, and 56,000 “doubles”. The huge headquarters building of the French broadcasting network has been sold and the remaining entity is to be moved to a new smaller rented building being built on the former property.
The Montreal headquarters has a vast collection of music books and scores, some very old, and many very rare
An executive with the project said, there will be no room in the new building for storage of the library.
In addition to the almost 200,000 CD’s, the library houses thousands of LP’s, some now relatively rare.
She added the doubles will first be open to offers from cultural or educational organisations. Certain special compilations however will be preserved as will some of CBC/Radio-Canada’s self-produced recordings.
The executive also noted in a Radio-Canada story that they can’t give away the rest of the discs without first verifying the copyright situation, adding that doing that for the whole collection would be a far too expensive and time-consuming task. Another option of putting the collection in storage would also be too expensive.
In addition to the racks of LPs, the library also holds thousands of old and rare 78s
The solution apparently is to destroy the CD’s, along with the disc covers and liner notes. Producers have said that liner notes can provide useful information for programmers and hosts, and that much of that will be lost without the hard copies.
Some people aware of the situation have said that as the broadcaster eliminates its “hard copy” libraries, many rare items are likely to be lost forever.
The Montreal library also houses about 200,000 vinyl LP records. Many of these are now quite rare. Even more rare are the approximately 70,000 old 78rpm discs. Few of these were ever re-recorded on LP, and almost none of these exist on CD.
While very few of the 78’s would ever have been transferred to LP, let alone CD, many of these old 78’s are in French, making them even rarer
In addition the library houses a multitude of rare and extremely rare musical scores and books
It is not known at the point of this writing what will happen to the vinyls, or the vast collection of music books and scores, but it was revealed that there is pressure to move quickly on the closure of the physical library and collection. Staff said they themselves did not know what would happen to these items, although it is possible they may end up in some cultural museum context. In a memo dated December 12,2017, Radio-Canada said it was consulting with Library and Archives Canada about the thousands of manuscripts and books.
Other artefacts include music scores, again some dating back decades, and which could be considered heritage and historical items
Artists in Quebec are saying the news of the digitisation and eventual destruction of the CD collection is sad. One of Quebec’s iconic and much loved music stars, Michel Rivard is quoted in the Radio-Canada article saying, “it’s very bad news”.
Radio-Canada: L-P Ouimet: Feb 21/18- numerisé et destruction (Fr)
Globe and Mail: G Dixon: Mar 26/17: Quiet dismantling record libraries
Vancouver Sun: J Mackie: Jun 1/12: CBC Vancouver collection sold
CBC Calgary: Jan 26/12 record library close
Le Devoir: C Montpetit: Feb 23/18: CDs seront detruites