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Physical Problems, Sonic Implications. A discussion of the ethics of preservation treatments and audio recordings

Author(s): Kevin Bradley

Journal: Musica e Tecnologia
ISSN 1974-0042

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Conservators have traditionally operated under a particular set of ethical constraints. The AIC code of ethics, for example, states “The conservation professional should only recommend or undertake treatment that is judged suitable to the preservation of the aesthetic, conceptual, and physical characteristics of the cultural property”. However, when treating sound recordings the situation may well arise where a physical treatment will alter the physical characteristics of the audio carrier, though simultaneously restore or improve the ability of the carrier to reproduce the sound it carries. Where does the responsibility of the sound archivist lie? This paper considers some of the ethical issues surrounding treatments of audio recordings and considers just what it is that we are trying to preserve.
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