AMIS 2022: Preserving and Sharing the EMI Music Canada Archive at the University of Calgary (Roundtable Presentation)

The American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS) promotes better understanding of all aspects of the history, design, construction, restoration, and usage of musical instruments in all cultures and from all periods. In June 2022, their annual meeting was held at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.

Preserving and Sharing the EMI Music Canada Archive at the University of Calgary (Roundtable Presentation)
Annie Murray, Robb Gilbert, Elizabeth-Anne Johnson, David Jones, Andy Nichols, and Kathryn Ruddock

Robb Gilbert holds a BA in Religious Studies from Carleton University and an MA in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University. He obtained a Master of Information degree (Archives and Records Management) from the University of Toronto in 2012 and has over ten years of experience working as an archivist. He assumed his role as Assistant Archivist at the University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections in 2015. He has responsibility for the management of the Canadian Architectural Archives.

Elizabeth-Anne Johnson is Electronic Records Archivist at the University of Calgary. A graduate of the University of Manitoba Archival Studies program, her research interests include digital preservation, the digital and environmental humanities, and conveying the materiality of digitized objects. She has been working with born- and made-digital archival material at the University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections since 2019.

David Jones holds Master of Information (Archives and Records Management) and Master of Arts (history) degrees from the University of Toronto. He has published his research in the Canadian Journal of History and contributed articles to the Routledge Online Encyclopedia of Modernism. He has performed as an experimental musician and video artist at hundreds of events in North America, including a live collaboration with members of the Tafelmusik baroque quartet. His creative work has been featured in MacLean’s, Exclaim, Musicworks, and Now magazines. David is currently the Project Archivist for the EMI Music Canada Fonds at the University of Calgary.

Annie Murray is Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian at the University of Calgary. She has been Project Coordinator for the EMI preservation initiative since 2016. She is a co-applicant in SpokenWeb, a multidisciplinary research project based in Montreal that aims to digitize, describe, aggregate, and make available literary audio recordings from archives and organizations across Canada. She holds Master’s degrees in English Language and Literature as well as Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia.

Andy Nichols is a Calgary-based photographer with over a decade of commercial and editorial photography experience. He has a passion for documenting stories visually and has spent the past four years working with the EMI Collection and archival team to develop, implement, and execute an imaging methodology to produce photographs and scans of the collection’s thousands of audio-visual items.

Kathryn Ruddock is Director, Digital Services at the University of Calgary. She completed her Master of Library and Information Studies degree at Western University in London, Ontario. She supports University of Calgary faculty, staff, and students by making academic works open access through our repositories—creating digital collections for research, teaching, and cultural heritage, as well as digital asset management.

Six members of the EMI project team at the University of Calgary present a round-table discussion on their work to receive, describe, preserve, and provide access to audiovisual recordings from the EMI Music Canada Archive, which was donated to the University in 2016 by Universal Music Canada. With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the team has developed methods for the large-scale digitization, migration, and imaging of nearly forty audiovisual formats. The team has implemented an access and a preservation system to deliver and preserve this collection over time. Using artists and recordings from the EMI fonds, the team will demonstrate the project’s overarching goals, methods, and decisions on how to make this collection available and useful to researchers now and in the future. Each team member will discuss an area of the project for five minutes. We will provide an account of the kinds of challenges inherent in a preservation project of this scale, and the ways we have sought to mitigate those challenges.

Watch more videos from the 2022 AMIS Conference here.