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Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Awards -- Award criteria (was: Awards 2009 - Call for Nominations)
Last year Mahina Piha Press published my "Hawaiian & Hawaiian Guitar
Records 1891 - 1960" and it was awarded the best discography of 2008 in
the category of Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research, by the
It was published as a CD-ROM, and there are no current plans to publish
So what really needs to be changed is the wording of the award parameters.
Granted, including web-based discographic work may be loaded with
problems, but all relevant publication besides hard print should be
addressed by the ARCS discographic committee.
Joel Bresler wrote:
Thanks very much to the committee for its hard work recognizing important
research. I do want to comment on one element of the announcement:
"Eligible publications include any original ***printed*** work..." (emphasis
There is a substantial body of scholarly research online today and an
increasing amount of it has never been “in print” in a conventional journal
or book, or liner note, etc. Also, at this stage there can be very little
doubt that the future of scholarly research is online. So I wanted to raise
this issue about the Awards -- one I also brought up last year on the ARSC
listserv. I don’t think it’s fair or right that only print works are
When we discussed it last year there were surely important reasons why
online research could not be considered -- it can change over time, there’s
a huge volume of it, and so on. But ultimately, this is looking backwards
instead of forwards. CD ROMs are over 25 years old. The World Wide Web will
be 20 next year. At some point to be representative of "best of breed"
research, the ARSC awards will have to take into account electronic
research. I've seen expanded liner notes in data tracks on audio CDs (it's a
big cost savings over printed booklets)...are these notes then ineligible
for the award because they are not printed? If someone published a work this
year comparable in importance and scope to Dick Spottswood's “Ethnic Music
on Records” but happened to publish it online or on DVD, shouldn’t it be
eligible for an award? The medium is not the message, in cases like this,
the content is.
I feel strongly that those of us whose work is published online and may
never, ever be “printed” on paper should, on principle, be eligible for
these awards or be eligible in a new category or categories.
Anyway, rant over! (A gentle rant, I hope...) I do realize the judging must
be an enormous amount of work, and genuinely thank the committee. And thanks
to the participants on this listserv for hearing me out again. I'll revive
the thread next year!
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Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 9:15 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Awards 2009 -- Call for Nominations
The Outreach Committee of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections
(ARSC) posts the following message. If you have any questions, please click
on the link or one of the e-mail addresses below.
--- NOMINATIONS for the 2009 ARSC AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE ---
You are invited to propose candidates for the 2009 ARSC Awards for
Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. Nominations may be made by
anyone, ARSC member or not. The deadline for nominations is January 31,
Eligible publications include any original printed work -- book, monograph,
article, liner notes, etc. -- first published during 2008. The work may
treat any subject related to recorded sound, but must embody the highest
research standards. It should deal primarily with historical subjects,
pertaining to periods at least ten years prior to the year of publication,
with the exception of works related to modern preservation or playback
The ARSC Awards typically recognize histories, discographies, or biographies
representing the "Best Research" in these recording genres: Blues or Gospel
Music; Classical Music; Country Music; Folk or Ethnic Music; Jazz; Popular
Music; Rock, Rhythm & Blues, or Soul; and Spoken Word. Additional categories
include: General Research in Recorded Sound; Record Labels or Manufacturers;
Phonographs; and Preservation or Reproduction of Recorded Sound.
The Awards Committee especially welcomes information concerning eligible
journal articles, as well as foreign and small-press publications that might
otherwise be overlooked.