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FAU Helps To Restore Sandy Damaged Recordings

BOCA RATON, FL ( — Priceless audio and video recordings damaged during Hurricane Sandy last year are being restored at Florida Atlantic University.

From FAU:

Florida Atlantic University’s Recorded Sound Archives (RSA) hopes to digitize sound and restore images from 786 vintage kiddie records that were flooded in October 2012 following Hurricane Sandy. The records, produced between 1920 and 1958, were in a Long Island storage facility owned by Peter Muldavin, the world’s leading expert on American vintage children’s records, when the storm hit. Muldavin, also known as the Kiddie Rekord King, donated the water-damaged records to the RSA, which collects, organizes and protects access to digitized copies of vintage audio recordings at the Wimberly Library on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

“Mr. Muldavin understood our unique qualifications in this area and presented us with both a challenge and an opportunity,” said Maxine Schackman, the RSA’s director. “We are excited to be working with such rare and wonderful artifacts from the 20th century. I can’t wait to see the reaction when we are able to share our work online.”

The paper covers of many of the records feature beautiful artwork, story books and paper doll cut-outs that are being discarded because of mildew and mold. These are being preserved digitally and restored to original condition with the use of Adobe Photoshop. Some of the records are warped and many are encrusted with mud and require hand washing. To help with the restoration, the RSA has purchased a vinyl record flattener, a device that slowly heats the recording between heavy metal plates.

This is the most extensive restoration for the RSA, which has been restoring phonograph recordings for more than a decade. Some of the digital images and music files from the records are expected to be available through RSA’s password-protected Research Station by January 2014.



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