Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lewis West
561-297-0245, clewis36@fau.edu

FAU Works to Extract Sound and Digitally Restore Images from Phonograph Records Flooded during Hurricane Sandy

BOCA RATON, Fla. (June 21, 2013) ─ 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.

For more information, contact Maxine Schackman at 561-297-2207 or mschackm@fau.edu.

-FAU-

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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