Justin Kovar

Digitization Project Archivist, The Dolph Briscoe Center For American History

I am a semi-recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information, where I received an MSIS, with an endorsement of specialization in Digital Libraries. I currently work as a Digitization Project Archivist at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, where I spend my days preserving, digitizing, and describing audiovisual recordings. You can see some of my work here:

http://av.cah.utexas.edu/index.php?title=Category:Congressional_%26_Political

http://av.cah.utexas.edu/index.php?title=Category:Bob_Bailey_Studios_Photographic_Archive

I am interested in access for sound collections, both as a function of my work, and as a longtime Hip-Hop enthusiast. From the late ’80s through the 90s there was a torrent of music created with existing music and found sounds, known as beatmaking or sampling. In a short amount of time, a new culture was defined, with a unique language for describing sound, and a generation of kids scouring record shops to discover sounds not yet known to their peers. Instead of embracing this new music and finding a way to charge fairly for new uses, it was crushed to earth through harsh interpretations of copyright law and slow-moving sample clearinghouses, with no guarantee that a sample could be licensed. This led to a chilling effect for sample-based music, particularly in eclectic, heterogeneous compositions. Despite this, the art form persists.

For institutions with large sound collections, I think there is a built-in audience with sample-based musicians, but neither group seems to know about the other. My goal for this project is to introduce them.

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