Since the very first days of the Archives of Latvian Folklore work recording was done not only using some paper and pen, but also employing technical means.
In 1926 ALF acquired three phonographs — as devices for recording the folk melodies. Folklorists took the device with them to the folk singers and recorded melody samples onto the wax cylinders. (The samples recorded during this period are rather short, rarely reaching 20 seconds, which to an extent is an imposed restriction as the whole cylinder can take about 3 minutes of recording.) Then in Rīga these recordings were transcribed into notations by composers Artūrs Salaks and Pēteris Barisons.
The last time phonographs were used was the expedition in 1947, making the total number of recorded cylinders 191. In 1998with the technical help of Viennese Phonogrammarchiv the cylinders were re-recorded onto DAT cassettes and later digitised.
Beyond that in 1934 LFK in collaboration with the Latvian Radio recorded singers and musicians from Kurzeme for the purpose of providing Radio with some folklore repertoire for broadcasts. The recording was performed in Rīga, Bellaccord record factory producing shellac records in a few copies of each.
In 1951 folklorists for the first time in history performed a tape recording. ALF holds 197 tape reels of different sizes. The 1970s saw introduction of another tape format – compact cassettes, that reach even higher total numbers. Both the tapes and the shellac records (along with dedicated recordings) provided material for the Latvian folklore anthology published in 1986 in the format of a vinyl double album (the USSR company “Melodiya”, produced by the Leningrad factory). Copies of the tape recordings can also be found at the National Sound Archive of the British Museum in London.
All tapes of the ALF were provided with listening copies in the format of compact cassettes, after the digitisation these are available in computer-readable format, both locally and— for most of the recordings — on the web.
In 2003 with the support of UNESCO the digitisation of the recordings was initialised. As mentioned above, a significant part of the recordings are available for listening in the ALF database, the full collections is available locally.
Last time modified: 12.09.2016 13:27:39