chapter  4
7 Pages

Recording Technology

This chapter introduces recording technology from a curator's point of view. The field is complex and constantly changing, so the author generalizations are bound to be a bit outdated, even in the time it takes for this book to go to press. Oral history practice has developed hand-in-hand with the evolution of recording technology. The first recorded oral histories were conducted in the military during World War II, but oral history found a welcome home in academia shortly thereafter. Digital captures samples of the sound wave in close intervals. Because of other recording factors, digital is currently considered better quality than analog for voice recordings. Tape is made of magnetic oxide, a binding agent, and plastic tape. The lifespan and preservation needs of tape vary enormously, depending on its age, the manufacturer, its composition, and how it has been cared for.