The Marriott Library’s digital collections page is a gateway to various formats of digital content including text, sound and video (to name a few). The Marriott Library is diligently working to expand its digital audio collections such as the Western Soundscape Archive and the Doris Duke Oral Histories. The Digital Technologies department is presently trying to perfect certain facets of the audio format workflow such as file compression, format selection, long term preservation and accurate representation of the compressed files. The recent focus on audio makes WSA (Western Soundscape Archive) a well deserved candidate for this week’s show and tell.
The Western Soundscape Archive collection has benefited from much deserved attention in the form of press releases and podcasts, and is now also being aired as a weekly radio series on KUER. This is a unique and searchable online collection featuring audio recordings of species and of their natural environment in the western United States. The source audio files are recorded by a team of recording engineers and are handed off to the Marriott Library where they are compressed and streamed as MP4. In September of 2007, the WSA collection was a recipient of a three year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and it has accomplished much since then. The collection varies anywhere from sound recordings of species in their natural habitat, to ambient recordings of soundscapes, and spectrograms (visual representations) of acoustic observations of the Natural Sounds Program, conducted by the National Parks Services.
If you care for a wonderful alternative to sitting down and replying to a work email, or sweating over the deadline for that dreaded report, then look no further; follow a crew of biologists trekking through the grounds of the Beaufort Lagoon of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and listen to the whimsical call of an arctic fox (because I know that is something you have always wanted to do!):
You can also follow Jeff Rice (co-Principle Investigator for Western Soundscape Archive) to the beautiful Red Butte Gardens of Salt Lake City while he records the rattlings of a Great Basin rattle snake :
Or better yet, check out the Burrowing Owls of Snake River, Idaho while they mimic rattle snakes!: