Brylawski-smSyracuse University Libraries will present the annual lecture and workshop in the Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation on March 24-25, 2016. The featured presenter is Sam Brylawski, co-director of the American Discography Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The program, entitled “Knowledge Crowns Those Who Hear Her: Sound Archives in the 21st Century,” is in two parts.

A public lecture will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, room 114 Bird Library. A workshop will take place on Friday, March 25, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Belfer Audio Archive, located adjacent to Bird Library. The workshop is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at or at 315.443.9763.

Sound archives in the United States are relatively new memory institutions. In fact, few are older than the Belfer Audio Archive, founded in 1963. The challenges facing all of them today are greater than ever before. In order to serve their constituencies, whether academic or public, managers of these collections are required to methodically acquire and preserve historical recordings before they are lost forever, and at the same time to navigate the relatively uncharted waters of born-digital audio that is never circulated in a physical format. Given these broad responsibilities, how can sound archives be sustained and best serve their constituencies? In fact, who are those constituencies? Sam Brylawski’s talk will briefly review the history of U.S. sound archives, and the challenges and opportunities they face today.

Sam Brylawski is the former head of the Library of Congress Recorded Sound Section. He is the co-author of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan (2012), the National Recording Preservation Board study on audio preservation, The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age (2010), and The ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation (2015). He served as chair of the National Recording Preservation Board from 2013 to 2015. Mr. Brylawski is currently co-director of the American Discography Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and editor of UCSB’s Discography of American Historical Recordings (