BISA Conference 2018

The 2018 British & Irish Sound Archives (BISA) annual conference will be held from 16-17 November 2018 and preceded by a Training Day on Thursday 15th November, both events at the National Library of Wales.

National Library of Wales


Travel and accommodation
Lunch options

The full programme is below.

Thursday, 15th November: Training Day
Venue: Chamber Office, National Library of Wales

The training will be delivered by Will Prentice (The British Library, Training and Dissemination Manager) as part of the HLF-funded Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project.

Open reel tapewax cylinderdisc

Ever wondered how to handle a wax cylinder? Curious to know the difference between acetate and vinyl discs, and why this matters to an archive? This practical one-day introduction to archiving sound recordings will give you the tools to responsibly handle and care for a sound collection, and to begin making plans for its long-term survival. It will cover all common (and some not so common) formats from the last 100+ years, practical guidelines around archival do’s and don’ts for audio, and some tips for planning.

10.00 Registration, tea + coffee

10.30 Start

13.30-14.00 Lunch break (see lunch options)

17.00 Close

Friday 16th November: BISA conference, day 1
Venue: Drwm auditorium, National Library of Wales

09.00 Registration, tea + coffee

09.30 Welcome by Sally McInnes (Head of Unique Collections and Collections Care, National Library of Wales)
Introduction to the NLW sound collections Dan Griffiths (Assistant Curator, National Library of Wales)

10.00 Adam Tovell (The British Library): The challenges of marrying the requirements of preservation and access

10.40 Edith Hughes & Steve Daly (BBC Cymru Wales): Digitising BBC Cymru Wales’ Audio Archive collections

11.20 Fiona Bourne (Royal College of Nursing Archives): Oral History at the Royal College of Nursing: the Digital Voice of Nursing

12.00 Lunch break (see lunch options); and exhibition of recording exhibits from Museum of Obsolete Media* (Jason Curtis)

13.30 Christian Poske (School of Oriental and African Studies & British Library): A Case Study of the Collaboration between the British Library Sound Archive and the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology, New Delhi

14.10  Adele Bosi (University of Rome), Caroline Figueroa (University of Applied Science, Berlin), Siobhan Piekarek (Potsdam Filmmuseum Collection), Ulrich Rüdel (University of Applied Science, Berlin): Research on ORWO magnetic sound materials in the collection stock of Potsdam Film Museum

14.50 Tea + coffee

15.10 Filipa Magalhães (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal): The Communication Between Musicology and Digital Libraries in Particular for Contemporary Music

15.50 BISA AGM

16.40 Close

19.00 - Informal dinner (self-paid) at Harrys Bar, North Parade, Aberystwyth. We will contact all those registering at beginning of November to book places as seating is limited.

Saturday, 17th November: BISA conference, day 2 (morning only)
Venue: Drwm auditorium, National Library of Wales

09.30-10.45 Guided tour of the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. Led by Dan Griffiths, Assistant Curator, National Library of Wales (Venue: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales )

10.45 Tea + coffee

11.00 Tom Ruane (The British Library) The challenges of setting up an audio preservation studio for Unlocking Our Sound Heritage

11.40 Robert Cowlin (The British Library) Signal Extraction from Instantaneous Lacquer Discs

12.20 Round table discussion / wrap up

12.30 Close

*The Museum of Obsolete Media has over 150 audio formats, including rare dictation / voice recording formats such as Dictabelts, Audograph, Memocord etc. and a range of early music formats such as wax cylinders, organette discs, Edison Diamond Discs etc. You can see the complete list of audio formats in the collection at