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Common concerns and shared solutions: the potential synergies with the music industry

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The British Library
Presentation type: 
spoken paper
1 Oct Thursday
Start time: 
Grand Auditorium

The British Library is mandated as the repository of the nation’s published output. To date published sound has been so covered via voluntary deposit managed through good relationships with the record industry. The transition to digital distribution in the music industry, coupled with the fragmentation of music production, is challenging the success of the Library’s long-established voluntary deposit arrangement with the UK record industry. A six-month study (October 2013-March 2014) at the British Library investigated ways in which we could work with the fast-moving digital music supply chain, improve our relationship with the record industry and help develop a Library-wide transition to acquisition of digital materials. Ongoing work has resulted in the development of software that integrates with the BL’s Sound and Moving Image catalogue, in part using APIs to speed up metadata creation. Without legal deposit we are faced with the challenges of understanding the scale of digital music output, reaching labels, distributors and artists, and identifying common concerns with music industry to establish a valuable and enduring role for the Archive. This paper will describe lessons learnt and suggest potential synergies as the Library gears up to fulfil its stated mandate for music publication.