Friday, 4 June 2010

The archive of EMS and related archives

Note July, 30, 2014: For an updated and extended version, see Electronic music archives in the collection of The Swedish Performing Arts Agency.

The archives of EMS and Fylkingen were donated to the Music and Theatre Library of Sweden in 2009. Archivist Jens Bjurman processed the EMS archive during spring 2010, and the inventory (in Swedish) is now published on the library website (his master's thesis on the processing can be found here). For EMS's tape archive, see below. The Fylkingen tape archive is partly digitised and available for research at Fylkingen.

The Music and Theatre Library also holds some other archives of interest to researchers in Swedish electronic music (links are to the inventories, if available. Please note that most of them are in Swedish):
The Swedish Museum of Performing Arts stores some of the former studio equipment of EMSRalph Lundsten and Ákos Rózmann (information only in Swedish).

In addition, the National Library of Sweden holds the archives of Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968) and Åke Hodell (1919-2000), and a small Öyvind Fahlström (1928-1976) archive (the main one is in Barcelona at the Museum of Contemporary Art). For more information, search for these names in Ediffah. The Hodell tape archive is in SMDB. The archive of his father, Björn Hodell, is at the Music and Theatre Library.

The EMS tape archive
EMS's music archive ("bandarkivet", the tape archive) has been donated to the National Library of Sweden for long-time preservation (except for commercially released records, which will be kept in the EMS library). The digitised content will be accessible through the Swedish Media Database (SMDB).

There are three ways to search the EMS music archive:
  1. For digitised materials only, search SMDB with 'collection:"EMS bandarkiv"' to see all available items. Currently, SMDB holds only about 80 works, but more will come. One can listen to these works at the National Library of Sweden/Audiovisual Media, but not online, due to copyright restrictions (what else?).
  2. To search the entire archive, use DISMARC, which I've blogged on elsewhere. The metadata is limited, and one can't listen to the music, but one sees all content, whether digitised or not.
  3. Visit EMS and search the full database. It has some additional functionality compared to SMDB and DISMARC, e.g. an hierarchic display of a composer's works, their versions and audio carriers (based on FRBR). The EMS database is also the most frequently updated, and one can listen to all of the digitised music, including CD:s and DVD:s that haven't been migrated to the database yet.

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