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Audio Digitization Project

Recording for posterity



The San Francisco Conservatory of Music Library and Archives has established a project to preserve historical recordings of performances and events of the Conservatory (in-house performances) that date back to 1967. These include performances by faculty, students and guest artists, orchestra concerts, masterclasses, events and lectures. The Library and Archives aims to preserve recorded sound and information for staff, students, and researchers by migrating analog materials to digital format. Analog materials in the collection include:

  • Open reel tapes, 1967-1983
  • Audiocassette tapes, 1980-2000
  • VHS tapes, 1986-2005
  • CDs, 1998-2014
  • DVDs, 2003-2014

The main purpose of preserving digital content is for the long-term preservation of recordings, and more convenient access by faculty, staff, students and researchers.

Metadata for digitized historical recordings will be recorded in MARC records, which will be searchable via worldwide Library catalogs. MARC records are currently available for our recordings housed on CDs and DVDs. Creating MARC records for our older recordings housed on open reel tapes, audio cassette tapes, and VHS tapes will be a lengthy process, so please contact the Library and Archives if you are looking for a specific recording.


Recordings housed on CDs and DVDs (1998-2014) may still be checked out and used in the Library. Newly created in-house recordings are available for streaming to Conservatory members via your Google Drive folder shared by the Recording Studio. Physical copies of recordings made after 2014 may be requested by filling out this form.

Listening appointments for our historical recordings may be requested by contacting the Library and Archives. These appointments will be held in the Conservatory's Library or Archives. We recommend making your appointment at least a week in advance, as the requested recordings may need to be transferred to digital format before you arrive.

Please note that if a recording is very fragile and cannot be safely transferred by Conservatory staff, your listening appointment may be denied or postponed.

Please also note that staff time is limited, so lengthy requests may not be possible. Priority is given to requests made by Conservatory members.

Duplication Requests

If you are a participant (performer, composer) in a recording, you may request a duplication of your performance from that recording. All duplication requests must be submitted via an official request form wherein the requester agrees to comply with all appropriate copyright laws.

Duplication Request Form (Prior to Fall 2014)

Our historical recording collection is a treasure trove of Conservatory and San Francisco musical history. This is an ongoing, lengthy process so we ask you to be patient while we move forward. Please feel free to email with any questions, or to stop by the Library and Archives to learn more!

The Conservatory's Library & Archives would like to thank the following individuals for their invaluable advice and assistance with this project: Jason O'Connell, Alden Jenks, Brann Mitchell, Corinne Forstot, Rodney Linebarger, Shase Hernandez, Jeff Fisher, Sam Smith, Nicholas Harmantzis, Samuel Chen, Phadej Netpakdee, Sam Schoenwald, Anna Bush, and Andrew Wang.