From the King’s College Archive to a benefactor
I’m sorry that you were disappointed by the news that we have to stick to King’s-approved suppliers for digitisation work, and I do understand that it must seem tedious and unnecessary bureaucracy. However, it is completely unavoidable - as I may have mentioned, Archives Services were audited just last month, and dealings with external suppliers of services were subjected to particularly close scrutiny.
With very best wishes and many thanks,
King’s College London
From John Whiting to the King's College Archive
I find it ironic that Eric Mottram's tapes would not be considered safe in my hands inasmuch as they only survive at all because, after his death, I went all over his house gathering them up and boxing them. Many of them had already passed through my hands making copies for Eric, and many others had originated with me in the first place.
If the firms that digitize for you follow normal practice, their fee will be for only making a straight copy of what is on the tape; any further work multiplies the cost. My digitizing would have included listening to the tapes as they were playing, editing out dead space and banding as appropriate, adjusting the speed (which is often necessary) and correcting equalization (which is almost always required). In the course of this I would also have gathered further information not on the label that would have been useful for cataloguing. And all this for about a third of your usual firm's charge for straight unedited copying.
Fortunately, the many hours of Eric's lectures and seminars that I recorded between 1969 and 1972 remained in my possession and so I have been able to digitize them all and make them available on a dedicated website. As an alumnus, it makes me very sad that King's, like the rest of England's great colleges, is being strangled in red tape. It would have given me a great deal of satisfaction to help to further preserve Eric's legacy, and for a merely token hourly charge.