The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0266  Monday, 25 June 2012


From:        Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Saturday, June 23, 2012 10:01 AM

Subject:     Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archive Project


My friends at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archive are applying for an NEA grant to digitalize their hundreds of tapes and put those recorded between 1951 and 1980, when OSF signed their first contract with actor’s equity, on the web to make these full show and selected radio broadcasts available to everyone.


OSF’s recordings include productions of all 37 plays in the standard canon, many recorded several times by several casts. The recordings were directed for the microphone by Andrew C. Love of NBC Radio to ensure a quality recording. Most of the tapes are what OSF calls “full show” recordings, though they preserve the textual cuts made for the stage. In addition, and for something like 17 years from the fifties and into the seventies, OSF also made one-hour radio broadcasts syndicated throughout the United States and made available for classroom use. Virtually none of these reel-to-reel tapes can be heard now because of their fragile condition. Digitizing them is a necessity, but OSF’s desire to make this material free to anyone with an internet connection presents a fantastic opportunity to media, performance, and other scholars.


I have already used this material in the limited way that I can (given its condition) for my contributions to the book SHAKESPEARE AFTER SHAKESPEARES (Richard Burt, ed., Greenwood Press, 2007) and for an article in the next SHAKESPEARE SURVEY 65 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and have written my letter in support. The OSF Archive seeks letters from others willing to write to the NEA supporting the grant. There is some value in numbers, but the most convincing letters will be by those who have an actual research project, current or planned, that would use this material. Gwyn Hervochon of the Archive would like to contact possible letter-writers on Monday to tell them what is needed. If you would like to write the NEA in support of this project, especially if you have research project that you are willing to describe, Gwyn would like to contact you. Please let me know if you are willing to write a letter and give me your contact information. I will pass it along to Gwyn Sunday night so that she can get to work on this Monday morning. 


Please accept my apology for cross-postings,

Mike Jensen 



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