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Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 489515, 21 pages
Research Article

A Systemic Approach to the Preservation of Audio Documents: Methodology and Software Tools

1Department of Computer Science, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 15, 34134 Verona, Italy
2Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, via G. Gradenigo 6/B, 35131 Padova, Italy

Received 10 December 2012; Revised 19 February 2013; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Filippo Stanco

Copyright © 2013 Federica Bressan and Sergio Canazza. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a methodology for the preservation of audio documents, the operational protocol that acts as the methodology, and an original open source software system that supports and automatizes several tasks along the process. The methodology is presented in the light of the ethical debate that has been challenging the international archival community for the last thirty years. The operational protocol reflects the methodological principles adopted by the authors, and its effectiveness is based on the results obtained in recent research projects involving some of the finest audio archives in Europe. Some recommendations are given for the rerecording process, aimed at minimizing the information loss and at quantifying the unintentional alterations introduced by the technical equipment. Finally, the paper introduces an original software system that guides and supports the preservation staff along the process, reducing the processing timing, automatizing tasks, minimizing errors, and using information hiding strategies to ease the cognitive load. Currently the software system is in use in several international archives.