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Preservation Grants Program (ARSC Grants Committee)

Acknowledgement of Support | Methodology and Standards | Funding Limitations
Application Instructions | Narrative | Budget | Supporting Materials | Contact

Program for the Preservation of Classical Music Historical Recordings

The ARSC Program for the Preservation of Classical Music Historical Recordings was founded in 2004 (to begin in 2006) by Al Schlachtmeyer and the Board of Directors of ARSC to encourage and support the preservation of historically significant sound recordings of music in the Western Art Music tradition, by individuals and organizations. (This program is separate from the ARSC Research Grants program, which supports historical research and publication of studies by individuals in the field of sound recordings or audio preservation).

The ARSC Program for the Preservation of Classical Music Historical Recordings will also consider funding:

  • Projects involving preservation, in any valid and reasonable fashion, such as providing a collection with proper climate control, moving a collection to facilities with proper storage conditions, re-sleeving a collection of discs, setting up a volunteer project to organize and inventory a stored collection, rescuing recordings from danger, copying recordings on endangered or unstable media, etc.
  • Projects promoting public access to recordings
  • Projects involving commercial as well as private, instantaneous recordings
  • Projects involving collections anywhere in the world (non-U.S. applicants are encouraged to apply)

The program is administered by an ARSC Grants Committee including the chair, a member of the Technical Committee, and an expert on classical music. Proposals must be received by the 15th of December each year. Grant amounts generally range from $2000 to $10,000. Grant projects should be completed within twenty-four months. Written notification of decisions on projects will be made approximately three months after the submission deadline (please do NOT contact the committee about progress on decisions).

Acknowledgement of Support

Grantees must formally credit the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in all published materials, announcements, and websites which relate to the recordings preserved.

Grantees must give permission to ARSC to publish the complete written project report or excerpts from it in the ARSC Journal and Newsletter and on the ARSC website.

A written final report is to be received by ARSC within 60 days of the date of completion of the project. Include, 1) a summary less than one page in length for possible publication in the ARSC Newsletter and elsewhere, as well as, 2) a full report of up to five pages which should specify results, recordings preserved, dissemination efforts, etc. The final report should be in the form of a Word document in Normal style and 12-point font. The report should include a copy of the final, actual budget (the original projected budget worksheet with actual figures inserted). Appropriate additional materials may be attached as .pdf files if necessary.

The report may be emailed as an attachment to or mailed to the Grants Committee chair (see address below).

In order to help assure the preservation and dissemination of the products of these projects, grantees are encouraged to prepare copies of the products of their projects, and to furnish copies of the published products of their projects to ARSC and up to five appropriate permanent sound archives to be agreed on by ARSC and the grant recipient.

Methodology and Standards

Audio recordings should be preserved following ARSC preferred methods and standards for preservation projects:

Projects should comply with the preservation guidelines published by the Technical Committee of the International Association of Audiovisual Archives (IASA) in documents TC-03: The safeguarding of the audio heritage: Ethics, principles, and preservation strategy (Version 2, September, 2001) and TC-04: Guidelines on the production and preservation of digital audio objects (Second Edition, 2009). Both are available in full, online, at and or can be purchased through IASA's webcart (

The section of the proposal dealing with methodology should discuss the following, especially when recordings in obsolete formats are to be digitally preserved:

  • The vendor or staff member(s) who will conduct the playback and digital preservation of the originals and their qualifications.
  • Specific information about the equipment to be utilized, including playback equipment, the analog to digital converter, and the hardware and software to be used.
  • The types of audio files to be created for both archiving and dissemination.
  • Information on how the files will be stored and backed up. Will there be a designated storage facility for the files?
  • Metadata describing the files and how it will be created.

If appropriate, the above information may be included in a letter of agreement from a vendor.

Applicants whose projects are planned to depart from the preferred methodology and standards should provide a rationale for the compatibility of their methodological approach with the goals of the project and the expectations of its users. Applicants are encouraged to outsource reformatting to a qualified company capable of complying with the IASA guidelines if they lack the necessary equipment for their tasks.

Funding Limitations

The ARSC Program cannot consider funding:

  • Chapters, Board members, or officers of ARSC
  • Organizations which discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, or age
  • Costs of commercial design, marketing, or publicity
  • Purchase of collections or individual recordings
  • Purchase or repair of equipment or other facilities
  • Maintenance or upgrading of computer systems
  • New recording projects
  • Endowments or fund-raising

Guidelines and Application Instructions

Applications must be received no later than December 15th each year.

Applications should include:

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Narrative (not to exceed five pages)
  3. Budget
  4. Supporting Materials


Maximum of 5 pages; please number items as listed below:

  1. Describe the project for which you request funds, including a specific outline of methodology and technology.
  2. List the specific content of the material to be preserved. If there are copyright issues involved with the material, include a statement of status.
  3. If the proposal calls for transferring sources to other media, specify those media, as well as how and where the transfers will be done.
  4. List plans to preserve original sources with policies for their storage and handling. If plans involve donating source material to some other organization, please include a supporting document from that institution.
  5. List principal personnel involved in this project (and include title or position). If a sound preservation vendor is to be hired, please include a letter of agreement from the vendor detailing the methodologies to be used. (See above: Methodology and Standards)
  6. List plans for accessibility and dissemination of preserved items. How will sound files be disseminated and used? Will they be available online? In-house? In a designated archival repository?


Please use the budget format outlined below (no other format will be accepted):

  1. Heading: ARSC Program for the Preservation of Classical Music Historical Recordings
  2. Project Budget (please include a description and sub-total for each type):
  3. Revenue sources:
  4. Project total:
  5. Expenses (those to be paid by ARSC should be clearly identified as "ARSC"):
    • Personnel
    • Supplies
    • Equipment (see Guidelines)
    • Travel
    • Other (please specify)
    • List all partners (i.e., those supplying facilities, equipment, staff time, matching funds, etc.)

Please note that ARSC cannot pay indirect costs ("overhead").

Supporting Materials

Please include:

  1. Two letters of support specifically for the project (these letters may NOT be written by members of the organization requesting funds or by individuals related to the project).
  2. A letter of agreement from the vendor hired to carry out the preservation pan (if applicable).
  3. Organizations: a general description and history (1-page maximum, please).
  4. A brief current biographical statement (1 page maximum, please) about principal personnel.
  5. Non-profit organizations: a copy of IRS tax determination letter.

Contact Information

Applications may be sent as an email attachment to Grants Committee Chair, Suzanne Flandreau, at They should be Word documents in Normal formatting, 12-point font, with accompanying letters and other materials scanned into .pdf files.

If email is not an option, please mail your completed application to the Grants Committee Chair, Suzanne Flandreau at:

ARSC Grants Committee
Suzanne Flandreau
621 N. Fifth Street
Niles, MI 49120

Emailed applications will be acknowledged by email. If you wish notification that your mailed application has been received, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All applications must be received by the December 15 deadline.


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