The NRPF was created to help stem the flow of serious losses to America’s unparalleled radio, music and recorded sound heritage.
“Sound archives have reached a critical point in their history marked by the simultaneous rapid deterioration of unique original materials, the development of expensive and powerful new digital technologies, and the decline of analog formats and media. It has long been clear to most sound archivists that our old analog-based preservation methods are no longer viable and that new strategies must be developed in the digital domain.”
— NRPF Board member George Massenburg, producer, engineer and educator
What will the Foundation work to preserve?
“American music is one of our true national treasures. Preserving our greatest recordings is both necessary to our identity and important for future generations as a source of inspiration and cultural knowledge.”
— NRPF Board member Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles
But the scope is broader still.
“The mission goes beyond music to include radio, broadcast, speeches, poets, spoken word, oral histories, field recordings — the very soundtrack of the nation. The Foundation seeks to discover and preserve lost audio treasures as well as the most iconic of recordings that deserve another listen and share them with the public, to educate, entertain and delight.”
— NRPF Board member and radio producer Davia Nelson of NPR’s Kitchen Sisters
Making it all accessible
By law and inclination, the Foundation goes beyond the archives, collections and libraries and into the lives of the population by making these treasures accessible to all. Education, research, preservation, pure pleasure, that is the mission at hand. It is a process made easier than ever before due to online tools and ubiquity.
“So much of America’s heritage and its treasures are contained in its audio archives. Think of the great broadcasts, the news and history, think of the entire recorded history of American music and music recorded within our borders, think of the great speeches, spoken word and poetry… I could go on an on. All of this must be preserved for future generations. And it must be pulled out of the archives, vaults and dusty shelves of prized collections and made easily available to all of us. That is our mission and commitment.”
— Executive Director, Gerald Seligman