23 Jun 2014

Early orchestral recordings preserved

2:22 pm on 23 June 2014

About 300 unique orchestral recordings are being preserved and recorded as digital files.

The Sound Archives, Nga Taonga Korero is completing the work in Christchurch as part of a wider two-year digitisation project to capture audio heritage.

Archivist John Kelcher said the recordings included New Zealand composers and early broadcasts by the National Orchestra, the predecessor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, between 1946 and 1953.

"This is an amazing part of our culture, our history and it's really preserving it for perpetuity, for people to hear, for it to be used in productions, in radio, in television or multi-media, internet, you name it."

He said each record is played back in real time on a legacy playback device and captured as a digital audio file.

Mr Kelcher said it is hoped the audio will eventually be put online for the public to access.