This paper traces the journey of a collection of German sound recordings to its current home at the British Library and examines how changing perceptions of the collection’s value in the eyes of its holders have influenced its preservation. Initially founded as a Weimar-era radio repository, the collection was then adopted as a means of recording the early years of National Socialism before being seized by British troops in 1945 and submitted as possible evidence for prosecutors at Nuremberg. It was then used as a resource for post-war BBC broadcasting before passing into British sound archives. The collection has passed through multiple institutions and has been re-evaluated by generations of broadcasters, civil servants and archivists, each time posing different questions as to the legal, historical, national and entertainment value of such recordings, providing a case study of how archival value is determined by the context in which the objects are assessed.

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Sound & Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Harrison, Erica. (2022). ‘A Faithful Steward of these Values’: The Valorisation of a Translocated German Sound Collection. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 25(2), 1–25. doi:10.18146/tmg.820