Do you have digitally-born audio recordings of birds that you would like to add to the Macaulay Library? With the new eBird/ML media upload tool, it has never been easier to contribute bird recordings to ML! And, with detailed best practices information from the ML Collections Management Team, you can prepare your sound recordings in the exact same way that an ML archivist would in a studio. This video gives a brief overview of the main steps of the eBird/ML upload process: editing (a copy of) field recordings, uploading an edited file to an eBird checklist, adding metadata about the recording, and viewing the archived audio recording on the ML web site.

If you’ve never used eBird before, or if you don’t have checklists for some of your older recordings, it’s still possible to use the eBird/ML upload tool to contribute recordings to ML by creating historical checklists based on the species audible in your sound recordings. We would also encourage all sound recordists to consider adding eBird to their regular sound recording routine. The free eBird app makes it easy to keep track of birds in the field, and a complete eBird checklist with uploaded sound recordings maximizes the long-term value of your recording and birding efforts.

The current focus of the eBird/ML upload tool is sound recordings of birds, but in the future, we plan to expand the scope of the tool to include videos and recordings of mammals, anurans, and other non-birds. In the meantime, the Macaulay Library remains committed to archiving analog sound recordings, video recordings, and non-bird recordings in a traditional archival studio setting. If you have recordings that fall into any of these categories, please contact us to discuss the possible archiving of your material. Similarly, if you have a collection of analog bird sound recordings, but no way to play them, you can contact us about the possible digitization and archiving of your tapes. Our archival team possesses decades of experience with analog tape recordings, and our studios are outfitted with professional analog tape machines and analog-to-digital converters.

The Macaulay Library is first and foremost a scientific archive, and we consider archived recordings at ML to be scientific specimens. For this reason, it is very important that any material that we consider for archival work contain at least basic metadata. Date, location, and subject identification (even at a higher level, such as genus, family, or order) are the most important pieces of information, but additional metadata like age, sex, and behavior of the subject; recording equipment; if playback was used; and other pertinent notes can all add value to an audio or video specimen. The presence of well-organized metadata can be an important factor in prioritizing the many legacy collections that we consider for archival work.

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