Some of the world’s earliest disc recordings, dating from the late 1880′s, exist today only as pictures in books or magazines. The discs themselves were lost long ago, leaving little hope that their sounds could ever be heard again.
But sound media historian Patrick Feaster has developed a method for extracting sound from these prints, bringing to life rare audio content thought lost to history. Feaster, who works for the campus Media Preservation Initiative, discovered one such print in an 1890 German periodical housed in the stacks at Indiana University Bloomington’s Wells Library. It represents the oldest gramophone-type recording available anywhere for listening today — the earliest audible ancestor of all of the world’s vintage vinyl. By “playing” the inked spiral, we can again hear the voice of gramophone inventor Emile Berliner reciting the poem Der Handschuh by Friedrich Schiller.
Read the full story at http://mediapreservation.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/extracting-audio-from-pictures/
See the IU news release at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/22508.html