In 1983, 6,300 phonograph records belonging to Kol Israel (Israel Radio) were transferred to the National Sound Archives of the National Library; the majority of them recordings of radio broadcasts, and others, commercial recordings. An additional 20,000, containing a variety of materials, were transferred from Kol Israel in 2002. Approximately 5,000, of the latter, were selected for cataloguing and preservation.
The entire group of records which arrived in the 1980's has been catalogued and the others are currently being processed. Most of these records contain broadcasts from the 1950's and include many unique recordings, chiefly in the field of Israeli music, and are an invaluable resource for the appreciation of this music.
Because of their impaired physical state, the records cannot be played at all, even for research purposes. The majority are made of acetate and are considered to be at risk because of chemical processes which could cause them to disintegrate at any moment. According to the research and directives of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), these materials should be transferred to digital format immediately in order to preserve their content.
Legacy Heritage Fund Project's goals include the rescue and long-term preservation of the recordings in the Sound Archives, as well as providing access to them. Preservation is carried out using advanced technologies, which allow remote access to select materials through the Library's website, in addition to offering local access to the entire collection within the Bella and Harry Wexner Libraries of Sound and Music.
As part of this project the Kol Israel recordings, among others, are being transferred from analog to digital format. The Sound Archive includes studios equipped with instruments for optimal playback of old records and conversion to digital formats. After undergoing a cleaning and fixing process, the original materials are converted to both WAV files, for preservation, and MP3 files, to enable access. The preservation process is compliant with the IASA standards.
In its function as a national archive, the Sound Archives are obligated to preserve the Kol Israel collection and provide access to users in Israel and worldwide.
On this page you can find select recordings from the Kol Israel collection, which represent the wide variety included in the collection. Each month, dozens of new audio files will be added. The complete collection is currently being digitized and is scheduled to be uploaded by the end of 2012.
The files can be found through a search in our catalogue. Items from the Kol Israel collection can be played directly from links in the catalogue.