Internships at the British Library Aided by ATBL

ED Seana Anderson with Intern Nkwenkwezi Languza

ATBL Executive Director Seana Anderson with Intern Nkwenkwezi Languza

The program of British Library Sound Archive internships is now in the middle of its inaugural year. The American Trust for the British Library has provided a bursary for Nkwenkwezi Languza who is completing a five-month internship.

Nkwenkwezi heads the Sound Preservation at the National Film, Video and Sound Archives in South Africa. He is responsible among others for ensuring the preservation and promotion of the sound collection, which includes indigenous music and oral history. Will Prentice, one of the British Library Sound Archive’s Audio Engineers, is supervising Nkwenkwezi’s training.

As well as developing his knowledge of the preservation of coarse groove discs, cassette tapes and digital media, Nkwenkwezi will also be creating some recordings to take back to his own archive. These recordings will be oral history interviews of South African performing artists who were members of the much-acclaimed Ipi Ntombi that toured Europe and other parts of the world in the 1970’s. The interviews will be based on their experiences as performers in exile.

ATBL will support a second Sound Archive internship in 2008-2009.  These internships at the BL are supported through the contributions from the general membership of the ATBL.

We also heard recently from Beatrice Kitzinger, PHD Candidate at Harvard’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, Arthur M. Sackler Museum.  Ms. Kitzinger was an ATBL intern in the medieval section of the BL’s Department of Manuscripts in 2007.  This is what she wrote in part:

“I want to express my very great thanks for an invaluable internship period at the British Library made possible by the ATBL…  I found the experience extremely helpful for both my professional training and my dissertation research.  I was able to contribute to several different aspects of curatorial work in the department, and the access to the Library’s collections afforded by the internship enabled me to significantly advance my dissertation work….I would like to warmly thank you again for the commitment to young scholars’ research and training that your funding of this unique program represents.”

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