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Digitising John Cargher 78 rpm records at Monash University Library

conference contribution
posted on 2021-10-14, 05:52 authored by Irene GuidottiIrene Guidotti
International Association of Music Libraries, Archives & Documentation Centres (Australian Chapter) Conference Online 2021

Digitising John Cargher 78 rpm records at Monash University Library

John Cargher AM (1919-2008), was a music and ballet journalist and broadcast presenter. He grew up in England, Germany and Madrid. While serving in the RAF during World War 2 he bought and sold 78 rpm records for shellac, while keeping some back for his own collection.

After working in theatre and television production, he migrated to Australia in 1951, and in April 1966 he began hosting the weekly program Singers of Renown on ABC Melbourne. Though conceived as a 13-part series, the program continued, and went national in 1976.

Cargher remained its unpretentious, encyclopaedic writer and presenter until the week before he died in 2008, his forty-two years and 2124 programs at the microphone earning him the record for the longest run of any combined program and presenter in Australian radio history.

The John Cargher Collection was donated to Monash University through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program in 2009 by Robyn Walton in memory of John Cargher. Ten years later, Monash University Library completed the digitisation of a set of 78 rpm records in the collection, which Cargher brought with him from England. Through a Faculty of Arts Work Integrated Learning (WIL) internship, our student approached the library himself, and worked in the Digitisation Centre on the project over 12 weeks.

This talk presented the phases from initiation to closure, highlighting the opportunities and benefits from professional placements and the involvement of students through supervised participation.

I coordinated the project in collaboration with library staff members across different departments.

The John Cargher Collection online:

Online 2021 – Music rights for all: Libraries as enablers