When digitized and stowed away on disks, musical data isn’t terribly different from most business documents. But peeling back the layers to be able to find and use musical data calls for knowledge of the potential musical connections, attributes and metadata with each file that “may not necessarily be immediate to someone who had not come from a music background,” says Adam Wead, systems and digital collections librarian for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Library and Archives division.
Mixing that IT background with an academic background in every musical style under the sun is what separates the data storage and archivists for the rock hall from some of their data management contemporaries. While developing the software to manage the Hall’s digital archives over the last two years, Wead has also been honing his academic chops by finishing a doctorate in music. And his counterpart, Jennie Thomas, head archivist for the Hall’s library division, backs up her library sciences degree (with a specialty in information management) with her own bachelor’s in music.
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