Utrecht, 13 December 2009
Almost half a year has passed since the launch in July 2009 of www.recordingpioneers.com, the website which specializes in information on sound recording experts. We have received a lot of enthusiastic reactions and hereby want to express our gratitude for the comments and suggestions for improvements you sent us.
During the 6 months of its existence the website has been updated numerous times, although you may not always have been aware of this. Mistakes were corrected, new text and illustrations added, and even a few new names were added to the existing list of recording pioneers.
Of course, it is not possible to warn you, every time a change has been made. Indicating that an update has taken place would not help you either, because you would not know where to look. The only sound piece of advice I can give users of this website is to regularly check the pioneers they are interested in for new additions and corrections.
However, since we feel very strongly about customer-friendliness, the webmaster and I have introduced the following routine: To indicate that major improvements have taken place, the names of the pioneers in question light up in green italics in both the horizontal and vertical index. We shall leave this distinction in place for, say, two or three months and then remove it.
Whenever new major improvements are added, the names of these recording pioneers will also turn green. The names of these "newly improved" pioneers will subsequently be listed in the next edition of "THE MISSIONARY TIMES", and so on.
The user is advised to use the "REFRESH" button regularly, as the website is being updated very frequently.
The 2009 Diskografentag at Hildesheim (Germany), organized by the PHONOMUSEUM in Vienna (Austria) gave the project a welcome boost. The unofficial presentation of the website at this conference resulted - apart from a renewal of old contacts (Rainer Lotz, Pekka Gronow and Hans-Peter Woessner) - in a number of very interesting new contacts.
George Brock-Nannestad has since supplied me with new material on a number of pioneers, among them James Clenshaw (COLUMBIA) and Robert Callen (GENNETT and BRUNSWICK). The presence of Mrs. Bajnai Klára and Simon Géza Gábor (both from Hungary) also meant new recording pioneers (Antal Greiner and Hoffmann of PREMIER RECORD), and also new information on the recording activities of Ivor Robert Holmes in Hungary.
Meeting William Sinkler Darby’s granddaughter, Mrs. Maryanne Dassonville, in southern France also was one of this year’s highlights. She made some valuable contributions to the website in the form of unique photographs and documents. And there is more material to come on Darby…
The genealogical approach which I chose is bearing fruit all the time. Tracing living relatives is an absolutely essential component of this website and it constantly proves its worth. Mrs. Dorothy Fisher (Illinois), a niece of Robert Callen’s, gave useful information on her uncle and recently sent me some fabulous pictures.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Terry Hadert (Australia), the grandson of Wilhelm Hadert. He was trying to piece together the history of his family and had dicovered his grandfather on my website. Having compared notes we were able to draw up a reasonably complete picture of his grandfather’s life story.
The son of Tommy Rockwell, Malcolm Rockwell, sent me extra information.
Paul Cleary (England) - always on the look-out for relevant additional information - keeps supplying me with material.
Andy Ringgold (California) kindly contributed a short article about his grandfather, Hubert Pernot, and sent photographs.
And thanks also to all the others who contributed to the success of this new website by helping me with my research and sending in suggestions and comments.
A special word of thanks to Joel Bresler who made relevant comments on the functioning of the website and made suggestions as to how it could be improved. Webmaster Cas and I will continue doing what we have been doing all along: providing as much authentic information as possible on the pioneers in a clear and systematic way. Cas has begun installing links (crossreferences) in the text, so the user may find his/her way about much easier by clicking on these names. This practice will be completely installed by February 2010.
I shall draw up a "wishlist" and invite users of this website - individuals as well as institutions - to respond by sending in material or information I have not had access to so far. Researching the backgrounds of all these 500 recording pioneers is not a simple task, so I welcome any offers which enhance the value of this website and make my life less complicated.
www.recordingpioneers.com is not a one-man-show, it is an ever-expanding universe which can only flourish thanks to the contributions of numerous participants.
We hope you enjoy our website and invite you to keep sending in your comments!
The following recording pioneers have undergone major changes:
- ALEXANDER, Marcus Joseph Colhurst