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possible use during future anniversary meetings of the Soci- ety” (Rule 24.4). The book, ASA at 75, prepared for the 75th anniversary celebration at the 147th meeting of the Society held in New York in May 2004, is the result of this charge. ASA at 75 contains chapters for 13 technical areas as well as education in acoustics. ASA at 75 is available on the Archives and History page on the Society’s website ( at-75).
Oral History Project
In addition to preparing for ASA anniversary celebrations, the Archives and History Committee has been collecting and preserving oral histories of prominent figures in the Society in particular and acoustics in general. All officers and medal recipients are automatically on the oral history “wish” list; names of other prominent persons in acoustics should be forwarded to the Archives and History Commit- tee for consideration of inclusion on the list. Our goal is to collect oral histories from all persons on the “list” through the volunteer efforts of members of the ASA, who conduct the interviews. Currently, transcripts of fewer than 50 oral histories of these persons are on deposit at the Niels Bohr Library and Archives of the American Institute of Physics ( For a current list of oral histories, check the “Oral Histories” tab at
The interviews are conducted by volunteer members of the ASA who arrange to meet with the interviewee, record the session, and submit the recording to the AIP History Pro- gram for transcription. There are procedures for conduct- ing an interview that include obtaining signed permission forms both before the interview and again after the final transcript has been prepared and approved. The interview it- self begins with a set of standard questions, following which the interviewer focuses on the interviewees professional ac- tivities. The transcript is sent to the interviewee for editing and the interviewer for preparation of an abstract. What we need most urgently for this project are volunteers to meet with those officers and medal recipients not yet interviewed (more than 40 officers and 200 medal recipients). We wel- come all of you interested in joining this effort to collect oral histories of prominent contributors to the field of acoustics.
Works of Distinguished Acousticians
This project, which began in 2006, was developed to provide full access to the contributions of some of the most distin- guished members of the ASA. In addition to traditional pub- lications, these collected works include oral histories, pho-
tos, movies, and videos. Thus far, the ASA Executive Council has approved three collected works projects. The link for or- dering the first project in the series, the “Collected Works of Isadore Rudnick” is available at The collected works of Leo Beranek and Harvey Fletcher are currently in production.
Acoustical Genealogy
There have been two acoustical genealogy poster sessions that celebrate academic lineages and ancestry in all tech- nical areas of acoustics. Some posters focus on individu- als (e.g., David Blackstock, Katherine Harris, and Isadore Rudnick) and others focus on laboratories (e.g., Indiana University and the National Center for Physical Acous- tics). The first poster session was at the 153rd meeting of the ASA in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June 2007. The second poster session took place at the 166th meeting of the ASA in San Francisco in December 2013. The posters are avail- able at
Other Archival Sources
There are three categories of material under the Archives tab on our website, External Archives (which are actually three resources provided by the AIP), Special Archives, and the History of the ASA, that are also available as a link on the ASA website home page. The External Archives are links to sev- eral other sources of information, including the AIP and Niels Bohr Library home pages as well as the AIP International Catalog of Sources (ICOS). This latter is a major resource for information in all areas of physics. The Special Archives con- tains to links to archives maintained by other organizations. These External and Special Archives links lead to a treasure trove of information about individuals and institutions that have been important in the development of acoustics.
Continuing Work: Archiving Acoustical Society of America Collections and Technical Committee Materials
The Archives and History Committee was also charged with developing “management procedures for the documenta- tion, collection, storage, maintenance, and use of archival and historical collections of the Society, and implementing those procedures” and “tracking, and when possible the con- solidation, of the currently scattered archives of various tech- nical committees” (Rules 24.1 and 24.3 of the ASA). Under the guidance of the nine persons who have served as chair of the committee since 1988 (William J. Cavanaugh, 1988- 1991; John W. Kopec, 1991-1994; Kenneth D. Rolt, 1994;
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