Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Solstice greetings form 9100 feet, Dillon, Colorado.

My visit to Boulder, Colorado reminded me an interesting audio preservation project at the Naropa Institute. Over 7000 hours of recorded readings and lectures from the past forty years at Naropa are being digitized and mounted on the Internet. When the project is complete, users from around the world can listen to Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kerouac and other poets of the Beat Generation read their own work.

Naropa’s unusual tradition of recording every lecture and performance over the years is paying off. This was poet Anne Waldeman’s idea. The portable tape recorder was becoming popular, affordable and easy to use in the mid 60s and for some artists on the vanguard, it was a natural extension of their work. (For others it was not. My own memory of the Be Here Now Generation is the opposite -- that to record or preserve any kind of performance was anathema – the point was to let it go.)

This enormous multi-year project is being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Save America’s Treasures, and the Grammy Foundation. The online archive is hosted by the Internet Archive. For more information contact, Naropa Audio Archive Project Director Steven Taylor, Allen Ginsberg Library, Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO, 303/546-3507.


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