On Jan. 3, as part of Shenandoah County’s 250th Anniversary Year, area residents are invited to make audio recordings to capture a moment in time.
The Sounds of Our County soundscape recording project headed by the Truban Archives at Shenandoah County Library in Edinburg hopes to collect dozens of short recordings lasting from a minute to five minutes that offer various sounds happening in a single moment — 1 p.m. that day.
This initiative is designed to allow future generations to experience the area’s history using various sensory methods.
“The sound project was one that we developed here at the library’s archives,” said archivist Zachary Hottel.
He said he was inspired after hearing about a Dutch museum that offered audio recordings alongside a corresponding nature painting, so viewers could also hear the work of art to better experience it.
“They recognized the importance of being able to share sensory information,” Hottel said.
“What can we do now to help people remember what Shenandoah County sounded like in 2022?” he recalled thinking.
“Someone in the future may look at a picture of let’s say a farm scene in Shenandoah County in 2022 [and wonder] what did the farm scene sound like?” he said.
When capturing audio samples, people should go for authenticity, he said.
Human-made sounds like music or voices are fine, he said, if relevant to the recording. But he asks that people not try to simulate the sound of equipment or anything else.
“Don’t try to create an artificial farm sound,” he said.
After people submit their audio recordings, Hottel said the library will keep them for researchers and others to access.
The library project is part of a yearlong effort of events planned by the county’s anniversary committee, including a Birthday Bash from 6-8 p.m. on March 26 at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market.
Anyone interested in participating in the audio project can choose any location within Shenandoah County, including outdoor spaces, buildings, streets, etc., according to project materials.
The library asks that the recordings “not capture any private conversations, sensitive scenes, copyrighted materials, or be made in a way that violates the law (think recording with a phone while driving),” the information says.
People can use whichever device they want to craft the recording, including a cellphone. Videos recorded with sound will be accepted, but the archive may choose to retain only the audio portion as part of the collection.
After completing the recording, fill out the information sheet at https://countylib.org/images/pdf-files/Info-Release_Sheet.pdf.
Include as many details as possible so staff can have as detailed a record as possible for the future.
Send recordings and sheets to email@example.com or drop them off at any branch of the Shenandoah County Library System. Label any physical items “Sounds of Our County Project.”
For more information, visit countylib.org or Sc250.org or call 540-984-8200.
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