In search of lost voices

The May 19, 2014 issue of The New Yorker contains a fascinating long article by Alec Wilkinson, titled “Annals of Sound: A Voice from the Past”, which describes in layman’s terms the optical metrology techniques that Carl Haber, an experimental physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory developed to “play” century and a half old wax cylinder recordings. This story of the search for lost voices is a model of writing for the general public. If conservators partnered with professional writers, would we be more successful in getting our message to the public?