Endangered large

Digital materials created by musicians and fans as a by-product of performance or recording, shared on websites and other social media platforms.

Group: Sound and Vision

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within twelve months

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to address losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.


Fan sites; private or illicit recordings of concerts; informal music sharing between networks.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Dependence on social media provider; lack of offline equivalent; infringing intellectual property right; unstable or small community of interest; encryption

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Offline equivalent; intellectual property rights conducive to preservation; partnership with collecting institution; availability to web archiving.

2019 Review

This entry has been split out of the previous entry for ‘Digital Music Production and Sharing’ though it has overlaps with other entries including those relating to social media as well as those relating to community-generated content. It has been retained as a separate theme to emphasize the context in which music is shared and enjoyed – a context which could be lost if our attention were on products controlled by studios or artists. The recent case of the closure of ‘Yahoo Groups’ serves to underline the fragility of community content hosted by third parties.

Additional Jury Comments

The ephemera are increasingly stored on websites that themselves are fragile and are removed - as we see with MySpace's removal of MP3s, Flickr's decision to delete vast numbers of images held on free accounts and material lost as a result of Tumblr's policy changes on the definition of pornography. Nothing held on these services can be relied on in archival timeframes

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