Jack White has made a $200,000 donation to the National Recording Preservation Foundation. The gift allows the foundation to start work on the National Recording Preservation Plan to organize and preserve radio, music and recorded sound history.
White sits on the Foundation's board, which is a public private partnership - they seek private funds and then have a government commitment to match. Current concerns center around rapidly deterioting magnetic tape recording of the 1940 and '50's.
“Here we have a whole nation of cultural heritage in recorded sound [and] a lot of it is in precarious shape,” Executive Director Gerald Seligman told the Washington Post. “Some was recorded on very fragile media — like old cylinders, acetates, reel-to-reel tapes - and it’s turning into shards.”
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” he continued. “We don’t know what objects are important until we see inside collections, look and listen to them and identify what they are.”
On White: “He doesn’t take advantage of the speed and utility of digital methodology, and loves the warmth and immersive character of analog,” according to Massenburg. “He is a traditionalist in that sense.”
National Recording Preservation Foundation Board members are appointed by the Librarian of Congress.
- T. Bone Burnett, Musician, Producer
- Bruce Lundvall, President and CEO Emeritus, Blue Note Label Group
- George Massenburg, Producer, Engineer, Educator
- Ricky Minor, Musician, Tonight Show Bandleader
- Davia Nelson, Radio Producer, NPR's Kitchen Sisters
- Jonathan Poneman, Co-Founder, Sub Pop Records
- Bob Santelli, Executive Director, Grammy Museum
- John L. Simson (Chairman), Lawyer, Past Executive Director Sound Exchange
- Jack White, Musician, Producer, Label Owner of Third Man Records
- Gerald Seligman, Executive Director
- James Billington, Librarian of Congress
- Kenneth Silverman, Of Counsel