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Jack White Donates $200K To National Recording Preservation Foundation

Nick Giannettino

by Nick Giannettino

Published July 29, 2013

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It hasn't even been two months since his heroic bailout of the Detroit Masonic Temple, and Jack White has returned to the rescue!

This time, the prolific musician and label owner donated $200,000 to the National Recording Preservation Foundation - an organization of which White is a board member.

The NRPF is the third part of the National Recording Preservation Act - "a public/private partnership established to preserve and make accessible the recorded sounds of the United States."

Executive Director of the Foundation, Gerald Seligman, calls the benefaction a "game changer," as well as stating that it gives the foundation "the welcome opportunity to go from talk about the needs and priorities of audio preservation to concerted action."

It’s thrilling. We have a whole nation of cultural heritage in recorded sound [and] a lot of it is in precarious shape. Some was recorded on very fragile media — like old cylinders, acetates, reel-to-reel tapes — and it’s turning into shards. Some of these things have got to be saved quick.

Chairman of NRPF's board of directors, Sam Brylawski, hopes that White's “extraordinarily generous donation inspires many others, especially those in the recording business—record companies, artists, songwriters, and others—to follow his lead to help ensure that we are able to preserve and make accessible recent and historical recordings at risk of loss.”

Fellow board member, George Massenburg, says that "it’s a modern assumption that everything is digital... but it's not." He also states that White "loves the warmth and immersive character of analog," as opposed to "the speed and utility of digital methodology."

Referring to the United States as a "throwaway culture," Massenburg hopes White's donation "touches people and that they’ll respond," in the pursuit to save physical artifacts and archives of the country's history in sound.

First saving the world's largest masonic temple in Detroit, and now kickstarting the coutry's official sound preserver, where can we expect financial aid from Jack White next? (Perhaps the city of Detroit's recent filing for bankruptcy.)

Via The Washington Post.

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