2023 Association of Recorded Sound Collections Conference

Events, News from the Field
the letters ARSC with the C made to look like a beacon of sound with soundwaves

The 57th annual ARSC Conference will take place May 17-20, 2023, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the DoubleTree Hotel Downtown. The Association for Recorded Sound Collections is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings — in all genres of music and speech, in all formats, and from all periods. ARSC is unique in bringing together private individuals and institutional professionals — everyone with a serious interest in recorded sound.

The Steel City boasts a vibrant downtown scene, world-class museums, a thriving art community, and dozens of record stores. Offering miles of riverfront trails and a bustling cultural district, Pittsburgh is home to the Andy Warhol Museum, August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Heinz History Center, and the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art. ARSC highly recommends visiting one of Pittsburgh’s many famous record stores like Jerry’s Records, which was named one of Rolling Stone’s best record stores in the United States, or Eide’s Entertainment, which has been selling records and comic books in downtown Pittsburgh since 1972.

Conference registration options are available for members and non-members. A fee waiver program is available for student members. A discounted Saturday rate is available for all. Online registration is now available.

A block of rooms has been reserved at special rates for conference attendees. ARSC’s contracted dates extend from May 16-22, 2023.

The preliminary conference schedule (subject to change) can be viewed at:

ARSC celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop in a special keynote session on Saturday that highlights the past, present, and future of the genre. A Pittsburgh-focused plenary session on Thursday includes speakers from Duquesne University and Penn State sharing their research on singer-songwriter Betty Davis, radio announcer Porky Chedwick, and the city’s historic Hill District.

Concurrent sessions throughout the three days cover a wide array of topics related to the study and preservation of recorded sound. Traditional sessions on recording history, music makers, and folk and ethnographic collections are complemented by others that explore the cultural impact of recording technologies, the impact of private collections, and even discuss how to preserve computer music performance software. Staff from the Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, and Indiana University speak on preservation initiatives, and the archivist from the Apollo Theater shares challenges and recordings. In addition to hosting the annual “Ask the TC” event on Thursday night, ARSC’s Technical Committee is sponsoring an entire session devoted to preservation and restoration.

There are free public programs on Thursday and Friday evenings: a screening of the documentary “How They Got Over,” the Collector’s Roundtable meeting, and a film presentation by Mark Cantor.

Conference Workshop

The conference workshop, “Collecting 101,” will be held on May 17, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The workshop will offer a closer look at the processes that go into creating and sustaining recorded sound collections, both private and institutional. Led by various field experts from all walks of collecting, this day-long program will engage with attendees on collection development, care, access, and administration. The workshop is limited to 50 attendees.
More information at:


ARSC invites first-time conference attendees and conference veterans to
participate in the Conference Mentoring Program. The program pairs newcomers
with long-time members, based on their shared interests. For more
information, visit:

Awards & Closing Reception

The conference will conclude on Saturday evening with an Awards & Closing Reception. Winners of the 2022 Awards for Excellence and 2023 Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Service awards will be honored. Finalists for the 2023 Awards for Excellence will be announced.

For further details about the conference:

For general information about the conference, or to discuss or arrange sponsorship, exhibits, or advertising, contact Conference Manager Curtis Peoples at [email protected].

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