Analogue audio re-play machines needed to save the Radio Mogadishu archive

 Mogadishu, December 2019:  Most Somali records were lost during the 20+ year period of lawlessness, but one exception is the audio archive held in the Radio Mogadishu library, which dates back to 1951. The recordings include speeches from Somali and visiting politicians, social comment, daily news bulletins, culture and music, providing a unique record of Somali history during this period of dramatic change.

Radio Mogadishu library.hh
After a period where there was no broadcast media, Radio Mogadishu resumed operation in 2010 since when it has increased in scope and improved the service it provides to the Somali community. Recognising the value of its unique archive and the need to prevent loss through degradation of existing analogue recordings, an initiative began to digitise the library. This is graphically reported in an AMISOM video where the library, the storage of analogue tapes and the daily operation can be seen. Although a good start, this did not achieve great success because of the lack of sufficient replay machines, which are now difficult to obtain. However, the need to make the library digital and the requirement to save the recordings remains.

Thus this appeal to any broadcaster or other organisation that has unwanted analogue audio replay machines that they can make available to Radio Mogadishu. The specification is for replay of ¼” analogue audio recordings, at 3¾, 7½ or 15 ips on reels of up to 12”. Typical machines would be Studer, Tascam, Otari, Revox, Sony or any other that will provide a replay function delivering a line-level analogue output.

In the first instance, details of what is available, the condition (photos would be useful) and location should be sent to the consultant to the Ministry of Information of the Federal Government of Somalia, Steve Turner, All contact will be acknowledged and offers of equipment will be gratefully received.

Exterior of the Radio Mogadishu studios.
Interior shot of the Radio Mogadishu offices.

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