Susana Belchior

Research Summary

This PhD project aims to study coarse groove discs (commonly known as 78rpm records) from the first decades of the recording industry in Portugal through a multidisciplinary approach. The sound carrier will be regarded as a provider of information that needs to be preserved together with the audio signal it carries.
A study will be made on the chemical composition, ageing processes as well as original industrial production methods in order to identify the possible causes of the degradation patterns detected in Portuguese collections and propose a methodology to stop and prevent further damage. The impact on the audio signal will be evaluated through spectrum analysis.
By cross-checking with available international data and analyzing the results obtained, new information can be added to the early history of Portuguese recording, of which very little is still known: approximate recording dates, technologies involved, pressing plants and companies involved, performers and instruments played.

PhD Project Title: Immaterial in the Material: a study on 78rpm audio carriers in Portuguese collections.

Supervisors: Ana Ramos (REQUIMTE, DCR FCT/UNL), Salwa Castelo-Branco (INET-MD, FCSH) and Paulo Ferreira da Costa (DGPC)