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16 February 2016

NLA's Don Banks Collection: saving the recordings

Don Banks Image: Don Banks  
© National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia has embarked on a project to digitise and preserve the valuable original recordings by composer-performer Don Banks held in the Library's collection. Manuscripts and scores that form part of NLA's Don Banks Collection have already been made accessible, however the Banks archive also includes some 700 hours of original recordings on reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes in need of preservation and digitisation. Among these tapes are unique copies of first performances and other, partly unexplored, material, such as talks, interviews and radio programs. Digitising and preserving these materials will help to reveal the full extent of Banks's creative work and his career in music.

Banks remains a significant figure in Australian and international musical life. He performed with Graeme Bell and Cleo Laine, wrote compositions for classical ensembles as well as a large number of film scores, and was a pioneer of Australian electronic music. Banks's life's work was cut short at the relatively early age of 56. His contribution to Australia's musica life is honoured each year through the Australia Council Don Banks Music Award (of $60,000), bestowed upon a musician who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian music. Don Banks served as the first Chair of the Australia Council's Music Board in 1973-74.

> The National Library of Australia is appealing to the public for donations towards this project. You can read more about Don Banks and the collection, and donate on the National Library website.
> See also: Don Banks - artist profile (Australian Music Centre)

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