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Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

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Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby MC » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:41 am

Apparently without the consent of the Bob Moog Foundation :?

http://www.mountainx.com/article/51363/Moog-foundation-objects-to-archives-going-to-NY
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby CZ Rider » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:03 am

A wake up call for the BMF. They have had this info from Bob's archives for years and have not published anything substantial. The BMF took my donations years ago on the promise they needed the money to scan and document Bob's work. What have they produced? They are sitting on a gold mine of infos and all I see on the BMF web site the fact that they have access to it?
The BMF has no legal right to it all, and the time they have had with it, done little to show for the years spent with it. Perhaps now they will get the ball rolling and scan and document some of these papers and devices, like they promised years ago.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby EricK » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:52 am

The only people who are probably going to be allowed to access the manuscripts are scholars with proper credentials. The university can preserve them properly but why would they have the impetus to actually do anything with them?


I was hoping that maybe the archives would have produced a new product or two, based on some long forgotten prototype.


I feel really bad for Michelle, and hope this doesn't take the wind out of her sails.

It can never produce anything good when the family fights over the dead relatives belongings.


Edit:
The email from Moog on this seems to have a much more positive spin on it.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby MC » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:25 pm

EricK wrote:The only people who are probably going to be allowed to access the manuscripts are scholars with proper credentials.


Cornell is an hour drive from where I live. I will have to look into access.

I know one of the folks who is a member of the county historical society, and he knows the Moog history as he lives in Trumansburg. Maybe through that group they can pressure Cornell to prevent that stuff from being locked away.

And Trevor Pinch - author of "Analog Days" - works at Cornell :mrgreen:
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby EricK » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:42 pm

Perhaps It may be accessible, but reminds me of Citizen Kane.



http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/visit/vi ... ation.html

Information for Visitors
The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections welcomes students, scholars, and members of the general public. If you are visiting Cornell to access rare books and manuscript materials, the information below will help you answer logistical questions.

Be Prepared

Register and request materials before you visit. A few items in our collections require an appointment to see and many of our items are stored off-site and require at least one business day to retrieve. Therefore, we encourage you to register and request material in advance (two weeks for standard requests, earlier for large projects). This way, we can help you to optimize your research time at Cornell.
Click the “Register & Request Items” link at the left and follow the directions. This creates a personal research account that you may use to request materials in advance of your visit. It also will allow you to store a complete record of your requests and make it simple to re-request an item. In the process, you’ll read our guidelines for use of materials here.

For step by step instructions on requesting materials, see Registration Procedures. If you have questions prior to your visit, please contact us.

Present photo identification when you arrive.
Getting Here

We are wheelchair accessible. Our hours and contact information are listed to the left.

Please do not bring food or drinks with you when you visit us.

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is located on Level 2B of the Carl A. Kroch Library. Access is through Olin Library on the Cornell University campus (view a map).

Upon entering Olin Library, walk directly ahead toward the green slate hallway where you will enter the Carl A. Kroch Library. Pass the Asia Collections (on your left) and proceed to the rotunda. Just beyond the rotunda, take either the elevator (to your right) or the stairs (straight ahead) down two levels to level 2B. The receptionist will point out our lockers for storing your belongings and direct you to the reference room, exhibition gallery, or meeting rooms.

For more information, see Finding Materials and Frequently Asked Questions.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby Kevin Lightner » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:36 pm

I agree with CZ for the most part.

Cornell has millions of dollars available to do things right and for people that are truly scholars.
They've been around for many years and likely will still exist long after the BMF folds.

Fwiw, I once worked for Bob at a Namm show. (2003 winter namm, I think.)
I asked Bob if his children would carry on his legacy and he laughed.
He said none cared about synths and knew little about them.

Later I saw an idea from the BMF whereas they were planning on providing oscilloscopes to schools.
But not only were these scopes to be used and of different types (which suggests both reliability issues and no standardized texts), the price was very high when the scope and shipping prices were figured.
My personal thoughts then were that it would have been better to make a deal with an oscilloscope maker whereas they got a tax discount and exposure.
Even just buying, say 5 or 6 scopes and sending them out as loaners probably would still suffice because few schools teach synths, audio, physics or the history of Moog for very long.

With all this said, I find the BMF to have management problems and, due to location, a very finite number of visitors.
I think the money spent would have been better if a very good online resource was developed instead of a museum.
Cornell may well be a fixed location too, but it has a much higher budget, attendance, management and motivated scholars.
I also very much disagree about locking info away under the pretense of who owns it.
To me, it is how well and widely disseminated knowledge should be and Cornell is far more experienced at this practice.
Cornell is also where Bob obtained his Phd. He was alumni and by being so, should have a greater impact on scholars attending there.
The BMF comes off to me more as a tax shelter and entertainment venue than as a place to learn about what makes synths do or how they do it.
I think they'll fold much like the Liberace Museum and other such places, while Cornell will remain standing long into the future.
As strong as it might sound, I believe the BMF was born out of guilt and Cornell was born out of a desire to offer high quality education.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby Voltor07 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:03 pm

I think Kevin and CZ nailed it on the head. The BMF has not produced what they promised as promised. Cornell, on the other hand, is an institution of higher learning, where Bob Moog himself earned his degree, and should be the final resting place for the archives of Bob's life work. More people will be able to benefit from Bob's archives if it is at Cornell, especially tomorrow's electronic engineers. Bob was possibly the most unique electronics engineer of our time, and created many unique designs that are very unconventional. Who knows? With that info available to students, there might be another Bob Moog some day.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby EMwhite » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:04 pm

Is it a "wake up call" or is it the end of BMF?

I've volunteered for non-profit organizations in the past, one of which sought to preserve a large collection of Gottlieb (and other manufacturer) amusement/arcade machines. It's an uphill battle, trying to raise funding for the penultimate goal... to buy a facility for millions of dollars and creating a funding model which can sustain the operating costs.

I don't know anything about Bob Moog's widow but she did not look young in the "Moog Movie" video; possibly BMF just ran out of time, not on their watch, but on hers and she simply wanted to honor Bob's wishes in a way that she thought best and either withdrew a prior agreement with BMF or took other action where in the past she had been passively standing by. Not a bad result assuming they take the entire collection and present it as it deserves to be presented (and made accessible).

I used to live in Putnam county, New York and still have family in New Paltz so can still get to Cornell without too much trouble so I'll be taking the trip once established. Of course if it will only be reserved for alumni and current student body, that will be a loss. Without knowing all of the background, it's also bummer for the Asheville scene and obviously for Moog Music Inc. Time will tell who this benefits and who it hurts.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby MC » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:02 pm

Remember that Bob's widow is his second wife and is not the mother of Bob's children.

I have met his 2nd wife and she is a decent person. Bob told me she has a real straight head on her shoulders.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby EricK » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:22 pm

It seems as if Cornell makes their archives available to anyone who wants to come in provided you know what you want to see and make arrangements for it. I'm not longer skeptical that they will be locked away.


I was really hoping that buried deep within his notes would be some forgotten prototype that could have been used to make a new product. Perhaps there are some DIY gems in there.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby drogoff » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:58 pm

A few thoughts:

From the times I've met Michelle and seen her presentations, I have no question she's put enormous effort and time - and probably money - into promoting and building the BMF to show her dad's history and work. Here's a bunch of pictures I took back in 2009 at the Moog exhibit at the Museum of Making Music:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22421713@N04/sets/72157622187206644/

Regardless of Cornell's access polices, I don't see them having a museum-like display of Bob's work to go along with the archives. On another forum, I read a very good suggestion: have Cornell allow the BMF to have a copy of all the archives. The the university could maintain a traditional - and useful - library of the work. And, at the same time, the BMF could have a more interactive / public display of the archives along with a museum display like the one in my pictures. That would let both sides have what they're looking for and present the material to a bigger audience - and in more than one part of the country.

I don't think anyone is in this for the money. As great and important as Bob's work was to us synth-geeks, and the opening of popular music to synthesizers, I don't see the BMF doing their work in hopes of cashing in on a Moog Graceland :)

David

ps - while I'm here, it seems appropriate to post a few pictures I took the only time I got to meet Dr. Moog. This was in 1993 at a special reception for him at the pre-opening of Big City Music in Studio City.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22421713@N04/sets/72157622276692745/
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby Kevin Lightner » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:48 pm

drogoff wrote:I don't think anyone is in this for the money.


Hi David.
I somewhat agree with you, but remained reserved.
That is, many things cost much more money than anticipated and apparently several plans have come to naught.
With that said, it's my understanding that a tax-free entity (501C?) is required to publicly publish a yearly statement detailing where funds went.
If any such statements are available, I'd like to see them. It might reinforce or diminish some of my, and others, criticisms.
From what I understand... and I could be wrong... Michelle ran a gift shop before the BMF.
I have no idea what her income was before or after, but considering that she and others have to get paid (even despite volunteers), I remain wondering which percentage of donations go to salaries, rent and other expenses.
This is no slam towards Michelle or the BMF. I KNOW she's put in hard work.
This is a fact.
But it would appease me to know what percentage goes to overhead and how much goes for expansion and maintenance of what's already there.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby CZ Rider » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Kevin Lightner wrote:If any such statements are available, I'd like to see them.

Link here:
http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/205/205849794/205849794_201112_990.pdf

The real Moog Archives have been run by Roger Luther for years. A great site of Moog schematics, model/module info and history. Roger is located in NY, so perhaps there will be some new info there, if Roger goes to Cornell to document some of this for his site.
http://moogarchives.com/
I was a little dissapointed since the BMF announced back in 2008 that they were working on restoring and documenting these found schematics of systems Bob worked on, like Keith Emerson's and the Carlos synthesizer. Would like to learn more about the programer or the polyphonic oscillator bank and Minimoog oscillator bank in the Carlos system.
Every release of info from BMF carries a price tag though. Not exactly sharing this info, but charging a fee for it. I'm sure those tapes they were restoring would not be for free download, for all to hear, but rather sold as an exclusive $250 box set.
It would have made so much sense in this day and age to make digital copies of all this paperwork to ensure it never gets lost or destroyed. And I really expected BMF to do something like Roger Luther's site with some info. But since the anouncement in 2008, I have not seen many scans of any of this. Nothing usefull or that has not been seen before. I hope in the future with Cornell, we can finally see those drawings and schematics from Bob. Lots of missing info that may be in those archives. I think Dr. Ileana Grams-Moog made the correct decision to put this in the hands of those at Cornell.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby Kevin Lightner » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:10 pm

CZ,

Thank you for the link.

If I read it correctly, it took $130,000 to present programs to 8 elementary schools that lasted approx 4 months and this was almost 2 years ago.
Approx $4000 per school per month.
While I understand this was an initial pilot program and higher costs are generally associated with 1st time endeavors (ie: later prices might be lower per school), I still feel this isn't an optimum use of money.
I also feel that most of kids in the second grade will not remember or apply such knowledge presented so early on in their academic careers.
Indeed, I feel that if a 2nd grader wanted to continue their studies at such an age, they would likely be of higher than average intelligence anyway.
But to spend $130K on the possibility there's a couple of very smart kids in 2nd grade doesn't seem realistic.

Finally, I still feel that presenting this information online for free (but still providing a way to donate) is the best possible compromise of money vs audience numbers.
More people in more countries will be able to access it and also have an incentive to donate.
Students from other countries regularly attend higher learning universities in the US, but I'm not sure how many people are going to go from, say, India to North Carolina simply for the BMF.
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Re: Bob Moog's Archives moving to Cornell University

Postby Sweep » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:28 pm

I think a lot of very good points have been made here.

[I've decided to edit my previous post as what I said probably wasn't necessary.]
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