ABC Adelaide sound library dismantled following axing

‘It was a pretty sad sight.’

Following the closure of the ABC Adelaide sound library in May as part of plans to rationalise that area of operations, ABC staff and others have been invited to take what they want from the CD collection, believed to have originally numbered 100,000 items.
As reported in January here on radioinfo, the ABC closed the Adelaide facility in a bid to centralise its CD collection, cut music library staff, and eventually rationalise its vinyl record collections. 

Former ABC sound librarian Andy McCarthy visited the collection yesterday, describing the scene of his former workplace of more than 30 years as sad and bizarre.

“There are valuable items there, but no-one to identify what they are,” he told InDaily.

“It was a pretty sad sight to be there,” says McCarthy. “It was a bizarre day and I don’t think I ever want to go back there again.

“I’ve got really mixed feelings. There’s a history in the ABC of dumping stuff at the end of the day.”

In a statement responding to questions from InDaily, the ABC said:

“The ABC’s collection of duplicate CDs were offered first to leading Australian cultural institutions to be enjoyed by the public. In Adelaide, approximately 10,000 duplicate CDs were donated to the National Film and Sound Archive and approximately 8000 to South Australian state, public and school libraries.

“Any remaining duplicates were then made available to ABC employees in South Australia. This method of distribution was less expensive than sorting through the collection, particularly as most of the CDs were of relatively low value.

“Nationally, the ABC also donated duplicate CDs to charities, such as Lifeline.”