Welcome to the forum, dhart52!
I look forward to following your comments on what-appears-to-be your renewed interest in studying Spanish. Before responding to your questions concerning the A-LM audio recordings, I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with the following: Spanish Group
One of several study groups on the forum wherein members share their experiences in studying a specific language, ask questions, et cetera. As of this writing, the file is now 63 pages in length; so, settle in and enjoy yourself. https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=5035Spanish Resources
Launched a couple of years ago by the much-regretted member, reineke
, this file continues to serve as a point of reference when searching for resources for the study of Spanish.https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5377/Yojik.eu website
Developed about a decade ago, initially to host the U.S. Government’s excellent DLI and FSI language courses, it now hosts the Cortina courses, as well.https://yojik.eu/A-LM Materials: Copyright Issues
We might as well deal with this matter right off the bat: all of the Harcourt, Brace & World “A-LM Language Materials” are still under copyright protection. As such, the copying of these materials, the transformation of them into different media, and the sharing and/or publishing them is subject to the express permission of the copyright holder. Just to be clear, I would draw your attention to the following extract from the forum rules governing copyright violations: "Encouraging the use of illegal copyrighted material is also prohibited."
Now then, about four years ago, I wrote what-I-believed-to-be a polite request to the legal staff of Harcourt, Brace & World requesting authorization
of (a) my planned digitization the audio recordings which I had in my possession and, (b) the subsequent hosting of these without restriction on the (since then renamed) Yojik.eu website; silence! I waited a few months and re-submitted my request, underscoring my understanding that their staff was quite occupied with more current issues; silence! Following a lapse of an additional 6 months, I submitted an entirely re-written version of my original request. That was four years ago, I’m still awaiting a reply.To be fair to the publisher’s legal staff
, given that there was never any question of my purchasing the copyrights to the A-LM materials and, given that I was not representing the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.), any more than I was one of the numerous American Universities known to have vast language studies faculties, nor was I representing the interests of many American Learned Societies, then there was very little of substance in my request which might be of interest to them.
Despite my lack of success in obtaining permission from the publisher of the A-LM series, I will be asking a local legal firm to prepare a revised version of my request (using the correct legal terminology and phrasing) and will be asking them to submit it to Harcourt, Brace & World on my behalf, on their letterhead, in about a year from now. This will be my final attempt. Only upon receipt of written permission from the publisher would I proceed with my project of digitizing my sets of A-LM audio recordings for their subsequent hosting on the Yojik.eu website. Possible (Legal) Sources Modern Language Association (M.L.A.)
In addition to submitting my requests to Harcourt, Brace & World described above, at the same time, I entertained an encouraging exchange of Emails with the staff of the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.) concerning their then-recently-launched project to digitize their vast collection of audio recordings and to render these sound files available freely available to the public. Their Archivist expressed her belief that the M.L.A. collection included a complete physical copy of the A-LM audio recordings. However, as they were then in the initial stages of their project, she requested that they be accorded the time to prepare a Plan of Action for review by the M.L.A. directors and members and, subject to the latter's approval, it would be put it into operation and to brought to fruition, before responding to individual requests for access to materials from members of the public (one can hardly blame them!)
So then, the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.) represents a “possible” (legal) source of the A-LM audio recordings. Given the passage of time, you might wish to check this out and report back to the members of this forum.American Universities and other American Learned Societies
Many American universities and Learned Societies have large collections of vintage audio recordings to which they may be, or may not be, holders of the copyrights. Of these, many have on-going projects for the digitisation and publication of these materials via the websites, either uniquely or in consort with other institutions. In some cases, access to these materials is restricted to registered students, to alumni, to faculty members and to their staff. Although I find that peculiar world very difficult to navigate, you might try knocking on a few year doors. Should you discover a portal through which the A-LM audio recordings can be accessed, please let us all know!Recovering Physical Copies of the A-LM Recordings
The “language laboratory” audio recordings were most-often available as large collections of reel-to-reel magnetic tapes. At times, these recordings were available as large sets of 33-1/3 rpm LP vinyl records (I have a set in my possession). As far as I understand, as the audio recording industry (and more particularly the publishers of educational materials) transitioned from reel-to-reel magnetic tapes and sets of 33-1/3 rpm LP vinyl records to audio cassettes and thence to audio compact discs, most of the educational institutions’ “language laboratory” play-back equipment was progressively replaced, the previous equipment having been scrapped. Several commentators on the internet believe that the recorded materials were jettisoned at the same time. In addition, given that the “audio-lingual method” (on which the A-LM courses were based) had fallen out of academic favour, this might have encouraged a number of institutional librarians and archivists to trash the associated recordings. One thing is for sure, physical copies of the A-LM recordings as well as those of numerous other audio-lingual courses are now rare as hen’s teeth! My Collection of A-LM Recordings
My collection of A-LM recordings presently includes many (but not all) of the Student Practice Records for most of the languages in the series (the Italian and Russian recordings are amongst the rarest and have resisted my attempts at chasing them down). In addition, I have one or two years of the reel-to-reel magnetic tapes for the French or German courses (they’re piled up in boxes in my basement … much to my wife’s chagrin). And, …My Collection of A-LM SPANISH Recordings
About a month ago, I stumbled upon an offer on eBay for an almost-complete set of the A-LM SPANISH recordings and, of course, I snapped them up! Levels One, Two, Three are complete, whereas Level Four is incomplete. I have the intention (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions) of digitizing these materials for subsequent hosting on the Yojik.eu website. However, as I noted above, such an endeavour will not be launched in the absence of written authorisation to do so by the copyright holders, from Harcourt, Brace & World. I do not see myself embarking on this project before 2021.Alternative "audio-lingual" Spanish Courses
While you're waiting, you might wish to consider working through the "FSI Spanish Basic"
course. It is freely-available via the Yojik.eu website.
Typos, I'm getting worser and worser!