A New Archivist’s First Time at AMIA

When I Googled “work conferences” for tips, other searches showed up like “I hate going to conferences”, “work conference anxiety”, and “how to survive a conference”. Although conferences present a great opportunity to create and strengthen connections in your field, learn new skills and concepts, and see what your peers are up to, they can be difficult. As a new archivist, I am beginning to learn first-hand just how useful (and sometimes challenging) conferences can be. Having recently returned from the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)’s 2018 conference in Portland, Oregon, it now seems like an appropriate time to write a digest of my time at AMIA and the state of this particular conference, from a first-timer’s perspective.

The first thing that struck me about AMIA was that, with its maybe 800 attendees, it is relatively small, especially when compared to the only other conference I have attended, hosted by the Society of American Archivists (SAA), in which a few thousand attendees converged on Washington D.C. in August.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. AMIA’s smaller numbers meant that I didn’t have to constantly battle people for space in elevators, conference halls, and poster sessions. Talks at AMIA always had enough seats to accommodate the numbers in the room, and even when chairs did run out, there was always enough room to pull in a few more.

The smaller group at AMIA also meant that people were able to give and receive a lot more face-time with their fellow attendees. At every committee meeting that I sat in on, meeting leaders called upon members by name, and everybody seemed to know the expertise of other members, which bolstered the sense of community at AMIA. It was also fairly common for presenters to call upon people by name during Q&A sessions, since they clearly had some level of an established professional relationship. The smaller numbers also made it easier to introduce myself to strangers, since I wasn’t crabby from being in crowds all day, and I was encouraged to partake in this who’s-who world of archivists.

In meeting new people, I was greatly aided by one of the programs that AMIA offered, in which seasoned veterans of AMIA volunteered as guides for first-timers. Volunteers wore bright yellow badges to encourage first-time conference attendees to say hello or ask for guidance, which, as a first-timer myself, I thought was a nice service that gave me a hint of who was at least somewhat approachable. Luckily, my supervisor Rebecca Fraimow was one such volunteer, and she graciously introduced me to many of her friends, colleagues, and former classmates while at AMIA.

Along with new faces, I was also able to see some familiar faces, since conferences are a natural meeting point for colleagues normally distributed around the country. This is especially true for me and my colleagues, who work with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress, which is dedicated to preserving content from public media creators around the United States. Because of the wide distribution of colleagues involved in the AAPB, we are often limited in our ability to meet personally, which makes the ability to meet at conferences all the more important.

At AMIA I was able to chat with Jason Corum, a WGBH employee who now works remotely from California; Rachel Curtis, of the Library of Congress, to whom I am constantly sending files, and with whom I and Jim Hone of WUSTL had a long conversation about the vagaries of mid-west and east coast weather; Callie Holmes and Mary Miller of the University of Georgia, partners with WGBH in the Peabody Project; and of course Evelyn Cox and Laura Haygood, two students at the University of Oklahoma who were presenting a poster called “Collaboration & Replicability: Passing on the Knowledge of AV Station Creation”, which was based on their work as Fellows at the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority as part of WGBH’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship. Since it is so rare that I see all of these far-flung colleagues, AMIA provided a great opportunity to connect with them in person.

Another positive part of AMIA was that there was personal time factored into AMIA’s schedule. Each day around 12pm and 6pm, sessions would cease so that conference attendees could take naps, grab food, or go sightseeing around Portland, which, as somebody who gets grouchy when I’m hungry, I greatly needed and appreciated.

Of course, the talks that these breaks were scheduled around were also great. My favorites tended to be more theoretical than technical, since as a new archivist I am curious to hear perspectives on how the field may change in the course of my career. The most interesting talk to me was the prescient “Everything In your Archive Is Now Fake”, a discussion on how deepfakes (artificial videos created using AI image synthesis) risk the credibility of the entire notion of the archive as a place of storing authentic videos of real events.

Other conference standouts were a panel on intersectionality, multiple discussions of regional archives, and a talk on working with challenging material, which ranged from the physically challenging (ex: movie-set ephemera), to the morally challenging (ex: pornography). Although I believe that the archives are still fairly conservative in many aspects, I was nonetheless glad that AMIA was willing to have challenging conversations about what archivists can do to improve representation of these types of collections.

The only thing that I thought was lacking from the talks were more substantive discussions of attracting and supporting archivists of color and the collections of people of color (POC). I admit that I’m biased since not only am I a POC, but also because my first conference was SAA, where POC issues were a main focus, both of which probably makes me more critical of AMIA’s relative lack of discussion on representing historically marginalized groups (like various POC communities, the LGBT+ community, the disabled community, etc.).

However, I still think that it is worth mentioning that I would have liked more of a discussion on what archivists and archives can do to support archivists and collections of color, since I think it is and will continue to be important as demographic shifts occur in the US. I also would have loved to have seen a committee dedicated specifically to archivists and collections of color (although I was encouraged to see that there’s an LGBT Committee and an International Outreach Committee, which has engaged in foreign-language accessibility, like Pamela Vízner Oyarce’s collaborative effort with Lorena Ramírez-López, Erwin Verbruggen, Gloria Ana Diez, and Jo Ana Morfin, to translate the AMIA website into Spanish, and to find Spanish-language resources to link to the AMIA website).

Although I believe that AMIA has work to do in fostering these discussions, I was impressed by the scheduling of screenings, which helped me step outside the standard conference fare of talks and mixers. I especially enjoyed the Archival Screening Night, where the audience was treated to as many six-minute video segments as three hours would allow. The videos were a refreshing way to see what my fellow moving image archivists had been working on and was a reminder that we have the privilege to work with really cool material with some great history. My personal favorite was a Singaporean kung-fu film from the 1970s that was banned by the government of Singapore for its depiction of corruption and crime, resulting in the film being stored in the lead actor’s refrigerator for over 30 years.

All in all, AMIA was fun, informative, and enjoyable. The conference reaffirmed for me that conferences are more than their commonly-held perception as a thing to be survived. The care that I saw for people on the individual level at AMIA demonstrated to me that it is a true community, one with flaws, but a community nonetheless. I believe that Casey Davis Kaufman and the rest of the AMIA board put it best when, at the opening session, they sang that “we are AMIA”.

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference Resources

Available Online: 35,000+ Educational Video and Audio Resources and Primary Sources

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) recently met with K-12 educators, administrators, and teachers-in-training at the annual National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference, a melding of the minds to help advocate and build capacity for high-quality social studies through leadership, services, and support.

As a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Educational Foundation, the AAPB provides an online archive, open and available to the public, of historic public radio and television programs from across the nation, spanning public broadcasting’s 70+ year history. From local and regional to national productions, the AAPB allows the public to access 36,000 (and growing) programs and original materials, from local news and documentaries to talk shows and raw interviews, and more all available at americanarchive.org!

To learn more about the AAPB, watch this informational video with example clips at https://vimeo.com/108272934.


For easier access and navigation, below is a deeper dive into AAPB’s resources:

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The AAPB provides online access to users anywhere in the United States with a wide range of historic public television and radio programs that were submitted for digitization by more than 120 stations and archives from across the country. More than 36,000 programs are available online for research, educational and informational purposes, spanning public broadcasting’s 70+ year history. The entire collection is available for research on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress.

*Start with AAPB’s Road Trip Special Collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/aapb-road-trip!

Check out our participating organizations at http://americanarchive.org/participating-orgs.


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Because of the geographical breadth of the material, students can use the collection to help uncover ways that national historical events played out on the local scene. The long chronological reach from the late 1940s to the present provides researchers with previously inaccessible primary source material to document change over time.


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Some notable collections are featured on the Special Collections page with finding aids that include information such as the scope and content of the collection, provenance and background information about its creator and source, recommended search strategies, and related resources. Collections include:

Raw interviews –

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 12.34.25 PM.png1964 (American Experience)
The Abolitionists (American Experience)
Jubilee Singers (American Experience)
Freedom Riders (American Experience)
The Murder of Emmett Till (American Experience)
Reconstruction (American Experience)
Africans in America (WGBH)

American Masters (WNET)
Ken Burn’s The Civil War (American Documentaries, Inc.)

Early educational broadcasting –

National Association of Educational Broadcasters Programs
National Educational Television Collection

Locally and nationally distributed programs and documentaries –

Center for Asian American Media
Firing Line
Georgia Gazette (GPB)
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) News and Cultural Programming
PBS NewsHour
Say Brother (WGBH)
Vision Maker Media Documentaries
Woman (WNED)

Direct link to our Special Collections: http://americanarchive.org/special_collections


AAPB staff and guest curators create exhibits of selected programs and recordings that focus on themes, topics, and events of cultural and historical significance. Primary and secondary sources contextualize a curatedexhibit1-e1544117844344.pngdiversity of perspectives concerning the exhibit’s focus and as a result, AAPB exhibits often illuminate how public broadcasting stations and producers have covered topics such as the Watergate hearings, climate change, protesting in America, civil rights, and more!

Direct link to our Curated Exhibits: http://americanarchive.org/exhibits


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Contact Ryn Marchese, AAPB’s Engagement and Use Manager, to inquire about bringing these materials into your classroom: ryn_marchese@wgbh.org!

And feel free to share our resource with your local school, public and academic librarians! We’ve created a AAPB Library Communications Kit with details on how to describe the AAPB on website/resource guides and embed our player and harvest metadata from our catalog. We’ve also included a link to our webinar with the Boston Library Consortium on the “Accessibility of AAPB in Academic Libraries,” most of which will be applicable to the public librarian community.

For information about the AAPB that you can print for your classroom, email to fellow teachers, or post about online, feel free to use our Informational Flyer!


Most recommended content during NCSS?

Based on our conversations with teachers, below are a few programs we most recommended during the conference!

  1. PBS NewsHour Special Collection – The PBS NewsHour Collection includes more than 8,000 episodes of PBS NewsHour’s predecessor programs from October 1975 to December 2007 covering local and national conversations.
  2. “Gavel-to-Gavel”: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television Curated Exhibit – Here you will find guides to each episode of the public hearings that were digitized, links to transcripts, and highlights to peruse. To help identify people in the videos, the Cast of Characters page includes photos and titles for the important figures in the hearings. The Watergate Scandal, 1972-1974 page gives an explanation of the who, what, when, where, and why of Watergate to help guide you through the coverage. If you would like a more in depth essay on the significant role that Watergate played in the history of public broadcasting, please click on the Watergate and Public Broadcasting link.
  3. Field Trip Series from Main Public Broadcasting – Field Trip is a series of short educational documentaries that explore Maine’s history, culture, and agriculture from fish hatcheries to how low/high tides work — there’s so much to explore!
  4. Local Content – Search our participating stations for local content!

– – – –

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston that preserves and makes accessible significant public radio and television programs before they are lost to posterity. The AAPB collection includes more than 50,000 recorded hours comprising over 90,000 digitized and born-digital programs, and original materials dating back to the late 1940s, and is growing!

Written by Ryn Marchese, AAPB Engagement and Use Manager

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@amarchivepub

Remembering George H.W. Bush through Public Broadcasting

Today the nation lays to rest George Herbert Walker Bush, America’s 41st president who lived a long life dedicated to public service until his death at the age of 94. The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is honored to have preserved for modern audiences several historic public television and radio programs featuring or discussing President Bush, providing the American public the opportunity to learn more about his remarkable career in moving images and sound.

Below is a curated selection of programs with, or related to, George H.W. Bush beginning with his role as CIA Director, then on to his presidential campaigns, moderated debates, and the local reactions to his impact as a leading politician. All programs are available online thanks to the listed contributing stations.

1976

The CIA and the Intelligence Community from the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University

In this episode of Commonwealth Club of California, George H.W. Bush discussed the responsibilities of the director of central intelligence (DCI), the role of the CIA, and the central importance of national security. He also talked about secrecy, accountability, and having faith in the strength and effectiveness of our democratic institutions.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-2j6833np4c

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George Bush in Boston from 10 O’Clock News

As a former CIA director, George H. W. Bush, spoke on national security and foreign affairs. In regards to relations with South American countries, Bush explained his belief that one should not use 1977 morals to pass judgment on events that happened in the past. He denied allegations that the CIA used the African Swine Fever Virus in Cuba to “destabilize”. Also denied that he ever authorized any use of chemical or biological warfare agents. He touched briefly on his potential candidacy for presidency.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-5t3fx73z3d

1979

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– George Bush Profile; George Bush for President from The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

The main topic of this episode was George H.W. Bush’s candidacy for president of the United States. The guests included Bush’s three campaign leaders Peter Teeley, David Keene, and James Baker, as well as George H.W. Bush.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-db7vm43k4v

Presidential Hopeful George H.W. Bush from Iowa Public Television
Iowa Press interviewed George H.W. Bush, a relatively unknown candidiate at the time and his strategy to leverage Iowa toward his party.

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Debates with Six Republican Presidencial Candidates from Iowa Public Television

This presidential debate recorded by Iowa Public Television included panelists Rep. Phil Crane Of Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker Of Tenn., John Connally Of Texas, Sen. Robert Dole Of Kansas, George H.W. Bush Of Texas, and Rep. John Anderson of Illinois.

Part 1 direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-83kwhj7b

Part 2 direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-569325t0

1984

Debate between Vice President George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro produced by The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, contributed by Iowa Public Television

 

This debate focused on Vice President Bush and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro on foreign and domestic affairs.

Part 1 direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-72b8h3np

Part 2 direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-19f4qw2s

1988

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– The Bush Record from The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour

In the latter half of this episode, The MacNeil Lehrer NewsHour covered the political record of the new republican presidential nominee, George H.W. Bush.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-862b85443p

 

– A Firing Line Debate: Resolved: That George Bush and the Republican Party Are Better Able to Run the Country for the Next Four Years Than Michael Dukakis and the Democratic Party from Firing Line with William F. Buckley

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The television series Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. was a venue for debate and discussion on political, social, and philosophical issues with experts of the day. In this episode, Buckley hosted a panel to discuss Bush’s impact as president, over that of his opponent’s, Michael Dukakis.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-4f1mg7gh5j

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Andrew Young and NAACP members criticize Bush from 10 O’Clock News

In this episode of WGBH’s 10 O’Clock News, Deborah Wang noted that many members of the Legal Defense Fund were skeptical of President George Bush’s commitment to civil rights; she added that civil rights advocates were worried about Bush making conservative appointments to the judiciary. Wang reported that there would be several openings in lower courts and a possible opening on the Supreme Court during Bush’s term in office.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-9ks6j45g

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– The Week of the the 41st Presidencial Inauguration from NewsHour Productions

In this episode, essayist Roger Rosenblatt discussed George H.W. Bush’s inauguration and his role in Civil Rights.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-j678s4kf08

*Start at timecode 49:20

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 11.22.01 AM.png– What the Presidency Means for Business from Maryland Public Television

From the Wall Street Week series, this episode compared the monetary impact of Ronald Reagan’s presidency verses Bush’s. Guests included Reagan’s budget chief, a top Wall Street money man, and a leading invester of Europe.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_394-7957421w

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Speaking for Bush from Maryland Public Television

From this episode of Wall Street Week, Lynn M. Martin, United States Secretary of Labor under President George H.W. Bush, spoke on President Bush’s economic policies.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_394-28nck2pq

 

Written by Ryn Marchese, AAPB Engagement and Use Manager

Help Support the AAPB for #GivingTuesday!

#GT_logo_0

 

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Image from WCTE’s 1984 episode on Computer Skills from the Issues in Education series preserved at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_23-17crjgjv!

 

For #GivingTuesday, please consider donating to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting! Help us continue to preserve and make accessible the archives and legacy of public media from across the nation.

A donation directly enables us to, among other things:

  • Grow the amount of content available to the public in our Online Reading Room
  • Improve our website with new features and improve functionality and discoverability of the collection
  • Sustain AAPB technical infrastructure so that we can continue to provide online access to the collection
  • Support the curation of exhibits and special collections that explore historical topics or themes as covered by public radio and television
  • Help provide engagement opportunities for new organizations to contribute their collections to the AAPB
  • Improve metadata and searchability of the AAPB so that researchers can better find content relevant to their research topic

Type ‘gif giving’ in the comment box of your donation at http://americanarchive.org/donate and we’ll post a new gif from the archive!

THANK YOU for helping us keep over 70 years of American History at the fingertips of the next generation. Make a donation here: http://americanarchive.org/donate.

Where Does Your #GivingTuesday Donation Go?

#GT_logo_0
GivingTuesday
For #GivingTuesday, please consider donating to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting! Help us continue to preserve and make accessible the archives and legacy of public media from across the nation.

A donation directly enables us to, among other things:

  • Grow the amount of content available to the public in our Online Reading Room
  • Improve our website with new features and improve functionality and discoverability of the collection
  • Sustain AAPB technical infrastructure so that we can continue to provide online access to the collection
  • Support the curation of exhibits and special collections that explore historical topics or themes as covered by public radio and television
  • Help provide engagement opportunities for new organizations to contribute their collections to the AAPB
  • Improve metadata and searchability of the AAPB so that researchers can better find content relevant to their research topic

THANK YOU for helping us keep over 70 years of American History at the fingertips of the next generation. Make a donation here: http://americanarchive.org/donate.

PBPF Fellow Workshop Plans

Check out the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF)’s Summer Fellows’ workshop plans!

As a component of PBPF, Summer Fellows collaborated with Faculty Advisors at their universities to create a workshop or tutorial that they will conduct for other students. These workshops are designed to extend the reach of the PBPF program at participating universities and provide training for other LIS students to learn how to use the digitization equipment funded by the grant. These workshop plans will serve as the basis of the Fellows’ workshop sessions, and illustrate the material that the Summer Fellows will cover in order to educate their peers on their digitization process and properly using and maintaining the equipment.

Access Riley Griffin’s YouTube tutorials here:

 

Download other workshop plans here:

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EricSaxon_Missouri_WorkshopNotes

EricSaxon_Missouri_audio preservation workshop_flyer

LauraHaygood_OU_AV_Digitization_Training_Workshop

StevenWilcer_UNC_Digitization_workshop_plan

For more updates on the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship project, follow the project at pbpf.americanarchive.org and on Twitter at #aapbpf.

AAPB’s Engagement and Use Manager Speaks with WGBH about AAPB’s Fifth Anniversary

The American Archive Of Public Broadcasting Celebrates 5 Years Of Preserving Public Media

Interview by Ellen London, Digital Editor, Explore WGBH Digital

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AAPB’s Engagement and Use Manager, Ryn Marchese

WGBH and the Library of Congress are five years into their stewardship of the American Archive Of Public Broadcasting, which was instituted in 2013 to coordinate a national effort to identify, preserve and make accessible the historical record of publicly funded radio and television broadcast in the U.S. We sat down with Ryn Marchese, Engagement and Use Manager for the AAPB here at WGBH, to learn more.

How does the AAPB help stations around the country to preserve their programs?
Ryn: While the need for a public broadcasting archival initiative was recognized more than fifty years ago with the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, efforts and funding to methodically implement a nationally coordinated program did not begin in earnest until the advent of the digital age in the 21st century.

In 2011, the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) funded 120 stations to inventory their collections. From this initiative, 2.5 million descriptive records were created. Subsequently, in 2012, CPB funded 100 of these stations to digitize what they determined was the most historically significant to preserve, and from this initiative, 40,000 hours of programming was digitized.

At this point, CPB selected WGBH and the Library of Congress as the permanent stewards of this collection, which became the beginnings of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The LOC houses these broadcast treasures in its Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, the state-of-the-art preservation facility in Culpeper, Virginia, that was once a high-security storage facility operated by the Federal Reserve. The same facility that once stored gold bars now preserves public media!

How is WGBH uniquely positioned to take on this role?
Ryn: As a public broadcaster, WGBH brings its knowledge of the public media system and an understanding of the core issues facing both television and radio stations to the table. Primarily responsible for access to the collection, metadata and systems/website management, as well as outreach and engagement, WGBH has long been positioned as a leader in the areas of media management, preservation and copyright issues.

Why is it important to preserve public radio and television programs?
Ryn: We need to preserve America’s public broadcasting legacy. As an outlet of communication produced for and by local communities, archival recordings document places, people, events, issues, opinions, perspectives, ideas, innovations, landscapes, etc. across both time and space. To see this importance in context, I invite audiences to visit AAPB’s Curated Exhibits, which includes a selection of radio and television recordings that focus on themes, topics, and events of cultural and historical significance such as climate change, protesting in America, civil rights, and the Watergate Hearings, now preserved and made accessible to the public, once again.

What’s the most notable or surprising piece of content you’ve come across in the archive?
Ryn: There are so many radio and television programs that stick with me. Some programs include travel to places I’ve never been, stories I never thought would be true, or characters worth listening to. A great sampling of this is in the AAPB Road Trip Special Collection. It highlights the breadth of the AAPB collection from sea to shining sea.

Mamie Till Mobley

However, one interview that has left a lasting impression is the raw interview of Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, from American Experiences The Murder of Emmett Till Interviews Special Collection. Imagine it. On-screen is Ms. Mobley, a woman I’d only seen in photographs or read about in history books. The camera focuses in on her face as she listens to the director off-screen. She takes their feedback seriously and begins retelling her story. It is in these exchanges, between the multiple takes, that I realize the magnitude and transparency of public media archives. Ms. Mobley is an example of an ordinary citizen who wasn’t trained in film production and didn’t ask to make history, but here she is, trying to be true to her story and relatable to unknown viewers.

In short, the AAPB has given me the opportunity to see ordinary people thoughtfully phrase their experience on-the-spot. Between all the production cues, infographics, and theme music, I appreciate public broadcasting’s ability to be curious, bring unique stories out of the ordinary day-to-day, and connect people.

What’s been your favorite year or decade, from the 1940s to the present, to preserve and why?
Ryn: Instead of offering a timeframe, I’d like to approach this question geographically. With the AAPB, we’ve preserved material from Guam PBS to WUSF in Tampa, FL, so I often find my favorite content based on location and what that local community thought was important to broadcast. For example, who knew a second-wave feminist talk show would come out of WNED in Buffalo, NY? Or the oldest radio programs are from Wisconsin, following the tradition of educational farm programs?

Whether it be raw interviews, educational programming, documentaries, a talk-show, magazine series, or news programs, they are all my favorite to preserve because they are all an invitation into a specific moment that was worth broadcasting.

Direct link to interview: https://www.wgbh.org/foundation/highlights-aapb-fifth-anniversary?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_term=20181113&utm_content=1894801942&utm_campaign=Archives

30th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is held annually on October 11th as a reminder of the 1978 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The March aimed to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, and today marks the 30th anniversary of NCOD’s focus on the importance of coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), or an ally.

As National Coming Out Day focuses on creating a world in which the LGBTQ community can live openly, below is a selection of public radio and television programs that have explored what ‘living openly’ has meant to both the straight and LGBTQ communities through the decades.

The Homosexual in Our Society (Parts 1 and 2) from Pacifica Radio Archives (1958)

Part 1 Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-3n20c4st80

This recording from 1958 is an early example of overt discussions around homosexuality. It features interviews that discuss the conflict of the society versus the individual, whether the root of homosexuality is a product of biology or environment, “flamboyant individuals”, and elimination of effeminate gestures that distinguish homosexuals versus educating public that these mannerisms are not significant.

Part 2 Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-tt4fn11944

In this portion of the program, the panelists discuss laws regarding homosexuals, civil rights of homosexuals, identification of homosexuals, gender identification in society, possible causes of sexual choice, i.e. heredity versus environmental causes, and how society can constructively deal with these issues.

Speeches from the Lesbian Feminist Dialogue Conference from New England Public Radio’s series World of Women (1972)

This recording includes selected proceedings from the Lesbian Feminist Dialogue Conference about the relationship of feminism and lesbianism, and the tensions between straight and lesbian feminists.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_305-7634tvnx

Female Homosexuality from WNED’s Woman Series (1974)

This episode features a conversation with Barbara Love, co-author with Sydney Abbott of “Sappho was a Right on Woman: A Liberated View of Lesbianism.” At the time of this episode, Love served on the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force, on the faculty of the Psychology Department of The New School for Social Research, and a member of the Advisory Board of New York N.O.W.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_81-02q57484

Transexuality and Sports from The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (1976)Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 6.53.58 PM.png

This episode features a discussion on transexuality and sports with guests such as Dr. Renee Richards, Dorothy Harris, Charles Ihlenfeld, Roberto Granato.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-cc0tq5s22t

Homosexual Rights; Gay Rights from The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (1977)

This episode follows a vote that would soon take place in Dade County, Miami to repeal or leave as it is an ordinance banning discrimination against homosexuals in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-qn5z60ct7w

Lesbe Friends from Pacifica Radio Archives’ The Lesbian Underground Episode (ca. 1978)

In this episode, the discussion focuses on the ‘lesbian underground’, or what it was like to be a lesbian before the feminist and gay liberation movement. Guests include the then Commissioner of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission in San Francisco, and a comedian. Lesbe Friends was introduced on KPFA in 1978 as a new program produced by the Lesbian Task Force of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. It was broadcast on second and fourth Mondays of the month at noon.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-zp3vt1h719

Gay Show: A Look at Gay Fathers from WYSO (1979)

This episode explores what it’s like parenting as a Gay father.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_27-76f1vrdr

National March on Gay Rights from The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (1993)

Torie Osborn, the Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force discusses the (then) most recent march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights; calling for an end to the ban on homosexuals in the military and increased funding for AIDS research.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-x34mk66501

The Other Side of the Closet: the Coming Out Crisis for the Straight Spouses and Families from WILL Public Radio’s Focus Program (2004)

Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., then Director of Straight Spouse Network, dicusses some persective of straight spouses and families after other LGBTQ family members come out.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_16-pv6b27q87n

Homeless LGBTQ Youth: Cause & Effect from Hoover Institution Library & Archives (2010)

This forum speaks with LGBTQ youth and specalists in LGBTQ youth programming about the circumstances surrounding the loss of home and family after coming out.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-0z70v8b72k

Martha Nussbaum: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law at the Harvard Book Store by the WGBH Forum Network (2010)

In this lecture, professor of law and philosophy, Martha Nussbaum, discusses the status of gay rights in the context of constitutional law and her (then) new book. Nussbaum argues that ‘disgust’ has long been among the fundamental motivations of those who are fighting for legal discrimination against lesbian and gay citizens, and believes that the politics of disgust must be confronted directly, for it contradicts the basic principle of the equality of all citizens under the law.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-g73707wv3s

The Gay Response from Wisconsin Public TelevisionScreen Shot 2018-10-11 at 7.24.35 PM.png

This show explores some of the responses of the gay community to discrimination, and speaks with members of the community about their coming out story.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_29-150gb892

Teaching Sex Ed and Homosexuality from NewsNight Minnesota (1996)

This episode explores how Minnesotan teachers are approcahing LGBTQ sexual education.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_77-27mph5n4

Written by Ryn Marchese, AAPB Engagement and Use Manager

 

 

 

Eric Saxon, Public Broadcasting Fellow at KOPN

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KOPN’s transmitter, located east of Columbia, MO

Greetings gentle reader, I’m Eric Saxon, a Masters of Information and Library Science student specializing in archives at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and part of the second cohort of the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF). This summer, I embarked on a deep tape diving expedition at the radio station, KOPN.

KOPN 89.5 FM, community radio from Columbia, Missouri, broadcasts to antennas throughout the central part of the state and via online at kopn.org. KOPN has transmitted information and music since 1973 AD. As part of the PBPF mission to record local histories across the nation, I set out to discover Columbia and KOPN as it existed in the first twenty or so years of the station, through a media format heretofore unfamiliar to me, the ¼ in. audio tape reel.

The idea was to give these audio reels new life through digital preservation, and, subsequently, new access points to the history of community radio in Columbia, MO in the era of the ¼ in. magnetic tape.

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A ¼ in. magnetic audio tape reel

What I ended up recording is only a small piece of this history, but the audible trace there tells a story of a community radio station being born out of the progressive ethos of the 1960s, open to and actively exploring all available ideas during the 1970s, and incompletely mutating into new wave ideals of the 1980s. During the era of the magnetic tape, KOPN filled a void in mid-Missouri left by mainstream broadcast radio and television, serving across an intersection of race, class, gender, style, sexuality, attitude, and musical preference.

The collection is particularly strong in broadcasts that represent feminist discourse and practice of the time, and my predecessor (Rebecca Benson, PBPF Spring 2018 Fellow) had already begun work that focused on feminist community radio. Having inherited her excellent start to the project, I built upon the theme and expanded it to include live music broadcasts and a wide range of programming, all under the umbrella of feminist community radio.

To convey an idea of this breadth, some titles of the audio broadcasts I digitized include Betty Friedan in Columbia (1973); Don Cooper Live at KOPN (1973); Consciousness Across the Void (1973); Angela Davis in Columbia (1974); Political Gayness (1974); National Women’s Music Festival (1975); The End of “Alternative Radio” on WGTB (1976); Off Our Backs (1976); The Fabulish Winotones Live (1977); Numerology (1978); The Booty Band: Demo Tape (1978); Reasonably Polite New Wave (1981); Program on Lesbian Separatism (1981); DuChamp Live at the Blue Note (1981); Bella Azbug at MU (1984); Gloria Kaufman, “The Politics of Humor: A Feminist View” (1992);  City Council Meetings; and discussions by the Women’s Health Collective.

I transferred only a few reels from the 1990s to a digital format, and none from the 2000s. (By that time, the station had switched to digital machines.) However, a quick listen to KOPN today will tell you that the community values and open radio format there in the beginning continue to be the guiding forces of the station.

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Kansas City new wave band, DuChamp. Handmade collage on tape reel box.

The digitization process not only transferred content but also often recorded the unique physical characteristics of the tape and its interaction with the reel-to-reel tape machines, which, in the University of Missouri – Columbia KOPN Digitization Station’s case, are the Studer A807 (mono) and the Studer B67 (stereo). These were hooked up to a PC and a Mac desktop computer, respectively, where both utilized the audio editing software, Audacity. I could have removed some tape hiss, a sizzle of magnetic particles here and there, and other imperfections, but I left in all but the most egregious content obfuscators, not only to digitize as much as possible in the time allotted, but also as an aesthetic choice and to preserve the unique qualities of the tape medium itself.

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The Studer A807

Emancipating the tape reels from their media-specific obscurity required multiple other steps, with some reels needing more TLC and resuscitation than others. After vigilant cleaning of the machines between reels, this process might entail repairing splices that popped off during the recording process, adding leader tape to the heads and tails of reels, re-housing tapes with broken parts, periodic demagnetizing of the tape machines, untangling and re-spooling tape that had become curled and twisted, and baking/dehydrating tapes exhibiting “sticky-shed syndrome” where deteriorating binder material becomes unfixed in the tape path and gums up the machine’s moving parts. In addition to the more physical aspects of the project, there was also record creation for each reel, inventory production, metadata researched and added, checksum generation, audio file conversion, and ingest into the mothership servers at WGBH.

Although I worked independently, at every stage I had a network of experts and mentors to turn to when encountering an obstacle, from the immersion week of audiovisual preservation training in Boston to the final handoff of the files. Thanks go out to the amazing folks at WGBH and all involved in immersion week, including George Blood and Jackie Jay for introducing me to legacy A/V equipment, all my fellow Fellows, host mentor Jackie Casteel and everyone at KOPN, faculty mentor Dr. Sarah Buchanan and the scholars at MU’s Allen Institute, local mentor Jim Hone, and every one else involved in this far-reaching project.

Going forward, I’m excited to bring forth more untold and seldom heard stories from their various limbos, utilizing what I learned as a PBPF fellow to help make a more complete historical record that is inclusive of the entire spectrum of human experience.

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Minimal audio preservation setup: computer, reel-to-reel tape machine, human

Written by Eric Saxon, PBPF Summer 2018 Cohort

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About PBPF

The Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF), funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, supports ten graduate student fellows at University of North Carolina, San Jose State University, Clayton State University, University of Missouri, and University of Oklahoma in digitizing at-risk materials at public media organizations around the country. Host sites include the Center for Asian American Media, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WUNC, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, and KOPN Community Radio. Contents digitized by the fellows will be preserved in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The grant also supports participating universities in developing long-term programs around audiovisual preservation and ongoing partnerships with their local public media stations.

For more updates on the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship project, follow the project at pbpf.americanarchive.org and on Twitter at #aapbpf, and come back in a few months to check out the results of their work.