WGBH Awarded $1 Million Grant by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Support American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Grant will bolster capacity and usability of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

BOSTON (June 22, 2017) – WGBH Educational Foundation is pleased to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded WGBH a $1 million grant to support the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB). The AAPB, a collaboration between Boston public media station WGBH and the Library of Congress, has been working to digitize and preserve nearly 50,000 hours of broadcasts and previously inaccessible programs from public radio and public television’s more than 60-year legacy.

WGBH will use the grant funds to build technical capacity for the intake of new content, develop collaborative initiatives, build training and support services for AAPB contributors and foster scholarly use and enhance public access for the collection. These efforts will include the creation of advisory committees for scholars, stations and educators.

“The work of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting is crucial for preserving our public media history and making this rich vault of content available to all,” said WGBH President and CEO Jon Abbott. “I am grateful that the Mellon Foundation has recognized the invaluable efforts of our archivists to save these historic programs for the future. WGBH is honored to accept this generous grant.”

WGBH also will hire a full-time Engagement and Use Manager to lead outreach and engagement activities for the AAPB. Candidates can find the job posting on WGBH’s employment website: http://www.wgbh.org/about/employmentopportunities.cfm.

The AAPB is a national effort to preserve at-risk public media and provide a central web portal for access to the programming that public stations and producers have created over the past 60 years. In its initial phase, the AAPB digitized approximately 40,000 hours of radio and television programming and related materials selected by more than 100 public media stations and organizations across the country. The entire collection is available for research on location at WGBH and the Library, and currently more than 20,000 programs are available in the AAPB’s Online Reading Room at americanarchive.org to anyone in the United States.

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About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation to coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 60 years. To date, over 40,000 hours of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and more than 20,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.

 

Forty Films, Forty Films, Forty Weeks: The Oneida Speak

In the 1930s, a group of elders from the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin participated in FDR’s Works Progress Administration Writers Project and shared stories of their life on the farm. In numerous journals written in Oneida, the elders recall historical personal accounts of detrimental land-grabbing policies, and the devastating impact of small pox and boarding schools.

This week’s Emmy-nominated Vision Maker Media film uses these first-person accounts to blend traditional Oneida storytelling with modern media, providing a window to a world that no longer exists.

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Watch “The Oneida Speak” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org

Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.

Follow Vision Maker Media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Pinterest, or Google+.

 

Forty Years, Forty Films, Forty Weeks: Injunuity

This week’s featured Vision Maker Media film is an eye-popping, mind-jolting mix of animation, music and real voices collected from interviews with Native Americans across the country to create a distinct view of modern America from a uniquely contemporary Native American perspective.

Told through nine short films that cover such topics as language preservation, sacred site degradation, consumerism and the environment, “Injunuity” is a thought-provoking collage of reflections on the Native American world, our shared past, our turbulent present and our undiscovered future.

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Watch “Injunuity” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org

Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.

Follow Vision Maker Media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Pinterest, or Google+.

Using Linked Data for the NET Collection Catalog

Who I Am

I am Chris Pierce, the Cataloger/Metadata Specialist for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and the National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog project at the Library of Congress. The NET Collection Catalog Project is a collaboration between WGBH and Library of Congress and funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The NET project involves the creation of a national catalog of records documenting the existence and robust description of titles distributed by NET, public media’s first national network and its earliest and among its most at-risk content.

In addition to cataloging moving image material distributed by NET during the mid to late fifties to early seventies, I am also working on a feasibility report on the implementation of linked data for the NET catalog.

Linked data? Huh?

What is linked data? The Wikipedia definition is “a method of publishing structured data so that it can be interlinked.” To put it simply, linked data is data that can be linked to other data, very much like how browsers manage hyperlinks.

Why would we want to implement linked data? There are several reasons:

  • AAPB/NET metadata contains valuable and largely undiscovered relationships that, when reused by others on the internet, can enhance the information already online.
  • It would open AAPB/NET metadata to web applications and making the metadata more discoverable and shareable on the web
  • It would contribute to the sustainability of metadata creation for future cataloging at the AAPB with metadata that is more deeply connected to external metadata, which could then be reused for description of AAPB material

Very often we talk about linked data being actionable, by which we mean that the data can be linked to other data through Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) (or hyperlinks that direct the user to more information about the resource or property). A key part of being actionable is that data that has been designed to be interlinked in such a way can be said to be a node in a traversable “web” of data. Thus, the model for linked data is a graph, and linked datasets are typically modelled on a graph model rather than relational or hierarchical structures. It is very common to see linked data visualized through this sort of image:

Image from The Oracle Alchemist

These links are structured through relationships expressed as triples. In the image above, these triples are represented in graph form, but they can also be serialized in machine readable code. In both the serialization and the graph, these triples are logical statements:

This person [has]realName Stephen King

This person hasTwitter @StephenKing

@StephenKing hasContent [pictures of his dog Molly aka Thing of Evil]

A triple is simply a relationship between a subject and an object communicated through a predicate:

SUBJECT——PREDICATE——OBJECT

The data model that supports the exchange of data structured in this way (as a web of interlinked nodes connected through relationships expressed as triples) is the Resource Description Framework (RDF). RDF can be semantically structured through specifications that define what types of data are being modelled. For instance, the RDF schema (RDFs) is a data modelling vocabulary that can be used to define classes and possible relationships between classes. BIBFRAME is another vocabulary that is being developed by the Library of Congress to represent library bibliographic metadata in RDF. Another example is EBUCORE, a vocabulary designed by the European Broadcasting Union to support linked data in various stages of the life cycle of broadcasting material, including production, business, and archives. Vocabularies such as these are central  to having every object, subject, and predicate defined and expressed as Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) rather than literal string values (strings that are not actionable through links), and they expand upon the types of things that can be described as linked data (at various levels of granularity).

This framework of linked data advances the principles proposed by Tim Berners-Lee as the foundation of linked data:

  1. Use URIs as names for things
  2. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names.
  3. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF)
  4. Include links to other URIs, so that they can discover more things.

The NET project

The feasibility report on which my colleagues at the Library of Congress and I are working will focus on records generated through the NET catalog project (where I spend the majority of my day cataloging). We catalog these records in our content management system, MAVIS. MAVIS outputs the data to MAVISXML, which is a hierarchically structured format for representing metadata. We are looking at ways to transform MAVISXML to PBCORE (the XML schema in use by AAPB) and then to RDF linked data. We are examining existing technologies, vocabularies, and workflows, and identifying other problems we need to solve. The results of this research will be a benefit not only to the AAPB, but also to other cultural heritage institutions and the public broadcasting community taking efforts to implement linked data. I am currently on the “literature review” stage of the linked data research. Look forward to future posts about our process!

This post was written by Chris Pierce, AAPB and NET Cataloger/Metadata Specialist.

Forty Years, Forty Films, Forty Weeks: Navajo Code Talkers

The Navajo Marines who used their language as an essential defensive weapon during WWII tell their story in this week’s award-winning Vision Maker Media film.

Using archival footage and first-person interviews, the 1982 film was one of the first documentary features to present the history of the Navajo Code Talkers after decades of classified secrecy, and share the compelling story of their contributions to the war.

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Watch “Navajo Code Talkers” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org

Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.

Follow Vision Maker Media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Pinterest, or Google+.

Forty Years, Forty Films, Forty Weeks: Choctaw Code Talkers

In 1918, Choctaw members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their Native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I — despite the fact that they were not yet citizens of the United States.

This week’s featured Vision Maker Media film tells the little-known story of the original Choctaw code talkers, who set the precedent for the adoption of code talking as a key military weapon in the wars of the twentieth century.

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Watch “Choctaw Code Talkers” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org

Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.

Follow Vision Maker Media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Pinterest, or Google+.

Forty Years, Forty Films, Forty Weeks: Hand Game

This week’s featured Vision Maker Media film, “Hand Game,” explores the mythic and historic roots of contemporary gambling in the Northwest Native Society through a look at the traditional hand game (also called “stick game” or “bone game”).

Traveling from reservation to reservation and meeting engaging and colorful players, the filmmakers show how traditional ways of thinking are alive today in Indian country and offer an inside view of an ancient form of gambling that combines strategy, wit and skill.

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Watch “Hand Game” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org

Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.

Follow Vision Maker Media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Pinterest, or Google+.

Join Current for “Get with the program!: Shows that shaped public television”

2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act. Join Current for Get with The Program!: Shows that Shaped Public Television, a series of online events looking at some of the most influential public TV programs of all time. First up: Firing Line, the legendary public affairs program hosted by conservative intellectual William F. Buckley. Watch clips of Firing Line, courtesy of the Hoover Institution Archives, and discuss the impact of this groundbreaking show on American culture and public TV itself. Guests include Heather Hendershot, author of “Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on The Firing Line” and former ABC News analyst Jeff Greenfield. This free event is Wednesday, May 24 at 1 pm ET. Reserve your spot here: bit.ly/pba50-firingline.

FiringLine
Image courtesy Hoover Institution Archives

Forty Years, Forty Films, Forty Weeks: Looking Toward Home

This week’s featured Vision Maker Media film, “Looking Toward Home,” looks through the eyes of Native Americans who left the reservation for life in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Beginning with a look at government relocation programs of the 1950s and 1960s, the film tells the stories of those who left and their descendants as they maintain their tribal identity far away from the culturally nurturing climate of the reservation.

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Watch “Looking Toward Home” on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Check back here every Tuesday, or follow us at @amarchivepub on Twitter to keep up with featured streaming films over the 40 weeks of the celebration. You can find the complete schedule here.

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. All aspects of Vision Maker Media programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media – to be the next generation of storytellers. Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community. Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information, www.visionmakermedia.org

Each week for the next forty weeks, a different film featuring Native voices from Native producers will be available to stream free online, in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40 years supporting American Indian and Alaska Native film projects.

Follow Vision Maker Media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Pinterest, or Google+.

A Day In the Life of NET

Hi there! We’re part of the National Educational Television (NET) collection at the Library of Congress’s National Audiovisual Conservation Center (NAVCC) – maybe you’ve heard of us? Recently, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded the AAPB to complete the NET Collection Catalog Project, whereby some nifty catalogers are working to create fabulous descriptions of programs distributed by NET (1952-1972, which makes up some of the earliest public television content!). People know so little about us because, up until now, we’ve been stored in unprocessed collections! So we’re looking to get makeovers, too. We are happy here, NAVCC has optimal storage facilities for us – we’re stored at a cool 50 degrees with 30% relative humidity – but we would like it if people could find us more easily.

To give you a better idea of just what processing a film title in the collection entails, we’re going to give you an inside look. The first part of our journey? Getting pulled from the stacks, of course! When we’re pulled, we make our way down from the shelves, onto an obliging cart, and are rolled out of the vaults. Yippee!

But because we like it chilly, we don’t appreciate temperature shock. So we get wheeled into the acclimatization room, where we can get adjusted to the new climes.

After gradually thawing out, we get picked up. Today’s the big day, we’re getting processed today!

Quick, time to make a break for it!!

We find our way here, to a work bench, where the magic happens.

All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up. We get pulled, one by one from the cart. But you can find a lot of great metadata on us, so all that info gets written down first for input into our collection database system later.

Sometimes when you open us up, there’s a prize inside! No, not of the Cracker Jack variety – these prizes come in the form of broadcast histories and/or condition assessments. They get re-foldered and stored safely away, too, but hey, this is about us, the NET film!

We get placed up on the spindle, ready to wind! (Good thing Sleeping Beauty isn’t a film archivist, whew.)

We’re going to transfer from an old reel onto a slick, plastic “core.” The core (you can see cores stored in the boxes below the bench) is fixed inside the split reel on the right.

When we’ve been wound through, I end up on the right now, wrapped around a core.

How embarrassing! Look away!

Like a beautiful butterfly, now that we’ve been transformed, we shed the old reel and accompanying film can (that is, they are promptly disposed of).

Ouch!

I’m then rehoused into a – blue, blue, ‘lectric blue (that’s the color of my room) – plastic can.

And I’m taken over to a computer, to complete my cataloging in the collection database system MAVIS.

And now for my favorite part! I get labeled with a Library of Congress item barcode, new rack number, and a snazzy title label so people can find me again!

Now I’m all set! Ahhh 1331 – I’ve always liked the sound of a palindrome. Now I’m headed back to the vaults to get some well-deserved shut-eye. Later!

This post was written by Susie Booth, NET Cataloger at NAVCC, on behalf of the NET film.