New Graduate Scholarships in Audio-Visual Preservation and Archiving of Public Media

In July 2019, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) and the University of Alabama (UA) embarked on a collaboration to provide fellowships in public media preservation. WCVE in Richmond, WSRE in Pensacola, and the Center for Public Television and Radio at the University of Alabama hosted four graduate fellows who together digitized historic programs from these stations, which are now being preserved at the Library of Congress and made available through the AAPB. (These collections will be made available online very soon, so stay tuned!)

Now, the University is launching a new scholarship program available to anyone in the United States who wishes to obtain a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies (SLIS) with an emphasis in audiovisual preservation. The classes and coursework are conducted online, and the scholarship recipients will be placed in fellowship positions at a local public media station in their community. The AAPB team is thrilled to be collaborating with UA on this initiative that will provide new opportunities for people to enter the field of audiovisual archiving and who will get to take part in preserving significant historical content created by public media. UA’s scholarship announcement is included below:


In collaboration with WGBH in Boston and the Library of Congress, the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is inviting applications for a new scholarship program for students interested in the preservation and archiving of programs from American public media stations. To qualify for the EBSCO scholarships, students must be entering the MLIS program in fall of 2020.

Students will be required to take nine credit hours in four consecutive semesters–fall 2020, spring 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022.  Students will follow a course of study that will focus on the fundamentals of digitizing audio-visual content and preparing it for ingest into the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB).  In the last two semesters of the program, students will be placed in an internship in a public media station in their region where they will work 150 hours per semester.  Materials produced during the internships will be contributed to the online AAPB and the Library of Congress’s collections.

In addition to coursework, students will attend a weeklong immersion workshop in Tuscaloosa in August 2021.  At this workshop, students will learn how to work with various kinds of broadcast equipment and digitization hardware and software.  Students will also be introduced to the fundamentals of digital librarianship, including the management of digital files and the function of metadata to organize and facilitate access to the files.  The scholarship will pay 50% of the student’s tuition for the entire MLIS degree. The scholarship also pays basic expenses to attend the workshop, including transportation and lodging.

Fall 2019 fellows learning digitization from instructor Jackie Jay.

To apply for an EBSCO Scholarship, students should write a one-page statement describing their interest in the program and how their past experiences demonstrate that interest.  No experience with digital media is required to qualify for a scholarship, though enthusiasm for public media and excitement about the possibilities of emerging forms of digital collections will be an obvious asset.  Evaluation of scholarship applications begins March 15, 2020 and will continue until available positions have been filled.

Send questions to James Elmborg, SLIS Director at jkelmborg@ua.edu.

Apply at https://slis.ua.edu/ebsco-scholarships/!

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