New Mexico’s Historic Public Television and Radio Programs to be Preserved by Statewide Partnership and The American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Indigenous and Hispanic Programs Featured Among Content from
Five Contributing Organizations

Two-Year Digitization Project funded with $485,000 grant from
The Council on Library and Information Resources

New Mexico PBS (NMPBS) and The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) announced today a collaborative effort to digitize, preserve and make accessible historic television and radio programs produced by New Mexico public media organizations. The resulting online collection, which dates back 50 years, will be rescued from deteriorating and obsolete formats. The programs will showcase the richness and complexity of New Mexico’s social, political, cultural and artistic landscape, with content by and about underrepresented topics and communities, including New Mexico’s indigenous and Hispanic populations. The two-year New Mexico Public Media (NMPM) Digitization Project is made possible by a $485,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

“We’re delighted to be able to make this treasure trove of New Mexico history and culture, produced by public media organizations from all corners of the state, available to all,” said NMPBS General Manager and CEO Franz Joachim. “We are confident scholars, journalists, educators, and anyone with an interest in New Mexico’s rich and multicultural society will find inspiration in this newly accessible and searchable online resource.”

The New Mexico public media collection provides an in-depth record of New Mexico’s diverse political, social, cultural and artistic life in program series, documentaries and special event programs.  The collection consists of programs produced between 1970 and 2018 by five New Mexico radio and television broadcasters: NMPBS; KRWG (PBS) in southwestern New Mexico; KENW (PBS) in eastern New Mexico; KUNM (FM) at the University of New Mexico; and KANW (FM) in Albuquerque, in collaboration with David G. Griffin, Griffin and Associates. Largely unseen and unheard since they were first broadcast, the programs currently risk deterioration on obsolete formats such as fragile 1”, ¾” beta, ¼” and cassette audio tape.

These programs will be the first contributed from New Mexico to the AAPB, a collaboration between the Library of Congress and Boston public media producer WGBH. Over the course of the digitization project, NMPBS, KUNM, KENW, KRWG, and KANW in collaboration with David G. Griffin, Griffin and Associates will provide digitized copies of nearly 9,000 programs to be preserved in the Library of Congress. Many of these will be made accessible online by WGBH on the AAPB website at americanarchive.org. All will be available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress and WGBH.

“We’re excited to welcome a fantastic collection to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and to serve as its digital home,” said Karen Cariani, the David O. Ives Executive Director of WGBH Media Library and Archives. “From a Peabody award-winning documentary about the Pueblo peoples, to the history of nuclear weapons development, to Spanish-language radio, the New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project offers a unique cross section of New Mexico’s growth, diversity, science and culture for all to explore.”

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About New Mexico PBS

Celebrating over 60 years of service, NMPBS (KNME & KNMD-TV) serving New Mexico and the Navajo Nation, broadcasts a wide array of nature, history, current affairs, health, performance, children’s, educational and entertainment programs. NMPBS produces NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS, COLORES! and a variety of specials. NMPBS operates 5 digital broadcast channels:

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 9.1, and 9.2. NMPBS is co-licensed to the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Albuquerque Public Schools (APS). www.nmpbs.org

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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 70 years. To date, over 100,000 digital files of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been preserved and made accessible for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and more than 52,000 files are available online at americanarchive.org.  

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