Introducing an audio labeling toolkit

In 2015, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded WGBH on behalf of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting a grant to address the challenges faced by many libraries and archives trying to provide better access to their media collections through online discoverability. Through a collaboration with Pop Up Archive and HiPSTAS at the University of Texas at Austin, our project has supported the creation of speech-to-transcripts for the initial 40,000 hours of historic public broadcasting preserved in the AAPB, the launch of a free open-source speech-to-text tool, and FIX IT, a game that allows the public to help correct our transcripts.

Now, our colleagues at HiPSTAS are debuting a new machine learning toolkit and DIY techniques for labeling speakers in “unheard” audio — audio that is not documented in a machine-generated transcript. The toolkit was developed through a massive effort using machine learning to identify notable speakers’ voices (such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy) from within the AAPB’s 40,000 hour collection of historic public broadcasting content.

This effort has vast potential for archivists, researchers, and other organizations seeking to discover and make accessible sound at scale — sound that otherwise would require a human to listen and identify in every digital file.

Read more about the audio labeling toolkit here, and stay tuned for more posts in this series.

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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.

 

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.

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Image courtesy Hoover Institution Archives

Free Webinar Recordings: Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) recently completed a six-part webinar series to share best practices and lessons learned from their Cataloging Hidden Collections program. Sponsored through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections (SAHC) series aims to help those working in GLAM (Gallery, Library, Archive, Museum) organizations build the confidence they need to tackle the processing of hidden archival collections. This series may also be particularly useful for public media organizations that are planning preservation projects.

Webinars include:

The complete series, including recordings, slides, and transcripts, is now freely available on the CLIR SAHC home page: https://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/sahc/sahc.

To supplement the series, an Online Resource Library was also created for increasing the visibility, usability, and sustainability of collections in the GLAM community: https://wiki.diglib.org/Strategies_for_Advancing_Hidden_Collections.

AAPB launches new exhibit “Speaking and Protesting in America”

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Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

The long history of Americans exercising their right to speak, assemble and petition is brought to life in a vibrant new online exhibition from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB). “Speaking and Protesting in America” explores the role of dissent in American life, ranging from peaceful marches to acts of civil disobedience. This digital look into how Americans have demanded the attention of governing powers brings each movement to life through the rich collection of audio and visual materials preserved and digitized by AAPB, a collaboration between Boston-based public broadcaster WGBH and the Library of Congress.

The exhibit, curated by AAPB Digital Exhibits Intern Michelle Janowiecki, includes a diverse range of public radio and television content from 1956 – 2009, pulling from more than 40 historic radio call-in shows, local news, raw footage, and interviews that document the profound impact of the First Amendment on American life.

The exhibit is accessible online at http://americanarchive.org/exhibits/first-amendment.

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On Saturday, January 21, in conjunction with the exhibit’s launch, AAPB and PBS’ flagship history documentary series American Experience held a Facebook live event to discuss how protests throughout American history have been documented and preserved.  AAPB Project Manager Casey E. Davis Kaufman, exhibit curator Michelle Janowiecki, American Experience Historian in Residence Gene Tempest, and American Experience Managing Editor for Digital Content Lauren Prestileo participated in the “Documenting Protest” panel discussion, which was held at the WGBH Studio at the Boston Public Library. The recording of the event is available online at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS/videos/10154919655949122/.

Listen to a sample recording from the exhibit, courtesy of WYSO-FM:

On March 8, 1973, women met at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio to hold a rally celebrating International Women’s Day. This rally was part of an annual worldwide celebration to recognize the achievements of women and to call for the end of sexism in the work force. Listen to the full recording online: http://to.wgbh.org/61838Ryuz

For more information and to explore the exhibit visit http://americanarchive.org/exhibits/first-amendment.

AAPB NDSR Resources Round-up

 

In 2015, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a generous grant to WGBH on behalf of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) to develop the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR). Through this project, we have placed seven graduates of master’s degree programs in digital stewardship residencies at public media organizations around the country.

AAPB NDSR  has already yielded dozens of great resources for the public media and audiovisual preservation community – and the residents aren’t even halfway done yet! As we near the program’s midpoint, we wanted to catch you up on the program so far.

We started off in July 2016 with Immersion Week in Boston, which featured presentations on the history of public media and the AAPB, an overview of physical and digital audiovisual materials, an introduction to audiovisual metadata, and instructional seminars on digital preservation workflows, project management, and professional development. Attendees also participated in a full-day session on “Thinking Like a Computer” and a hands-on command line workshop.

Several sessions from Immersion Week were filmed by
WGBH Forum Network, including:

In August 2016, the residents dispersed to their host stations, and began recording their experiences in a series of thoughtful blog posts, covering topics from home movies to DAM systems to writing in Python.

AAPB NDSR blog posts to date include:

Digital Stewardship at KBOO Community Radio,” Selena Chau (8/9/16)

Metadata Practices at Minnesota Public Radio,” Kate McManus (8/15/16)

NDSA, data wrangling, and KBOO treasures,” Selena Chau (8/30/16)

Minnesota Books and Authors,” Kate McManus (9/23/16)

Snapshot from the IASA Conference: Thoughts on the 2nd Day,” Eddy Colloton (9/29/16)

Who just md5deep-ed and redirected all them checksums to a .csv file? This gal,” Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (10/6/16)

IASA Day 1 and Voice to Text Recognition,” Selena Chau (10/11/16)

IASA – Remixed,” Kate McManus (10/12/16)

Learning GitHub (or, if I can do it, you can too!)” Andrew Weaver (10/13/16)
Home Movie Day,” Eddy Colloton (10/15/16)

Snakes in the Archive,” Adam Lott (10/20/16)

Vietnam, Oral Histories, and the WYSO Archives Digital Humanities Symposium,” Tressa Graves (11/7/16)

Archives in Conversation (A Glimpse into the Minnesota Archives Symposium, 2016),” Kate McManus (11/15/16)

Inside the WHUT video library clean-up – part 1: SpaceSaver,” Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (11/21/16)

Is there something that does it all?: Choosing a metadata management system,” Selena Chau (11/22/16)

Inside the WHUT video library clean-up – part 2: lots of manual labor,” Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (12/20/16)

Just Ask For Help Already!” Eddy Colloton (12/22/16)

August also kicked off our first series of guest webinars, focusing on a range of topics of interest to audiovisual and digital preservation professionals. Most webinars were recorded, and all have slides available.

AAPB NDSR webinars to date include:

Metadata: Storage, Modeling and Quality,” by Kara Van Malssen, Partner & Senior Consultant at AVPreserve

Public Media Production Workflows,” by Leah Weisse, WGBH Digital Archive Manager/Production Archival Compliance Manager (slides)

Imposter Syndrome” by Jen LaBarbera, Head Archivist at Lambda Archives of San Diego, and Dinah Handel, Mass Digitization Coordinator at the NYPL (slides)

Preservation and Access: Digital Audio,” by Erica Titkemeyer, Project Director and AV Conservator at the Southern Folklife Collection (slides)

Troubleshooting Digital Preservation,” by Shira Peltzman, Digital Archivist at UCLA Library (slides)

Studs Terkel Radio Archive: Tips and Tricks for Sharing Great Audio,” by Grace Radkins, Digital Content Librarian at Studs Terkel Radio Library (slides)

From Theory to Action: Digital Preservation Tools and Strategies,” by Danielle Spalenka, Project Director of the Digital POWRR Project (slides)

Our first two resident-hosted webinars (open to the public) will be happening this month! Registration and more info is available here.

The residents also hosted two great panel presentations, first in September at the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Conference, and in November at the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference. The AMIA session in particular generated a lot of Twitter chatter; you can see a roundup here.

To keep up with AAPB NDSR blog posts, webinar recordings, and project updates as they happen, follow the AAPB NDSR site at ndsr.americanarchive.org.

AAPB Accepts CLIR DLF Community/Capacity Award

The Council on Library and Information ResourcesDigital Library Federation (DLF) is holding the 2016 DLF Forum in Milwaukee this week! As part of the conference, DLF hosted an awards ceremony to honor the recipients of dlf_award_karenthe inaugural DLF Community/Capacity Award. Selected by DLF members from across the country, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) and co-recipient The Biodiversity Heritage Library were honored as the recipients of this prestigious award. Karen Cariani, AAPB Director at WGBH, accepted the award on behalf of the AAPB team at WGBH and the Library of Congress.

 

About the DLF Community/Capacity Awards:

“Unlike many honors in technology-related fields, DLF Comm/Cap Awards recognize collective action over individual achievement, socially-responsible creativity over pure innovation, and acts of care, maintenance, thoughtful growth, and repair over the tools and practices of disruption. They honor constructive, community-minded capacity-building in digital libraries, archives, and museums: efforts that contribute to our ability to collaborate across institutional lines and work toward larger goals and a better future, together.

dlf_award_slideMost of all, they’re about inspiration. This year’s 16 inspiring nominees spanned disciplines and fields. They included projects of greatly varied longevity and size, expert teams and community organizers, and people making deeply valued contributions to DLF practitioner communities and the publics and missions driving them.”

More about the award is available here: https://www.diglib.org/archives/12231/

Our thanks go to the DLF, CLIR and to the broader DLF community and membership for voting for AAPB as a recipient of this award! We are incredibly honored!

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About the AAPB, The Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the Digital Library Federation:

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting 
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting, led by WGBH and the Library of Congress, has coordinated a national effort to preserve and make accessible significant historical content created by public media and are preserving at-risk public broadcasting before its content is lost to posterity. To date, more than 40,000 hours of content contributed by more than 100 organizations across the country have been digitized. The entire collection is accessible on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress. Together, WGBH, the Library, and participating organizations have made more than 13,500 programs available online for research, educational and informational purposes, becoming a focal point for discoverability of historical public media content. Learn more.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library 
An international consortium of over two dozen organizations, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) stands out not only in service to its partners, but also in its collaborative approach to making open access, often rare and unique biodiversity content available to 120,000+ monthly users worldwide. A signatory of the Bouchout Declaration, BHL’s commitment to open access extends beyond placing scanned pages on its website. Content is available via Internet Archive, Digital Public Library of America, and Europeana; over 100,000 scientific illustrations via Flickr; and BHL’s suite of APIs brings data directly to users. To build capacity among partners, BHL also provides intensive digitization workshops, reaching participants from across Sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, the U.S., and beyond, and supporting participation by institutions large and small. Learn more.

Digital Library Federation
The Digital Library Federation is a robust and diverse community of practitioners who advance research, learning, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. DLF serves as a resource and catalyst for collaboration among its institutional members, and all who are invested in the success of libraries, museums, and archives in the digital age. DLF serves its parent organization, the Council on Library and Information Resources, as the place where CLIR’s broader information-community strategies are informed and enriched by digital library practice. DLF connects CLIR’s vision and research agenda with our active practitioner network, and brings the insights of the DLF community to bear. In addition, we partner closely on key CLIR initiatives related to DLF’s mission, in order to provide advice and expertise to CLIR from the digital library community, as well as connections and opportunities for our members. DLF currently includes 151 institutional members. Learn more.

AAPB Presentation at IFLA News Media Section Conference

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) News Media Section held a two-day satellite session on  “News, New Roles, & Preservation Advocacy: Moving Libraries Into Action” in Lexington, KY on August 10-12, 2016, hosted by the University of Kentucky Libraries. AAPB Library of Congress project director Alan Gevinson participated remotely with a PowerPoint that surveyed news-related materials in the AAPB collections and discussed the project’s history and goals. 

Alan’s full presentation is now available online, and more presentations from the conference can be viewed and downloaded on the University of Kentucky Libraries website.

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View Alan Gevinson’s presentation here: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=ifla-news-media

Library of Congress Releases 2016-2017 Recommended Formats Statement

The Library of Congress has released its latest version of the Library of Congress’ Recommended Formats Statement, including for audio-visual media. These recommendations are useful for organizations that are planning digitization projects or are developing methods to digitally preserve their “born digital” programming.

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The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the release of the 2016-2017 Recommended Formats Statement (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/).  The proliferation of ways in which works can be created and distributed is a challenge and an opportunity for the Library (and for all institutions and organizations which seek to build collections of creative works) and the Recommended Formats Statement is one way in which the Library seeks to meet the challenge and take full advantage of the opportunity.  By providing guidance in the form of technical characteristics and metadata which best support the preservation and long-term access of digital works (and analog works as well), the Library hopes to encourage creators, vendors, archivists and librarians to use the recommended formats in order to further the creation, acquisition and preservation of creative works which will be available for the use of future generations at the Library of Congress and other cultural memory organizations.

The engagement with the Statement that the Library has seen from others has been extremely heartening.  In response to interest in our work from representatives in the architectural community who see their design work imperiled by insufficient attention to digital preservation, we have updated the Statement to align more closely with developments in this field.  Most importantly of all, we now include websites as a category of its own in the Statement.  Websites are probably the largest field of digital expression available for creators today, yet most creators tend to take a passive role in ensuring the preservation and long-term access of their websites.  By including websites in the Recommended Formats Statement, we hope to encourage website creators to engage more fully in digital preservation, as we aim to do with all the other forms of digital works included in the Statement, by making their websites more preservation-friendly.

The Library remains committed to acquiring and preserving digital works and to providing whatever support it can to other similarly committed stakeholders.  We shall continue to build our collections with their preservation and long-term access firmly in mind; and we shall continue to engage with others in the community in efforts such as the Recommended Formats Statement.  We encourage any and all feedback and comments (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/contacts.html) others might have on the Statement that might make it more useful for both our needs and for the needs of anyone who might find it worthwhile in their own work.  And we shall continue to engage in an annual review process to ensure that it meets the needs of all stakeholders in the preservation and long-term access of creative works.