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.

Voegeli and Setziol Radio Collections Added to the Online Reading Room

In the past few months, we’ve added several new radio collections to our Online Reading Room!

The Donald Voegeli collection preserves the music and memory of Don Voegeli, who wrote the theme music for All Things Considered on NPR, along with providing many other contributions to public radio over the course of a long and impressive career.

Variations on the  All Things Considered theme make up just a fraction of the Don Voegeli collection. There’s also plenty of Voegeli’s other work to explore, from musical compositions in the vein of the ATC theme like Swiss Clock Maker to catchy educational jingles like Math Song (“you bisect an angle by using a ruler and compass / you bisect a compass by using a good sharp axe”)

Donald Voegeli’s son Jim Voegeli, a radio producer in his own right, has also contributed four audio documentaries of his own as a separate collection. “Speaking of Wilderness,” Jim’s first documentary on the importance of the conservation of wild places, aired on NPR when he was only 16.  Jim’s piece “Remembering Aldo Leopold,” a radio documentary essay on the life and legacy of the visionary conservationist and writer, went on to win an Ohio State Award.

Finally, for more award-winning environmental journalism, check out our newest collection of works by Ilsa Setziol, longtime environmental reporter for KPCC. Among other honors, Setziol has been recognized for Outstanding Beat Reporting in Radio by the Society of Environmental Journalists for pieces like this 2003 report on the environmental aftermath of fires in San Bernardino County, “Fire Recovery, Part 1.”

The archive of Setziol’s work for KPCC offers an invaluable record of environmental concerns and activism from the past 20 years, from reports on the projected devastating impact of global warming in California to stories of activists like Josh Quigley, who spent months sitting in an oak tree to try and save it from being cut down.

Browse the collections to listen to hundreds more great radio pieces:

Donald Voegeli
James F. Voegeli
KPCC (Ilsa Setziol)

PBS NewsHour Digitization Project Update: Workflow Management

NewsHour_Project_LogosIn January 2016, the Council on Library and Information Resources awarded WGBH, the Library of Congress, WETA, and NewsHour Productions, LLC a grant to digitize, preserve, and make publicly accessible on the AAPB website 32 years of NewsHour predecessor programs, from October 1975 to December 2007, that currently exist on obsolete analog formats. Described by co-creator Robert MacNeil as “a place where the news is allowed to breathe, where we can calmly, intelligently look at what has happened, what it means and why it is important,” the NewsHour has consistently provided a forum for newsmakers and experts in many fields to present their views at length in a format intended to achieve clarity and balance, rather than brevity and ratings. A Gallup Poll found the NewsHour America’s “most believed” program. We are honored to preserve this monumental series and include it in AAPB.

Today, we’re pleased to update you on our project progress, specifically regarding the new digitization project workflows that we have developed and implemented to achieve the goals of the project.

The physical work digitizing the NewsHour tapes and ingesting the new files across the project collaborators has been moving forward since last fall and is now healthily and steadily progressing. Like many projects, ours started out as a great idea with many enthusiastic partners – and that’s good, because we needed some enthusiasm to help us sort out a practical workflow for simultaneously tracking, ingesting, quality checking, digitally preserving, describing, and making available at least 7512 unique programs!

In practice the workflow has become quite different from what the AAPB experienced with our initial project to digitize 40,000 hours of programming from more than 100 stations. With NewsHour, we started by examining the capabilities of each collaborator and what they already intended to do regarding ingestion and quality control on their files. That survey identified efficiencies: The Library of Congress (the Library) took the lead on ingesting preservation quality files and conducting item level quality control of the files. WGBH focused on ingestion of the proxies and communication with George Blood, the digitization vendor. The Library uses the Baton quality control software to individually pass or fail every file received. At WGBH, we use MDQC from AVPreserve to check that the proxy files we receive are encoded in accordance with our desired specifications. Both institutions use scripts to validate the MD5 file checksums the vendor provides us. If any errors are encountered, we share them in a Google Sheet and WGBH notifies the vendor. The vendor then rectifies the errors and submits a replacement file. Once approved, it is time for WGBH to make the files accessible on the AAPB website.

I imagined that making the files accessible would be a smooth routine – I would put the approved files online and everything would be great. What a nice thought that was! In truth, any one work (Global Unique Identifier or “GUID” – our unique work level identifier) could have many factors that influence what actions we need to be taken to prepare it to go online. When I started reviewing the files we were receiving, looking at transcripts, and trying to keep track of the data and where various GUIDs were in the workflow, I realized that the “some spreadsheets and my mind” system I intended to employ would result in too many GUIDs falling through the cracks, and would likely necessitate far too much duplicate work. I decided to identify the possible statuses of GUIDs in the NewsHour series and every action that would need to be taken to resolve each status. After I stared at a wall for probably too long, my coworkers found me with bloodshot eyes (JK?) and this map:

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(It seems appropriate that the fire alarm is in this picture)

Some of the statuses I identified are:

  • Tapes we do not want captured
  • Tapes that are not able to be captured
  • GUIDs where the digitization is not yet approved
  • GUIDs that don’t have transcripts
  • GUIDs that have transcripts, but they don’t match the content
  • GUIDs that are not a broadcast episode of the NewsHour
  • GUIDs that are incomplete recordings
  • GUIDs that need redacting
  • GUIDs that passed QC but should not have

Every status has multiple actions that need to be taken to resolve that issue and move the GUID towards being accessible. The statuses are not mutually exclusive, though some are contingent on or preclude others. It was immediately clear to me that this would be too much to manually track and that I needed a centralized automated solution. The system would have to allow simultaneous users and would need to be low cost and maintenance. After discussions with my colleagues, we decided that the best solution would be a Google Spreadsheet that everyone at the AAPB could share.

Here is a link to a copy of the NewsHour Workflow workbook we built. The workbook functions through a “Master List” with a row of metadata for every GUID, an “Intern Review” phase worksheet that automatically assigns statuses to GUIDs based on answers to questions, workflow “Tracker” sheets with resolutive actions for each status, and a “Master GUID Status Sheet” that automatically displays the status of every GUID and where each one is in the overall workflow. Some actions in trackers automatically place the GUID into another tracker – for instance, if a reviewer working on an episode for which we don’t have a transcript in the “No Transcript Tracker” and that GUID is identified as having content that needs to be redacted, the GUID is automatically placed on the “Redaction Tracker”.

A broad description of our current project workflow is: All of the project’s GUIDs are on the “Master GUID List” and their presence on that list automatically puts them on the “Master GUID Status Sheet”. When we receive a GUID’s digitized file, staff put the GUID on the “Approval Tracker”. When a GUID passes both WGBH and the Library’s QC workflows it is marked approved on the “Approval Tracker” and automatically placed on the “Intern Review Sheet.” Interns review each GUID and answer questions about the content and transcript, and the answers to those questions automatically place the GUID into different status trackers. We then use the trackers to track actions that resolve the GUIDs statuses. When a GUID’s issues in all the status trackers are resolved, it is marked as “READY!” to go online and placed in the “AAPB Online Tracker.” When we’ve updated the GUID’s metadata, put the file online, and recorded those actions in the “AAPB Online Tracker,” the GUID is automatically marked complete. Additionally, any statuses that indicate a GUID cannot go online (for instance, a tape was in fatal condition and unable to be captured) are marked as such in the “Master GUID Status Sheet.” This function helps us differentiate between GUIDs that will not be able to go online and GUIDs that are not yet online but should be when the project is complete.

Here is a picture of a portion of the “Master GUID Status Sheet.”’

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Right now there is a lot of red GUIDs, but in the coming months that will be switching to green!

The workbook functions through cross-sheet references and simple logic. It is built with mostly “IF,” “COUNTIF,” and “VLOOKUP” statements. Its functionality depends on users inputting the correct values in action cells and confirming that they’ve completed their work, but generally those values are locked in with data validation rules and sheet permissions. The workflow review I had conducted proved valuable because it provided the logic needed to construct the formulas and tracking sheets.

Building the workflow manager in Google Sheets took a few drafts. I tested the workflow with our first few NewsHour pilot digitizations, unleashed it on a few kind colleagues, and then improved it with their helpful feedback. I hope that the workbook will save us time figuring out what needs to happen to each GUID and will help prevent any GUIDs from falling through the cracks or incorrectly being put online. Truthfully, the workbook struggles under its own weight sometimes (at one point in my design I reached the 2,000,000 cell limit and had to delete all the extra cells spreadsheet programs always automatically make). Anyone conducting a project any larger or more complicated than the NewsHour would likely need to upgrade to a true workflow management software or a program designed to work from the command line. I hope, if you’re interested, that you take some time to try out the copy of the NewsHour Workflow workbook! If you’d like more information, a link to our workflow documentation that further explains the workbook can be provided.

This post was written by Charles Hosale, WGBH.

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.

17k for 2017

AAPB is kicking off the new year by adding a lot more content to our Online Reading Room. We now have more than 17,000 historic public broadcasting programs available for anyone in the United States to watch or listen to on our site!

Highlights from the newly available recordings include:

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Episodes of WHUT’s Evening Exchange, including this episode on The Future of the Black Family (see left). Evening Exchange is a series featuring discussions with “writers, philosophers and newsmakers whose work offers insight into the black community.”

  • Episodes of the children’s radio series, Afield with Ranger Mac, which was broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio as part of the Wisconsin School of the Air.
  • A speech by a United Mine Workers of America official recorded for the Appalshop documentary UMWA 1970: A House Divided.
  • Episodes of WFMU’s series Wasted Vinyl, including this interview with Joseph Shabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.modoc
  • A locally-produced chronicle of the Modoc War (1872 – 1873) and Modoc leader, Captain Jack from Southern Oregon Public Television’s collection (see right).
  • Episodes of Iowa Press, including this one about Rural Poverty. Iowa Press is a news talk show, featuring an in-depth news report on one topic each episode, followed by a conversation between experts on the issue.

Overall, the new content in the ORR includes recordings from 23 different organizations across the country:

We are very excited to continue making more historic public media available again to the American public, helping to fulfill public media’s mission to enlighten, inspire, and educate its audiences.

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!

dlf_award_certificate-1

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.

Forty Years, Forty Films, Forty Weeks

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With the beginning of November, we’re thrilled to welcome the start of “Forty Years, Forty Weeks” – a collaboration between Vision Maker Media and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting to celebrate Vision Maker Media’s 40th anniversary.

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.

To kick off “Forty Years, Forty Weeks,” Vision Maker Media introduces you to Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith, an internationally renowned Shoshone French Cree painter who has been creating abstract paintings and lithographs since the 1970s that address socio-political issues with continuing relevance to the Native American experience.

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Watch “American Indian Artists: Jaune Quick-To-See Smith” 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 next 40 weeks. 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

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