Hosted by Ask Historians (a.k.a /r/AskHistorians), staff from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting will be answering questions during an Ask Me Anything forum (AMA) tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 12pm – 4pm ET! The AMA will take place at https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/!
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and Boston public broadcaster WGBH, will be answering the public’s questions about how we collect, preserve and provide access to the collection, as well as any specific questions about the content of the archive, and of course how scholars might collaborate with the AAPB to use the archive for research or in their teaching (we’d love to hear your ideas!).
The AAPB coordinates a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provides a centralized web portal for access to the unique programming aired by public stations over the past 70+ years. To date, we have digitized nearly 100,000 historic public television and radio programs and original materials (such as raw interviews). The entire collection is accessible for research on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and more than 45,000 programs are available for listening and viewing online, within the United States, at http://americanarchive.org.
Among the collections preserved are more than 8,000 episodes of the PBS NewsHour Collection, dating back to 1975; more than 1,300 programs and documentaries from National Educational Television, the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); raw, unedited interviews from the landmark documentary Eyes on the Prize; raw, unedited interviews with eyewitnesses and historians recorded for American Experience documentaries including Stonewall Uprising, The Murder of Emmett Till, Freedom Riders, 1964, The Abolitionists and many others. We aim to grow the archive by up to 25,000 hours of additional digitized content per year. The AAPB also works with scholars to publish curated exhibits and essays that provide historical and cultural context to the Archive’s content. We have also worked with researchers who are interested in using the collection (metadata, transcripts, and media) as a dataset for digital humanities and other computational scholarship.
The collection, acquired from more than 100 stations and producers across the U.S., not only provides national news, public affairs, and cultural programming from the past 70 years, but local programming as well. Researchers using the collection have the potential to uncover events, issues, institutional shifts, and social movements on the local scene that have not yet made it into the larger historical narrative. Because of the geographical breadth of the collection, scholars can use it to help uncover ways that national and even global processes played out on the local scene. The long chronological reach from the late 1940s to the present will supply historians with previously inaccessible primary source material to document change (or stasis) over time.
The staff who will be answering questions are:
Karen Cariani, Executive Director of the WGBH Media Library and Archives and WGBH Project Director for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting
Casey Davis Kaufman, Associate Director of the WGBH Media Library and Archives and Project Manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting
Ryn Marchese, Engagement and Use Manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at WGBH
Tune in tomorrow at https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/.