Attention stations with audio digitization needs: Please take this survey!

We’re posting this today on behalf of the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC). If you work at a radio or tv station and have audio digitization needs, please take a moment to complete their survey.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help address the issues identified in The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan (2012) by exploring the possibility of adding audio preservation to NEDCC’s digitization services.  We have developed a brief online survey to understand the needs of organizations like yours, and hope that you can take a few moments to complete it. It should take no longer than 10 – 15 minutes. The survey can be accessed here: It will close on Monday, April 14th.

Your opinion is very important to us and to the field.  With your input, we will be able to make well-informed decisions about the services that collections-holding institutions need and want NEDCC to offer.

Thank you very much for your help, and if you have any questions please contact Jessica Bitely at

New Guides on the Website

Today we published three new guides that will help staff at participating stations navigate the Archival Management System (AMS), view records in the AMS, and edit descriptions for digitized media. The guides include:

  • Using the AMS for the first time: this guide provides an overview of the functionality of the AMS and helps users navigate it to find the records they are looking for
  • Viewing records in the AMS: this guide describes the differences between the asset metadata and instantiation (copy) metadata and how to locate each type of information within a record
  • Editing records in the AMS: here you can find instructions for editing records, as well as suggestions and examples on how to enhance the descriptions of your stations’ digitized media

You can also find links to all of the guides here:

This post was written by Casey Davis, American Archive Project Manager at WGBH.

PBCore is Back in Action!

PBCore is back in action! As part of the American Archive initiative, WGBH in collaboration with the Library of Congress has been charged with further developing PBCore (Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary). The goals of the project are to:

  • Strategize direction for the PBCore schema
  • Improve the PBCore website
  • Solicit submissions from the public
  • Vote on submissions to improve PBCore
  • Develop resources and provide learning opportunities for organizations interested in using PBCore
  • Encourage and support the use of the standard

As the work progresses in the next few months, you’ll be seeing a lot of changes to the PBCore website and a lot of activity on the PBCore blog. So stay tuned for a new and improved website, schema, and a variety of new resources that will help your organization adopt and use PBCore!

The project is being coordinated the American Archive of Public Broadcasting project team. To form the PBCore Advisory Subcommittee, WGBH’s Project Manager Casey Davis reached out to public media stakeholders from universities, archives, and industry to assemble a group of 42 people, who will work in four groups:

Website  (

  • Review the PBCore website and other standards websites
  • Identify ways in which the website can be improved and become more user-friendly
  • Review existing record examples and create new examples for the website

Schema Development

  • Gather input from the PBCore Advisory Subcommittee for ideas on schema improvement
  • Consider suggestions provided by the community
  • Develop and implement revisions to the schema
  • Explore opportunities for EBUCore harmonization and RDF implementation


  • Create the PBCore newsletter
  • Provide updates to organizations and listservs
  • Gather schema development submissions from the public
  • Implement a strategy for communication and outreach to adopters and potential adopters
  • Manage the PBCore blog (


  • Create, communicate, and disseminate effective learning opportunities for PBCore adopters and potential adopters
  • Develop resources that will be shared on the blog and website, ie FAQs
  • Create instructional videos and conduct webinars
  • Strategize other opportunities for teaching the standard

We’re proud to have such a professionally diverse group of contributors to the project. Members include:

Steering Team
Jack Brighton, Illinois Public Media
Karen Cariani, WGBH
Casey E. Davis, WGBH
Dave MacCarn, WGBH
Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve
Lauren Sorensen, Library of Congress
Anne Wootton, PopUp Archive

Chair: Anne Wootton, PopUp Archive
Caitlin Birch, Frontline | WGBH
Jessica Bitely, Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Kevin Carter, WGBH
Nick Connizzo, George Washington University
Jeremy Meserve, Belmont Media Center
Bill Nehring, Simmons College | MLIS Candidate
Nancy Watrous, Chicago Film Archive

Schema Development
Chair: Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve
Margaret Bresnahan, Minnesota Public Radio
Glenn Clatworthy, PBS
Tom Davenport, Folkstreams
Glynn Edwards, Stanford University
Jean-pierre Evain, EBUCore
Leigh Grinstead, LYRASIS
Jimi Jones, Hampshire College
Steve Knoblock, Folksreams
Devon Landes, HBO
Andrea Leigh, Library of Congress
Dave MacCarn, WGBH
Mary Miller, Peabody Awards
John Passmore, WNYC-FM
Allison Smith, Wisconsin Public Radio
Adam Wead, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Leah Weisse, WGBH

Chair: Lauren Sorensen, Library of Congress
Jolene Beiser, Pacifica Radio Archives
Ashley Blewer, University of South Carolina
Nestor Cordova, University of Texas
Jeff Eastman, IMF
Ryan Edge, University of Illinois
Andrew Myers, WGBH
Alexander Papson, University of Notre Dame
Dave Rice, City University of New York
Deanna Ulvestad, Greene County Public Library
Anne Wilkens, Wisconsin Public Television

Chair: Jack Brighton, Illinois Public Media
Casey Davis, WGBH
Karma Foley, Smithsonian Channel
Bailey Smith, PopUp Archive
Jenny Swadosh, New School

There’s a lot of work to do, and we need your help to make this happen. We want to see PBCore in the wild. How do you use PBCore? What challenges do you have? Let us know in the comment section here or by email, and let’s make PBCore better together.

This post was written by Bailey Smith, Co-founder of PopUp Archive and PBCore Communications Team Secretary.

Meet American Archive Intern Alyson Musser

The American Archive team at WGBH is sincerely grateful to our intern Alyson Musser for all of the work she is accomplishing this semester. With the approval of several stations, we have started to add enhanced descriptions for digital files in the American Archive collection. Alyson is the first intern to be taking on this huge task, and her work will be extremely helpful to users seeking to discover materials when the collection is made available.

Hello, my name is Alyson Musser and I am an intern here at WGBH for the American Archive. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College, with a concentration in Archives Management.  I have a B.A. in History from Cornell University, and I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey.

American Archive Intern Alyson Musser
American Archive Intern Alyson Musser

As an intern, I have been going through the digitized materials in the AMS and adding descriptive information to the records.  So far, the most exciting part of working with the American Archive has been the chance to see some of my favorite historical figures in action. These include, but are not limited to: Eleanor Roosevelt, Julia Child, Dwight Eisenhower, Peter Jennings and John F. Kennedy.

In the 1960’s Eleanor Roosevelt hosted the series “Prospects of Mankind,” which aired on WGBH. The series featured Eleanor hosting panel discussions on pertinent issues of the day. In this episode, Eleanor travelled to the White House to discuss the status of women with JFK. 

Eleanor Roosevelt Interviews JFK from American Archive on Vimeo.

The American Archive also includes more recent television footage, such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law, aired by Illinois Public Media (WILL) in 1994.  In the speech, Justice Ginsberg blends her insight and wit to trace the history of U.S. legal education. Similar to JFK above, she also discusses the importance of promoting gender equality.

I am looking forward to spending more time with the American Archive collection, and finding more public history treasures to share.

Evacuation Day in Boston

As the host of WGBH Journal, Bill Cavness, put it 36 years ago, “Today is not just St. Patrick’s Day.  In Boston, schools, banks and other public offices are closed because it is Evacuation Day.  Evacuation Day commemorates the final departure of the British from Boston in 1776 during the American Revolutionary War.”

Have a listen to this clip found in the American Archive for Public Broadcasting and learn about why the British troops left Boston and how Evacuation Day became a holiday.

Written and edited by Bill Nehring, American Archive intern at WGBH.


American Archive Ceremony & “The Atlantic” articles

On February 10, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting hosted an event celebrating the American Archive, which took place in the marvelous Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. The ceremony featured speeches by CPB’s President and CEO Patricia Harrison, Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington, WGBH’s President and CEO Jon Abbott, and Senator Ed Markey. Check out CPB’s photo gallery of the event on their Facebook page: Earlier that day, the American Archive teams from WGBH and the Library of Congress met in a day-long meeting to discuss our progress on the current project as well as plans for moving forward.

Over the past couple of months, the American Archive team has collaborated with Senior Associate Editor of The Atlantic Becca Rosen (@beccarosen) on a series of online articles spotlighting the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, which launched in conjunction with the American Archive ceremony.

The Atlantic series began with an introduction and overview of the project (and had more than 6,000 Facebook shares!), which you can read here: The Race to Save America’s Public-Media History.

Below are links to the articles that have since followed, each featuring a clip from the collection contributed by a participating station:

1. Listen to the Boston Symphony Orchestra Stop a Performance to Announce JFK’s Assassination

2. Thurgood Marshall: The Constitution Had to Be ‘Corrected’

3. Patty Griffin, Before Anyone Had Heard of Her

4. Julia Child ‘Edits’ Videotape

5. Eleanor Roosevelt Talks to John F. Kennedy About the Status of Women in Society

6. Not Exactly Jimmy Fallon

7. Newly Digitized Footage Reveals an RFK Speech One Week Before His Assassination

8. Beyond ‘the Dream’: The Lesser Known Moments of the March on Washington

9. Video: Ronald Reagan’s Press Conference After ‘Bloody Thursday’

10. A Glimpse Into 1970s Gay Activism

11. The Courir de Mardi Gras 

Three more articles will be published as part of the series, and we will add links to each of those on the page above titled “Media.”

This post was written by Casey E. Davis, Project Manager for the AAPB at WGBH.Casey-headshot

WBEZ Radio Interview with American Archive Project Director Karen Cariani

WBEZ‘s The Morning Shift interviewed our American Archive Project Director and WGBH Media Library and Archives Director Karen Cariani about the American Archive initiative yesterday morning.

You can listen to the full radio interview here (it starts at around 00:54:45):

Many thanks to WBEZ’s The Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia and Director Jason Marck for reaching out to us and highlighting the project on the show!

Meet American Archive Intern Bill Nehring

Hello.  My name is Bill Nehring. I am an intern for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at WGBH and I am writing to introduce myself.  I am currently a student in the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management and I am most interested in moving image archives.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help the American Archive of Public Broadcasting because I believe wholeheartedly in its mission to preserve American public radio and television programming and make it available for years to come.

My exposure to public television parallels my earliest childhood memories.  I grew up in New Jersey, but every summer I would spend a few weeks of my school vacation with my grandparents in New Hampshire. Among the highlights of those visits were the days I spent on my great-grandparents farm.  My great-grandmother, Nan, was a terrific baker, painter and keen observer of nature. We would spend hours looking through our magnifying glasses at insects or walking the old stone walls in her apple orchard, but when it was time for the Macneil/Lehrer Report (and later the Macneil/Lehrer Newshour) we dropped what we were doing and went inside. Nan would “fix” me a glass of Tang and we’d watch the news together. She would do her best to explain what the stories were about, and without fail she would praise the show’s format because they spent “more time on the stories that matter” and “don’t waste our time with those infernal ads!”  For me, if Nan liked it, I liked it too.

It wasn’t until after I graduated from Monmouth College with a dual degree in History and Education that I got hooked on NPR. My first job after college was as a cataloger at the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (now the USC Shoah Foundation).  The Shoah Foundation collected over 50,000 videotaped interviews with Holocaust survivors. The cataloging staff was tasked with watching the interviews, adding time codes that marked the start and end points of subject-based segments, applying “keywords” from a controlled vocabulary of descriptive terms and summarizing each segment as well as the entire testimony.  It was pretty heady stuff and pretty heavy content.  This is when the seed of becoming an archivist was planted for me, and it was during my commute to and from work on the parched freeways of Los Angeles that I discovered the vibrant and informative programing of NPR over the airwaves of KCRW and KPCC

NPR programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, On Point, On The Media, The World, Science Friday, and Marketplace as well as PBS shows such as The Newshour, Frontline, Nova, The American Experience, Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley have been the lens through which I have learned about and reflected upon the major events of my adult life.

Public broadcasting is also one of the places I go to first for entertainment. Shows like Austin City Limits, Nature, This Old House and Masterpiece on PBS as well as Morning Becomes Eclectic, Car Talk, This American Life, The Vinyl Café (CBC show) and A Celtic Sojourn on NPR keep me laughing and tapping my toes.

So, although you wouldn’t know it by the amount I contribute during pledge drives (blush), I am an unabashed zealot for public broadcasting. I am that seemingly strange guy with a grin and a faraway look sitting in his car in the grocery store parking lot (I’m probably trying to catch all of the unofficial sponsors of Car Talk. “Ornithology Expert, Luke A. Boyd. Figure Skating Coach, Landon McKeaster. Air Traffic Controller, Ulanda U. Lucky.” I love those!). I am also soon to be an archivist who recognizes that the programs public broadcasting has created over the past 60 years are an invaluable historical record that must be preserved.

As an intern I will help develop description guidelines that will help future interns navigate the AMS and PBCore metadata, create examples of the PBCore elements that will help users understand how to implement the metadata standard, ingest new material into the AMS and help develop guidelines for stations who are contributing material and write blog posts featuring highlights from the AAPB collection.

I look forward to working with you all.  See you again in future blog posts!


Bill Nehring
Master’s Candidate, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science
American Archive of Public Broadcasting Intern, Spring 2014