Women’s History Month 2019

Women’s History Month is held annually during the month of March to commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role women hold in American history. Over the last seven decades, public radio and television programs have documented these efforts on the national and global level, and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) provides an online portal to these generations of yesteryear through today.

To honor Women’s History Month, below is a selection of programs for, by, and about women organized by:

  • Staff Highlights
  • Individual Interviews
  • International Perspectives
  • Special Collections
  • Scholar Curation
  • Helpful Searches

Staff Highlights:

Woman Series – Produced and hosted by women during the 1970s, the Woman series is a talk show featuring in-depth conversations exploring issues affecting the lives of women.

The Woman Series Special Collection consists of 197 episodes of the Woman series produced by WNED in Buffalo, New York from 1972-1977. From 1973 – 1977, PBS syndicated the series, and producer Sandra Elkin became the show’s host. Each episode focused on a single topic with featured guest discussants. Guests included well-known and lesser-known activists, journalists, writers, scholars, lawyers, artists, psychologists, doctors and others such as Gloria Steinem, editor and co-founder of Ms. Magazine; Dorothy Pitman Hughes, African American activist and co-founder of Ms. Magazine; Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique; Florynce Kennedy, founder of the National Feminist Party; Margaret Sloan, co-founder of the National Black Feminist Organization; Karen DeCrow, then president of the National Organization for Women; Margaret Dunkle of the Project on the Status of Women for the Association of American Colleges; and Ruth Miller of the Buffalo Planned Parenthood Association. Topics discussed on the show included women in sports, the Equal Rights Amendment, sexuality, marriage, women’s health, divorce, the Women’s Liberation Movement, motherhood, and ageism, among others.

Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt A talk show hosted by Eleanor Roosevelt featuring roundtable discussion of foreign and domestic affairs with leading political, academic, and journalistic experts (1959-1962).

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

These programs were produced for National Educational Television by WGBH-TV in cooperation with and filmed on location at Brandeis University (Boston, MA). View the collection at http://americanarchive.org/catalog?f%5Bseries_titles%5D%5B%5D=Prospects+of+Mankind+with+Eleanor+Roosevelt&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online.

Individual Interviews

A Matter of Dignity with The MacNeil/Lehrer Report correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Produced by The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (1979).

As part of a reflection on the 25th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling in 1979, The MacNeil/Lehrer Report. correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects on her experience as one of the first African-American students at the University of Georgia and her dream to become a journalist.

Watch the full episode http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-8p5v698x44.

Sissy Farenthold: A Texas Maverick

“Before one dismisses the protesters and nonviolent resistance of today, let us recall our foremothers who permitted themselves to be arrested and endured hunger strikes to gain access to family planning, birth control Technologies, and the right to vote.” – Frances Tarlton “Sissy” Farenthold

Contributed by Thirteen WNET (1975).

In this episode of Assignment America, Studs Terkel reports on the life and career of Sissy Farenthold, the former candidate for governor of Texas and U.S. Vice-President. The episode centers on Farenthold’s journey to becoming a Texas politician, as well as her political views and personal career reflections. Farenthold also shares her thoughts on the political prospects of women, minorities, and Texas liberals.

View the episode at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_75-257d807m.

Connections; Women in the Military

Contributed by South Carolina ETV (2010).

In this series of interviews from 2010, South Carolina ETV hosts conversations with women in several branches of the military to see why they chose their paths in the military.

To view this program or read the transcript, visit http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_41-67jq2t1w

International Perspectives

Woman; Puerto Rican Women’s Federation

Produced by WNED (1975).

This episode features a conversation with Sisten Elida Rodriquez and Lourdes Vasquez. Sister Elida Rodriguez is founder of a social religious community called Sisters of Jesus Mediator and a founder of the Puerto Rican Women’s Federation. Lourdes Vasquez is a teacher by profession and also a founder of the Puerto Rican Women’s Federation.

Watch the interview at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_81-01pg4fv3.

History of Women in the Visual Arts: Women artists of Renaissance Italy and the Netherlands, pt 1

Contributed by the University of Maryland (1978).

This program is produced by Kit Maxwell and Ann Decker, as part of a series of programs chronologically documenting historical conditions and personal circumstances of women who pursued art careers in the Western world. This specific program discusses the work and lives of women involved in art in Renaissance-era Italy and the Netherlands and the women depicted in works of art at the time, as well as samples of music associated with the era.

Listen to this program at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_500-1z41r6nx6f.

Dissent in Khomeini’s Iran; Women’s Rights in Iran

Produced by The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (1979).

This episode features a discussion on Women’s Rights in Iran. The guests are Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Shahriar Rouhani, Lois Beck, Jim Yuenger.

View the program and transcript at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-w37kp7vn5w.

Special Collections

Feminist Community Radio at KOPN (1970s-90s)

The Feminist Community Radio at KOPN Collection includes 93 audio recordings at KOPN from the 1970s to the 1990s, and functions as a window into feminist discourse and practice in mid-Missouri during an era of major changes in both radio and the feminist movement. The collection covers national issues such as the Equal Rights Amendment, Watergate, women’s health, the environment, and politics through a local lens, and provides a snapshot of Columbia and mid-Missouri music and culture during the era.

View the full collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/kopn-women.

Stonewall Uprising

Contributed by American Experience, WGBH (2011).

The Stonewall Uprising Interviews Collection is comprised of 48 raw interviews from the American Experience documentary of the same name. Stonewall Uprising discusses societal attitudes towards the gay community and early activism for gay rights prior to the riots, as well as the riots’ legacy, which includes the creation of a movement for gay rights, greater cohesion among the LGBTQ+ community, and the establishment of the first gay pride parades. Interviews took place with community leaders, activists, and authors, including Martha Shelley, a Stonewall veteran, activist for gay and lesbian rights, Virginia Apuzzo, a gay rights activist and former Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force; and Seymour Pine, Deputy Inspector of the NYPD Morals Division.

View the full collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/stonewall-uprising-interviews.

Scholar Curation

“African-American women during the activist movements of the 1950s-1970s”, blog post curated by Marine Robbez, a French graduate student earning a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in American Civilization.

Helpful Searches

Women in History: http://americanarchive.org/catalog?utf8=%E2%9C%93&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online&q=women+in+history

Women’s Rights: http://americanarchive.org/catalog?q=women%27s+rights&utf8=%E2%9C%93&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online

International Women’s Day: http://americanarchive.org/catalog?utf8=%E2%9C%93&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online&q=international+women%27s+day

Guest Curation: African-American women during the activist movements of the 1950s-1970s

In this series of curated posts, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) invites researchers, educators, industry professionals and collaborators to highlight the diversity of topics, interests, and perspectives preserved and made accessible in the public radio and television collections of the AAPB.

Please welcome guest curator Marine Robbez, a French graduate student earning a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in American Civilization:

I am currently writing a thesis on the representation of African-American women during the activist movements from 1954 up until 1979. Living in France, having access to such important and interesting public radio and television archives is almost impossible. We have many research opportunities to review papers, essays, pamphlets and the like, however, original public media resources are scarce.

Thanks to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), I have been able to go deeper into my research and study how American’s lived their activism by listening to the testimonies preserved in the AAPB collection. I am therefore genuinely grateful for the preservation and the wide variety of collections available through the AAPB platform, and the extensive work that has been, and is still made, to digitize these historic programs.

Below is a selection of programs I viewed in relation to my thesis on African-American women during the activist movements of the 1950s -1970s.

Best, Marine Robbez

1. “Fannie Lou Hamer Interview,” 1965, Pacifica Radio Archives

Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964, Wikipedia

Fannie Lou Hamer, voting and women’s rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the civil rights movement, is interviewed on the her life, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, voting rights, human rights, and politics.

Listen to the radio program at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-bg2h70895r.

2. “Woman; 025; Black Women,” 1973, WNED

This episode features a conversation with Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Julia Van Metre. Hughes is a feminist, African American activist, co-founder of Ms. Magazine, and child welfare advocate. Van Metre is a nurse and student of psychology. The women discuss racism and sexism that black women face every day.

Watch the full interview online at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_81-59c5b5nr.

AAPB Special CollectionWoman is a talk show featuring in-depth conversations exploring issues affecting the lives of women. The Woman Series Special Collection consists of 197 episodes of the Woman series produced by WNED in Buffalo, New York from 1972-1977. View the full collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/woman-series.

3. Eyes on the Prize; America, They Loved You Madly; Interview with Jo Ann Robinson, 1979

This filmed interview with Jo Ann Robinson was conducted for America, They Loved You Madly, a precursor to Eyes on the Prize. The discussion centers on the Montgomery Bus Boycott and her involvement in the Women’s Political Council.

Watch Robinson’s interview at http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_151-wh2d796b02.

AAPB Special Collection – The Eyes on the Prize I Interviews Collection consists of 127 raw interviews conducted with participants in the American Civil Rights movement, covering the years from the mid-1950s through to 1965. View the full collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/eotp-i-interviews.


Are you interested in participating in the Guest Curation series? Email us at aapb_notificiations@wgbh.org!

New AAPB Curated Exhibit: Education Reporting on Public Television!

Overview

From black-and-white footage of protests against segregated schools in New York City, to full-color newscasts about the rollout of No Child Left Behind in Guam, public television has had a long history of covering education stories. This Education Reporting on Public Television exhibit highlights documentaries, news magazines, talk shows, and special reports in the AAPB collection dedicated to learning in America.

Direct link to the online exhibit: http://americanarchive.org/exhibits/education.

Public Schools and Public Television

As idealized institutions, public education and public television have much in common. Indeed, “public” television as we know it began as “educational television,” independent local stations providing edifying broadcasts to their communities. As public education and public television have grown, both have done so by appealing to the demands of democratic citizenship. As one early educational reformer put it, public schools must offer the “necessary knowledge” for an American to “discharge his duties as an individual, as a member of society, and as a citizen of a free state.”1 Similarly, the Ford Foundation, whose Fund for Adult Education (FAE) provided nearly all the funds for public television in its early years, desired content that would develop “mature, wise, and responsible citizens.”2 In this collection, we see one public institution commenting on another.

Furthermore, for the last half-century, both public media and public education have experienced a centripetal pull toward centralization, yet both remain fundamentally local institutions. This tension between local and national indicates a strength in public television’s capacity to cover this topic. Neighborhood schools, once only subject to the dictates of their town administration, have been called to bring racial justice, to be a “passport from poverty,” to staunch the “rising tide of mediocrity,” to “leave no child behind,” and to “race to the top.” Still, even as the dialogue about the problems with public schools has become more national, implementation remains local. For example, Boston and New York City did not desegregate their schools in the same way, and urban approaches differed significantly from the integration plans of rural Texas or Illinois. Local public television stations, intent on educating responsible citizens, covered these regional stories for their audiences, while national programming like the PBS NewsHour brought national trends into focus.

About This Exhibit

Since education is a vast topic, this exhibit provides a representative sample of AAPB’s collection, rather than an exhaustive list. Many documentaries and other types of one-off programs are highlighted. For series, such as talk shows or newsmagazines, a handful of representative episodes are profiled.

The exhibit proceeds chronologically in four sections: 1953 to 1972, 1972 to 1980, 1981 to 1989, and 1990 to the present. Each section includes a “Featured Program,” an introduction to the educational issues at the fore during that era, and a narrative highlighting ways that public television covered these issues and descriptions of representative public television programs.

Curated by Amanda Reichenbach, John W. Kluge Center Intern, Library of Congress

How to FIX IT+ and Why: Crowdsourcing to Save Public Media Materials

Most public radio and television organizations are at-risk of losing their archival materials due to deterioration and the high costs associated with digitization. The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is partnering with George Blood L.P., a digitization vendor, to help AAPB’s contributing organizations preserve their collection one transcript and one tape at a time in the Transcribe to Digitize Challenge.


Article highlights:

  • The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a digital archive of public radio and television programs from contributing stations across the nation, available online at americanarchive.org
  • Each program in the archive has a computer-generated, speech-to-text transcript to improve keywords search
  • These transcripts are not accurate and have been made available for the public to help proof and edit through AAPB’s editing site, FIX IT+ at fixitplus.americanarchive.org
  • George Blood L.P., a digitization vendor, has agreed to provide FREE digitization for each station that corrects a minimum number of transcripts in FIX IT+, a.k.a. The Transcribe to Digitize Challenge
  • The public is invited to help individual stations in this Challenge reach their goal of 20 corrected transcripts
  • Crowdsourcing provides two lasting outcomes for the future
  • Tune-in to a video interview with a WGBH volunteer on his experience with FIX IT+
  • Below are three easy steps for participating

Making America’s Public Broadcasting Legacy Searchable and Accessible

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH to preserve a national archive of public radio and television programming accessible to the public, has partnered with George Blood, a digitization service provider, to help mitigate the costs of digitization through the Transcribe to Digitize Challenge.

Over the past five years, the AAPB has digitized and preserved more than 50,000 hours of public programming created by stations and producers across the United States. This unique historic material, created as early as the 1940s, often lacks closed captioning and represents our shared and diverse cultural heritage. Yet it is not highly discoverable to researchers, educators, students, lifelong learners, journalists and the public because it lacks descriptive information.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the AAPB has created speech-to-text transcripts of the audio and video materials in the collection. These transcripts can be used to improve the accessibility of the collection through the addition of new keywords and by exposing the time-stamped transcript alongside the program on the AAPB website.

Keywords search and time-stamped transcripts alongside the program on americanarchive.org.

However, these computer-generated transcripts lack accuracy, and the AAPB is seeking the help of the public to correct them!

A Call to Action

For the Transcribe to Digitize Challenge, a minimum of 20 transcripts must be corrected in AAPB’s FIX IT+, fixitplus.americanarchive.org, for a station to meet the challenge, and George Blood will then provide free digitization for 20 tapes selected by that station. Up to 100 transcripts can be corrected for 100 tapes to be digitized per station. The digitized materials will be delivered back to each station, and a copy will also go to the AAPB for long-term preservation at the Library of Congress and access through the AAPB website!

Stations like WGBH, Louisiana Public Television, Rocky Mountain PBS, and Wisconsin Public Television have opted-in to the challenge and must correct their transcripts by December 2019, and participating in this challenge creates two lasting outcomes:

  1. Completed transcripts are made available online at americanarchive.org for students, educators, journalists, and life long learners to access.
  2. Your help could be the result of a station’s free digitization.

But don’t take our word for it… here’s the perspective of a WGBH volunteer editor!


Editing is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Filter Content by Station

Visit fixitplus.americanarchive.org and filter the content by participating station; i.e. “WGBH” and sort by “Completeness (most to least)”.

Picture1.png
The filter bar is located on the homepage of fixitplus.americanarchive.org.

Direct links:

Louisiana Public Television Transcripts 

Rocky Mountain PBS Transcripts

Wisconsin Public Television Transcripts

WGBH Transcripts 

2. Select a Transcript

Transcript tile

Select an unedited transcript OR continue editing a transcript that has already been started by another user. Each transcript requires two reviews, so feel free to choose a topic that interests you and spend anywhere from 10 mins to an hour editing. All your edits are saved automatically.

“Transcript tiles” note the transcript’s contributing station, the program title, its series, a brief description, the program’s duration, number of contributing editors, and a progress bar.

3. Become Familiar with Simple Editing Conventions

You can listen to the audio by clicking the ‘play’ icon to the left of each line, and then correct the text on-screen using your keyboard. For more editing details, click the “View a Tutorial” button at the top of the transcript’s page for standard conventions.

Green lines note when lines are completed and no longer need editing. The gray lines still need reviewing.

Questions? Contact Ryn Marchese, AAPB Engagement and Use Manager at ryn_marchese@wgbh.org, 617-300-3644.

#transcribetodigitize

AAPB Takes It Back to the 1980s with WGBH BostonTalks!

Rubik’s Cubes, shoulder pads, Cool Ranch Doritos—there’s no doubt the 1980s was an iconic era. WGBH’s BostonTalks invited the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) to throw it back with them to hear about the fashion, news, and music of the 1980s.

Audiences are encouraged to sport their sweatbands and legwarmers as they jazzercise their way through the public radio and television programs available online in the americanarchive.org. Below is a selection of individual programs, special collections, and curated exhibits that cover distinctive moments in the 80s, as well as how those moments carried on into future generations.

(A few!) Defining Moments Covered by Public Broadcasting:

1980

– John Lennon’s murder

From New Jersey Nightly News, this segment covers New Jerseyan’s reactions to the death of John Lennon. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_259-rn30699f

– AIDS crisis gains attention

From KQED (San Francisco, California), this episode of Wrestling with AIDS discusses the ethics of aids and the issue of caring for AIDS patients, as well as AIDS activism (1989). Includes protests by Act Up!; Patients with AIDS; Interview with doctors examining the ethical and moral challenges raised by the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. Includes interviews with AIDS patients, activists, insurers, politicians and physicians. Also features scenes from an Act Up demonstration (and clash with police) in downtown San Francisco, archival footage of AIDS reports from the early 1980s and views of many public hearings and speeches relating to AIDS. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_55-x05x63bn51

1982

-First artificial heart invented

From NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour reports that the medial world was expecting the announcement of plans to implant a second artificial heart in a human being, but that was thrown into doubt when a special committee at the University of Utah, looking at medical and ethical issues, refused to approve guidelines for a second operation. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-bg2h708n2k

1983

– Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space

From the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University (Stanford, California), here’s a recording of Sally K. Ride: Medallion Speaker Address (2005). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-v97zk56k05

– Mobile phones come on the market

From WILL Illinois Public Media, here’s an episode on the Cellphone: The Story of the Worlds Most Mobile Medium and How it has Changed Everything (2004). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_16-np1wd3qg0b

1984

– Bishop Desmond Tutu receives Nobel Peace Prize

From NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour features a story on how Bishop Desmond Tutu overcame a bomb threat to receive his Nobel Peace Prize. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-jw86h4dg5q

– Los Angeles Olympics

On the eve of the Los Angeles Olympics, Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. discussions a wide range of sports-related issues that frequently splits into two discussions. Contributed by Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University (Stanford, California). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-930ns0mn29

1985

– The Titanic wreckage is discovered

From The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, this report looks at the Titanic and the remarkable equipment that made its discovery possible. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-vd6nz81k1n

– Hole in the ozone first reported

From Oregon Public Broadcasting, this 1989 report from The Green Contract gives a comprehensive review on the ozone and its place in Earth’s system.

1986

– NASA’s Challenger Mission combusts upon lift-off

In 1988, Minnesota Public Radio speaks with Dr. Robert Pepin, University of Minnesota physicist and NASA consultant, to answer listener questions about the United States space program and the resumption of manned space shuttle operations. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_43-106wx2vr

1987

– DNA first used to convict criminals and exonerate innocent prisoners on death row

For a selection of programs discussing this distinct moment, visit http://americanarchive.org/catalog?q=DNA&range%5Byear%5D%5Bbegin%5D=1980&range%5Byear%5D%5Bend%5D=1989&utf8=%E2%9C%93&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online.

1988

– George Bush Sr. elected president of the United States

For news on this 1980s moment, and the life of George Bush Sr., visit https://americanarchivepb.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/remembering-george-h-w-bush-through-public-broadcasting/.

1989

– Berlin Wall falls

On the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, this episode of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour provides a retrospective on some of the great escape attempts. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-j96057dm46

– The Internet goes global

From Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University, The Future of the Internet recounts and discusses the power of the Internet (2001). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-d21rf5m77d

Curated Exhibits:

Climate Change Conversations: Causes, Impacts, Solutions

In the 1980s, focus was primarily on communicating the potential threats of global warming. Since then, programming has increasingly examined the actual impacts, and in addition, struggled to keep the American public informed and engaged. This exhibit highlights public broadcasting recordings of conversations on climate change—its causes, impacts, and proposed solutions—from 1970, the first year that Earth Day was celebrated, to the present.

Speaking and Protesting in America: Protesting in the 1980s and Beyond

“Speaking and Protesting in America,” presents a diverse range of public radio and television content including radio programs, local news, raw footage, and interviews that reveal the profound impact of the First Amendment on American life. Focusing on our right to speak, assemble, and petition, this exhibit explores the role of dissent in American life in its protected and unprotected expressions ranging from peaceful marches to acts of civil disobedience.

Special Collections of Note:

The PBS NewHour Collection includes more than 13,500 episodes of PBS NewsHour’s predecessor programs that went on the air in 1975. The programs aired nationwide, five nights a week. Covering national and worldwide news and public affairs.

The Eyes on the Prize Interviews Collection consists of 127 raw interviews conducted with participants in the American Civil Rights movement, covering the years from the mid-1950s through to 1965 as part of the acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. The series originally aired on PBS in 1987.

The Firing Line Collection includes 1,505 records of digitized audiovisual recordings and transcripts of Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr., which serves as a prototype for point-counterpoint shows with its focus on the exchange of ideas through respectful debate. Buckley interviewed notable figures between 1971 and 1999.

The Feminist Community Radio at KOPN Collection includes 93 audio recordings at KOPN from the 1970s to the 1990s, and functions as a window into feminist discourse and practice in mid-Missouri during an era of major changes in both radio and the feminist movement.

The Say Brother Collection includes programs and original interviews created for Say Brother (1968 – 1997), WGBH’s longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans now known as Basic Black (1998 – present).

The OETA News and Cultural Programming (1980-Present) Collection includes 74 programs and segments created since the 1980s by Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA). It is a glimpse into the past, covering topics and exploring issues that are relevant to the diverse cultures of Oklahoma.


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 50,000 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 35,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org. 

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including MasterpieceAntiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, ArthurPinkalicious & Peterrific, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at 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.

New Special Collection of Programs and Original Interviews Created for Say Brother (WGBH)

Collection Summary

Now preserved and available online in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, the Say Brother Collection includes programs and original interviews created for Say Brother (1968 – 1997), WGBH’s longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans now known as Basic Black (1998 – present).

The entire digitized collection is available on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and 83 programs and interviews are available in the AAPB Online Reading Room. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Topics covered by the collection include Black Power, healthcare, international affairs, human rights, police relations, prisons, religion, desegregation, Native American rights, politics, education, community and national organizations, affirmative action, business, the Equal Rights Amendment, Africa, and activism, among others.

Collection Background

In April 2000, the WGBH Media Library and Archives in Boston was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Archives and Special Collections Preservation and Access grant to arrange, describe, and reformat the master Say Brother tapes dating from 1968 to 1982 to keep the collection accessible. Recently added to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, the collection is now preserved for posterity at the Library of Congress.

Featured Episodes

Senior Citizens

This program includes discussions with and segments featuring older members of the black community.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-th8bg2hp6w

Black Politics

This program analyzes why African American candidates were unable to win appointment to either Boston’s School Committee or City Council in the 1975 elections.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-1z41r6n13b

Black Power on Campus

This program examines the student takeover of Ford Hall at Brandeis University, an administration building Brandeis students occupied during the filming of the program.

http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-99p2w600

Mel King

This program includes an interview with Melvin H. King, an American politician, community organizer, and writer. King has been active in creating community programs and institutions for low-income people in Boston.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-182jmgnn

Equal Rights Amendment

This program focuses on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in the state of Massachusetts that will make discrimination regardless of sex, race, creed or religion, illegal.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-9nc5sc3d

Ella Collins

Say Brother interviewer, Sarah Ann Shaw, speaks with Ella Collins, sister of Malcolm X. Collins discusses the childhood of Malcolm X and how she had raised him from an early age until his incarceration and subsequent conversion to Islam.

Direct Link: http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-9h98zd0p

American Archive of Public Broadcasting to Preserve Fifty Years of Sesame Street for Posterity

WGBH Educational Foundation and the Library of Congress will preserve and make accessible to the public historic and contemporary episodes of Sesame Street.

Photo credit: Sesame Workshop

BOSTON (February 14, 2019)As Sesame Street begins to mark its 50th anniversary, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation, has announced that Sesame Workshop has donated a collection of digitized episodes from the past 50 years of Sesame Street, to be preserved for posterity. Over the next year, nearly 4,500 episodes from the first 49 seasons of the iconic children’s television program will be incorporated into the AAPB’s extensive archive of public media from across the United States. The Sesame Street collection will be available to view on-site at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and by appointment at WGBH in Boston.

Sesame Street changed the landscape of children’s media at a time when television was viewed as a ‘vast wasteland’ and transformed a medium that strongly appealed to children into a source for knowledge and social development for our youngest citizens,” said Sesame Street co-founder and AAPB Executive Advisory Council Member Lloyd Morrisett, Jr. “I am proud that we are entrusting the American Archive of Public Broadcasting with the task of preserving Sesame Street’s stories and characters for future generations.”

The Sesame Street preservation project comes on the heels of Sesame Workshop’s announcement last week detailing plans to celebrate Sesame Street’s 50th year of broadcast. Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit education organization behind Sesame Street, which has been teaching and inspiring children since its first episode aired on November 10, 1969. Sesame Street’s groundbreaking research-based methods, dedication to entertaining educational content and outreach to families in underserved communities established a legacy for educational television and for public media as a whole.

Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Highlight Reel

Among the episodes preserved in the AAPB’s Sesame Street collection are indelible scenes like the touching “Farewell, Mr. Hooper,” in which Big Bird, the program’s guileless surrogate for curious children, learns about death and how to cope;  Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie, You’re the One,” which made it to the 16th spot on the Billboard top singles chart in 1970; Grover’s frantic back and forth in “Near/Far,” Cookie Monster’s turn as “Alistair Cookie,” the cookie and classics-obsessed host of Monsterpiece Theater; and Kermit the Frog’s hopeful tune, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” which stressed self-acceptance.

“As a historian and academic, I can’t stress enough the importance of preserving groundbreaking media like Sesame Street, which was the first TV show to address big issues like poverty, family and the environment in a way that children could understand,” said Kathryn Ostrofsky, Ph.D. and author of the forthcoming book Sounding It Out: How Sesame Street Crafted American Culture. “Early episodes of Sesame Street provide a window into the pressing issues of the times, as well as changing views about education. The American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Sesame Street collection is a critical resource for studying and understanding so many facets of these societal changes.”

The mission of the AAPB is to digitize, preserve and make accessible historic public media content from across the country, dating back to the early 1940s. Given its age, much of the original audio and video tape is fragile and deteriorating. The AAPB is in a race against time to ensure that future generations, researchers and the public will be able to access these programs for years to come.

“We’re honored that Sesame Workshop has entrusted the preservation of their decades of work to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “To this day, Sesame Street is a key part of our national educational, television and public broadcasting landscape. I hope that everyone whose lives were touched by Sesame Street will visit the Library and WGBH to experience this historic collection.”

Photo credit: Sesame Workshop

Now in its fifth year of service, the AAPB has preserved for posterity over 90,000 digitized and born-digital audio and video materials. 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); full “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings; 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. The AAPB also works with scholars to publish curated exhibits and essays that provide historical and cultural context to the Archive’s content.


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 50,000 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 35,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org. 

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including MasterpieceAntiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, ArthurPinkalicious & Peterrific, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at 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.

Tune in Tomorrow for AAPB’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ Forum on Reddit!

Join the Ask Me Anything forum (AMA) at https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/!

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/.

New Special Collection of News and Cultural Programming from Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA)!

“At the heart of this collection, are the people. The resilient men and women who have both contributed to the legacy of Oklahoma as well as the mosaic of our great nation in the area of art, music, science, exploration, politics, religion, architecture, literature, language, etc.”- Evelyn Cox, Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellow

Collection Summary

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OETA Special Collection

The OETA News and Cultural Programming (1980-Present) Collection includes 74 programs and segments created since the 1980s by Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA). It is a glimpse into the past, covering topics and exploring issues that are relevant to the diverse cultures of Oklahoma. The collection, which includes programs about Oklahoma history, documents issues and events such as the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, the life and career of humorist Will Rogers, the women’s war effort in World War II, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Also featured are individuals, such as, aviator Wiley Post, Boomer David Payne, the “Hanging Judge” Charles Isaac Parker, and many others. This collection is an eclectic mix of digitized at-risk public media material from the OETA Archive with contributions from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Archive.

Direct link: http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/oeta-news-cultural-programming!

Collection Background

The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) is Oklahoma’s only statewide coordinated instructional and public television network. In 1951 the state legislature pioneered the growth of noncommercial educational television in the United States by unanimously approving House Concurrent Resolution Number 5, urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reserve television channels for educational purposes. In addition to offering television programs supplied by PBS and acquired from various independent distributors, the network produces news, public affairs, cultural, and documentary programming; the OETA also distributes online education programs for classroom use and teacher professional development, and maintains the state’s Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) infrastructure. The OETA network’s main offices and production facilities are located at the intersection of Kelley Avenue and Britton Road in northeastern Oklahoma City. The collection was digitized in 2018 by Evelyn Cox and Laura Haygood, Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellows, in collaboration with Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, through a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Featured Programs

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New AAPB Special Collection of Raw Interviews from American Experience’s ‘The Abolitionists’

The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, … bitter debates over the meaning of the Constitution and the nature of race.  – American Experience

AX0003_Abolitionists.jpgCollection Summary

The Abolitionists Interview Collection is comprised of 51 raw interviews from the three-part American Experience miniseries of the same name, which aired on PBS in 2013. The series follows the lives of prominent abolitionists including Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Angelina Grimké, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and explores differing and often conflicting approaches to abolishing slavery in the United States.

The Abolitionists interviews examine the historical contexts of the subjects and their lasting legacy on American history and law. Interviews were conducted with authors, educators, and historians, including Manisha Sinha, Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; James Brewer Stewart, Professor of History at Macalester College, and Founder of Historians Against Slavery; John Stauffer, author and Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University; and Lois Brown, Professor of African American Studies at Wesleyan University. Subjects discussed include abolition, slavery, racism, the American Constitution, Christianity, civil rights, and the American Civil War.

Access the collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/the-abolitionists-interviews!

Collection Background

The Abolitionists interviews were conducted in 2012 for the three-part series of the same name. Nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Rob Rapley served as the director. In 2017, the WGBH Media Library and Archives digitized The Abolitionists interviews and in 2018 submitted them to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Featured Interviews

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Manisha Sinha is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of “The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina” (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and “To Live and Die in the Holy Cause: Abolition and the Origins of America’s Interracial Democracy.”

James Brewer Stewart, James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus, Macalester College, retired, and the founder and director of Historians Against Slavery. Stewart’s books include Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery. He has published biographies of four very well-known enemies of slavery: Joshua R. Giddings, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, and Hosea Easton. His most recent books include Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War (2008) and Venture Smith and the Business of Slavery and Freedom (2009).

Lois Brown is a professor in the African American Studies Program and the Department of English at Wesleyan University. Brown’s scholarship and research focus on African American and New England literary history and culture.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, associate professor of Black American Studies with joint appointments in history and in women and gender studies at the University of Delaware.

Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor American Colonial and Revolutionary History; Women’s History, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, Baruch College. Her publications include: Civil War Wives: The Life and Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant (2009).

John Stauffer is Chair of the History of American Civilization and Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Among his works include: GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), The Writings of James McCune Smith: Black Intellectual and Abolitionist (2006), and The Problem of Evil: Slavery, Freedom.