Celebrating National Radio Day

BPT_NRD_Square_Graphic-01

August 20 is National Radio Day!

National Radio Day “is a time to honor one of the most longstanding electronic media and its role in our lives.” To celebrate National Radio Day, we have added more than 500 historic radio programs to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) Online Reading Room, now accessible from anywhere in the United States. With these new additions, there are now more than 14,000 historic public radio and television programs available for research, educational and informational purposes in the Online Reading Room.

The following radio series are now available for listening online:

Cross Currents from Vermont Public Radio (1978 – 1980)
Cross Currents is a series of recorded lectures and public forums exploring issues of public concern in Vermont.

Hit the Dirt from WERU Community Radio (1990s)
Hit the Dirt is an educational show providing information about a specific aspect of gardening each episode.

Herbal Update from WERU Community Radio (1990s)
Herbal Update is an educational show providing information about the health and nutrition benefits of a specific herb each episode.

The following series were contributed to the AAPB by the University of Maryland’s National Public Broadcasting Archives as part of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) collection. NAEB was established in 1934 from a precursor organization that formed in 1925. In 1951, NAEB established a tape duplication exchange system in Urbana, IL, where programs produced by university radio stations across the country were copied and distributed to member stations, an early networking scheme that influenced the history of later public radio and television systems. The more than 5,500 NAEB radio programs available in the AAPB were produced between 1952 and 1976, and include radio documentaries, coverage of events (hearings, meetings, conferences, and seminars), interviews, debates, and lectures on public affairs topics such as civil rights, foreign affairs, health, politics, education, and broadcasting.

WRVR | Riverside Church
The American People  (1964 – 1965)
Series examines contemporary issues through interviews and personal essays.

Automation and Technological Change (1964)
Documentary series on automation and technological change.

Conversations on Public Relations (1967)
Series of informal half-hour discussions on the nature and ethics of public relations.

WMUK | Western Michigan University
Where Minds Meet (1962 – 1963)
Discussions explore world of speech, conducted by Professors John Freund and Arnold Nelson of Western Michigan University.

WMUB | Miami University
As We See It: Vietnam ‘68 (1968)
Lecture/debate series on aspects of the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

WBFO | SUNY Buffalo
The Only Way to Fly (1968)
Series about the safety aspects of commercial airlines and commercial air transport in the United States.

WUOM | University of Michigan
News in Twentieth Century America (1959)
A series of documentaries on the gathering, writing and dissemination of news in this country today, compiled from interviews with journalists.

Medical Research (1960)
Series about behavioral sciences and medicine.

Behavioral Science Research (1961)
Documentary series on the role of behavioral sciences.

The Challenge of Aging (1961)
Nine segments on aging within the series Behavioral Science Research.

Aspects of Mental Health (1962)
Documentary series about behavioral sciences and medicine research.

Wingspread Conference (1966)
Three programs of the major speeches given at the Wingspread Conference on Educational Radio as a National Resource, held Sept. 26-28, 1966, at Johnson Foundation in Racine, Wisconsin.

The American Town: A Self-Portrait (1967)
Historical documentary series drawn from the recollections of senior citizens in a variety of American towns.

The Truth about Radio (1967)
Interview by Richard Doan with Edmund G. Burrows, chairman of NAEB and manager of WUOM at U. of Michigan. He discusses his station and educational radio and television programming.

Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (1967)
Panel discussion on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

University of Iowa
Russia Revisited (1959)
An informal talk by John Scott, assistant to the publisher of Time, Life and Fortune, recounting his recent trip to the Soviet Union.

Space Science Press Conference (1962)
Press conference at Univ. of Iowa at conclusion of 1962 Space Science Summer Study Program, hosted by National Aeronautic and Space Administration.

University of Florida
Revolution in Latin America (1961)
Documentary series on problems facing Latin America.

University of Denver
Indian Country (1957)
The problems of social adjustment in the attitudes and through the words of the modern American Indian.

Michigan State University
The Tender Twigs (1958)
Discussions of problems affecting today’s youth: mental health, delinquency, crime, social pressures; it considers solutions.

Hold Your Breath (1963)
Series about the impacts of air pollution.

The Music Makers (1965 – 1966)
Distinguished Americans discuss their profession of music, from composition to criticism; the business of music and its current place in our national culture.

San Bernardino Valley College
Politics in the Twentieth Century (1957)
Moderated panel discussion on American political affairs in mid-20th century.

Man is not a Thing (1958)
Discussion of the discoveries and errors of Sigmund Freud and his impact on the American family, politics and religion.

WGUC | University of Cincinnati
Interview with Dr. Albert B. Sabin (1961)
Interview with Dr. Albert B. Sabin, developer of the anti-polio vaccine.

Metaphysical Roots of the Drama (1968)
Lectures given at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at Cincinnati by Robert Brustein, Dean of the Yale School of Drama.

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Launch of Digital Video Archive and Podcast

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress, is delighted to preserve for posterity more than 800 previously unreleased full-length interviews that were originally filmed for the iconic documentary PBS series American Masters, produced by New York public television station THIRTEEN for WNET. The interviews, digitized for In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive and the American Masters Podcast, will be archived for long-term storage at the Library of Congress to ensure their survival for future generations.

For 30 years, American Masters has consistently produced high-quality, award-winning documentaries showcasing the pantheon of artistic and cultural figures in American history. This collection will be an amazing addition to the AAPB.

As a central web portal for researchers to discover historic public media content, the AAPB provides information on more than 2.5 million public television and radio programs stored at stations and archives across the nation. Users searching American Masters interviews in the AAPB catalog at americanarchive.org will be directed to the In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive website to view the material.

Read more about this new American Masters project below:

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Launch of Digital Video Archive and Podcast at pbs.org/americanmasters

Features previously unreleased interviews with David Bowie, Gloria Steinem, Herbie Hancock, Bernadette Peters, Mike Nichols and others from the series’ award-winning documentary films

(NEW YORK – June 23, 2016) On this day in 1986, THIRTEEN’s American Masters made its series debut on PBS with Private Conversations: On the Set of “Death of a Salesman, a cinéma vérité documentary about the making of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece for network television, and its stars Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich.

Today, American Masters celebrates its 30th anniversary with the launch of In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive and the American Masters Podcast, featuring previously unreleased interviews filmed for the documentary series: 2,156 tapes, approximately 1,388 digitized hours, 800-plus interviews and counting.

A selection of short-form videos showcasing interviews with David Bowie, Gloria Steinem, Herbie Hancock, Bernadette Peters, Mike Nichols and other luminaries discussing America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants are available now on the American Masters website (http://pbs.org/americanmasters). New videos will be released on an ongoing basis as the archive is digitized.

The American Masters Podcast, hosted by series executive producer Michael Kantor, will feature long-form interviews from In Their Own Words. The first season, “Women on Women, presents interviews with influential women discussing women cultural icons. Episode one features Gloria Steinem in conversation with the late, multiple Emmy-winning filmmaker Gail Levin taking a critical look at the life and career of Marilyn Monroe from 2006’s American Masters – Marilyn: Still Life. New episodes will be released biweekly on the American Masters website, iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.

All full-length, digitized interviews will be archived by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress to preserve and make accessible significant historical content created by public media.

“I’m thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts has provided major funding to get this project off the ground so we can finally share gems from the cutting room floor with the public,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “Series creator Susan Lacy built a rich library of more than 200 documentary films, which is a treasure trove of American arts, culture and intellect, and the amazing interviews that informed these films are largely unseen. While we are still seeking funds to create a comprehensive, interactive digital archive website, we are confident that In Their Own Words and the American Masters Podcast will inspire and entertain a broad audience both today and in the future.”

Pending funding, the In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive dedicated website will eventually house all full-length, digitized interviews and be a public research-and-learning tool with an emphasis on usability, discoverability and comprehensive indexing to make American Masters interviews easily accessible and available to all.

To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website currently offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, photos, educational resources and more. American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.

In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive and the American Masters Podcast is produced by Joe Skinner. Michael Kantor is executive producer.

Major funding for In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for American Masters is provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lenore Hecht Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, and public television viewers.

About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.

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 preserve at-risk public media and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 60 years. To date, over 40,000 hours of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized. The entire collection is available on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and more than 13,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org.

 

 

###

 

Last day to contribute to the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship

Slide1

This post was written by Casey Davis, AAPB Project Manager at WGBH, for WGBH’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship crowdfunding campaign.

We need your help!

Today is the last day to make a financial contribution to the AAPB’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship. We have raised $2,000 and appreciate your additional support to get us closer to our goal!

What is the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship?

The Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship will fund public media representatives from Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Television, Minnesota Public Radio, CUNY-TV, Howard University Television (WHUT), WYSO-FM, and Pacifica Radio Archives to participate in a week-long training event focused on digital preservation of public media.

Here’s some additional background info:

WGBH is leading the American Archive of Public Broadcasting National Digital Stewardship Residency program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This program supports the creation of seven residencies at public media organizations across the country, focusing on audiovisual digital preservation of public television and radio.

In February, we announced that after some very difficult decision-making among 24 project proposals, we selected the Host Institutions for the NDSR project.

Our fabulous hosts include:

Slide1

More information about each host is available on our website:

The residencies will begin in July 2016 with a week-long immersion week in Boston, taught by leading experts in the field of audiovisual preservation. WGBH has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship, in connection with the AAPB NDSR. The Scholarship will fund the host mentors to travel and participate in immersion week. You can find it here: igg.me/at/aapb-pbps

The scholarship would help host mentors gain and sharpen the skills that are needed to sustain digital preservation activities at beyond the term of the 10-month residency. This knowledge would improve their ability to preserve their at-risk materials for many years to come. As a supporter of the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship, you could take us many steps closer to reaching our goal.

Public broadcasting stations have been on the front lines of history for more than 60 years. Help public media professionals gain the skills necessary to preserve this audiovisual historic record for posterity by supporting the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship.

We sincerely appreciate any and all support!

PBS NewsHour Digitization Project Update

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.

Last week, our contract archivist Alexander (AJ) Lawrence completed the inventory of 7,320 NewsHour tapes stored in 523 boxes located in WETA’s storage units in Arlington, Virginia, comprising the bulk of the collection. (Additional content is located at two other locations.)

“I was so excited to receive Casey’s initial email asking about my interest in the NewsHour project. I’ve been a life long watcher of the program and the chance to be involved in the preservation of such a valuable resource for historical research seemed like a wonderful opportunity.

The process of inventorying the entire collection seemed pretty daunting on my first day when I got my first in-person look at the storage units housing the estimated 7,500 tapes. However, the process has gone quite smoothly overall and we’ve now surpassed the halfway point. Generally, the tapes have little more than a date to identify them, but it’s been especially interesting to come across the tapes for significant historical events over the past 40+ years. These tapes in particular offered me a chance to reflect on some major cultural milestones I’ve witnessed, often through coverage by the NewsHour team. That said, it was also fun to come across the broadcast that aired on the day I was born, as well as the very first broadcast of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.

Thankfully, I haven’t been tackling the entire inventory alone. I need to offer a special thanks to Matthew Graylin, a desk assistant with the NewsHour who’s been tasked with assisting me with the work. Needless to say, conducting an archival inventory is well beyond the normal duties of a broadcast news assistant, but Matthew has dived in with gusto. We still have a few weeks together, so hopefully I can convert him into a future audiovisual archivist in that time.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We have also selected a digitization vendor for the project and are looking to begin pilot tests for digitization within the next month. Meanwhile, the Library has instituted quality control procedures to ensure that all digitized files will be properly preserved for present and future generations.

We can’t wait to get started with digitization and look forward to making this monumental series accessible as part of the AAPB collection. In the meantime, we’re pleased to share this clip reel sampling of content that will be digitized, courtesy of NewsHour Productions.

 

Please consider supporting the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship

Slide1

This post was written by Casey Davis, AAPB Project Manager at WGBH, for WGBH’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship crowdfunding campaign.

We’re writing today to tell you about the AAPB Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship and to ask for your support.

WGBH is leading the American Archive of Public Broadcasting National Digital Stewardship Residency program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This program supports the creation of seven residencies at public media organizations across the country, focusing on audiovisual digital preservation of public television and radio.

In February, we announced that after some very difficult decision-making among 24 project proposals, we selected the Host Institutions for the NDSR project.

Our fabulous hosts include:

Slide1

More information about each host is available on our website:

The residencies will begin in July 2016 with a week-long immersion week in Boston, taught by leading experts in the field of audiovisual preservation. WGBH has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship, in connection with the AAPB NDSR. The Scholarship will fund the host mentors to travel and participate in immersion week. You can find it here: igg.me/at/aapb-pbps

The scholarship would help host mentors gain and sharpen the skills that are needed to sustain digital preservation activities at beyond the term of the 10-month residency. This knowledge would improve their ability to preserve their at-risk materials for many years to come. As a supporter of the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship, you could take us many steps closer to reaching our goal.

Public broadcasting stations have been on the front lines of history for more than 60 years. Help public media professionals gain the skills necessary to preserve this audiovisual historic record for posterity by supporting the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship.

We sincerely appreciate any and all support!

AAPB Acquires New Hampshire Public Radio Presidential Collection

New Online Presentation “Voices of Democracy,” Features Presidential Campaign Resources

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has acquired New Hampshire Public Radio’s digital collection of interviews and speeches by presidential candidates from 1995-2007. The entire collection—nearly 100 hours of content—has been digitized and is now online, along with other presidential campaign content from the AAPB collection, in a new curated, free presentation, “Voices of Democracy: Public Media and Presidential Elections” at americanarchive.org/exhibits/presidential-elections.

AAPB, a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation, preserves and makes accessible the most significant public television and radio programs of the past 60-plus years.

Voices of Democracy” features historical interviews, panel discussions, speeches and debates among presidential candidates from 1961 to 2008. These historical materials document the evolution of issues and presidential candidates’ positions on important election topics including the American economy, education, religion, civil rights, foreign policy, climate and the environment, labor and unions and campaign and election reform. The materials also document public broadcasting’s coverage of the process of elections and voter rights, as well as commentary and analysis of campaigns. The presidential elections presentation was curated by Lily Troia, a graduate student at Simmons College.

A centerpiece of the presentation is the new content from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR). “We are fortunate to live at the epicenter of the political universe every four years. It is from this vantage that we are able to capture and keep some of the most memorable and historic moments in the past 35 years of our democracy,” offered Betsy Gardella, president and CEO of New Hampshire Public Radio. “Knowing that this archive can now be tapped and used by anyone with internet access is an extension of our public service mission realized, we are grateful for the AAPB.”

Candidates featured in the New Hampshire collection include Lamar Alexander, Gary Bauer, Joe Biden, Bill Bradley, Carol Moseley-Braun, Sam Brownback, Pat Buchanan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Christopher Dodd, Bob Dole, Elizabeth Dole, John Edwards, Steve Forbes, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Orrin Hatch, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunt, John Kasich, John Kerry, Alan Keyes, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Barack Obama, Dan Quayle, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Bob Smith, Arlen Specter and Tom Tancredo.

AAPB in October officially launched its Online Reading Room, which now features 2.5 million inventory records and more than 11,500 audiovisual streaming files of historical content dating back to the 1940s, from public media stations across the country.

The Library of Congress, WGBH Boston and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in collaboration with more than 100 stations and archives, have embarked on an unprecedented initiative to preserve historical public television and radio programs. This extraordinary material includes national and local news and public affairs programs, local history productions that document the heritage of our many, varied regions and communities and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion and filmmaking on a local level. The project ensures that this valuable source of American social, cultural and political history and creativity will be saved and made accessible for current and future generations.

More information is available at americanarchive.org.

About The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library holds the largest collection of audio-visual recordings in the world and has been collecting and preserving historically, culturally and aesthetically significant recordings in all genres for nearly 120 years. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web, including “Masterpiece,” “Antiques Roadshow,” “Frontline,” “Nova,” “American Experience,” “Arthur,” “Curious George,” and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards … even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. Visit us at www.cpb.org

About NHPR
Since 1981, NHPR has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Its mission is to help create a more informed public, one challenged and enriched by a deeper understanding and appreciation of state, national, and world events, ideas, and culture. NHPR is broadcast from 13 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week NHPR is the choice of more than 178,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage. Each day New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by NHPR’s award-winning news department, locally produced shows such as “The Exchange” and “Word of Mouth,” and national and world news from NPR and the BBC. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR news in the Granite State and broadcast national weekly programs such as “Fresh Air,” “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” and “This American Life.”

Media Contacts
Library of Congress:
Sheryl Cannady
202-707-6456
scannady@loc.gov

WGBH:
Emily Balk
617-300-5317
emily_balk@wgbh.org

Corporation for Public Broadcasting:
Kelly Broadway
202-879-9641
press@cpb.org

New Hampshire Public Radio
Nancy Jones
603-223-2480
njones@nhpr.org

AAPB welcomes Rachel Curtis, new Digital Conversion Specialist

The AAPB team is thrilled to welcome Rachel Curtis as our new Digital Conversion Specialist at the Library of Congress. In this role, Rachel is the project manager for the Library of Congress side of the AAPB project. She is involved with metadata mapping, reporting, planning, oversight, and overall coordination activities.

Curtis_Headshot
Rachel Curtis, AAPB Digital Conversion Specialist

Rachel has a background in Anthropology and Art History and earned her MLIS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a concentration in Archives Management. She previously worked at the Harley-Davidson Archives, where she was a project manager for their audiovisual digitization projects. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, visiting museums, playing video games, and bike riding.

She has only just begun to explore the AAPB collection, but as of today, Rachel’s favorite item in the AAPB comes from Wyoming PBS. It’s an episode of Main Street, Wyoming featuring an interview with Pius Moss, an Arapaho language and history teacher, in which he discusses importance of the preservation of the Arapaho language and all that it represents.

Welcome to the AAPB team, Rachel!

AAPB Releases Experimental API

This blog post was shared by Chuck McCallum, AAPB Developer at WGBH.

With the most recent release, the AAPB now has a public API. It’s an experiment at this point, but documentation is available, and we’ve put up a few examples. For example, you can explore coverage of different topics over the years, or see how coverage changes in different parts of the country. Let us know if you build anything interesting!

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.24.54 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.25.12 AM

The Tuskegee Airmen

My name is Kathleen Mahoney, and I am a Public History M.A. student at University of Massachusetts Amherst. This past summer, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to assist with cataloging digitized audiovisual content for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. My interest in interning with the AAPB team was twofold. As a Public History M.A. student at UMass Amherst focusing in archives, I am passionate about making historical materials available and accessible to wide audiences. As a student of modern American history, I am interested in how communities in the United States form identity and sense of place. The public media preserved by the AAPB offers unique insight into the culture and history of local communities throughout the country, and I am thankful to have been part of this project! As a dedicated enthusiast of public radio and television, I was excited by the opportunity to work toward preserving and promoting accessibility to this material. Over the summer, I worked on cataloging records from WEDU, a PBS member television station in Tampa, Florida.

WHITNEY
Yenwith Whitney, veteran of the Tuskegee Airmen

A 2005 episode of the WEDU television show Gulf Coast Journal features two local veterans of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American military pilots who fought in World War II and served as the first black pilots in American military history. These veterans, Nasby Wynn and Yenwith Whitney, discuss their wartime experiences and their ongoing interest in aviation.

Before 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. However, concern over the threat of war provoked the Roosevelt administration to build a reserve of pilots. Beginning in 1939, the federally authorized Civilian Pilot Training Program provided funding to colleges and universities to expand flight training. The Tuskegee Institute, a black college in Alabama founded by Booker T. Washington, successfully lobbied for funding and opened its doors to aspiring African American pilots in July 1941. “I wish I could tell you how happy I was to get these wings,” recalls Nasby Wynn, brandishing his military aviator badge, “after nine months of training, plus the segregation obstacles we had to hop over.”

WYNN
Nasby Wynn, veteran of the Tuskegee Airmen

Between 1941 and the end of World War II, 992 pilots completed the Tuskegee Airfield program, and 450 of those pilots served overseas in Europe and North Africa. Yenwith Whitney served as a pilot in the 332nd Fighter Group, flying 34 missions in a P-51 Mustang guiding bombers over Austria and Germany. “It was so exhilarating, so exciting, to feel the pull on that stick,” he remembers. Throughout the war, the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a single bomber to enemy aircraft.

While the U.S. armed forces remained racially segregated through World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen fought with great distinction. In addition to combatting the Axis powers abroad, their bravery was instrumental to combatting racism at home. “It proved that we were normal. We were human beings. We were just as any other,” Wynn states. On March 29, 2007, President Bush and Congress awarded the Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal for fighting to defend the United States in the face of racism. As the population of surviving World War II veterans continues to dwindle, records like these of former soldiers provide invaluable insight into their lived experience.

To watch this segment of Gulf Coast Journal, visit the AAPB Online Reading Room.

KMahoney_Photo

This blog post was written by Kathleen Mahoney, graduate student in Public History at University of Massachusetts Amherst and former AAPB Cataloging Intern.

AAPB Makes Historical Public Media Content Available to the Public

American Archive of Public Broadcasting Launches Online Reading Room Making Historical Public Media Content Available to the Public

Establishes Executive Advisory Council; receives grants for digital archivist residencies, NET and Pop Up Archive projects

BOSTON, Mass. (October 27, 2015) – In conjunction with UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, WGBH and the Library of Congress are pleased to announce the launch of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) Online Reading Room. With contributions from more than 100 public media organizations across the country, programs that for decades have gathered dust on shelves are now available to stream on the AAPB website. This rich collection of programs dating from the 1940s to the 2010s will help tell the stories of local communities throughout the nation in the last half of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st.

Initially launched in April 2015 with 2.5 million inventory records, the AAPB website has added nearly 7,000 audiovisual streaming files of historical content from public media stations across the country.  The Library of Congress, WGBH Boston and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have embarked on an unprecedented initiative to preserve historical public television and radio programs of the past 70 years. This extraordinary material includes national and local news and public affairs programs, local history productions that document the heritage of our varied regions and communities, and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion and even filmmaking on a local level. The project ensures that this valuable source of American social, cultural and political history and creativity will be saved and made accessible for current and future generations.

Nearly 40,000 hours comprising 68,000 digital files of historic public broadcasting content have been preserved. On the website, nearly 7,000 of these American public radio and television programs dating back to the 1940s are now accessible to the public. These audio and video materials, contributed by more than 100 public broadcasting organizations across the country, are an exciting new resource to uncover ways that common concerns over the past half century have played out on the local scene. Users are encouraged to check back often as AAPB staff continue to add more content to the website. The entire collection of 40,000 hours is available for research on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress.

“The collective archives of public media contain an unparalleled audio and video record of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st,” said WGBH Vice Chairman Henry Becton. “These treasures of our times aren’t available elsewhere and it’s essential that we preserve them and make them available as widely as possible.”

The collection includes interviews and performances by local and national luminaries from a broad variety of professions and cultural genres. Just a few examples of the items in the collection include: Pacifica Radio Archives’ 1956 interview with Rosa Parks during the Montgomery Bus Boycott; KCTS 9’s 1999 live broadcast from the opening reception of the World Trade Organization’s Seattle Summit; and New England Public Radio’s 1974 debate between Representative Martha Griffiths, sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, and Phyllis Schlafly, the main opponent of the ERA.

In addition to the inauguration of the Online Reading Room, the AAPB also has launched three curated exhibits featuring items of topical and historical significance:

“The Library of Congress and WGBH have worked diligently over the last few months to determine that we can provide access to nearly 7,000 audiovisual files through this invaluable resource,” said Mark Sweeney, the Library of Congress Associate Librarian for Library Services.  “The website clearly demonstrates the importance of public broadcasting in documenting the nation’s rich history.”

“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is not only proud to support the American Archive of Public Broadcasting—we are pleased that now this public media treasure trove of American history will be available to all Americans—just one click away,” said CPB president and CEO Patricia Harrison. “The archive’s role in preserving our nation’s history through public media is an invaluable service to all Americans.”

The AAPB Executive Advisory Council comprises a distinguished group of individuals from around the country who are passionate about public media and preserving its rich history for the public. Led by former WGBH president Henry Becton as acting chair, the Council will guide the strategic direction of the AAPB with the goal of ensuring that the archive continues to serve the needs of public media stakeholders and the American people.

The Council will collaborate with the AAPB team to raise awareness of the collection, assist in outreach to their networks and communities and guide the development of a plan for sustainability.

In addition to the website, the AAPB has received three grants to expand its work.

  • WGBH, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, has been awarded a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)to lead the National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog Project. The project is the first step to ensuring the preservation of historical content by NET, public television’s first national network and the precursor of PBS.

The NET Collection is an invaluable record of non-commercial TV programming from 1952-1972 on public affairs, social issues, arts, culture, the humanities, science and education. The centralized catalog will enable institutions holding NET materials to catalog those materials more efficiently and make them more accessible to the public.

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has funded the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Project, creating seven, 10-month digital stewardship residencies in public media organizations across the country to start in the summer of 2016. Graduates of archival master’s programs will work on actively managing and preserving digital content. 
  • IMLS has awarded WGBH, on behalf of the AAPB, a National Leadership Grant for a project titled “Improving Access to Time-Based Media through Crowdsourcing and Machine Learning.”

Together, WGBH MLA, WGBH Digital and Pop Up Archive,  whose technology makes sound searchable through speech-to-text technology, will address online discoverability challenges faced by many libraries and archives. The 30-month project will engage the public with crowdsourcing games to improve access to AAPB content and support digital audio transcription research and the creation of a public database of audiovisual metadata for use by other projects.

More information is available on the American Archive website at americanarchive.org.

About The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library holds the largest collection of audio-visual recordings in the world and has been collecting and preserving historically, culturally and aesthetically significant recordings in all genres for nearly 120 years. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. Visit us at www.cpb.org.

Media Contacts

Library of Congress:
Sheryl Cannady
202-707-6456
scannady@loc.gov

WGBH:
Emily Balk
617-300-5317
emily_balk@wgbh.org

Corporation for Public Broadcasting:
Letitia King
202-879-9658
press@cpb.org