Free Webinar Recordings: Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) recently completed a six-part webinar series to share best practices and lessons learned from their Cataloging Hidden Collections program. Sponsored through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections (SAHC) series aims to help those working in GLAM (Gallery, Library, Archive, Museum) organizations build the confidence they need to tackle the processing of hidden archival collections. This series may also be particularly useful for public media organizations that are planning preservation projects.

Webinars include:

The complete series, including recordings, slides, and transcripts, is now freely available on the CLIR SAHC home page: https://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/sahc/sahc.

To supplement the series, an Online Resource Library was also created for increasing the visibility, usability, and sustainability of collections in the GLAM community: https://wiki.diglib.org/Strategies_for_Advancing_Hidden_Collections.

AAPB honored with CLIR DLF Community/Capacity Award!

Today the Council on Library and Information ResourcesDigital Library Federation (DLF) announced that the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has been selected as an inaugural recipient of the DLF Community/Capacity Award, along with co-recipient The Biodiversity Heritage Library! Voting for the award ran through the month of June, and members selected AAPB among 16 nominees.

About the DLF Community/Capacity Awards:

“Unlike many honors in technology-related fields, DLF Comm/Cap Awards recognize collective action over individual achievement, socially-responsible creativity over pure innovation, and acts of care, maintenance, thoughtful growth, and repair over the tools and practices of disruption. They honor constructive, community-minded capacity-building in digital libraries, archives, and museums: efforts that contribute to our ability to collaborate across institutional lines and work toward larger goals and a better future, together.

Most of all, they’re about inspiration. This year’s 16 inspiring nominees spanned disciplines and fields. They included projects of greatly varied longevity and size, expert teams and community organizers, and people making deeply valued contributions to DLF practitioner communities and the publics and missions driving them.”

AAPB will be honored in an award ceremony at the 2016 DLF Forum, taking place this November in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

More about the award is available here: https://www.diglib.org/archives/12231/

We could not have received this award without the many contributions and support from our content contributors at stations and archives across the United States and territories. Together, we are fulfilling a shared vision, first embodied in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, to create a national library and archives of significant public television and radio content. Together, we are preserving this content for posterity and ensuring its access for researchers today and well into the future.

Finally, our thanks go to the DLF, CLIR and to the broader DLF community and membership for voting for AAPB as the recipient of the award! We are incredibly honored!

About the AAPB, The Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the Digital Library Federation:

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting 
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting, led by WGBH and the Library of Congress, has coordinated a national effort to preserve and make accessible significant historical content created by public media and are preserving at-risk public broadcasting before its content is lost to posterity. To date, more than 40,000 hours of content contributed by more than 100 organizations across the country have been digitized. The entire collection is accessible on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress. Together, WGBH, the Library, and participating organizations have made more than 13,500 programs available online for research, educational and informational purposes, becoming a focal point for discoverability of historical public media content. Learn more.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library 
An international consortium of over two dozen organizations, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) stands out not only in service to its partners, but also in its collaborative approach to making open access, often rare and unique biodiversity content available to 120,000+ monthly users worldwide. A signatory of the Bouchout Declaration, BHL’s commitment to open access extends beyond placing scanned pages on its website. Content is available via Internet Archive, Digital Public Library of America, and Europeana; over 100,000 scientific illustrations via Flickr; and BHL’s suite of APIs brings data directly to users. To build capacity among partners, BHL also provides intensive digitization workshops, reaching participants from across Sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, the U.S., and beyond, and supporting participation by institutions large and small. Learn more.

Digital Library Federation
The Digital Library Federation is a robust and diverse community of practitioners who advance research, learning, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. DLF serves as a resource and catalyst for collaboration among its institutional members, and all who are invested in the success of libraries, museums, and archives in the digital age. DLF serves its parent organization, the Council on Library and Information Resources, as the place where CLIR’s broader information-community strategies are informed and enriched by digital library practice. DLF connects CLIR’s vision and research agenda with our active practitioner network, and brings the insights of the DLF community to bear. In addition, we partner closely on key CLIR initiatives related to DLF’s mission, in order to provide advice and expertise to CLIR from the digital library community, as well as connections and opportunities for our members. DLF currently includes 151 institutional members. Learn more.

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.”

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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.

 

WGBH, Library of Congress, and WETA to Digitize PBS NewsHour Collection

NewsHour_Project_Logos

32 years of PBS NewsHour programs to be made available online through American Archive of Public Broadcasting

BOSTON, Mass. (January 28, 2016) – More than three decades of PBS NewsHour broadcasts from 1975 to 2007 will be preserved and available online as part of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB). Public media producer WGBH, the Library of Congress, and WETA, Washington, DC will digitize, preserve and allow the public online access to PBS NewsHour‘s predecessor programs from 1975 to 2007, made possible with funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The project will digitize nearly 10,000 programs comprising more than 8,000 recorded hours that chronicle American and foreign affairs, providing access to original source material, including interviews with presidents and other world leaders and reports on major issues and events. The content will be presented as a part of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress.

Noting the value of preserving the PBS NewsHour material, Steven Roberts, renowned journalist and the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, said “No other broadcast on television has upheld the highest standards of the profession with such consistent devotion.”

The digitized PBS NewsHour collection will provide valuable primary source material not available elsewhere for historians to consider in their explorations into the recent past, especially in the areas of politics, policymaking, and international affairs. It will give scholars a previously unavailable source from which to study ideas and rhetoric to illuminate what intellectual historian Daniel Rodgers recently characterized as “a multisided contest of arguments and social visions that ranged across the late twentieth century.”

The programs feature interviews with leading newsmakers including presidents, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, every secretary of state since 1976 and with world leaders, including the Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, Fidel Castro, Muammar Khadafy, Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin, Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher. The collection includes extensive coverage of election campaigns, African-American history, global and domestic health care, poverty, technology, immigration debates, the end of the Cold War, terrorism, the economy, climate change, energy issues, religion, education issues, rural life, scientific exploration, poetry and the media.

The PBS NewsHour collection will be made available on the AAPB website, growing the online collection to more than 20,000 programs. The AAPB will ensure that this rich source for American political, social, and cultural history and creativity will be saved and made available once again to future generations.

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

About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a collaborative effort by the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston to preserve for posterity the most significant public television and radio programs of the past 60 years. The American Archive will ensure that this rich source for American political, social, and cultural history and creativity will be saved and made available once again to future generations. Major funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Council on Library and Information Resources. More information is available 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 WETA
WETA Washington, DC, is one of the largest-producing stations of new content for public television in the United States and serves Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on four digital television channels. Other WETA productions and co-productions include WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL, THE KENNEDY CENTER MARK TWAIN PRIZE and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY and a forthcoming film on Jackie Robinson. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

About PBS NewsHour
PBS NewsHour is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Major funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by BNSF and Lincoln Financial Group, with additional support from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit NewsHour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.

Media Contacts

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

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

PBS NewsHour:
Nick Massella
nmassella@newshour.org

New project for the new year: AAPB awarded a grant from CLIR

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 first project to build upon the American Archive of Public Broadcasting initiative. This project will involve the creation of a national catalog of records documenting the existence and robust description of titles distributed by NET, public media’s first national network and its earliest and among its most at-risk content.

The NET Collection includes 8,000–10,000 programs produced from 1952-1972, a period marked by societal and cultural shifts of great importance. Public television itself changed significantly during this time. From its early dedication to childhood and adult education, NET by 1963 transitioned to serving adult audiences with documentaries exploring citizenship issues of urgency and cultural programming dedicated to the arts, humanities and sciences.

The NET Collection is an invaluable record of non-commercial TV programming on public affairs, social issues, arts, culture, the humanities, science and education. NET programs, most of which were created by 30 public television stations across the US, often covered topics of international relevance. During this time period, public affairs documentaries and discussions explored the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, poverty, student activism and issues such as radicalism, privacy, the environment, the elderly and welfare. The NET Collection includes reporting on the Vietnam War, interviews with American and Vietnamese leaders, public hearings and a controversial report from North Vietnam. Arts and cultural programming includes interviews with artists, poets, writers, filmmakers, actors and dancers. Science Reporter and other series cover issues such as the latest in medical advances, space exploration and the progressive steps that led to the 1969 moon launch. Educational programming includes materials for classroom use, innovative children’s programming and adult education programs. The catalog will help to prioritize titles for preservation and will make this hidden collection known to scholars, researchers, and the public.

Few NET titles are known to scholars because they are in unprocessed collections. WGBH, WNET, Indiana University and the Library of Congress hold the largest collections of NET materials, while copies are known to exist at some of the original producing stations. Currently, programs are scattered, descriptions are limited and in obscure sources, and there is no publicly accessible catalog of titles.

With the NET Collection inventoried and made accessible, television studies scholars can embark on in- depth studies of NET, access its innovative series, compare commercial and noncommercial television, and examine programs that deal with bias in newscasts, effects of television on politics, effects on children, and federal involvement in public broadcasting, with perspectives from FCC and NAB officials, network executives, critics and scholars.

A huge chunk of the project will be accomplished thanks to CLIR’s funding; however, the project team envisions more work that could be undertaken to enhance the NET collection catalog. This includes the incorporation of Indiana University’s collection of titles into the catalog and expanding the scope of description and access activities; the project team will be seeking additional funds for this work. The AAPB team will keep stations and others updated as we move forward with the project. We’re looking forward to being in touch with all NET-era stations in the next several months!