AAPB NDSR Resources Round-up

 

In 2015, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a generous grant to WGBH on behalf of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) to develop the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR). Through this project, we have placed seven graduates of master’s degree programs in digital stewardship residencies at public media organizations around the country.

AAPB NDSR  has already yielded dozens of great resources for the public media and audiovisual preservation community – and the residents aren’t even halfway done yet! As we near the program’s midpoint, we wanted to catch you up on the program so far.

We started off in July 2016 with Immersion Week in Boston, which featured presentations on the history of public media and the AAPB, an overview of physical and digital audiovisual materials, an introduction to audiovisual metadata, and instructional seminars on digital preservation workflows, project management, and professional development. Attendees also participated in a full-day session on “Thinking Like a Computer” and a hands-on command line workshop.

Several sessions from Immersion Week were filmed by
WGBH Forum Network, including:

In August 2016, the residents dispersed to their host stations, and began recording their experiences in a series of thoughtful blog posts, covering topics from home movies to DAM systems to writing in Python.

AAPB NDSR blog posts to date include:

Digital Stewardship at KBOO Community Radio,” Selena Chau (8/9/16)

Metadata Practices at Minnesota Public Radio,” Kate McManus (8/15/16)

NDSA, data wrangling, and KBOO treasures,” Selena Chau (8/30/16)

Minnesota Books and Authors,” Kate McManus (9/23/16)

Snapshot from the IASA Conference: Thoughts on the 2nd Day,” Eddy Colloton (9/29/16)

Who just md5deep-ed and redirected all them checksums to a .csv file? This gal,” Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (10/6/16)

IASA Day 1 and Voice to Text Recognition,” Selena Chau (10/11/16)

IASA – Remixed,” Kate McManus (10/12/16)

Learning GitHub (or, if I can do it, you can too!)” Andrew Weaver (10/13/16)
Home Movie Day,” Eddy Colloton (10/15/16)

Snakes in the Archive,” Adam Lott (10/20/16)

Vietnam, Oral Histories, and the WYSO Archives Digital Humanities Symposium,” Tressa Graves (11/7/16)

Archives in Conversation (A Glimpse into the Minnesota Archives Symposium, 2016),” Kate McManus (11/15/16)

Inside the WHUT video library clean-up – part 1: SpaceSaver,” Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (11/21/16)

Is there something that does it all?: Choosing a metadata management system,” Selena Chau (11/22/16)

Inside the WHUT video library clean-up – part 2: lots of manual labor,” Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (12/20/16)

Just Ask For Help Already!” Eddy Colloton (12/22/16)

August also kicked off our first series of guest webinars, focusing on a range of topics of interest to audiovisual and digital preservation professionals. Most webinars were recorded, and all have slides available.

AAPB NDSR webinars to date include:

Metadata: Storage, Modeling and Quality,” by Kara Van Malssen, Partner & Senior Consultant at AVPreserve

Public Media Production Workflows,” by Leah Weisse, WGBH Digital Archive Manager/Production Archival Compliance Manager (slides)

Imposter Syndrome” by Jen LaBarbera, Head Archivist at Lambda Archives of San Diego, and Dinah Handel, Mass Digitization Coordinator at the NYPL (slides)

Preservation and Access: Digital Audio,” by Erica Titkemeyer, Project Director and AV Conservator at the Southern Folklife Collection (slides)

Troubleshooting Digital Preservation,” by Shira Peltzman, Digital Archivist at UCLA Library (slides)

Studs Terkel Radio Archive: Tips and Tricks for Sharing Great Audio,” by Grace Radkins, Digital Content Librarian at Studs Terkel Radio Library (slides)

From Theory to Action: Digital Preservation Tools and Strategies,” by Danielle Spalenka, Project Director of the Digital POWRR Project (slides)

Our first two resident-hosted webinars (open to the public) will be happening this month! Registration and more info is available here.

The residents also hosted two great panel presentations, first in September at the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Conference, and in November at the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference. The AMIA session in particular generated a lot of Twitter chatter; you can see a roundup here.

To keep up with AAPB NDSR blog posts, webinar recordings, and project updates as they happen, follow the AAPB NDSR site at ndsr.americanarchive.org.

Library of Congress Releases 2016-2017 Recommended Formats Statement

The Library of Congress has released its latest version of the Library of Congress’ Recommended Formats Statement, including for audio-visual media. These recommendations are useful for organizations that are planning digitization projects or are developing methods to digitally preserve their “born digital” programming.

Print

The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the release of the 2016-2017 Recommended Formats Statement (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/).  The proliferation of ways in which works can be created and distributed is a challenge and an opportunity for the Library (and for all institutions and organizations which seek to build collections of creative works) and the Recommended Formats Statement is one way in which the Library seeks to meet the challenge and take full advantage of the opportunity.  By providing guidance in the form of technical characteristics and metadata which best support the preservation and long-term access of digital works (and analog works as well), the Library hopes to encourage creators, vendors, archivists and librarians to use the recommended formats in order to further the creation, acquisition and preservation of creative works which will be available for the use of future generations at the Library of Congress and other cultural memory organizations.

The engagement with the Statement that the Library has seen from others has been extremely heartening.  In response to interest in our work from representatives in the architectural community who see their design work imperiled by insufficient attention to digital preservation, we have updated the Statement to align more closely with developments in this field.  Most importantly of all, we now include websites as a category of its own in the Statement.  Websites are probably the largest field of digital expression available for creators today, yet most creators tend to take a passive role in ensuring the preservation and long-term access of their websites.  By including websites in the Recommended Formats Statement, we hope to encourage website creators to engage more fully in digital preservation, as we aim to do with all the other forms of digital works included in the Statement, by making their websites more preservation-friendly.

The Library remains committed to acquiring and preserving digital works and to providing whatever support it can to other similarly committed stakeholders.  We shall continue to build our collections with their preservation and long-term access firmly in mind; and we shall continue to engage with others in the community in efforts such as the Recommended Formats Statement.  We encourage any and all feedback and comments (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/contacts.html) others might have on the Statement that might make it more useful for both our needs and for the needs of anyone who might find it worthwhile in their own work.  And we shall continue to engage in an annual review process to ensure that it meets the needs of all stakeholders in the preservation and long-term access of creative works.

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 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

Announcing the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR)

For more information about AAPB NDSR, visit ndsr.americanarchive.org

WGBH, on behalf of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), is pleased to announce that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has funded the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Project, creating eight 10-month digital stewardship residencies in public media organizations across the country. The AAPB NDSR Project will build upon and enhance the already existing NDSR program by 1) testing a geographically distributed virtual cohort model; 2) focusing the curriculum and residency program topically on audiovisual digital preservation; and 3) placing residents at public media entities participating in the AAPB. The AAPB began the project’s planning phase in June 2015, with residencies beginning in Summer 2016.

The NDSR is a post-graduate digital stewardship residency program that was originally spearheaded by the Library of Congress in partnership with IMLS. In that program, residents were placed at institutions in Washington, D.C., to develop, apply, and enhance digital archive stewardship knowledge and skills in real world settings. Additional NDSR programs, also funded by IMLS, have recently begun in New York and in Boston, led by Harvard University and MIT (Boston), and Metropolitan New York Library Council in partnership with the Brooklyn Historical Society (New York). WGBH served as one of five host institutions for the NDSR Boston program.

The need for the AAPB NDSR project is threefold. First, there is an urgent need for more hands-on training in digital preservation. “[T]he demands for individuals skilled in the area of digital preservation greatly exceeds the supply…. Further, because digital preservation strategies continue to evolve, training of those responsible for the care of digital records needs to be an ongoing commitment.”[1] This is particularly true for digital audiovisual materials. Digital preservation of audiovisual materials presents unique challenges as compared with digital photographs, documents, and other static born digital materials. Audiovisual materials typically have large file sizes, making the transfer from one storage medium to another prone to error, and often are stored in proprietary file formats and contain multiple codecs, presenting additional immediate and long-term preservation challenges.

Few graduates of library and information science and archival graduate programs complete their degrees with any practical digital preservation experience, yet the amount of digital audiovisual materials created every day is enormous. Because many analog formats of audiovisual materials are becoming obsolete, content stored on these formats must be migrated to a digital format in order to be preserved. With the exception of UCLA’s Moving Image and Archives Program and New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, training for audiovisual materials is generally a minute piece of the classroom experience in library and information science degree programs.[2] Many students graduating from these programs have little knowledge of media carrier formats and are even less familiar with digital file formats and the complexities faced with digital media.

Advanced certificates in digital curation and stewardship are available at a few graduate programs (e.g., Simmons College and the University of Arizona), but these programs do not focus specifically on complex digital media. There is, however, a strong interest in audiovisual preservation among digitally-focused graduates of archival master’s degree programs. In fact, 41% of the applicants for the NDSR Boston program selected WGBH Media Library and Archives as their first choice for their residency out of the five institutions. Yet very few were qualified for the audiovisual-specific WGBH residency.

The second need for this project is to address the lack of staffing of professional archivists at public television and radio organizations across the country. For nearly 60 years, public media (television and radio) stations and independent producers have been creating educational and cultural content. Since the early 1950s, the American public has invested more than $10 billion in this programming, which after its initial broadcast often is never seen nor heard again. Program tapes have sat on shelves and in closets for years, deteriorating and inaccessible to scholars, researchers, producers, educators, and the general public. Without migration of these historical objects to digital formats, we may be in jeopardy of losing some of the most important programming that makes up our national audiovisual heritage.

The born digital video and audio files created on a daily basis at public media organizations nationwide also must be actively managed and preserved. Most of these organizations, however, do not have formal archives or professional archivists on staff. Most public television and radio personnel do not know how to start a digital preservation program or how to handle the overwhelming amount of media content created digitally at their stations every day.

Finally, the third need for this project is to test the feasibility of expanding the NDSR model to a national scale with residents distributed across the country who will communicate with each other virtually. The NDSR model has been shown to be beneficial at the local level (e.g., Washington D.C., Boston, and New York City) but has not yet been tested as a geographically dispersed model. This project will develop ways for residents to successfully use virtual networking to benefit individual projects and to support the cohort. It will challenge residents working in different geographic locations but with the same type of archival materials to communicate with each other in meaningful and beneficial ways. This project will provide the groundwork for a successful national virtual residency program. The results of this national virtual residency program will be especially informative for replicating the NDSR model in regions of the U.S. that have relatively low population densities or that do not have public transportation networks, making virtual interaction necessary.

Through the AAPB NDSR Project, residents will be immersed in digital audiovisual stewardship, establishing for each resident a path toward a successful career in audiovisual archives. Graduates of master’s programs who seek careers in audiovisual digital archives will have the opportunity to develop skills and gain experience working in this setting, combining intensive work in the field with focused curriculum, professional development, and mentorship. The residencies will further improve residents’ qualifications for future jobs in audiovisual and/or digital archives. As a result of the residencies, the number of qualified professionals with specific digital audiovisual archival experience will increase.

Public media organizations serving as host institutions each will be granted one archivist position funded for ten months, a position that most stations have never had. Many public media organizations are not aware of standard archival practices. Many must find ways to accommodate for limited resources, time, and effort. In the archival field, hands-on experience often is necessary for students to build skills and knowledge. Library and archival theory is difficult to implement to the fullest extent in real-life situations without prior practical training. Bringing together a graduate of a master’s program who has theoretical knowledge of best practices with a station having a need for those practices will mutually benefit the residents and the host institutions.

Evaluation of the Washington, D.C., NDSR program revealed that cohorts appreciated having meetings among themselves and host institutions. Through this project, residents will gain great experience in learning how best to network virtually, a skill they will need in their future careers. Virtual meeting has become the norm in the working world. The residents at some point in their careers will be working at institutions and partnering with other organizations at great distances where extensive face-to-face networking will not always be possible. This residency program will give the residents hands-on experience with virtual networking and collaboration to accomplish their projects.

This project will build upon the mentor component of the Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York NDSR programs. Each resident will have two official mentors throughout their residency: a Station Mentor and an Advisory Board mentor. The WGBH Project Team also will seek to connect residents with an informal, third mentor — an Archivist Mentor — local to the town/city where the resident is stationed. The Station Mentor will immerse the resident in the world of public media and will provide guidance on production workflow and mentality. The Advisory Board mentor, an expert in digital preservation, will provide virtual guidance throughout the residency. The Archivist Mentor will help the resident become connected with the local archival community.

The AAPB Project Team at WGBH is looking forward to working with the residents, stations, and the Advisory Board to continue stewardship of this important program, cultivating digital stewards of audiovisual archival materials among residents and public media organizations. We’ll continue to provide updates as the project moves forward, and for more information about the project, visit ndsr.americanarchive.org.

[1] Wendy M. Duff, Amy Marshall, Carrie Limkilde, and Marlene van Ballegooie, “Digital Preservation Education: Educating or Networking?” American Archivist 69 (2006), 188-89,http://www.jstor.org/stable/i40011850.

[2] UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, “Moving Image Archive Studies,” http://mias.gseis.ucla.edu/; NYU Tisch, “Moving Image Archiving & Preservation,” http://cinema.tisch.nyu.edu/page/miap.html.

Digital Preservation for Public Broadcasting Webinar Recording is Available!

The following is a guest post by Rebecca Fraimow, National Digital Stewardship Resident at WGBH and the AAPB.

As the National Digital Stewardship Resident with WGBH and the AAPB, I’ve backed up a lot of drives, designed a lot of workflow diagrams, and written up a lot of documentation, but for my final deliverable for the residency, I got to do something with a slightly broader focus: create a webinar that focused on digital preservation concepts through the lens of the unique needs of a public broadcasting organization.

Rebecca Fraimow is the NDSR resident at WGBH and the AAPB.
Rebecca Fraimow is the NDSR resident at WGBH and the AAPB.

Although I’ve spent most of the past year in a public media context, WGBH is pretty unique among public media organizations: we have a strong archival department, and a dedicated budget for preservation.   That gives us a lot of opportunities to invest in tools and techniques that most public media organizations aren’t going to have. As a result, creating a webinar about digital preservation best practices from a PB perspective is not just as simple as saying ‘here’s what we do and why we do it’ – while it would be great if all stations had the same level of resources, just getting that level of buy-in is something that most archivally-minded station employees have to fight really hard to make a case for.

Therefore, instead of designing the webinar based around our workflows at WGBH, I sent out an open call for topics to see what the audience of (primarily AAPB) stations really wanted to hear about. I got a wide range of responses:

– where to start when creating a digital library
– best practices for migrating videotape to digital files
– how to manage the volume with a small staff
– tools for embedding metadata into audio and video files
– systems for small organizations with little IT support
– integrity checking, video file standards, naming conventions
– funding
– getting producers onboard from the get-go
– how to go back into the archives where proper documentation doesn’t exist
– how to properly use the PBCore field called instantiationStandard

Obviously, I don’t have the answer to all these questions (to be honest, instantiationStandard is kind of a confusing field) and, of course, for many of them, there is no right answer — as I can tell you from the experiences of my entire NDSR cohort, even organizations with huge dedicated preservation departments are still trying to figure out the solutions that make the most sense for them.  Next year, the AAPB will be sending a new crop of NDSR residents into public media stations to help grapple with some of these issues, but before finding answers, the first step is figuring out the right questions to ask.   The webinar is designed to provide a guide to some of those questions, and an overview of the issues to consider when making a case for digital preservation.

You can view the full webinar below (click on the title to open in a larger screen):

Digital Preservation for Public Broadcasting from American Archive on Vimeo.

The slides are available here:

http://www.slideshare.net/RebeccaFraimow/digital-preservation-for-public-media