Last day to contribute to the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship

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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:

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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.”

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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.

 

Please consider supporting the Public Broadcasting Preservation Scholarship

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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

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

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

Mark your calendars: Access to historic public broadcasting just one month away!

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Mark your calendars for the culmination of two years of development and collaboration on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting!

On Tuesday, October 27 at 3pm ET, AAPB staff will host a webinar marking the official launch the AAPB Online Reading Room!

Over the past two years, the AAPB team has worked closely with participating organizations, web developers, and legal counsel from WGBH, the Library of Congress and fellows from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School with the goal of providing access to historic public media content digitized through the AAPB initiative. In October, we will make available thousands of public television and radio programs that help tell the story of local communities in the last half of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st. This rich source of historic audiovisual material will be made available for research, educational, and informational purposes, freely accessible by scholars, researchers, students, educators, filmmakers and kids of all ages.

We hope that you will join us at our launch event webinar, during which we will share examples of some of the programs that have been made available in the Online Reading Room, demonstrate new features and functionalities, answer questions and ask for your feedback.

To register for the webinar, follow this URL: http://wgbh1.adobeconnect.com/aapb-orr-webinar/event/registration.html

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

Preserving History

This past January I arrived at WGBH to start an internship cataloging digitized video and audio materials from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. As a first-year graduate student at the Simmons College School of Library and Information Science, I had limited experience with cataloging (although my mother is a cataloger, so you could say I’m genetically predisposed!). But when I heard about the available internship at WGBH, I was excited by the opportunity to both get real world cataloging experience and explore the archives of public broadcasting–since, like many librarians, I am a devoted fan of public television and radio.

After reviewing AAPB’s cataloging guidelines and completing a set of practice records, each cataloging intern at WGBH chooses from a list of public television and radio stations that have digitized materials ready for cataloging. I jumped at the chance to catalog the audio assets from WFCR. WFCR was “my” public radio station for the four years I lived in Western Massachusetts, and I listened to hours of its programming during my commutes to and from work.

In the weeks that I’ve been working on this audio collection, I’ve cataloged a wide range of radio programs and raw footage from the 1960s through the 1980s. I’ve cataloged lectures on family farming, civil rights, and the Vietnam War; poetry readings by Robert Frost and Anne Halley; and folk, jazz, and classical concerts held at the area colleges. My heart even skipped a beat when I happened upon Betty Friedan’s 1981 Commencement address at my alma mater, Smith College. But the footage that has been the most interesting to me is the collection of raw footage and news segments about what has been called the “Amherst College takeover” of 1970.

In the early morning of February 18, 1970, representatives of the African American student associations from Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Amherst Colleges and the University of Massachusetts occupied four buildings on Amherst’s campus, in protest of the treatment of African American students by the four colleges. The students vacated the buildings later that day, but their actions started a discussion that would lead to changes at all four institutions.

The Amherst College takeover was an important event in the history of the Five Colleges, yet very little information about it exists that is accessible to the general public. Now, thanks to WFCR and the AAPB, its legacy has been preserved. In the AAPB, you can find footage of press conferences, interviews with students and administrators, and even news segments detailing the events of the day, such as the clip below.

To me, this example perfectly illustrates the importance of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and of the work that we are doing as catalogers. Even as an intern, I am helping to provide access to materials that will be valuable sources for research and education in the future.

IMG_1147This post was written by Anna Newman, intern for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at WGBH.