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

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

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

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

Read more about this new American Masters project below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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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.

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!

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:

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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!

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 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.

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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!

The Tuskegee Airmen

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

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Yenwith Whitney, veteran of the Tuskegee Airmen

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

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

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Nasby Wynn, veteran of the Tuskegee Airmen

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

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

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

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

AAPB Makes Historical Public Media Content Available to the Public

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Contacts

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

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

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

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.