How to FIX IT+ and Why: Crowdsourcing to Save Public Media Materials

Most public radio and television organizations are at-risk of losing their archival materials due to deterioration and the high costs associated with digitization. The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is partnering with George Blood L.P., a digitization vendor, to help AAPB’s contributing organizations preserve their collection one transcript and one tape at a time in the Transcribe to Digitize Challenge.


Article highlights:

  • The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a digital archive of public radio and television programs from contributing stations across the nation, available online at americanarchive.org
  • Each program in the archive has a computer-generated, speech-to-text transcript to improve keywords search
  • These transcripts are not accurate and have been made available for the public to help proof and edit through AAPB’s editing site, FIX IT+ at fixitplus.americanarchive.org
  • George Blood L.P., a digitization vendor, has agreed to provide FREE digitization for each station that corrects a minimum number of transcripts in FIX IT+, a.k.a. The Transcribe to Digitize Challenge
  • The public is invited to help individual stations in this Challenge reach their goal of 20 corrected transcripts
  • Crowdsourcing provides two lasting outcomes for the future
  • Tune-in to a video interview with a WGBH volunteer on his experience with FIX IT+
  • Below are three easy steps for participating

Making America’s Public Broadcasting Legacy Searchable and Accessible

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH to preserve a national archive of public radio and television programming accessible to the public, has partnered with George Blood, a digitization service provider, to help mitigate the costs of digitization through the Transcribe to Digitize Challenge.

Over the past five years, the AAPB has digitized and preserved more than 50,000 hours of public programming created by stations and producers across the United States. This unique historic material, created as early as the 1940s, often lacks closed captioning and represents our shared and diverse cultural heritage. Yet it is not highly discoverable to researchers, educators, students, lifelong learners, journalists and the public because it lacks descriptive information.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the AAPB has created speech-to-text transcripts of the audio and video materials in the collection. These transcripts can be used to improve the accessibility of the collection through the addition of new keywords and by exposing the time-stamped transcript alongside the program on the AAPB website.

Keywords search and time-stamped transcripts alongside the program on americanarchive.org.

However, these computer-generated transcripts lack accuracy, and the AAPB is seeking the help of the public to correct them!

A Call to Action

For the Transcribe to Digitize Challenge, a minimum of 20 transcripts must be corrected in AAPB’s FIX IT+, fixitplus.americanarchive.org, for a station to meet the challenge, and George Blood will then provide free digitization for 20 tapes selected by that station. Up to 100 transcripts can be corrected for 100 tapes to be digitized per station. The digitized materials will be delivered back to each station, and a copy will also go to the AAPB for long-term preservation at the Library of Congress and access through the AAPB website!

Stations like WGBH, Louisiana Public Television, Rocky Mountain PBS, and Wisconsin Public Television have opted-in to the challenge and must correct their transcripts by December 2019, and participating in this challenge creates two lasting outcomes:

  1. Completed transcripts are made available online at americanarchive.org for students, educators, journalists, and life long learners to access.
  2. Your help could be the result of a station’s free digitization.

But don’t take our word for it… here’s the perspective of a WGBH volunteer editor!


Editing is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Filter Content by Station

Visit fixitplus.americanarchive.org and filter the content by participating station; i.e. “WGBH” and sort by “Completeness (most to least)”.

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The filter bar is located on the homepage of fixitplus.americanarchive.org.

Direct links:

Louisiana Public Television Transcripts 

Rocky Mountain PBS Transcripts

Wisconsin Public Television Transcripts

WGBH Transcripts 

2. Select a Transcript

Transcript tile

Select an unedited transcript OR continue editing a transcript that has already been started by another user. Each transcript requires two reviews, so feel free to choose a topic that interests you and spend anywhere from 10 mins to an hour editing. All your edits are saved automatically.

“Transcript tiles” note the transcript’s contributing station, the program title, its series, a brief description, the program’s duration, number of contributing editors, and a progress bar.

3. Become Familiar with Simple Editing Conventions

You can listen to the audio by clicking the ‘play’ icon to the left of each line, and then correct the text on-screen using your keyboard. For more editing details, click the “View a Tutorial” button at the top of the transcript’s page for standard conventions.

Green lines note when lines are completed and no longer need editing. The gray lines still need reviewing.

Questions? Contact Ryn Marchese, AAPB Engagement and Use Manager at ryn_marchese@wgbh.org, 617-300-3644.

#transcribetodigitize

AAPB Takes It Back to the 1980s with WGBH BostonTalks!

Rubik’s Cubes, shoulder pads, Cool Ranch Doritos—there’s no doubt the 1980s was an iconic era. WGBH’s BostonTalks invited the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) to throw it back with them to hear about the fashion, news, and music of the 1980s.

Audiences are encouraged to sport their sweatbands and legwarmers as they jazzercise their way through the public radio and television programs available online in the americanarchive.org. Below is a selection of individual programs, special collections, and curated exhibits that cover distinctive moments in the 80s, as well as how those moments carried on into future generations.

(A few!) Defining Moments Covered by Public Broadcasting:

1980

– John Lennon’s murder

From New Jersey Nightly News, this segment covers New Jerseyan’s reactions to the death of John Lennon. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_259-rn30699f

– AIDS crisis gains attention

From KQED (San Francisco, California), this episode of Wrestling with AIDS discusses the ethics of aids and the issue of caring for AIDS patients, as well as AIDS activism (1989). Includes protests by Act Up!; Patients with AIDS; Interview with doctors examining the ethical and moral challenges raised by the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. Includes interviews with AIDS patients, activists, insurers, politicians and physicians. Also features scenes from an Act Up demonstration (and clash with police) in downtown San Francisco, archival footage of AIDS reports from the early 1980s and views of many public hearings and speeches relating to AIDS. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_55-x05x63bn51

1982

-First artificial heart invented

From NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour reports that the medial world was expecting the announcement of plans to implant a second artificial heart in a human being, but that was thrown into doubt when a special committee at the University of Utah, looking at medical and ethical issues, refused to approve guidelines for a second operation. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-bg2h708n2k

1983

– Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space

From the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University (Stanford, California), here’s a recording of Sally K. Ride: Medallion Speaker Address (2005). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-v97zk56k05

– Mobile phones come on the market

From WILL Illinois Public Media, here’s an episode on the Cellphone: The Story of the Worlds Most Mobile Medium and How it has Changed Everything (2004). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_16-np1wd3qg0b

1984

– Bishop Desmond Tutu receives Nobel Peace Prize

From NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour features a story on how Bishop Desmond Tutu overcame a bomb threat to receive his Nobel Peace Prize. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-jw86h4dg5q

– Los Angeles Olympics

On the eve of the Los Angeles Olympics, Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. discussions a wide range of sports-related issues that frequently splits into two discussions. Contributed by Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University (Stanford, California). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-930ns0mn29

1985

– The Titanic wreckage is discovered

From The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, this report looks at the Titanic and the remarkable equipment that made its discovery possible. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-vd6nz81k1n

– Hole in the ozone first reported

From Oregon Public Broadcasting, this 1989 report from The Green Contract gives a comprehensive review on the ozone and its place in Earth’s system.

1986

– NASA’s Challenger Mission combusts upon lift-off

In 1988, Minnesota Public Radio speaks with Dr. Robert Pepin, University of Minnesota physicist and NASA consultant, to answer listener questions about the United States space program and the resumption of manned space shuttle operations. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_43-106wx2vr

1987

– DNA first used to convict criminals and exonerate innocent prisoners on death row

For a selection of programs discussing this distinct moment, visit http://americanarchive.org/catalog?q=DNA&range%5Byear%5D%5Bbegin%5D=1980&range%5Byear%5D%5Bend%5D=1989&utf8=%E2%9C%93&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online.

1988

– George Bush Sr. elected president of the United States

For news on this 1980s moment, and the life of George Bush Sr., visit https://americanarchivepb.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/remembering-george-h-w-bush-through-public-broadcasting/.

1989

– Berlin Wall falls

On the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, this episode of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour provides a retrospective on some of the great escape attempts. http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-j96057dm46

– The Internet goes global

From Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University, The Future of the Internet recounts and discusses the power of the Internet (2001). http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_514-d21rf5m77d

Curated Exhibits:

Climate Change Conversations: Causes, Impacts, Solutions

In the 1980s, focus was primarily on communicating the potential threats of global warming. Since then, programming has increasingly examined the actual impacts, and in addition, struggled to keep the American public informed and engaged. This exhibit highlights public broadcasting recordings of conversations on climate change—its causes, impacts, and proposed solutions—from 1970, the first year that Earth Day was celebrated, to the present.

Speaking and Protesting in America: Protesting in the 1980s and Beyond

“Speaking and Protesting in America,” presents a diverse range of public radio and television content including radio programs, local news, raw footage, and interviews that reveal the profound impact of the First Amendment on American life. Focusing on our right to speak, assemble, and petition, this exhibit explores the role of dissent in American life in its protected and unprotected expressions ranging from peaceful marches to acts of civil disobedience.

Special Collections of Note:

The PBS NewHour Collection includes more than 13,500 episodes of PBS NewsHour’s predecessor programs that went on the air in 1975. The programs aired nationwide, five nights a week. Covering national and worldwide news and public affairs.

The Eyes on the Prize Interviews Collection consists of 127 raw interviews conducted with participants in the American Civil Rights movement, covering the years from the mid-1950s through to 1965 as part of the acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. The series originally aired on PBS in 1987.

The Firing Line Collection includes 1,505 records of digitized audiovisual recordings and transcripts of Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr., which serves as a prototype for point-counterpoint shows with its focus on the exchange of ideas through respectful debate. Buckley interviewed notable figures between 1971 and 1999.

The Feminist Community Radio at KOPN Collection includes 93 audio recordings at KOPN from the 1970s to the 1990s, and functions as a window into feminist discourse and practice in mid-Missouri during an era of major changes in both radio and the feminist movement.

The Say Brother Collection includes programs and original interviews created for Say Brother (1968 – 1997), WGBH’s longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans now known as Basic Black (1998 – present).

The OETA News and Cultural Programming (1980-Present) Collection includes 74 programs and segments created since the 1980s by Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA). It is a glimpse into the past, covering topics and exploring issues that are relevant to the diverse cultures of Oklahoma.


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 coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 70 years. To date, over 50,000 hours of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and more than 35,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org. 

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including MasterpieceAntiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, ArthurPinkalicious & Peterrific, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.

About The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

American Archive of Public Broadcasting to Preserve Fifty Years of Sesame Street for Posterity

WGBH Educational Foundation and the Library of Congress will preserve and make accessible to the public historic and contemporary episodes of Sesame Street.

Photo credit: Sesame Workshop

BOSTON (February 14, 2019)As Sesame Street begins to mark its 50th anniversary, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation, has announced that Sesame Workshop has donated a collection of digitized episodes from the past 50 years of Sesame Street, to be preserved for posterity. Over the next year, nearly 4,500 episodes from the first 49 seasons of the iconic children’s television program will be incorporated into the AAPB’s extensive archive of public media from across the United States. The Sesame Street collection will be available to view on-site at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and by appointment at WGBH in Boston.

Sesame Street changed the landscape of children’s media at a time when television was viewed as a ‘vast wasteland’ and transformed a medium that strongly appealed to children into a source for knowledge and social development for our youngest citizens,” said Sesame Street co-founder and AAPB Executive Advisory Council Member Lloyd Morrisett, Jr. “I am proud that we are entrusting the American Archive of Public Broadcasting with the task of preserving Sesame Street’s stories and characters for future generations.”

The Sesame Street preservation project comes on the heels of Sesame Workshop’s announcement last week detailing plans to celebrate Sesame Street’s 50th year of broadcast. Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit education organization behind Sesame Street, which has been teaching and inspiring children since its first episode aired on November 10, 1969. Sesame Street’s groundbreaking research-based methods, dedication to entertaining educational content and outreach to families in underserved communities established a legacy for educational television and for public media as a whole.

Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Highlight Reel

Among the episodes preserved in the AAPB’s Sesame Street collection are indelible scenes like the touching “Farewell, Mr. Hooper,” in which Big Bird, the program’s guileless surrogate for curious children, learns about death and how to cope;  Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie, You’re the One,” which made it to the 16th spot on the Billboard top singles chart in 1970; Grover’s frantic back and forth in “Near/Far,” Cookie Monster’s turn as “Alistair Cookie,” the cookie and classics-obsessed host of Monsterpiece Theater; and Kermit the Frog’s hopeful tune, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” which stressed self-acceptance.

“As a historian and academic, I can’t stress enough the importance of preserving groundbreaking media like Sesame Street, which was the first TV show to address big issues like poverty, family and the environment in a way that children could understand,” said Kathryn Ostrofsky, Ph.D. and author of the forthcoming book Sounding It Out: How Sesame Street Crafted American Culture. “Early episodes of Sesame Street provide a window into the pressing issues of the times, as well as changing views about education. The American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Sesame Street collection is a critical resource for studying and understanding so many facets of these societal changes.”

The mission of the AAPB is to digitize, preserve and make accessible historic public media content from across the country, dating back to the early 1940s. Given its age, much of the original audio and video tape is fragile and deteriorating. The AAPB is in a race against time to ensure that future generations, researchers and the public will be able to access these programs for years to come.

“We’re honored that Sesame Workshop has entrusted the preservation of their decades of work to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “To this day, Sesame Street is a key part of our national educational, television and public broadcasting landscape. I hope that everyone whose lives were touched by Sesame Street will visit the Library and WGBH to experience this historic collection.”

Photo credit: Sesame Workshop

Now in its fifth year of service, the AAPB has preserved for posterity over 90,000 digitized and born-digital audio and video materials. Among the collections preserved are more than 8,000 episodes of the PBS NewsHour Collection, dating back to 1975; more than 1,300 programs and documentaries from National Educational Television, the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); full “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings; raw, unedited interviews from the landmark documentary Eyes on the Prize; raw, unedited interviews with eyewitnesses and historians recorded for American Experience documentaries including Stonewall Uprising, The Murder of Emmett Till, Freedom Riders, 1964, The Abolitionists and many others. The AAPB also works with scholars to publish curated exhibits and essays that provide historical and cultural context to the Archive’s content.


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 coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 70 years. To date, over 50,000 hours of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and more than 35,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org. 

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including MasterpieceAntiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, ArthurPinkalicious & Peterrific, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.

About The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

New AAPB Special Collection of Raw Interviews from American Experience’s ‘The Abolitionists’

The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, … bitter debates over the meaning of the Constitution and the nature of race.  – American Experience

AX0003_Abolitionists.jpgCollection Summary

The Abolitionists Interview Collection is comprised of 51 raw interviews from the three-part American Experience miniseries of the same name, which aired on PBS in 2013. The series follows the lives of prominent abolitionists including Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Angelina Grimké, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and explores differing and often conflicting approaches to abolishing slavery in the United States.

The Abolitionists interviews examine the historical contexts of the subjects and their lasting legacy on American history and law. Interviews were conducted with authors, educators, and historians, including Manisha Sinha, Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; James Brewer Stewart, Professor of History at Macalester College, and Founder of Historians Against Slavery; John Stauffer, author and Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University; and Lois Brown, Professor of African American Studies at Wesleyan University. Subjects discussed include abolition, slavery, racism, the American Constitution, Christianity, civil rights, and the American Civil War.

Access the collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/the-abolitionists-interviews!

Collection Background

The Abolitionists interviews were conducted in 2012 for the three-part series of the same name. Nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Rob Rapley served as the director. In 2017, the WGBH Media Library and Archives digitized The Abolitionists interviews and in 2018 submitted them to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Featured Interviews

screen-shot-2019-02-05-at-4.10.05-pm

Manisha Sinha is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of “The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina” (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and “To Live and Die in the Holy Cause: Abolition and the Origins of America’s Interracial Democracy.”

James Brewer Stewart, James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus, Macalester College, retired, and the founder and director of Historians Against Slavery. Stewart’s books include Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery. He has published biographies of four very well-known enemies of slavery: Joshua R. Giddings, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, and Hosea Easton. His most recent books include Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War (2008) and Venture Smith and the Business of Slavery and Freedom (2009).

Lois Brown is a professor in the African American Studies Program and the Department of English at Wesleyan University. Brown’s scholarship and research focus on African American and New England literary history and culture.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, associate professor of Black American Studies with joint appointments in history and in women and gender studies at the University of Delaware.

Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor American Colonial and Revolutionary History; Women’s History, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, Baruch College. Her publications include: Civil War Wives: The Life and Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant (2009).

John Stauffer is Chair of the History of American Civilization and Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Among his works include: GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), The Writings of James McCune Smith: Black Intellectual and Abolitionist (2006), and The Problem of Evil: Slavery, Freedom.

A Retrospective on WGBH and Experimental Television, 1968-1970

This year, the WGBH Media Library and Archives (MLA), a participating station of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), has begun hosting quarterly archives screenings as part of the WGBH Insiders Screening Series. Last week’s screening, A Retrospective on WGBH and Experimental Television from 1968-1970, offered a unique look into WGBH’s role as one of the first public media stations to explore television as an artistic medium. Over 100 members and guests visited WGBH to view segments of WGBH’s experimental television, including What’s Happening, Mr. Silver?; Madness and Intuition, The Medium is the Medium, and Violence Sonata.

Panelists included:

• Fred Barzyk, the original producer of WGBH’s series New Television Workshop

• George Fifield, Founder and Director of Boston Cyberarts Inc.

• Aldo Tambellini, Multimedia artist who created work for WGBH/Public Broadcasting Laboratory’s 1969 production called The Medium is the Medium

The event was moderated by Ryn Marchese, Engagement and Use Manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, and Peter Higgins, Archives Manager at WGBH Media Library and Archives. Digital Archives Manager Leah Weisse curated an exhibit of relevant production and promotional materials to provide context to the evening’s focus. AAPB and MLA thank Elizabeth Hagyard for her support and collaboration on the event, as well as other staff in events, legal, marketing, and engineering, and WGBH volunteers who helped make the night a success!

img_5401 (1)
Introductory slide for The Medium is the Medium (1969) displaying the six contributing artists. From left to right on stage: Peter Higgins, Ryn Marchese, Fred Barzyk, and George Fifield.

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Aldo Tambellini speaks about his video art in The Medium is the Medium (1969).

img_5407 (1)
Digital Archives Manager Leah Weisse curated an exhibit of relevant production and promotional materials to provide context to the evening’s focus.

Event slide deck:

Original post from WGBH Media Library and Archives’ blog at https://wordpress.com/view/blog.openvault.wgbh.org.

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference Resources

Available Online: 35,000+ Educational Video and Audio Resources and Primary Sources

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) recently met with K-12 educators, administrators, and teachers-in-training at the annual National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference, a melding of the minds to help advocate and build capacity for high-quality social studies through leadership, services, and support.

As a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Educational Foundation, the AAPB provides an online archive, open and available to the public, of historic public radio and television programs from across the nation, spanning public broadcasting’s 70+ year history. From local and regional to national productions, the AAPB allows the public to access 36,000 (and growing) programs and original materials, from local news and documentaries to talk shows and raw interviews, and more all available at americanarchive.org!

To learn more about the AAPB, watch this informational video with example clips at https://vimeo.com/108272934.


For easier access and navigation, below is a deeper dive into AAPB’s resources:

LocalContent

The AAPB provides online access to users anywhere in the United States with a wide range of historic public television and radio programs that were submitted for digitization by more than 120 stations and archives from across the country. More than 36,000 programs are available online for research, educational and informational purposes, spanning public broadcasting’s 70+ year history. The entire collection is available for research on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress.

*Start with AAPB’s Road Trip Special Collection at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/aapb-road-trip!

Check out our participating organizations at http://americanarchive.org/participating-orgs.


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Because of the geographical breadth of the material, students can use the collection to help uncover ways that national historical events played out on the local scene. The long chronological reach from the late 1940s to the present provides researchers with previously inaccessible primary source material to document change over time.


specialcollections-e1544117261781.png

Some notable collections are featured on the Special Collections page with finding aids that include information such as the scope and content of the collection, provenance and background information about its creator and source, recommended search strategies, and related resources. Collections include:

Raw interviews –

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 12.34.25 PM.png1964 (American Experience)
The Abolitionists (American Experience)
Jubilee Singers (American Experience)
Freedom Riders (American Experience)
The Murder of Emmett Till (American Experience)
Reconstruction (American Experience)
Africans in America (WGBH)

American Masters (WNET)
Ken Burn’s The Civil War (American Documentaries, Inc.)

Early educational broadcasting –

National Association of Educational Broadcasters Programs
National Educational Television Collection

Locally and nationally distributed programs and documentaries –

Center for Asian American Media
Firing Line
Georgia Gazette (GPB)
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) News and Cultural Programming
PBS NewsHour
Say Brother (WGBH)
Vision Maker Media Documentaries
Woman (WNED)

Direct link to our Special Collections: http://americanarchive.org/special_collections


AAPB staff and guest curators create exhibits of selected programs and recordings that focus on themes, topics, and events of cultural and historical significance. Primary and secondary sources contextualize a curatedexhibit1-e1544117844344.pngdiversity of perspectives concerning the exhibit’s focus and as a result, AAPB exhibits often illuminate how public broadcasting stations and producers have covered topics such as the Watergate hearings, climate change, protesting in America, civil rights, and more!

Direct link to our Curated Exhibits: http://americanarchive.org/exhibits


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Contact Ryn Marchese, AAPB’s Engagement and Use Manager, to inquire about bringing these materials into your classroom: ryn_marchese@wgbh.org!

And feel free to share our resource with your local school, public and academic librarians! We’ve created a AAPB Library Communications Kit with details on how to describe the AAPB on website/resource guides and embed our player and harvest metadata from our catalog. We’ve also included a link to our webinar with the Boston Library Consortium on the “Accessibility of AAPB in Academic Libraries,” most of which will be applicable to the public librarian community.

For information about the AAPB that you can print for your classroom, email to fellow teachers, or post about online, feel free to use our Informational Flyer!


Most recommended content during NCSS?

Based on our conversations with teachers, below are a few programs we most recommended during the conference!

  1. PBS NewsHour Special Collection – The PBS NewsHour Collection includes more than 8,000 episodes of PBS NewsHour’s predecessor programs from October 1975 to December 2007 covering local and national conversations.
  2. “Gavel-to-Gavel”: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television Curated Exhibit – Here you will find guides to each episode of the public hearings that were digitized, links to transcripts, and highlights to peruse. To help identify people in the videos, the Cast of Characters page includes photos and titles for the important figures in the hearings. The Watergate Scandal, 1972-1974 page gives an explanation of the who, what, when, where, and why of Watergate to help guide you through the coverage. If you would like a more in depth essay on the significant role that Watergate played in the history of public broadcasting, please click on the Watergate and Public Broadcasting link.
  3. Field Trip Series from Main Public Broadcasting – Field Trip is a series of short educational documentaries that explore Maine’s history, culture, and agriculture from fish hatcheries to how low/high tides work — there’s so much to explore!
  4. Local Content – Search our participating stations for local content!

– – – –

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston that preserves and makes accessible significant public radio and television programs before they are lost to posterity. The AAPB collection includes more than 50,000 recorded hours comprising over 90,000 digitized and born-digital programs, and original materials dating back to the late 1940s, and is growing!

Written by Ryn Marchese, AAPB Engagement and Use Manager

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@amarchivepub

Riley Griffin, Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellow at GPB

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When we toured WGBH, we took turns holding an Emmy Award trophy (Image: Riley Griffin, author, holding an Emmy Award)

Hi, everyone!  My name is Riley Griffin (xe/xir).  I am just now entering my second year of graduate school in Clayton State University’s Masters of Archival Studies program.  I am the second fellow, after Virginia Angles, to be a part of the American Archives of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF).  My part of the project focused on digitizing Georgia Public Broadcasting’s (GPB) Georgia Gazette under the incredibly trusting supervision of Ellen Reinhardt, Kathy Christensen, and Joshua Kitchens.  I was looking for summer opportunities when a chance at following a career path in my new-found love for preservation presented itself through the AAPBPBPF.  I was overjoyed by the scope of the fellowship, the organizations working with it, and the special collections it included.

Every fellowship starts with certain expectations only to end with different lessons and new perspectives.  At the start of my fellowship, I spent a lot of time comparing. There were a lot of things I was not expecting, my reactions being one of them.  As we visited Boston and learned about all the different types of digital media we could be working with I couldn’t help but begin to feel this sort of jealousy–wishing I could work with as many formats and topics as possible.

Of course, this hunger decreased to a low rumble as I became humbled by the Georgia Gazette materials.  I quickly realized I craved difficulty; so, I became grateful instead of jealous.  In training, we were prepared to scrub and scrub our machines clean, take precious time delicately fixing things, and balance everything to be just perfect.  However, my project was given a bit of grace by being a more modern collection. Digital Audio Tapes (DATs) are often considered one of the most fragile media formats. However, most of them were recorded at a decent quality from the 1990’s to the 2000’s, rewound to the beginning, and left alone and undisturbed in an air-conditioned radio station.  So, please forgive me when I am grateful that the worst of my worries is how many times I dropped the (very loose) pinch roller into the machine that day.

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GPB Digitization Station (Image: Two desks with 2 computers, a DAT machine, cleaning materials, and various electronics everywhere)

The topics of everyone’s materials had me curious, too.  I was wondering what it was like to have video–as my project was only audio–and to have materials like oral histories to work with.  I quickly counted my blessings as I heard what my colleague was working on–images of war, tragedy, death, and disaster. I thanked GPB for having forward attitudes towards topics, reporters who were nearly-emotionless in comparison, and pert news reports.  I am a very sensitive soul and could imagine having to wait the tears out before being able to see what you’re working on. I also realized I was having a hard time with some of the Georgia Gazette material.  One thing I experience as an archivist who moves all over is major culture shock.  I think being an archivist is one of the best ways to learn about the place you have just moved to. But it also exposes you to things much quicker than you expect.

I’m from upstate New York, which has a different demographic and historical context; although I’m not unfamiliar with racism, being deeply embedded in Georgia’s racial history as I digitized GPB’s daily news was a new experience for me. I had moments of weeping at work as I listened to news reports about the Georgia General Assembly holding expensive special sessions in order to redistrict purely based on race, schoolchildren being prevented from going the schools they want as a result of segregation, and segregation’s long-term effects on Georgia school districts, which I still hear about today. Although I knew about these issues in the abstract, hearing them firsthand was very emotional for me and adding visuals might have been overwhelming.

I would be lying if I were to say I came away from this project without any further attachment to Georgia.  Although it has exposed me to some of the ugly parts I try to avoid in my daily life, it has also exposed me to so much more.  Even the drive to work showed me the oldest drive-in movie theater in the area that is still working.   I also got the opportunity to listen to all of the preparation and execution of the 1996 Olympics.  I am a huge fan of all things Olympics, so

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Indeed, this was the “WORST Gazette ever” (Image: close-up of a DAT labelled “Maxell DAT; Gazette 01-20 95; WORST Gazette ever”)

this was a special treat for me. The Georgia Gazette has given me a sort of pseudo-pride of Georgia; every guest and topic on the show had a relation to Georgia.  Learning about popular historical figures like Blind Tom Wiggins or popular events like the National Grits Festival in Warwick gives me a great appreciation for where I live and the opportunities available to me here.  It has also given me a deeper and fuller appreciation for public broadcasting, something that had already been instilled in me.  In a time where everyone is flocking to Georgia for jobs, often displacing long-term Georgians, I remind myself that my brief time being here must be purposeful.  I hope to help make their history more accessible so that they can feel that true sense of pride they deserve.  With the Georgia Gazette, I hope I did just that–even if it was just a little bit.

 

Written by Riley Griffin, PBPF Summer 2018 Cohort

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About PBPF

The Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF), funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, supports ten graduate student fellows at University of North Carolina, San Jose State University, Clayton State University, University of Missouri, and University of Oklahoma in digitizing at-risk materials at public media organizations around the country. Host sites include the Center for Asian American Media, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WUNC, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, and KOPN Community Radio. Contents digitized by the fellows will be preserved in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The grant also supports participating universities in developing long-term programs around audiovisual preservation and ongoing partnerships with their local public media stations.

For more updates on the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship project, follow the project at pbpf.americanarchive.org and on Twitter at #aapbpf, and come back in a few months to check out the results of their work.

Tanya Yule, Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellow at CAAM

 

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Drives loaded up and ready to be sent to the AAPB!!

 

Hello, my name is Tanya Yule and I am one of the five, in the first cohort of the AAPB Public Broadcast Preservation Fellows. Later this month I will be receiving my Masters in Library and Information Science, and an advanced certificate in Digital Assets Management from San Josè State University, with an emphasis in archives and preservation.

When I began the program at SJSU it was with a focus on photography preservation; this was initially a means of utilizing my background in historic photography practices as a way to protect and preserve images for future generations. However, through my work at the Hoover Institution Archives (where I am an intern), I began to fall in love with working in all areas of archives, not just with photographs, and have had the fortunate experience to process incredible collections that range from the Russian Revolution to the Vietnam War, each providing a unique glimpse of someone’s life that I get to describe, organize, and preserve for future generations. When the fellowship was posted, I had a “this was made for me” moment and applied instantly. I have wanted to work with A/V media for quite sometime, and have yet to have the opportunity, until now.

For the last three-months I have been entrenched in material spanning the globe; each item as unique as the next, and giving me more in return than I was prepared for. As I am sitting here trying to tap out a structure and synthesis of what the heck just occurred during the American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Preservation Fellowship, I am almost overwhelmed with the task.

 

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Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) Set-up

 

The specialness of this particular fellowship has been based in the opportunity to work with at-risk magnetic media, multiple stakeholders, and learn a very complex technique for capturing. I was fortunate to be able to work with two amazing San Francisco based non-profit organizations that focus on representing arts and culture for underrepresented communities, and have been pillars in what they do for several decades. The collection I worked from came from the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM); CAAM isn’t a traditional archives, but their holdings are significant and represent a wide range of diverse films and documentaries; many which have appeared on local and national PBS stations over the years. The collection contained U-matic, Betacam, and Digibeta tapes, many which haven’t been viewed in decades. The majority of the fellowship was spent over at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), under the watchful (and extremely patient and knowledgeable) eye of Jackie Jay. I was fortunate to be able to have my experience take place with the help of a staff that do this work daily, and could help me capture and learn in the best possible situation. I would like to also give a shout out to Morgan Morel for suffering though my lack of commandline knowledge, he has inspired me to take a python class when this is all over.

What is in a name?

While inventorying the items for the collection at CAAM, I couldn’t help but be curious about some of the titles: Anatomy of a Springroll, Dollar a Day, 10 Cents a Dance, A Village Called Versailles, Sewing Woman, to name a few. Since all of the items are on some form of video (magnetic media) it isn’t as easy as just popping in a deck and taking a peek. While capturing in the dark room with my noise cancelling headphones on, there were moments that I would literally laugh out loud, or cry; the subjects are heavy, as is the perspective and history, my work at the Hoover Archives had helped prepare me for dealing with difficult collections, especially when it comes to visual materials regarding war and atrocities.

 

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Many videos have some form of image error, the above “watermark” is a blemish on an old tape, this can be seen in 1/30 of a second. After capturing I would go back to any discrepancy to investigate further

 

Cleaning, cleaning, and some baking!

I soon learned that the majority of my time was in making sure that the decks and tapes were in tip-top shape before capturing. It is quite amazing how much time is spent cleaning tapes, cleaning the decks, baking tapes (in a really high tech food dehydrator), re-cleaning tapes, and re-cleaning machines, as well as setting up levels and making sure that the item being digitized is as close to the original as possible. The cleaning ensures that there is no transfer of dust or debris from another tape, and that the output from the deck is precise. I am extremely fortunate to have my digitization station at BAVC, as they understand the fundamentals of video preservation and digitization, and helped me learn more about the process then I thought I would be capable of in such a short time.

About the collection

As archivists often times we really don’t know what the collection is “about” until the end, there are usually surprises, and most the times these records don’t come with a “read me” file, so I figured I would save this portion to the end as well. The collection as a whole speaks to the diversity of Asian American life, culture, and experiences; evoking the universal struggle of the human condition. When curating the featured films for the AAPB Special Collections page it was difficult to choose, however, many of the films tell the history of women who have defied odds, been outspoken, or who had sacrificed so much for so little in return, I wanted to put these women upfront and recognize their stories and the ones who decided to tell them.

 

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CAAM Video Archive

 

Having this wonderful opportunity to participate in this fellowship while completing my degree allowed me to expand my technical and historical knowledge base, which I am forever grateful for. I would like to thank SJSU and my wonderful advisor Alyce Scott, James Ott and Davin Agatep at the CAAM for helping me out with the project, the entire preservation crew at BAVC for making sure I didn’t break anything, and of course the AAPB and all of the wonderful WGBH folks that made this fellowship happen.

If you are interested in learning more, here is a Q & A I did with CAAM when I started, you can also follow #aapbpf for photos of the stations and process.

 

 

Written by Tanya Yule, PBPF Spring 2018 Cohort

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About PBPF

The Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF), funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, supports ten graduate student fellows at University of North Carolina, San Jose State University, Clayton State University, University of Missouri, and University of Oklahoma in digitizing at-risk materials at public media organizations around the country. Host sites include the Center for Asian American Media, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WUNC, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, and KOPN Community Radio. Contents digitized by the fellows will be preserved in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The grant also supports participating universities in developing long-term programs around audiovisual preservation and ongoing partnerships with their local public media stations.

For more updates on the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship project, follow the project at pbpf.americanarchive.org and on Twitter at #aapbpf, and come back in a few months to check out the results of their work.