The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Educational Foundation, founded through the efforts of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The AAPB is a national effort to digitally preserve and make accessible historically significant public radio and television programs created over the past 70+ years. The archive comprises over 120 collections from contributing stations and original producers from US states and territories. As of April 2020, the collection includes nearly 113,000 digitized items preserved on-site at the Library of Congress, and 53,000 items in the collection are streaming online in the AAPB Online Reading Room.
|Casey Davis: Why Archive Public Media?, 2016, 19:48, WGBHforum|
|Karen Cariani: The History of Public Media and the AAPB, 2016, 29:42, WGBHforum|
|Example of online content|
|The American Town: A Self-Portrait: Durand, Michigan, 1967, 29:50, American Archive of Public Broadcasting|
| Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; What Status For Women?, 59:07, 1962.|
Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the Commission, interviews President John F. Kennedy, Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg and others, Open Vault from WGBH via AAPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) began inventorying US public media content in 2007. By 2013, 2.5 million items had been inventoried including 40,000 hours of broadcasting which was being digitized with funding from the CPB. An advisory council, which included Ken Burns, John W. Carlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cokie Roberts, Stephen D. Smith, Margaret Spellings, Howard Stringer, and Jesús Salvador Treviño, recommended that a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress form and operate the archive.
In the first phase of the project, which began in 2013, the Archive will complete the digitization of 40,000 hours of radio and television programs and select an additional 5,000 hours of born-digital programs to be included in the collection. The collection will be made available to the public on-site in Washington, DC and in Boston. A rights clearance strategy will be developed to comply with legal restrictions, including copyright law and a website will provide public access to much of the collection.
Programs from National Educational Television (NET), which operated from 1952 through 1972, are being cataloged in a project scheduled to be completed in 2018. 8,000–10,000 NET titles are expected to be cataloged and an incomplete preliminary list is currently online.
The PBS NewsHour Digitization Project has made more than 13,500 episodes of PBS NewsHour and its predecessor programs available online. Transcripts of over 9,000 shows (1975–2015) will also be made available.
The Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF) began in 2018 and supports graduate students enrolled in non-specialized programs to pursue digital preservation projects at public broadcasting organizations around the country. In 2020, the University of Alabama partnered with WGBH to adopt and launch their own model of the PBPF program, providing both local and remote students enrolled in the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies with opportunities to pursue Fellowships at stations in their area.
In 2021, the AAPB launched the “Presenting the Past" podcast series in collaboration with the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS). The series features informed conversations with scholars, educators, industry professionals, researchers, archivists, and others about significant events, issues, and topics documented in the AAPB collections.
Special Collections and Exhibits
The AAPB Special Collections include notable selections of public radio and television content with a specified search bar for items within the collection, a detailed summary about the content, and related resources. Some of these collections feature individual series such as Say Brother (now known as Basic Black), raw interviews from documentaries such as Eyes on the Prize and Ken Burns' The Civil War (miniseries), event coverage such as the Watergate Hearings, and selections of items related to specific themes, such as the LBGT+ Collection.
In the AAPB curated Exhibits, curators select primary and secondary source recordings to present a diversity of perspectives concerning the exhibit's focus. These exhibits illuminate how public broadcasting stations and producers have covered the topics such as civil rights, climate change, speaking and protesting in America, public media and presidential elections, structuring news magazines, televising Black politics, and historic preservation on public broadcasting.
- "Participating Organizations". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
- "American Archive of Public Broadcasting Search Results". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
- "Funding". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Casey Davis: Why Archive Public Media?". WGBHForum. September 8, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Karen Cariani: The History of Public Media and the AAPB". WGBHForum. September 9, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "American Town, The: A Self-Portrait; Durand, Michigan". American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. WUOM, University of Michigan. January 17, 1967. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; What Status For Women?". National Educational Television. Open Vault at WGBH. 1962. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- "About the AAPB". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards Library of Congress and WGBH with Stewardship of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting". Library of Congress. November 19, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "American Archive of Public Broadcasting Permanent Entity Grant". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- "National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog Project". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- "PBS NewsHour Digitization Project". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 1, 2016. Video excerpts of the NewsHour is included.
- "Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship". Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- Kaufman, ~ Casey Davis (2020-01-28). "New Graduate Scholarships in Audio-Visual Preservation and Archiving of Public Media". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Presenting the Past: Exploring the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Podcast". demo.aapb.wgbh-mla.org. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
- "Special Collections". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
- "Say Brother". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Eyes on the Prize Interviews". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
- "The Watergate Hearings". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "LGBT+ Collection". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Exhibits". americanarchive.org. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- Official website
- Forgotten radio show offers view into Durand’s past, Rich Tupica, Argus-Press, September 4, 2016.
- How segregationists sold their message on US television, University of Leicester, August 31, 2016.
- Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF)
- RadioSurvivor Podcast #218: Archiving Public Media, November 7, 2019.
- Aca-Media Podcast, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Episode 53: Just a Plain Curiosity, March 19, 2020.
- RadioSurvivor Podcast #301: Digitizing & Transcribing the Archives of NYC Progressive Church Radio, June 9, 2020.
- "Creating Transcripts from Primary Sources", The Primary Source Podcast, January 4, 2021.
- "Pairing Picture Books and Primary Sources: The Teachers March!", The Primary Source Podcast, January 18, 2021.