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The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a collaboration of the "Library of Congress and "WGBH Educational Foundation, founded through the efforts of the "Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Its Online Reading Room, providing access to a large amount of American public broadcasting content, opened in October, 2015.

About 20% of the 50,000 hours of broadcasting in the collection is accessible in the United States via the Online Reading Room. Public access to the entire collection is available at the WGBH Media Library and Archives on Guest Street in Boston, Massachusetts or at the "James Madison Memorial Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Sound recordings are available at the Recorded Sound Research Center at the Performing Arts Reading Room and video is available at the Moving Image Research Center of the library. Appointments are often required at any of these facilities.[1]

Funders include the "Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the "Council on Library and Information Resources, and "Institute of Museum and Library Services.[2]



External video
Casey Davis: Why Archive Public Media?, 2016, 19:48, "WGBHforum[3]
Karen Cariani: The History of Public Media and the AAPB, 2016, 29:42, "WGBHforum[4]
External media
Example of online content
The American Town: A Self-Portrait: Durand, Michigan, 1967, 29:50, American Archive of Public Broadcasting[5]
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[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Other projects[edit]

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.[9]

The PBS NewsHour Digitization Project will digitize and make available thirty-two years (1975-2007) of broadcasts of the "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Transcripts of over 9,000 shows (1975-2015) will also be made available.[10]

Special Collections[edit]

Some notable collections featured in their Special Collections includes raw interviews from Eyes on the Prize, Ken Burns’ The Civil War, and American Masters. Each Special Collection finding aid provides detailed information about the content, such as its creator, recommended search strategies, and related resources. Most of the materials described in the Special Collections are available online. If not, particular materials of interest can be accessed on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "On Location Research". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Funding". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Casey Davis: Why Archive Public Media?". "WGBHForum. September 8, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Karen Cariani: The History of Public Media and the AAPB". "WGBHForum. September 9, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt; What Status For Women?". "National Educational Television. "Open Vault at WGBH. 1962. Retrieved September 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "American Archive of Public Broadcasting Permanent Entity Grant". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ "National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog Project". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  10. ^ "PBS NewsHour Digitization Project". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 1, 2016.  Video excerpts of the NewsHour is included.

External links[edit]

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