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New home for the American Archive

WGBH has been selected as the permanent home for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Boston Public TV station WGBH, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, has been selected as the permanent home for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. A historic collection of American public radio and television content — dating back through the 1950s — will be permanently preserved and, rights permitting, made available to the public.

In 2007, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) awarded a grant to WGBH to manage the Content Inventory Project, resulting in 2.5 million records of material from 120 TV stations, representing complete programs, raw footage, unedited interviews, recorded speeches and live music sessions. Now, 40,000 hours of that content is being digitized and is slated for transfer and long-term preservation through collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH, with funding support from CPB.

Over the course of the next two years, the 40,000 hours of digitized files will be transferred into the Library of Congress systems for long-term preservation. WGBH will be responsible for developing a website for public access to the 2.5 million records from the inventory project. Both WGBH and the Library of Congress will allow public access to the proxy files on location, and rights permitting, allow online access as much as possible to the proxy files.

The two organizations plan to continue growing the collection by adding new inventory records and digitized materials, as well as help public media organizations across the United States with archiving, digitizing and providing access to their collections. Another goal of the project will involve engaging the PBCore community toward the continued development of PBCore as a metadata standard for media materials, and the project team will soon begin to seek input from stations for input in its development.