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Wednesday, September 20 • 09:45 - 10:15
Tuning In To History: Preserving American Broadcast Archives in the Digital Era

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One of the most unique audiovisual collections in the United States resides in the Special Collections Library at the University of Maryland (UMD). The archives of Mass Media & Culture (MMC), which is dedicated to preserving the history of American broadcasting, has well over 100,000 audiovisual materials on a wide variety of formats dating back to 1925. These materials contain noncommercial and commercial programs from both radio and television, comprising a significant trove of primary sources that document our nation’s history and culture. Until 2010, most of these collections were hidden from public discovery due in part to staffing shortages, lack of processing standards for AV materials, inability to maintain proper legacy equipment and scant funding for digitization. In the last six years, however, MMC has made great strides in overcoming these challenges. Nearly 10,000 items have been digitized, and the first-ever audiovisual finding aids will soon make their debut on the Libraries’ new public interface. These achievements are the result of collaborative workflow integration across multiple units within the libraries, as well as ongoing partnerships forged with National Public Radio (NPR), the American Archive for Public Broadcasting (AAPB) and the recently-formed Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) which operates under the auspices of the Library of Congress. In this presentation, I will highlight the creative and innovative approaches developed by UMD Libraries to improve preservation and access, share some audio examples from our digital collections and discuss our ongoing mission to demonstrate modern, practical models for managing audiovisual materials. 

avatar for Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon

Audio Engineer/Media Preservation Services, Harvard University

avatar for Laura Schnitker

Laura Schnitker

Curator, University of Maryland Libraries
Laura Schnitker is an audiovisual archivist and curator of the Mass Media & Culture unit in Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Maryland. She is also a Lecturer in the School of Music, and hosts a weekly radio show on campus station WMUC.

Wednesday September 20, 2017 09:45 - 10:15 CEST
Ethnologisches Museum, Room 1 (Auditorium, off the Lower Foyer) Lansstraße 8, Berlin, Germany