Greetings everyone! I’m Casey Davis, the Project Manager for the American Archive. We are only one month in and are thrilled to have heard from so many stations and the general public expressing your support and interest in the initiative. We’ve been asked a lot of questions, and today I wanted to give a few updates on where we stand as we move forward in Phase One of the initiative. We have already been working very closely with the Library of Congress to begin planning for the next two years and are very excited about working toward the goals we have set.
First, let me back up a little: In 2012, we completed the Content Inventory Project, during which staff members at 120 public media stations across the United States went into their closets, browsed through their shelves, and dug into decades-old boxes to find out exactly what stuff they had been collecting for the past 50+ years. Well, that treasure hunt resulted in 2.5 MILLION inventory records, of which 40,000 hours of content are now slated for digitization and long-term preservation at the Library of Congress. And just to ease any doubts out there about the materials’ safekeeping — the Library has committed to preserving the materials for the life of the Republic plus 500 years. So, that being said, rest assured that they are safe in the hands of our friends at the LC.
Stations that participated in the inventory and/or digitization projects should have access to the Archival Management System (AMS). This is where you can view all of your records contributed during the inventory project, see streaming files of your digitized materials, and keep up to date on the progress of your digitization. The AMS URL is ams.avpreserve.com. If you do not have access to the AMS, email me and I’ll get you set up in the system.
One of the first goals for the next two years is the addition of 5,000 more hours of born-digital or previously digitized materials to the archive. We’d love to include in this selection the materials that were digitized during the Pilot Project in 2009 and any other materials that stations wants to contribute. We are currently working on finalizing the documentation for this process, but feel free to go ahead and let me know if your station is interested, and we can begin discussing the next steps.
Until the final American Archive website is developed, the project team will post updates and resources on this blog on a regular basis. To receive updates via email, subscribe to the blog and sign up for our American Archive email list! To learn more about our goals for the next two years and beyond, view a slide show that we presented at the annual Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) conference.
If you have any questions about the project or have any suggestions on how we can improve this blog as a resource for you, please do not hesitate to contact me at Casey_Davis [at] wgbh [dot] org.