Introduction to the AAPB
For those less familiar, the AAPB is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation to coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 70 years.
To date, over 112,000 digital files of television and radio programming contributed by more than 130 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been preserved and made accessible for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and more than 52,000 files are available online at americanarchive.org.
March is Women’s History Month!
In celebration of Women’s History Month, AAPB staff hosted the second day of Office Hours with a focus on women’s history and coverage of women’s issues on public media. Check out some of the suggested programs and series below.
Woman Series | WNED Buffalo, NY | 30 mins per episode (1972-1977)
Here are three featured episodes from more than 190 episodes available online:
Feminist Community Radio | KOPN Columbia, MO | 10-60 mins per episode (1970s-1990s)
Here are three featured episodes from more than 90 episodes available online:
Don’t Fence Me In: Celebrating Women and Girls of Wyoming | Wyoming PBS | 56 mins (2008)
Ohio Women’s Peace Walk: Documentary about the One Hundred Mile Walk Across Ohio | WYSO | 30 mins (1984)
Sissy Farenthold: A Texas Maverick, Assignment America | WNET New York, NY | 30 mins (1975)
*Sissy Farenthold, the former candidate for governor of Texas and U.S. Vice-President.
A Woman’s Place Is In The House: A Portrait of Elaine Noble, Something Personal | WGBH Boston, MA | 30 mins (1975)
*Elaine Noble was the first openly gay person elected to a state legislature, who began serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1975.
Transexuality and Sports, The Robert MacNeil Report | PBS NewsHour Washington, DC| 30 mins (1976)
Black Women and the Equal Rights Amendment, Say Brother | WGBH Boston, MA| 60 mins (1976)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States, speaks at Keene State College | New Hampshire Public Radio | 60 mins (1996)
Commencement Addresses by Shirley Chisholm and Betty Friedan, Five College Forum | New England Public Radio | ~59 mins (1981)
Girls in Sports, Vegetable Soup | New York State Education Department (NYSED) | ~60 mins per episode (1978)
Native American Programming
We would like to share digitized collections of Native American produced public radio and television programs. These programs document and share the experiences of individuals who identify with the tribes and First Nations of the Americas, sharing their experience through documentaries, event coverage, commentary programs, and local meetings.
Vision Maker Media Documentaries Special Collection includes 40 documentary films featuring Native voices from Native producers, created between 1982 and 2012. These films, created by independent Native producers and broadcast on PBS, inspire people to look at the world through Indigenous eyes and encourage youth to embrace their rich culture as part of their identity.
The films document the people, society and culture of Native tribes including, but not limited to, the Navajo (Dine), Lakota, Choctaw and various other tribes. Topics include art, music, language and many others.
Available online, access the Vision Maker Media Documentaries Special Collection to search for more topics of interest.
Koahnic Broadcasting Corporationfrom Anchorage, Alaska was created as a non-profit media corporation in 1992 by Alaska Native leaders to preserve culture and languages, combat widespread misconceptions and prejudices against Alaska Natives, and create cross-cultural bridges.
Since their creation, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation has been a national leader in Native American radio broadcasting, media production, and training. Their organization currently serves 400 public radio stations and repeaters, including 50 Native stations in rural communities. Many more listeners access the NV1 and KNBA webstreams on mobile devices to hear these shows that are engaging Native America.
Access programs from their National Native Special Features series in the AAPB!
KWSO 91.9 FM from Central Oregon is a non-commercial community radio station owned and operated by three tribes of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS). These tribes include the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute Tribes, of which began broadcasting in September 1986 and now broadcasts 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
The mission of KWSO radio is to provide quality radio programming that delivers local news and information; promotes education, cultural knowledge and language preservation; and increases awareness of social, health and safety issues with a primary focus on the residents of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
The Civil Rights Movement
“Voices from the Southern Civil Rights Movement” presents educational and noncommercial radio programs from the 1950s and 1960s that offer historic testimonies – in interviews, speeches, and on-the-spot news reports – from many movement participants, both well-known and unknown. The exhibit presents accounts from a variety of locales, each a distinct piece of the complex history of the struggle to integrate the segregated South and achieve full citizenship rights for African Americans.
“Speaking and Protesting in America,” presents a diverse range of public radio and television content including radio programs, local news, raw footage, and interviews that reveal the profound impact of the First Amendment on American life. Focusing on the right to speak, assemble, and petition, this exhibit explores the role of dissent in American life in its protected and unprotected expressions ranging from peaceful marches to acts of civil disobedience.
The Eyes on the Prize I Interviews Collection consists of 127 raw interviews conducted with participants in the American Civil Rights movement, covering the years from the mid-1950s through to 1965. The interviews were recorded by Henry Hampton and the Blackside production company as part of the acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.
View the collection here: https://americanarchive.org/special_collections/eotp-i-interviews
American Experience is one of TV’s most-watched history series, bringing to life the compelling stories from the past that inform an understanding of the world today.
Watch raw, uncut interviews from American Experience productions related to the Civil Rights Movement:
The year 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of 1969. To highlight the role of public media in covering the events of that turbulent year, Christopher Brown, Archives Engagement Intern at the AAPB published a series of articles about this fascinating year, including public broadcasting’s coverage of the civil rights movement.
Space Exploration on Public Broadcasting
When humans landed on the moon in 1969, civilization transitioned into a new chapter of human history. Public radio and television programs attempted to give demonstration to scientific concepts behind this new frontier and evidence of this history can be traced through the collections of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB).
We invited Dr. Ingrid Ockert, a NASA History Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Science History Institute, to give commentary about this history in the AAPB collection using a selection of programs produced from 1957-2004.
Enseignez-vous le français? The En Français Collection (1980-1993) from Louisiana Public Broadcasting consists of 223 interviews, stories, and performances that helped to fulfill LPB’s mission of preserving the French language in Louisiana. Use this series as a way to practice understanding conversational French by native speakers!
Search the collection here: https://americanarchive.org/special_collections/en-francais
Exploring Domestic and Foreign Affairs in United States History
Below is a selection of series that focus on significant events in US history and explore the impacts of these events with guest historians, scholars, and educators. There are many more collections like these in the AAPB and we invite you to search the collection at americanarchive.org.
From the War of 1812 to Manifest Destiny | 30 min episodes
The America Past series, contributed by Rocky Mountain PBS, includes 22 episodes that introduce the people and places important to the social and cultural history of the United States. Programs trace the country’s development from the founding of the thirteen original colonies to the conditions that led to the Civil War.
The purpose of these programs is twofold: first, to add
visual reinforcement to the study of history by taking the student
to sites such as Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and
Plimoth Plantation; and, second, to assist a teacher who
wishes only to review or survey colonial history.
‘A Teachers Guide to America Past’ from Rocky Mountain PBS is available online at https://education.ket.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/americapast.pdf.
Domestic and Foreign Affairs throughout the 19th Century | 30 min episodes
The American Politics and Diplomacy series, contributed by KUT Radio, was a weekly radio series that illuminated the “crucial, but often little understood relationships between domestic and foreign affairs in American history since the 19th century.” These programs were designed by scholars Elspeth Rostow, then Associate Professor of History and Dean of General and Comparative Economics studies at the University of Austin at Texas (UT), and her husband Walt Rostow, then Professor of History and Economics at UTAustin and best know for being a top adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
Listen to 26 episodes of the series here: https://americanarchive.org/catalog?f%5Bseries_titles%5D%5B%5D=American+Politics+and+Diplomacy&f%5Baccess_types%5D%5B%5D=online.
Connecting the Past to the Present | 60 min episodes
The BackStory Collection contains 154 episodes from the popular public radio series and podcast on timely topics in American history. In episodes, BackStory’s hosts, all renowned historians and educators, discuss connections between the present and the past in a way that, according to the show’s website, “makes learning about history like going to a lively cocktail party.”
Conversations discuss American history and culture, censorship, conspiracy theories, maps, dating and courtship, death and mourning, the color green, taxation, guns, populism, satire, and women in politics.
Subjects include American history, women, race, racism, social life, education, religion, politics, economics, health, immigration, war, and holidays.
Access the collection here: https://americanarchive.org/special_collections/backstory.
Field Trip: Botanical Gardens Tour
Botanical gardens are dedicated to the cultivation, display and preservation of specialized plant collections. With many of these destinations temporarily closed, we invite you to explore the excellent garden tours in the AAPB. Hopefully these programs will freshen up your day and help you conquer the weeds!
Botanical Beauties: US Botanical Gardens
WPBS (Watertown, NY) | 1993 | 26 mins
Nestled in the heart of Washington D.C., the US Botanical Gardens is home to numerous themed gardens including Mostly Mints, Summer Madness, Purple and Yellow Garden, Children’s Garden and the Hanging Basket Garden.
The Chinese Gardens of Montreal
Mountain Lake PBS (Plattsburgh, NY) | 2006 | 27 mins
The Chinese Gardens of Montreal replicate a private garden from the Ming Dynasty. On this tour you will find a garden full of ancient symbolism and imagery.
New York Botanical Garden
Thirteen WNET (New York, NY) | 2006 | 27 mins
A tour of the New York Botanical Garden, a world-class research institution, invites you into the world of the botanists who are DNA-barcoding—a technique that has the potential to address such challenges as species endangerment and climate change.
Hit the Dirt: Botanical Latin
WERU Community Radio (East Orland, Maine) | 7 mins
Latin names tell you a lot about a plant. The host of Hit the Dirt breaks down how a botanical name can tell you a plant’s origin, shape, color, use and who it may be named after.
William Shakespeare’s writings capture the range of human emotion and conflict. Known throughout the world, Shakespeare has been celebrated and studied for more than 400 years. Below are public radio programming with Shakespearean experts who articulate the impact of Shakespeare’s work.
AAPB in Primary Source Sets of the Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America has included primary sources from the AAPB in curated Primary Source Sets. These collections use different mediums to explore topics in history, literature, and culture developed by educators — complete with teaching guides for class use.
|Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison||An audio recording of Ralph Ellison testifying before the US Senate about Harlem, 1966.||Clip||Original|
|Stonewall and Its Impact on the Gay Liberation Movement||An excerpt from a 1958 radio program discussing gay people in the US.||Clip||Original|
|Truth, Justice, and the Birth of the Superhero Comic Book||Excerpts from a radio interview with Bob Harvey, an historian of comic books and author.||Clip||Original|
|Space Race||A 1962 news clip of the hydrogen-powered American Centaur missile exploding after take-off.||Clip||Original|
|Rock ‘n’ Roll: Beginnings to Woodstock||An excerpt from a video interview with Dorothy LaBostrie discussing “Tutti Frutti” and the relationship of gospel, blues, and rock ’n’ roll.||Clip||Original|
American Originals: Iconic Objects
What defines ‘America’? Since the nation’s founding in 1776, the United States has been home to many iconic concepts, monuments, inventions, arts and activities that have made a profound influence on American culture. Below is a selection of programs in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting that further highlight how iconic objects in American history have shaped everyday society.
The Declaration of Independence
America Past introduces the people and places important to the social and cultural history of the United States. In this episode, host Jim Fleet gives context to the creation of The Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The Golden Spike of the Transcontinental Railroad
Chinese People in the United States, The Institute on Man and Science (1969)
Contributed by the University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
The annual assembly of The Institute on Man and Science is designed to focus attention on 20th century technology and the human relationships resulting from its application. The speaker for this program is author Betty Lee Song, a scholar of Asian American studies, her several publications on Asian American race issues have been recognized as an influential force in advancing the rights of Asian Americans and immigrants in the United States.
Rosie the Riveter: Image of a Working Woman
During World War II, ‘Rosie the Riveter’ represented the spirit of female independence and echoed the values associated with the American work ethic. What most may not realize is that Rose Will Monroe was from Clarksville, Indiana and in this episode of Across Indiana, Rosie’s daughters speak about how their mother’s image became such a powerful symbol for American women not only in the 40s but also today.
The Hollywood Sign
Host of Inquiring Mind, Kathy Glover, speaks with Dr. Thomas Schatz, Associate Professor of Radio Television and Film at the University of Texas Austin, and author of the book “Hollywood Genres.” They discuss the “classic era” of Hollywood, 1930-1960, and they talk about the six classic genres: Western, Gangster, Hardboiled Detective, Screweball Comedy, Musical and Family Melodrama.
Santiago Calatrava’s Train Station
In 2004, the New York Port Authority unveiled a design for a new transportation hub at the World Trade Center. Most critics hailed it as a ‘civic masterpiece’ and the episode begins with an interview with the man who designed the new station downtown, Santiago Calatrava.
Check back each day for more resources!