Unprecedented statewide collaboration has preserved thousands of at-risk programs covering Indigenous and Hispanic affairs, arts, politics and more
“Witnessing New Mexico” digital StoryMap explores how New Mexico’s public media has covered discrimination and empowered communities since the ’60s
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Library of Congress
BOSTON (January 10, 2023) – The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has released the New Mexico Public Media (NMPM) Collection, which brings together more than 8,000 items from public media stations across the state, including full television and radio programs, as well as interviews and footage documenting New Mexico’s social, political, artistic and cultural history between 1963 and 2020. As part of this innovative statewide collaboration, five stations, coordinated by New Mexico PBS, worked to digitize programs that resided on obsolete and deteriorating audio and video formats, making accessible historic public media from an underrepresented region. The collection includes programs by Indigenous producers, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentaries, bilingual and Spanish language series, Vietnam War protest coverage and more.
“Public television station video archives are an essential record for our communities. Reaching beyond the headlines into the heart of communities, the New Mexico Public Media Collection touches on the essential nature of our towns and the people we serve. I’m thrilled that working together we were able to preserve this outstanding collection and make it available to the public,” said Franz Joachim, General Manager & CEO, New Mexico PBS.
“What a relief! New Mexico truly is an extraordinary place. I am so grateful we were able to preserve and share the amazing, diverse voices and stories found in our respective archives. They will not be lost to time,” said Michael Kamins, Supervising Project Manager, New Mexico PBS.
Thousands of programs in the NMPM Collection are now available to stream online for the first time since their initial broadcast. The series include KNME’s ¡COLORES!, a weekly newsmagazine about New Mexico’s creative spirit; and KUNM’s National Indian Council on Aging, a collection of public service announcements in Navajo, Zuni, Lakota and other Indigenous languages; Peabody Award-winning KNME documentary Surviving Columbus and its raw footage, created by Indigenous filmmakers about the Pueblo people; footage and news reports from the penitentiary and Monuments to Failure: America’s Prison Crisis, a 1987 examination reported by Tom Wicker on the state of penitentiaries in five states including New Mexico; KUNM’s La Chicana, an exploration of what it means to be a Chicana feminist; KUNM’s UNM Strike Documentary with coverage of six days of protest against the Vietnam War at the University of New Mexico in 1970; KRWG’s regional Emmy Award-winning documentary series Crossing, an examination of border crossings; and KENW’s Report from Santa Fe, broadcast weekly for nearly forty years and featuring conversations with notable people living in or visiting New Mexico.
“It has been an honor to work with NMPBS and all the contributing New Mexico stations to preserve this record of state history, culture and language,” said Karen Cariani, the David O. Ives Executive Director of GBH Archives and GBH Project Director for the AAPB. “A collaboration of this scale allows us to physically preserve these programs and provide an online home for the public to access them in perpetuity. The AAPB’s NMPM Collection is an invaluable resource for researchers, historians, journalists and the public to better understand New Mexico’s history and to bridge the gap in archival material from underrepresented communities.”
The NMPM Collection is accompanied by a digital exhibition, “Witnessing New Mexico: The New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project,” authored by the NMPM Digitization Project fellows David P. Saiz and Dr. Rachel Snow. Through their extensive knowledge of the collection material, the multimedia StoryMap offers an insightful window into New Mexico’s past and present, with a special focus on how communities in the state have resisted discrimination and marginalization.
The digitization of the NMPM Collection was funded by a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant beginning in 2020. Collaborating stations include KENW-TV at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales; KRWG in Las Cruces, owned by the Regents of New Mexico State University; KUNM in Albuquerque, owned and operated by the University of New Mexico since 1966; New Mexico PBS (KNME) in Albuquerque, jointly owned and operated by the University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Public Schools; and KANW-FM in Albuquerque, the oldest FM radio station in New Mexico, operated by Albuquerque Public Schools since 1950. The collection also includes archival materials contributed by the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives in Santa Fe, the University of New Mexico’s Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections in Albuquerque, and the Santa Fe Opera. David G. Griffin contributed programs he produced for KANW-FM.
More than 6,000 NMPM Collection items are available to stream online with the remainder accessible on-site at the Library of Congress and at GBH in Boston.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the NMPM collection and exhibit, visit New Mexico PBS’s special New Mexico Public Media Collection web page with additional information including a blog and highlights from the collection.
About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (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 150,000 digital files of television and radio programming contributed by more than 150 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 GBH, and more than 90,000 files are available online at americanarchive.org.
About New Mexico PBS (NMPBS)
Celebrating over 60 years of service, NMPBS (KNME & KNMD-TV) serving New Mexico and the Navajo Nation, broadcasts and streams a wide array of nature, history, current affairs, health, performance, children’s, educational and entertainment programs. NMPBS produces NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS, COLORES! and a variety of specials. NMPBS operates 5 digital KNME broadcast channels: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5, and streams most programs on the PBS Video App. The five KNMD Channels mirror KNME, and broadcast in ATSC 3.0, in the NextGen TV format. NMPBS is co-licensed to the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Albuquerque Public Schools (APS).