Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

American Archive of Public Broadcasting

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The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a collaboration of the Library of Congress and WGBH Educational Foundation, founded through the efforts of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Its Online Reading Room, providing access to a large amount of American public broadcasting content, opened in October, 2015.


About 20% of the 40,000 hours of broadcasting in the collection is accessible in the United States via the Online Reading Room. Public access to the entire collection is available at the WGBH Media Library and Archives on Guest Street in Boston, Massachusetts or at the James Madison Memorial Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Sound recordings are available at the Recorded Sound Research Center at the Performing Arts Reading Room and video is available at the Moving Image Research Center of the library. Appointments are often required at any of these facilities.

Funders include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Council on Library and Information Resources, and Institute of Museum and Library Services.


The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) began inventorying US public media content in 2007. By 2013, 2.5 million items had been inventoried including 40,000 hours of broadcasting which was being digitized with funding from the CPB. An advisory council, which included Ken Burns, John W. Carlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cokie Roberts, Stephen D. Smith, Margaret Spellings, Howard Stringer, and Jesús Salvador Treviño, recommended that a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress form and operate the archive.

In the first phase of the project, which began in 2013, the Archive will complete the digitization of 40,000 hours of radio and television programs and select an additional 5,000 hours of born-digital programs to be included in the collection. The collection will be made available to the public on-site in Washington, DC and in Boston. A rights clearance strategy will be developed to comply with legal restrictions, including copyright law and a website will provide public access to much of the collection.

Other projects

Programs from National Educational Television (NET), which operated from 1952 through 1972, are being cataloged in a project scheduled to be completed in 2018. 8,000-10,000 NET titles are expected to be cataloged and an incomplete preliminary list is currently online.

The PBS NewsHour Digitization Project will digitize and make available thirty-two years (1975-2007) of broadcasts of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Transcripts of over 9,000 shows (1975-2015) will also be made available.


American Archive of Public Broadcasting Wikipedia

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