Funded Projects

The following projects have been funded through the Recordings at Risk grant program, a national regranting program administered by CLIR to support the preservation of rare and unique audio and audiovisual content of high scholarly value. Generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program will award a total of $4.5 million between 2017 and 2021.

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Seventh Call (Awarded Spring 2020)

Arhoolie Foundation ($49,851.00)

Preserving the Chris Strachwitz Video Collection

The Arhoolie Foundation seeks a CLIR: Recordings at Risk grant to digitally preserve over 400 hours of video recordings made by renowned music producer and documentarian Chris Strachwitz from 1987 to 2016. Shot on Video 8, HI-8, and Mini-DV, these rare videos give us an up-close and behind-the-scenes view of many of our most treasured regional musicians: Flaco Jimenez, Lydia Mendoza, Fats Domino, Johnny Otis, Ry Cooder, Rose Maddox, and many others. The grant’s purpose will be to protect this unique body of historical material from physical deterioration or catastrophic loss, and to make it accessible to scholars, students, teachers, musicians, filmmakers, and others through online exhibits, public presentations, educational materials, and secure onsite viewing at our physical archive in El Cerrito, CA.

California Academy of Sciences ($50,000.00)

Preserving Academy History through the Digitization of “Science in Action”

The California Academy of Sciences respectfully requests a $50,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize 200 film reels from our “Science in Action” collection. The project will ensure that an important part of Academy history is preserved while making the films accessible to researchers and the public.

The International Association of Blacks in Dance, Inc. ($50,000.00)

Preserving the History and Legacy of Black Dance in America

The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) proposes to digitize and make accessible audiovisual recordings of historically significant material dating back to its inception in 1988. IABD is the world’s largest service organization devoted to preserving and promoting Black Dance. Materials include recordings held by IABD and member companies. Recordings include panel discussions, lectures, master classes, demonstrations and performances that showcase the work of regional, national and international companies. The holdings reflect the diversity of Black Dance. IABD will digitally reformat these at-risk audiovisual materials and make them available to the public via Howard University’sMoorland-Spingarn Research Library; an archive site that will be accessible from IABD’s website; and videos posted to its YouTube Channel. The material provides an inclusive depiction of the rich legacy of the Black Dance experience. Digitizing these recordings will enable artists, scholars, students, educators, general public and future generations to access these treasures.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ($47,305.00)

New Music for Computers: Early Recordings from the MIT Experimental Music Studio, 1973-1988

ACT will catalog, digitize, preserve, and make publicly available 132 reels of magnetic audio recordings, featuring over 140 composers and performers, created by the MIT Media Lab’s Experimental Music Studio (EMS) from 1973 through 1988. Founded in 1973, EMS was the first facility in the world to dedicate digital computers to the full-time research and composition of computer music. The studio was responsible for developing and improving technologies including real-time digital synthesis, graphical patching languages, and advanced music languages. The collection features some of the earliest recordings of computer music including works by Joan La Barbara, Tod Machover, Mario Davidovsky, and Charles Dodge, along with other composers, programmers, and artists. Due to the delicate nature of magnetic tape, experimental/computer music from this era is rare, making this collection historically significant to researchers from both music and computer programming fields. Once digitized, the recordings will be hosted on a dedicated website.

The Museum of Flight ($25,088.00)

Aviation through the Ages: Digitizing Home Movies from The Museum of Flight Collections

The Museum of Flight will conduct a year-long project to digitize home movies found within our collections. Drawing from 18 separate accessions, we have selected 86 films to be digitized by an off-site vendor. We will hire an intern to create item-level descriptive and administrative metadata records for each file and finding aids for the 18 associated accessions. The digitized files and associated metadata will be added to our online digital collections. The films cover a variety of topics, from glimpses of famous pilots to military scenes spanning the Golden Age of aviation in the early 20th century to the space age in the 1970s. As a whole, the selection creates a sampling of moments from throughout the history of aviation.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. ($13,995.00)

“The Glory of Their Times” Unedited: Preserving and Digitizing the Larry Ritter Oral History Collection.

Larry Ritter wrote The Glory of Their Times from a series of oral histories he collected over five years, driving over 75,000 miles to find men who played professional baseball from the 1880s through the 1950s. When he found them, he set up his tape recorder and interviewed them. While each interviewee discusses their baseball career, they also discuss what life was like, from turn-of-the-century America to the mid-1960s. From details on industrial labor practices to anti-Semitism after World War II, these unedited interviews are a trove of personal reminiscences. The original ¼ inch reel-to-reel tapes, housed in the archives at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, are in immediate need of digitization. They will be delivered to a professional conservator for stabilization and digital transfer. The original tape will then be returned to storage and the digital surrogates will be made publically available.

New York University (NYU) ($37,924.00)

Preserving Community Radio, Preserving Community Voices: “Beyond the Pale,” Politics and Culture from the Jewish Left

NYU Special Collections proposes digitizing, preserving, and making accessible (both onsite and remotely) 727 recordings of the weekly radio program “Beyond the Pale” (BtP). From 1995-2014, BtP aired on WBAI, a non-commercial, listener-supported radio station. Varying in programmatic format from interviews to debates, the recordings document the reflections, opinions, and analyses of progressive and leftist Jewish activists, artists, politicians, historians, and writers including: Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, Eric Foner, Adrienne Rich, Tony Kushner, William Kunstler, and others. The program presented an international perspective in its reporting and addressed such still-critical topics as United States imperialism, the Iraq War, Palestinian sovereignty, Ethopian Jewish identity, Israel, and the Middle East peace process. US-centric reporting unpacked a wide range of subjects such as domestic violence, disability justice, sex work, policing and incarceration, LGBTQIA issues, anarchism, labor, and racial justice and equity.

Ocean Alliance ($36,298.00)

Preserving the Voices of Whales: Digitizing Global Audio Recordings, 1950s-1990s

In the 1960’s, Ocean Alliance President, Dr. Roger Payne discovered that humpback whales sing songs: one of the most enigmatic behaviors in the natural world. The discovery helped to spark the save the whale movement, shifting the public’s perception of whales to intelligent and sentient animals. It also played a key role in the birth of modern whale biology and remains one of the most studied facets of whale behavior. Ocean Alliance has 331 magnetic audio reels of whale song recordings from the 1950s to the 1990s that are in dire need of digitization and preservation. These recordings contain whale vocalizations from waters of Alaska, Bermuda, Chile, the Galapagos, Sri Lanka, and Africa. The incredible biodiversity makes these archives unmatched in scientific existence. Whale song evolves over time—naturally and in response to human activities—these recordings are essential for understanding how whales contend with a rapidly changing ocean.

State Archives of North Carolina ($37,039.00)

Preserving and Providing Access to Legislative History: Senate Audio Digitization

North Carolina’s Senate Daily Legislative Session Audio Recordings (SR.66.25), 1993-2005, were made on open reel tapes using a Dictaphone Veritrac device, an analog medium nearing obsolescence. This project seeks to convert this Senate audio into digital files to facilitate (1) long-term preservation in our Digital Repository and (2) online access through the North Carolina Digital Collection. Major activities will include sending the tapes out to a vendor for digitization, resulting in preservation masters (WAV) and access copies (MP3); creating preservation and access metadata, uploading the products to our preservation and access platforms, and preparing for their long-term management.

The Senate audio record series comprises the official audio records of the chamber’s daily floor debates, documenting the activities of North Carolina’s General Assembly. Major points of debate include topics of national importance, major events affecting citizens of North Carolina, and day-to-day government decisions that affect the lives of all North Carolinians.

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research ($16,922.00)

Digitizing Decades of Scientific Achievement: At-risk recordings from UCAR and NCAR history

The goal of this project is to digitize at-risk films, videos, and recordings that document an important period in the history of science: the early years of studying the global climate through atmospheric and Earth system science research. The materials to be digitized include original observational data films, field experiment documentation, and educational productions that were created as part of the mission of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The materials will be sent to a local, qualified vendor for digital reformatting, preserved as part of the NCAR Archives’ digital preservation program, cataloged, and shared through NCAR’s institutional repository.

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) ($34,504.00)

Digitization and Dissemination of Technically Problematic KUAC-FM Radio (Alaska) Programs (1979-1997) – Phase II

155.5 hours of the nearly 950 tapes from the KUAC-FM Audiotapes Collection at UAF, are to be digitized by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Recordings will be accessible via the internet through the UAF Library Catalog via WorldCat. The collection will be of interest to historians, scientists and researchers around the globe. Over half of the material is from the Chinook subseries and relates to Alaska and circumpolar Indigenous issues, land claims, Athabascan ways of life/religion, Native corporations, alcohol issues, language documentation, Eskimo songs and stories, health issues; and interviews with notable Indigenous Alaskans such as Willie Hensley, Chief Andrew Isaac, Effie Kokrine, Byron Mallot. The other half of the proposed material are from 4 other subseries and topics include interviews with international academics, poets, and authors, with topics such as Alaska Aleut culture, teen pregnancy, infant care, log building, programs on aurora research and prediction, seals and permafrost.

The University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections (UALSC) ($39,175.00)

Preserving the Films of Andrew Ellicott Douglass, Astronomer, Archaeologist, and Father of Tree-Ring Dating

University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections seeks funds for stabilization, digital reformatting, digital preservation storage and public access for ninety films in the Andrew Ellicott Douglass papers (AZ 072). A University of Arizona professor and dendrochronology pioneer, Douglass was an early adopter of amateur moviemaking technology, recording his academic undertakings in astronomy, climate science, and especially the tree-ring record, which illuminated the chronology of ancient human settlement in the Southwestern United States. On 16mm and 35mm film, Douglass produced early film images of ancestral indigenous settlements in the Americas, and documented significant breakthroughs in scientific practices and research from the 1920s through the 1950s as they happened. The films’ significance across scientific disciplines and implications for interdisciplinary study cannot be overstated. The University of Arizona continues to lead in the fields of tree-ring research, climate science, planetary science and astronomy, thus availability of these films for ongoing scholarship is vital.

University of Delaware ($15,199.00)

Hearing Democracy in the First State: Preserving Delaware’s Political Legacy, 1949 – 1986

The University of Delaware will digitize unique and currently inaccessible audio recordings from four political collections held in Library Special Collections, covering forty years of Delaware politics. The focus of the grant, the William Satterfield collection of Delaware political radio commercials and interviews, documents the political environment in Delaware between 1970 and 1984. The voices of candidates and public officials, ranging from local politicians to the President of the United States, will be available for the first time since these commercials and interviews originally aired, conveying policy stances and the state of political discourse in Delaware during the 1970s and early 1980s. Other notable recordings included in this project are speeches and interviews from United States Senators John J. Williams (R, 1947-1970) and J. Allen Frear, Jr. (D, 1949-1961), who represented Delaware during two historically significant decades in the mid-20th century. The reformatted recordings will be accessible via Artstor Commons.

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Libraries, Marr Sound Archives ($33,323.00)

Preserving 1940s Radio Broadcasts on Severely Damaged Lacquer Discs

The Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-Kansas City holds over 400,000 audiovisual items, with a focus on the American experience as reflected in recorded sound. Included in the collection are 62,000 radio broadcasts, many of which are currently being digitized in-house for preservation. A small portion, however, are lacquer discs that are too severely damaged to be digitized with conventional audio equipment. The non-contact method used by the IRENE audio preservation technology, located at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), is currently the only solution to obtain the content from the damaged discs. The broadcasts were recorded in the 1940s and include world news, news commentary, radio dramas, and performances by the Kansas City Philharmonic. These unique primary resources hold a piece of history and reflect the culture of the period, which will prove fruitful to researchers in the fields of history and media.

University of Washington (UW) Libraries, Special Collections ($33,485.00)

Digitizing the Independent Media Center World Trade Organization Videotape Collection

The University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections (UWSC) proposes a 12-month project to digitize, preserve, and make accessible 338 videotapes created by filmmakers and activists during the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, Washington. The videotapes from the Independent Media Center (IMC) collection offer a unique perspective into a historic moment that brought together grassroots activists, labor leaders, environmentalists, farmers, anarchists, and artists who made history and shaped social justice movements around the world.

 

The IMC videotapes will be digitized to preservation standards with access copies made publicly available for the first time both on-site and online. Detailed descriptions of the contents of the videotapes will be added to the collection finding aid, as well as, to the files posted online. This rich metadata will provide students, scholars, and researchers access to primary resources with a unique perspective on historic events that captured the world’s attention.

Vassar College ($39,986.00)

Vassar College Archival Recordings Project: Music as Document and Indicator of Social Change

The Vassar College Archival Recordings collection captures nearly 80 years of collegiate music traditions, oral histories, and intercollegiate and local collaborations between faculty, students, and the surrounding community. These unique recordings help to document changes in higher education, including Vassar’s transition from single sex to a co-educational college, and are valuable to scholars in fields ranging from gender and cultural studies, to musicology and local histories. Much of Vassar’s collection is deteriorating, inadequately cataloged and inaccessible to researchers. Digitization will foster scholarship in this under-researched area by preserving this rich primary source material. In this project, Vassar Libraries will partner with the Northeast Document Conservation Center and George Blood Audio Visual to digitize recordings at greatest risk, provide online access, enhance metadata, ingest master files and metadata into Vassar’s digital repository, and promote this collection.

Vermont Jazz Center (VJC) ($40,889.00)

The Attila Zoller collection of historical audio recordings 1955-1996: Forty years of performances documenting numerous important jazz artists, as well as the development of an innovative jazz guitarist.

The project will digitize a major collection of currently unavailable, historic jazz recordings, and provide descriptive metadata and audio examples online for jazz students and scholars. Attila Zoller was a major post-WWII jazz guitarist, born in Hungary and moving to the United States in 1959. He quickly became an in-demand guitarist at the highest levels of jazz. His personal archival recordings document his work in Europe, Germany, New York City, and his country retreat in Vermont. On these open reel and cassette tapes, Zoller is heard performing with influential jazz musicians such as John Abercrombie, Paul Bley, Al Haig, Jimmy Heath, Lee Konitz, Scott LaFaro, Cecil McBee, and many others. These recordings are currently not available for research due to their fragility; the project will stabilize and digitize them, as well as make them available online. The Zoller collection is a unique and irreplaceable record of important jazz performers.

Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) ($36,950.00)

Towards a Democratic Medium: Video Activism and Community Television in the 1970’s – Preserving the Portable Channel Tapes

The goal of this initiative is to transfer and provide access to 200 currently inaccessible and decaying half inch open reel videotapes produced by a pioneering Rochester, NY media organization who created some of the earliest citizen made documentary television in the United States. The videos on the Portable Channel tapes are a unique and important resource for the public, for teaching, and for research in many disciplines including media studies, visual studies, communications, women’s studies, cultural studies, history and American studies. Because the material is currently inaccessible and endangered, digitization is the only way to ensure access now and over time to this important trove of historical material covering a critical decade in American life. Visual Studies Workshop will contract with Standby to transfer the tapes and will share the videos and metadata created during the project with the public onsite, through VSW’s website, and on VSW’s online collections.

Ya-Ka-Ama Indian Education and Development, Inc. ($38,310.00)

Northern California Tribal Traditions: Education, Culture and Values

Ya-Ka-Ama, which translates to “our land,” aims to digitize the remaining tapes of its media collection in order to provide access to current and future generations seeking knowledge of essential historical and cultural content held on obsolete tape media. The tapes include a chronicling of tribal leadership, practices, events, reënactments, teachings, and celebrations from the late 70s to early 90s featuring Native American tribes from Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, and Marin Counties in California, as well as those in Hawaii and Alaska.

 

Ya-Ka-Ama recognizes that it is critical to immediately digitize these vulnerable recordings for two reasons: 1) we are located in a fire-endangered region of Northern California and 2) many of the people recorded are no longer living or near the ends of their lives, resulting in it being nearly the last time Ya-Ka-Ama can accurately meta-tag its media with personal verification and historical accuracy.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research ($29,992.00)

The YIVO Yiddish Folksong Project: East European Jewish Folksong in its Social Context

The YIVO Institute proposes to digitize recordings of 2,000 Yiddish folksongs and oral histories collected as part of the YIVO Folksong Project directed by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett from 1973-1975. This collection is a one-of-a-kind, large-scale gathering of oral histories centered around traditional Yiddish music.

Eastern European Yiddish folksongs and music are especially valuable for study because the Yiddish-speaking Jewish ethnic minority was distributed over a vast and culturally diverse geographic territory. The songs in this collection show evidence of great interethnic interaction and present rich opportunities for understanding the repercussions of this interaction on the musical system of Eastern European Jews.

Because of the destruction of Yiddish culture during the Holocaust, these recordings represent the most comprehensive collection of remaining sources of live performances of Yiddish folksongs in the world.

This project will allow for preservation reformatting and distribution online, thus making them accessible to researchers and the public.

Sixth Call (Awarded Fall 2019)

Tri-Centric Foundation ($28,925)

Braxton75 Archival Recordings Project

The Braxton75 Archival Recordings Project seeks CLIR support to digitize, preserve, and make accessible 777 items of high priority audiovisual materials of composer, MacArthur fellow, and 2014 NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton. This singular collection by the most significant American experimental music composer of the last 50 years is a treasure trove of Braxton’s work from 1970-2014. These materials have been boxed, barcoded, and inventoried and are currently being held in the Tri-Centric Archive in New Haven. These materials will play a key role in Braxton75, our initiative honoring Braxton’s 75th birthday throughout 2020. Partnering ensembles and educators will animate our collection through study and performance of these new archival recordings. We plan to donate the digital collection to Yale University’s Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, a portion of which will be made discoverable and accessible via Archives at Yale in 2020 with the remainder becoming completely available in 2021.

Brown University in Providence in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations ($23,215)

Brown University Archives Audio-Visual Collection: Global Perspectives from Campus Speeches

This project proposes to digitize 345 magnetic audio and VHS tapes and make them accessible via the Brown Digital Repository (BDR). Colleges and universities provide a unique platform for prominent individuals to expound ideas of great historical significance and offer resonant social commentary. Speeches by leading public figures invited to Brown University between 1950 and 1995 document changing intellectual and social currents taking place across the United States on topics that resonate today such as social justice, politics, education, and the media.

Library staff will identify themes documented in the audio-video materials that are especially relevant for current scholarship, with a particular focus on growing the historical record of agents of social change. The University Library will publicize the availability of the digital files through the Library website, blogs, professional and academic listservs, and social media. The Library will produce a publicly available white paper detailing project methods and workflows.

Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt University ($46,695)

Opening Access to Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Voices: Manuel Zapata Olivella‘s Recordings of Marginalized Cultures and Traditions

The Vanderbilt University Libraries requests $46,694.50 to support the preservation and conversion from analog to digital of 1,321 audio cassette tapes, a portion of the Manuel Zapata Olivella Papers, housed in Special Collections. As one of our collections most visited by scholars, it reflects the burgeoning field of Afro-Hispanic research. The tapes include radio programs, conferences, World Congresses of Black Culture, and ethnographic interviews documenting wide-ranging topics (e.g., indigenous and Afro-Colombian religion, traditional medicine, marriage and death rituals, music, dance, food, magic, slave ancestry, handicrafts, street theater, folklore, and social behavior). The materials will be publicly accessible from the Library’s Manuel Zapata Olivella website with links to the interview records and transcripts where available. We received a 2018/19 grant to outsource 426 tapes, as a pilot for design and workflow for this larger proposal. Ultimately, the corresponding photographs will be linked to the interviews creating an audio and visual record.

Montana Historical Society ($32,118)

Voices of Labor: Preserving the Montanans at Work and New Deal in Montana Oral History Interviews

Through the Voices of Labor: Preserving the Montanans at Work and New Deal in Montana Oral History Interviews project, the Montana Historical Society proposes to preserve and reformat oral history interviews on analog cassette tapes that document the working lives of Montanans. The interviews capture the stories of Montanans in the mining, agriculture, and forest products industries, as well as Montanans working in Depression-era New Deal programs, especially the construction of the Fort Peck Dam. Created in the 1980s and consisting of 521 interviews on 959 compact cassettes, these interviews represent the recordings in the MHS oral history collection that are most at risk for deterioration and/or those with the most significant content. MHS will work with George Blood, L.P. to create audio master files, technical metadata, and audio access files. Access files for the recordings will be made freely accessible to the public through the Montana Memory Project.

The Administrators of the Tulane University Educational Fund ($14,903)

“Tell the real story of me”: Mahalia Jackson and Black Gospel Quartets in the South

Tulane University Special Collections seeks to digitize, preserve, describe, and make accessible 243 cassette tapes from its Hogan Jazz Archive collection. The Laurraine Goreau collection contains 109 cassettes chronicling the legacy of the “Queen of Gospel,” Mahalia Jackson. Interviews with Jackson and her close associates, including American icons like Ralph Abernathy and Ella Fitzgerald, provide an intimate portrait of the singer. They document Black gospel’s entry into post-war American popular culture and highlight Jackson’s role in the US civil rights movement. The Lynn Abbott collection holds 134 cassettes that offer first-person narratives from the African-American performers, educators, and cultural leaders who nurtured the development of Black gospel quartets in the United States South in the early twentieth century, thereby establishing the musical environment that influenced Jackson. These recordings and enhanced metadata will be publicly accessible via the Tulane University Digital Library; metadata will be discoverable via the Library’s search tools.

University Library System, University of Pittsburgh ($36,069)

Preservation and Access to Pittsburgh’s Black Arts Movement Performance Organizations: The Legacy Media of the Bob Johnson Papers and Kuntu Repertory Theatre Collection

The University of Pittsburgh requests funds to preserve and provide access to Pittsburgh’s Black Arts Movement organizations’ legacy media within two Pittsburgh African American performing arts collections. These collections, the Bob Johnson Papers and the Kuntu Repertory Theatre Collection, contain various formats of audio-visual media that are currently not available to researchers. These materials are significant because there are limited collections that feature notable African American scholar-practitioners in drama and dance and document Pittsburgh’s African cultural legacy and its impact nationally. These recorded performances represent an important contribution to the national memory of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) and subsequent movements for community self-determination that were inspired by the BAM and local black-led arts institutions. The funding would provide for support to contract with a vendor to digitize the obsolete and at-risk legacy media into formats following digital preservation best practices which would facilitate greater access.

Congregation Adath Israel ($18,570)

Preserving the Voices of American Jews: Temple Israel of Boston’s Audio Recordings, 1934-1979

This yearlong project aims to preserve, digitize, and make accessible 279 individual recordings on 193 physical audio carriers in the Temple Israel Archives. Many of these recordings of sermons, services, lectures, and community events, dating from 1934 to 1979, survive in no other format at Temple Israel or other repositories. They feature eminent Temple Israel rabbis Harry Levi (1911-1939), Joshua Loth Liebman (1939-1948), and Roland B. Gittelsohn (1959-1977); congregants; and other Jewish and non-Jewish religious leaders. After they have been reformatted, free public access will be provided through the Digital Commonwealth and Digital Public Library of America. Preserving the voices and words of these distinguished rabbis, their congregants, the Reform Jewish community, and others will recover and uncover important new material that will add depth and a sensory dimension to scholars’ understanding of their world and the history of American Reform Judaism over several decades.

George Mason University Foundation, Inc.( $10,820.00 )

Preserving the Voices of the Works Progress Administration Arts Projects: Digitizing the WPA Oral Histories Collection, 1938-1984

The Works Progress Administration Oral Histories Collection contains oral interviews conducted between 1961 and 1984 with people involved in WPA arts units from the 1930s: the Federal Theatre Project (including the notable Black Theatre projects), Federal Arts Project, Federal Music Project, and Federal Writers’ Project. The WPA provided jobs for over 8 million Americans, over 40,000 of which were employed by the arts units (including women, African Americans, and others historically underrepresented). By digitizing these interviews that currently exist on at-risk audio cassettes, we will preserve voices that otherwise would be lost and provide access via our website. Preserving and sharing the voices of the actors, designers, dancers, directors, writers, musicians, and others whose talents and personalities infused the arts and entertained millions, will shed light on a time of cultural and historical change in America and tell an important, relevant story for today.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art ($20,016)

Preserving Circus History through the Digitization of the Tibbals Circus Collection of Buster Bailey Films at The Ringling

Circus historian and collector, Howard Tibbals, donated to The Ringling 221 reels of film shot by Buster Bailey, who was a circus musician and amateur cinematographer. Tibbals purchased this collection from Buster Bailey’s wife, Barbara. Our primary goal is to make these films accessible to the public. The urgency to digitize this collection is based on the continuing deterioration of the films, obsolescence of equipment by which to view the films, and the advanced age of those who are knowledgeable of the content on the films. An additional motivating factor is the impact of repeated projections that damage the films when viewed with a projector. Digitization will enable The Ringling to meet requests for access to these films that are currently inaccessible.

Research Foundation of CUNY on behalf of Brooklyn College ($41,103)

“Where the trumpet is expected, the flute will not suffice!” The sermons of the Rev. William Augustus Jones, Jr., 1975-2005

This project seeks funding to digitize a group of sermons given by the Rev. William Augustus Jones, longtime pastor of the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. Given as part of a larger collection of materials documenting the life and work of Rev. Jones, the audio cassette recordings represent approximately 50% of the sermons listed in the catalog of tapes for “The Bethany Hour” – a product of the church’s Radio Ministry. There are also several video tapes (VHS & Betamax), and some reel-to-reel audio tapes. Donated by the widow and adult children of Rev. Jones, the sermons reflect Rev. Jones’ faith and lifelong leadership in the areas of human rights and economic justice. The project seeks to have the materials digitized by an outside vendor. Once complete, the digital files will be uploaded by a project intern to Illumira, a platform utilized by Brooklyn College for hosting digital materials.

North Texas Public Broadcasting, Inc. ($44,048)

Preservation of KERA Historic Media

KERA is partnering with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting to preserve our most at-risk productions from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s and make them available to scholars, journalists and lifelong learners through the Library of Congress. Productions to be saved include “Swank in the Arts,” our weekly in-depth arts program from the late 1970s which included interviews with legendary artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Meredith Monk, and “West of the Imagination,” our award-winning documentary from 1986 about the American West seen through the eyes of artists, photographers and filmmakers. These analog tapes, which hold many underrepresented voices of the past available no place else, are stored in closet space at KERA and the Dallas Public Library, areas that do not have proper environmental conditions designed to prolong the media’s lifespan. It is critical for us to digitize these programs before the content is lost to the ages.

University of North Carolina at Wilmington ($44,871)

WWAY News and Societal Change in the Lower Cape Fear

William Madison Randall Library at the University of North Carolina Wilmington will outsource digitization of 1,412 u-matic tapes containing local news footage from station WWAY, one of only two stations in the Lower Cape Fear area carrying television news since the 1960s and the only station whose news collection is archived. These tapes cover the period 1982-1999 and constitute the portion of the collection most in danger due to both the age and obsolescence of the magnetic media and the collection’s storage condition before transfer to the library. The Library will supply metadata for all digitized news clips and make all metadata and digitized files freely available through its digital collections website. Preserving the tapes constitutes a critical need in that they contain a chronicle of a rapidly growing coastal region confronting a changing social and political landscape even as it also navigates longstanding racial and environmental issues.

Regents of the University of Minnesota ($44,000)

University Radio at Risk: Digital Preservation Reformatting of Educational Radio

The University of Minnesota Libraries seek to preserve approximately 2,500 aging audio reel-to-reel recordings through digital reformatting and to make them available online for discovery and access. These recordings represent radio programs produced by the nation’s oldest continually broadcasting, non-commercial educational station – KUOM. KUOM is not only part of Minnesota’s history; it is part of the national history of radio in America. As a medium, radio had a democratizing effect. For seven decades KUOM provided listeners across the country access to educational information, political conversations, public affairs topics, and social issues through the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) and other distributors prior to and well after the establishment of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Once completed, the digitized recordings will be once again shared with national platforms for discovery and dissemination including the Digital Public Library of America (https://dp.la/) and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (http://americanarchive.org/).

Fifth Call (Awarded Spring 2019)

Alaska Library Network ($19,002)

Preserving at risk audio, video, and film related to public health in Alaska and the circumpolar north

The University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University (UAA/APU) Consortium Library Archives and Special Collections will digitize audio, video, and film which document the history of public health in Alaska and the circumpolar north. A majority of these materials are currently unavailable to researchers due to the obsolescence of equipment and media, and the risk of damage from playback. These materials encompass different facets of health and social science research, which are of interest to current public health physicians and those studying the practice and establishment of health programs and institutions in the last frontier.

Arizona State University Foundation ($49,190)

Arizona State University, Cross-Cultural Dance Resources Collections Media Digitization Project: Preserving and Providing Access to the Audiovisual Materials of an ‘American Treasure’ of Dance Ethnology Scholarship and World Cultural Heritage

Recognized in 2000 by the National Parks Service’s “Save America’s Treasures” program, Cross-Cultural Dance Resources Collections at Arizona State University is a unique humanities research center for interdisciplinary study of dance and human culture. We propose digitization of films (16mm), audio recordings (1/4-inch reel-to-reel, cassettes) and video recordings (VHS, Beta tapes, 8mm video cassettes) selected from the archival collections of dance scholars, pioneers in the fields of cross-cultural dance research, ethnochoreology, and dance anthropology. Our goal is to provide contemporary researchers both on-site and online access to oral history interviews, research lectures, academic symposia, performance events, and original field research recordings. These resources will contribute to the success of the pilot project, “Kealiinohomoku Dance & Human Culture Audiovisual/Scholarship Online Exhibit” funded by ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research. Long term digital preservation of these rare, unique, one-of-a-kind cultural heritage media at risk from obsolescence and deterioration is our commitment.

Berea College ($30,285)

Preserving Appalachian Voices in the Michael and Carrie Kline Collection

Berea College hosts extensive archival audio and video collections that document life, work, culture and experience in the southern Appalachian Region. Berea’s Michael and Carrie Kline Collection contains the 785 interview recordings in multiple at-risk audio formats that this project proposes to digitize. They resulted from projects conducted in West Virginia and Pennsylvania between 1994 and 2006. They are distinctive because of their multiple first person accounts for each of four documented communities. Comparable collections for these communities have been found nowhere else.

The recordings are mostly inaccessible beyond Berea’s Special Collections reading room. Physical copies were provided to related community-based non-profits. However presently the recordings are not referenced on their websites. Only two have collection entries in public library online catalogs. Only one library provides listening copies. None are available online.

This project will digitize the recordings, provide cloud based preservation, online public access, and freely available metadata. 

Computer History Museum ($50,000)

Digital Equipment Corporation Audiovisual Records Digitization (DECARD)

The Computer History Museum (CHM) will catalog, digitize, preserve, and make publicly available 1,959 audio and moving image tapes from the Digital Equipment Corporation Records (DEC) dated between 1979 and 1998. DEC was one of the most successful computer companies of the 20th century. Their seminal minicomputer was the revolutionary bridge between large-scale mainframes and personal computers. The minicomputer changed the way society used technology by making computers accessible to non-specialized users. CHM holds the largest and most complete record of DEC in existence, yet the collection cannot be fully accessed due to the challenges of playing analog audiovisual materials. Once the material is digitized it will be uploaded to the Museum’s online catalog and YouTube channel, where it will be valuable not only to historians of technology and business, but also to scholars of cultural studies, digital humanities, and economic and social history.

Holyoke Public Library Corporation ($14,644)

Claiming Place: Preserving the history of Puerto Rican and Latino Culture and Politics in Western Massachusetts through digitization of the Vecinos/Neighbors and La Familia Hispana, Inc. video collections

The Holyoke Public Library, partnering with Mass Productions, will digitally reformat 173 videotapes created by Puerto Rican and Latino community leaders and activists in Western Massachusetts between 1991 and 2001. The expansion of Puerto Rican and Latino migration to the region in a period of economic decline contributed to debates, in Holyoke and beyond, about poverty, racism, education, the distribution of scarce resources, and more. In 1991, a small group of local Latino leaders began to produce a community access television program that featured the voices of people in their community, fostered discussion of pressing issues, and highlighted the contributions of Latino and Puerto Rican culture to community life. Once it is preserved and made publicly accessible, this collection will provide sought-after primary source material for students and scholars seeking to understand the political and cultural dynamics of urban life in the 1990s.

Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development ($19,808)

American Indian Activism on the Radio: Preservation of “Seeing Red”

“American Indian Activism on the Radio: Preservation of the “Seeing Red” Archive is an audio preservation and public access project. It seeks CLIR funds to digitize, rehouse, and make available an estimated eighty-nine (89) hours of the WBAI-New York radio program “Seeing Red,” hosted by activists Suzan Shown Harjo and Frank Harjo c. 1968-1975. Eighty-nine (89) 7” reel-to-reel tapes will be digitally reformatted, rehoused to archival standards, and made available via the New Mexico’s Digital Collections website hosted by the University of New Mexico. These tapes are part of the Suzan Shown Harjo Papers, a recent acquisition by the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Archives. They are a significant piece of the narrative surrounding the rise of the American Indian Movement and subsequent legislation in self-determination and sovereignty of Native nations. The recordings include a multitude of important interviews including Chuck Trimbull, Russel Means, Dennis Banks, and Vine Deloria.

Kent State University ($30,561)

Commissions, Committees, and Commemorations: Preserving Audio and Audiovisual Responses to the Kent State Shootings

The May 4 Collection (KSU-affiliated people often refer to the Kent State shootings event as “May 4”), established by Kent State University Libraries (KSUL) in May 1970, includes over 300 cubic feet of primary sources related to the Kent State shootings and aftermath. Special Collections and Archives receives approximately 300 inquiries per year to the May 4 collection from researchers around the world. The May 4 collection is currently supporting 20 projects related to the 50th anniversary of the shootings and is one of the most heavily used archival collections. This grant will allow KSUL to preserve and provide access to hundreds of audio and audiovisual recordings generated following the Kent State shootings. The major activities of the project include: preparing materials for digitization by vendor; completing quality assurance; reviewing materials for copyright and privacy concerns; creating individual metadata records for each item; ingesting digitized content into the digital repository.

KUT Radio at University of Texas at Austin ($29,997)

In Black America: Preserving African-American Culture and Achievement in American Society

KUT at The University of Texas at Austin proposes to digitize the nationally syndicated radio program In Black America, a topical weekly program hosted by John L. Hanson and produced at KUT Radio in Austin, Texas. The program hosts prominent guests from the black community and explores all facets of the African American experience.
The collection is stored on 710 quarter-inch audio reels which are deteriorating and obsolete. Through this project, KUT will digitize the collection and add to KUT’s searchable archival repository, and also gift copies to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, making these assets public and discoverable. Further, digitized assets will be available for research at the Briscoe Center for American History in Austin.

This program is unique in its longevity, as it includes historically significant perspectives spanning several decades. Most importantly, it serves to fill the lack of available historical content in an underrepresented community.

NC State University ($28,001)

Preservation and Access for a Foundational Study on the Social Stratification of American English

The Language & Life Project (LLP) and Online Resources for African American Language (ORAAL), partnering with The MediaPreserve will reformat and make accessible 728 at-risk, rare audio interviews created for a foundational study of social stratification in American English (1966-67). Interviewees represent a variety of ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds and interview content will be of great value to linguists and non-linguists alike. Recorded in a large urban area during the civil rights movement, interview topics include white flight and housing segregation as well as cultural norms, family traditions, and education. A subset of the interviews are also critical for the study of African American Language (AAL), allowing researchers to gain a fuller understanding of AAL’s development. All interviews will be archived in SLAAP and a selection will be transcribed and incorporated into ORAAL, the first-ever publicly available online corpus of African American speech.

Smith County Historical Society, Inc. ($25,258)

Historical Magnetic Tape Preservation Project

In 1968, SCHS began recording their educational programs presented by local authors, scholars, librarians, historians and professionals. The topics encompass the life, culture, and region of East Texas in the 1800’s and 1900’s; including Civil War P.O.W. Camp Ford and WWII Camp Fannin. Also recorded are personal interviews with longtime residents, many of whom have passed away. The recordings are on reel-to-reel, cassette and VHS, all of which are now rated at ‘high risk’ for deterioration and content loss. SCHS proposes to digitize approximately 500 hours of recordings; create a public web page journaling the project; provide online access; store and preserve master files and metadata on our server (backed up daily by ETV Software), promote this collection through our partnership with the University of Texas and through our colleagues of historical research as rare personal insights of which approximately 98% of this content has never been published.

Southern California Library ($27,020)

Getting out the Message: Digitizing 10 Years of Public Access TV Programming from Michael Zinzun and the Coalition Against Police Abuse, 1988–1998

The project will digitize and provide access to 603 tapes representing 10 years of the “Message to the Grassroots” public access television program, and the work of Michael Zinzun and the Coalition Against Police Abuse. The television program ran from 1988 to 1998 and focused on community activism in Los Angeles and around the world. Tapes include original footage of the 1992 LA Uprising, one of the first meetings for the LA Gang Truce, community efforts to fight against police violence and for basic human rights such as affordable housing, health care, and meaningful employment. Issues in LA were also connected to international struggles for independence and self-determination in Namibia, Haiti, and Brazil. The tapes will be cleaned and digitized. Access files of the recordings will be made accessible through the Internet Archive and through Mukurtu, and the preservation master files will be stored on hard drives at the Library.

Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center ($27,905)

Axlegrease, the U-Matic years (1987-1999): Digitizing the tapes of Western New York’s artist and activist-led alternative media movement

Squeaky Wheel will work with Media Transfer Service to digitize over 218 hours of content stored on 435 U-Matic tapes comprising the Axlegrease collection, curated selections of video art and documentary films created by local and national artists that were broadcast on a weekly basis in Western New York between 1987-1999. Metadata gathered through the process will be made public via Squeaky Wheel’s website. Digitized videos will be made available for research and study via password protected Vimeo links. Partnering with local cultural entities, such as Garman Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College and Lumiflux Media, Squeaky Wheel will produce a documentary and best practice manual based on this project to promote the preservation of at-risk video art in Western New York. These public collections will be an important primary resource and historical lens through which scholars can view the changing landscape of media art.

State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo ($45,091)

New York State Square Dance Tradition: Digitizing the Recordings of James W. Kimball Collection

In his 40+ year career at SUNY Geneseo, ethnomusicologist James Kimball has documented master traditional musicians of New York State, specializing in the Eastern square dance tradition. These include unique interviews and community performances of notable fiddlers, square dance callers, dance musicians and community members whose knowledge bridges 19th century repertory to contemporary practice of tradition. This collection supplies a rich, layered account of regional music and dance that connects to similar communities across the States, as well as the international phenomena of American square dance. Kimball has donated the entire collection to SUNY Geneseo and has documented his donation in a signed memorandum of understanding. SUNY Geneseo seeks to preserve and make publicly available this important scholarly collection. The project will digitize 498 cassettes, 68 VHS tapes, and 7 Hi 8 mm videos, and prepare the digital materials for access through Geneseo’s open access platform, KnightScholar (bepress Digital Commons).

The University of Alabama in Huntsville. ($18,775)

Shooting for the Moon: Digitizing Audiovisual Materials Related to the Apollo Program

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections proposes a project that will digitize, make accessible, and preserve 186 film reels, 9 audio reels, and 53 audio cassettes relating to the Apollo program and various support operations. In anticipation of renewed scholarly and popular interest generated by the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, UAH seeks to digitize the home movies of rocket pioneer Konrad Dannenberg, footage of the Apollo 11 launch, as well as oral history interviews with both well-known and ancillary figures in the Apollo missions. All recordings will be cleaned and digitized, with master files stored on an archives server that is backed up via ADPNet, a LOCKSS network. Access files will be made available to researchers in the archives reading room and shared via the content management system Omeka where copyright permits. Sharing via Omeka is the preferred outcome.

University of California San Diego Library ($34,960)

Singsings and Storytelling: Sounds of Oceania Audio Reformatting Project

The UC San Diego Library proposes a 1-year project to digitize, preserve, and improve access to approximately 800 sound recordings from seven collections in the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology that span regions of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The Tuzin Archive at UC San Diego Library Special Collections & Archives is comprised of unique unpublished material that documents research on peoples of the southwest Pacific Islands. Sound recordings contain field interviews, linguistic content, songs, performances, and the sounds of daily life in Oceania. Some of the languages documented in these recordings have fewer than 5,000 speakers(1). Digitizing the sound recordings will preserve and make accessible this content for scholarship and provide a first-time opportunity for many of the Pacific Island communities represented in the Tuzin Archive to access their recorded history.
(1) “Language Use in Melanesia,” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 214 (March 2012). https://www.sil.org/news/journal-highlights-research-social-dynamics-language-melanesia

University of California, Santa Cruz ($32,867)

Digitizing the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music: Putting Experimental Music in Conversation with Classical Tradition

UCSC seeks funding to digitize 670 audio recordings featuring a wide variety of works performed at The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music from 1964-1990. Founded in 1963, the Festival is distinctive in its focus on contemporary symphonic music by living composers. 69 Festival recordings were digitized in the 2017 Recordings At Risk pilot grant. Having learned from our experience, and given the interest in the recordings made available through the pilot, we now seek funding to digitize the remainder of the audio recordings in our repository. Recordings will be described in a finding aid on the Online Archive of California and made available to patrons on-site and remotely via the Library’s Digital Asset Management System. These recordings will be an essential resource for musicologists, historians, composers, and students interested in the interdisciplinary study of orchestral traditions in the United States.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro ($10,908)

Women Who Answered the Call: Digitizing the Oral Histories of Women Who Served in the U.S. Military and the American Red Cross

Women Who Answered the Call: Digitizing the Oral Histories of Women Who Served in the U.S. Military and the American Red Cross will digitize and preserve at-risk audiovisual materials (303 audiocasettes, 6 open-reel audiotapes, and 1 VHS videotape) that are part of the Women Veterans Historical Project. These at-risk magnetic media items consist primarily of 225 oral histories with women veterans of World War II and subsequent conflicts, recorded between 1999 and 2008. Also included are 6 audio “letters” sent by a Vietnam War veteran. The recordings present an invaluable portrait of the lives of women veterans and issues they faced during and after service. This project will allow the audio recordings to be presented alongside existing text transcripts for the first time, permitting researchers to hear these important stories in the actual voices of those who lived them.

University of Washington ($35,830)

Pacific Northwest Native American Cylinder and Disc Digitization Project

University of Washington Libraries (“UW Libraries”) Special Collections and Ethnomusicology Archives propose a 12-month project to digitize and preserve vintage audio from its Jacobs and Hilbert Collections.
Melville Jacobs (1902-1971) is known for his working documenting Native American languages and musics in the Pacific Northwest. His collection of fragile cylinder and disc recordings comprise the only extant documentation of specific linguistic, musical, and folkloric practices.
Vi taqʷšəblu Hilbert (1918-2008) was tribal elder of the Upper Skagit in Washington. She was also a conservationist of the Lushootseed language. In her collections are nine unique discs documenting Lushootseed and other languages, none of which have been transferred.
With new technological developments provided by Endpoint Audio, we expect to daylight these lost sounds, sharing them with communities of origin and researchers, as appropriate.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries ($19,664)

Preserving Rural and Women’s Programming on Wisconsin Public Radio (WHA), 1920-1950

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives will digitize 250 transcription discs, which date between 1920 and 1950. These discs document programming from WHA, or Wisconsin Public Radio. Wisconsin Public Radio first broadcast in 1917, making it the oldest public radio station and one of the oldest continuously broadcasting radio stations in the United States. Early broadcasts included educational content for farmers as well as home economics. The Farm Program evolved throughout the 1920s, and in 1929 the station began airing a separate Homemaker’s Program, aimed at Wisconsin women, particularly those in rural areas. Our current project focuses on content from the Farm Program and the Homemakers Program. We will also digitize 4-H programs and 100 discs of Wisconsin Yarns, a program that dramatized Wisconsin folklore. The UW-Madison Archives holds 7,000 transcription discs; this project will serve as a pilot study for future digitization.

William Way LGBT Community Center ($23,650)

Reformatting of the Gay and Lesbian Coffeehouse of Philadelphia cassette tapes and continued reformatting of the Tommi Avicolli Mecca cassette tapes on LGBTQ history

The materials proposed for this project come from two series within the Tommi Avicolli Mecca Collection, 1967-1992. The first part is a continuation of the reformatting of the remaining 31 cassette tapes on LGBTQ history that were awarded a Recordings at Risk grant in 2017. Because of the maximum award limits on that grant (being the “pilot” round of the program), only 88 of 119 tapes were able to be completed. The second is a collection of 70 cassette tapes documenting the Gay and Lesbian Coffeehouse of Philadelphia, 1977-1982. Both sets of tapes (a total of 101 cassettes), which are imperilled because of their age, format, and historic storage environment, will be transferred to digital files by the Northeast Document Conservation Center, cataloged in house at the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center, and made public through the Archives’ Islandora digital repository.

Fourth Call (Awarded Fall 2018)

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc. ($30,798)

Communities-At-Risk: An Audio-Visual History of Jewish Communities in Transition

Funding is requested to digitize and provide access to nearly 150 at-risk historic films, videos, and long-playing records from the JDC Archives, the institutional repository for JDC, a leading Jewish humanitarian organization since its founding in 1914. Footage depicts JDC’s global work with communities-at-risk during historic transitions: post-World War II displaced persons in Germany and Italy (1940s); North African immigrants to France (1960s) and Israel (1970s); post-Communist Jewish communities from Cuba to Ukraine (1990s); relief work in Ethiopia, Syria, and Yemen (1990s); and JDC’s global disaster relief responses to the Rwandan genocide, the Armenian earthquake, and the Balkan wars. Materials include edited programs, raw footage of significant events and vanished neighborhoods, and candid interviews. Digitization will render these unique primary sources, presently on unstable media, accessible to diverse audiences and enable these records to enrich the study of modern Jewish history and 20th-century American humanitarian involvement.

Amistad Research Center ($34,966)

Continuing to Break the Code: The Field Recordings of Lorenzo Dow Turner at the Amistad Research Center

The Amistad Research Center seeks funding to digitize original field recordings of African American academic and linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner, known as the “Father of Gullah Studies.” Turner’s African field recordings documenting Yoruba speakers in Nigeria and Benin consist of 50 wire recordings and 2 reel-to-reel audio recordings (1951). Additional recordings in the form of 49 phonographic lacquered and aluminum discs contain some of Turner’s recordings of the Sea Island Creoles or Gullah speakers from the coast of South Carolina (1932-1933), and Brazilian Yoruba speakers (1940-1941). Amistad’s goals for this project include the digitization and preservation reformatting of these recordings, metadata creation, free online streaming, and collaboration with other institutions to assist in shared linking for scholarship. The content of Turner’s recordings will add to scholarly discourse around the influences of African languages on American English, African American folklore, the culture of African Americans and creole communities.

The Art Institute of Chicago ($16,560)

Preserving Historic SAIC Lectures: Stan Brakhage (1970-1976), and The Visiting Artists Program (1977-1996)

We will preserve and improve access to 409 original audiocassette recordings of historic artists’ lectures given at SAIC: 82 recordings of Stan Brakhage’s classroom lectures (1970 – 1976) and 327 recordings of artists’ lectures from the Visiting Artists Program (VAP) (1977-1996). These rare audio artifacts reveal a deep cross section of artistic thought and practice among some of the most significant artists of the late 20th century. Age, format and machine obsolescence require that the tapes are digitized for preservation and continued access. We will digitize all 409 tapes, creating preservation masters and access files. We will update existing metadata in our online public catalog, and create new metadata for recently discovered lectures, which will also be added to our public catalog. In keeping with our Core Values as educators, we are committed to making these original recordings as broadly available as possible for teaching, research and inspiration.

Autry Museum of the American West ($31,742)

Digitizing A Century of Native Voice and Song at the Autry Museum

The Autry proposes to digitize approximately 400 Native songs, field recordings, oral histories, lectures, and theatre productions from 1898-2007. The earliest items are field recordings of Blackfeet songs recorded in 1898 by Walter McClintock, a photographer assigned with a federal commission investigating national forests. The latest are videos of theatre productions by Native Voices at the Autry, the only Equity theatre company in the US dedicated to producing new works by Native American playwrights. Funding would support digitization, hiring an intern to create related metadata, and posting finding aids and inventory lists online. These efforts will support the Autry’s work with Native nations and indigenous communities to learn how best to manage and care for holdings with which they may be affiliated. Digital copies will enable Autry staff to share the recordings with affiliated tribal groups. For tribal groups, access to the recordings will support language and cultural revitalization efforts.

The Jewish Theological Seminary ($45,943)

Disappearing Jewish Cultures and Traditions of the Non-Western World: Digitizing Film Footage and Audio Recordings from the Johanna L. Spector Papers and Audio-Visual Materials

We seek to digitize the filmed dailies, workprints, and recorded audio content from our Johanna L. Spector Papers and Audio-Visual Materials, a collection that documents the nearly extinct musical and communal traditions of several non-Western Jewish cultures that have survived over the last 2,000 years in India, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Armenia, and other regions in the Middle East and India. The footage and audio, recorded from 1960 to 1989 during the making of her ethnographic documentaries, are a treasure trove of unused footage that sheds light on the religious ceremonies and traditions of vanishing cultures before dispersal from their native lands, such as the Cochin Jews of India, Yemenite Jews, and the nearly extinct Samaritans of Israel. The footage will help to build understanding of disappearing Jewish traditions throughout the world, and will attract scholars of ethnography, ethnomusicology, history, and anthropology.

Media Mobilizing Project ($28,750)

Media Mobilizing Project Social Movement Video Collection 2002-2011

Media Mobilizing Project will digitize, preserve, and generate metadata for a collection of 500 mini-DV tapes documenting social movement activism in Philadelphia and nationwide between 2002-2011. Media Mobilizing Project is a community organization based in Philadelphia that documents grassroots activism in partnership with immigrant communities, unions, youth organizations, and other citizen groups. Our collection of mini-DV tapes, which was filmed by volunteer citizen journalists, is currently only minimally cataloged, inaccessible to the public, and is in danger of being lost due to recording media deterioration. The digitization and cataloging of this collection is an initial step in a four-year project to create a Social Movement Media Archive spanning MMP’s entire 34 terabyte library of video and audio recordings, and photography. The archive will be accessible to the public digitally and will provide researchers, community organizations, and filmmakers with a unique resource on social movements.

New Museum of Contemporary Art ($17,100)

Critical Dialogue and Public Engagement in Contemporary Art, 1979–2000: Reformatting Analog Audiovisual Recordings in the New Museum Archives

The New Museum requests an award of $17,100 to support digital transfer of 125 analog audiovisual recordings of symposia, artist interviews, curator talks, performances, and youth programs dating from 1978–2000. From its outset, the New Museum has been a pioneer of museum practice, presenting contemporary art within critical and historical frameworks, and fostering rigorous discourse through its exhibitions and public programs. The New Museum Archive is a key resource and integral part of the Museum’s programming and scholarship initiatives, which include think tanks, artist residencies that use the archives to support new commissions and exhibitions, teen and youth programs, and our Critical Anthology in Art & Culture series with MIT Press. This project will preserve assets of exceptional cultural significance, currently at high-risk of loss; and will make these available for wide use on the Digital Archive, the Museum’s open, searchable digital repository.

New York Philharmonic ($22,608)

Leonard Bernstein, James Fassett, and the New York Philharmonic Radio Broadcasts,1949-1967: Shaping Post-War American Culture for Millions Every Week

With its weekly radio broadcasts and the panache of Leonard Bernstein, the mid-century New York Philharmonic was a cultural phenomenon. James Fassett was the “voice” of the Philharmonic, hosting the live programs and creating the intermission features. Celebrating the 2018 Bernstein Centennial, the Archives will digitize 214 tapes that capture the era of Bernstein’s rise to and years as Music Director and the intermission programs that brought musical and non-musical personalities, international events, and inspiring messages into the homes of millions across the country. Aired abroad, these broadcasts were also used as diplomatic or propaganda vehicles of the Cold War. Results will be accessible online alongside related paper materials in the Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives and DPLA. This project will give scholars, performers, and aficionados access to materials from a time when symphonies were bigger than baseball and when the Philharmonic was part of Sunday routines of millions.

The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley ($45,882)

Saving Film Exhibition History: Digitizing Recordings of Guest Speakers at the Pacific Film Archive, 1976 to 1986

In conjunction with its world-renowned film exhibition program established in 1971, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) began regularly recording guest speakers in its film theater in 1976. The first ten years of these recordings (1976-86) document what has become a hallmark of BAMPFA’s programming: in-person presentations by acclaimed directors, including luminaries of global cinema, groundbreaking independent filmmakers, documentarians, avant-garde artists, and leaders in academic and popular film criticism. Until 2006, BAMPFA recorded speakers on consumer audio cassettes, a medium at significant risk for deterioration and loss of content. With this project, we propose to digitize 750 of the earliest recordings (those at greatest risk); provide on-site and online access; enhance and publish descriptive metadata; ingest master files and metadata into BAMPFA’s digital repository; and promote this extraordinary collection as a vital document of film culture.

San Diego State University Research Foundation ($28,866)

Recorded Interviews with Postmodern and Contemporary American Writers in the Larry McCaffery Papers

San Diego State University proposes to digitize 190 audio cassette tapes containing interviews with well-known contemporary American and postmodern writers conducted by Larry McCaffery, professor emeritus of English at San Diego State University (SDSU) and postmodern literary critic. Interviewees include innovative writers such as Raymond Federman, Mark Danielewski, Joanna Russ, Ursula LeGuin, Samuel Delany, David Foster Wallace, and more. These tapes provide insight into these authors’ writing processes and influences, and document McCaffery’s unique interview process. Although the Larry McCaffery Papers were recently processed and made available for research, but these recordings remain inaccessible. This project will allow for the digitization of these interviews, which will be made freely available to the public via SDSU’s digital platform and the collection finding aid. The interviews will enhance research in postmodern literature, the literary interview, cyberpunk studies, contemporary American literature, science fiction, and American cultural studies.

Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill ($29,925)

Conserving the Charism: Preservation of the Oral Histories and Legacy of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill

The Archives of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill preserves the history and missions of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, an international, apostolic community of Catholic women religious. In collaboration with the NEDCC, the Archives will reformat 165 at-risk oral history compact cassette tapes and 25 ¼” open reel recordings as part of a pilot project to digitize 700 oral histories in our collection.
The oral histories explore life in religious community and preserve firsthand accounts of the Sisters in their various missions. The open reel tape recordings document subjects such as missions to Korea and the canonization of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Audio material will be made available to the public as “Sister Spotlights” with contextual photographs and documents added by interns from Seton Hill University. This 9-month project will be valuable to individuals studying religious communities, women’s history, Catholic history, education, healthcare, and much more.

South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections ($19,454)

Rural Representation: Saving the Voices of South Dakota Farmers Union

This project proposes to digitize records of the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU), a non-profit advocacy organization of small farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across the state. The South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections (SDSU Archives) houses the SDFU Records, which includes 158 open reel audio recordings, 13 audio cassettes, 6 wire audio recordings, and 34 16mm motion picture films. These materials span from 1948 to 1992 and cover state and national conventions, meetings, radio programs, speeches, and other SDFU events. SDSU Archives will partner with George Blood L.P. to have the hundreds of hours of audiovisual materials digitized in high quality and sustainable formats. The digitized SDFU Records will be openly accessible online, and will be a scholarly resource for students and researchers focused in areas such as rural communities, farmers’ rights, agrarian education, cooperatives, and regional and local political advocacy.

Texas Tech University ($49,116)

Mold Abatement, Restoration, and Digitization of Americana Music Heritage Master Tape Collections at the Crossroads of Music Archive

The Crossroads of Music Archive seeks funding for our at risk master audio tape holdings that require mold abatement and digitization. These tapes are from three of our Americana music collections. There are quarter-inch tapes of various reel sizes, two and one-inch multi-track masters, and cassette tapes. The cassettes exhibit minor mold on cases and some shells, the quarter-inch have moderate mold to severe mold, and most of the multitrack tapes are severe. For the tapes that are severe to catastrophic, some of the audio may not be recoverable. The three collections are Broadway Studios, Gary P. Nunn, and Jerry Jeff Walker. We completed an initial inventory, but some of the material is severely degraded and until the material is digitized, we cannot identify all audio content. Many of these tapes contain unreleased music, song writing demos, and outtakes that we will make available to the public and scholars.

University of Houston ($23,500)

Preserving KUHT Early Educational Films

The University of Houston Libraries proposes a 6-month project to outsource the digitization of 118 16mm films from the KUHT Collection. KUHT-TV began broadcasting from the University of Houston in 1953 under one of the country’s first educational non-profit licenses, airing both for-credit “telecourses” and enriching programs aimed at a general audience.
The films proposed for digitization represent some of KUHT’s earliest productions and are examples of nascent educational and public television. Films include programs made exclusively for local audiences, those intended for distribution to other educational stations across the country, and unproduced footage of the region. These materials capture a unique moment in the history of distance education in the United States and in the history of Houston.

University of Maryland, College Park ($30,417)

Sounds of the Silent Majority: Digitizing the Recordings of Political Culture in the Spiro T. Agnew Papers, 1968-1973

Special Collections will reformat 559 unique audio recordings (407 ¼” open reel audiotapes and 152 cassette tapes; estimated 730 hours; 1968-1973) from the Spiro T. Agnew Papers. The selected recordings include political speeches, partisan events, and media remarks by Agnew, as well as citizen-produced sermons, folk songs, and protests, which citizens sent to Agnew as Vice President. Like Nixon, Agnew appealed rhetorically to an imagined “Silent Majority” – Americans whose voices were ignored by the news media. Through his speeches to political supporters and everyday Americans, Agnew became known as a combative political figure, helping shape public messaging on seminal American events such as the Vietnam War, racial integration, and urban renewal. Researchers in and outside academia will be able to experience firsthand the visceral power of Agnew’s speech, his impact on his audience, and the role of public opinion in America’s conservative movement.

University of South Carolina ($50,000)

Preserving Two Watershed Years of Outtakes from the WIS-TV News Collection, 1968-1969

This project seeks to digitize approximately 170-210 reels of 16mm television news outtakes from MIRC’s WIS-TV News Collection to preserve the content of the films. The direct scope of the project will include the outsourced transfer of all rolls of film from 1968-1969, resulting in HD and H.264 digital files. These specific years were selected for their age, the presence of magnetic soundtracks that have begun to deteriorate, and the fact that few of these films have been transferred or cataloged. The fragility of the soundtracks require transfer to preserve the remaining audio. This material, filmed in South Carolina during the historically significant years of 1968-1969, has enormous value to local and scholarly communities. Films include coverage of events related to the civil rights movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, local and national politics, student activism, labor strikes, and the Vietnam War.

The University of Utah ($20,500)

Regional Voices in a Time of National Change: Preserving and Providing Access to KUTV News Broadcasts January 1977-March 1979

In 1977, the Salt Lake City television station KUTV-2 began recording its nightly news reports off-air onto U-matic videocassette, a format now obsolete and prone to degradation. Forty years later, the University of Utah’s Marriott Library proposes to return these broadcasts to the public eye by digitizing the earliest 250 recorded airchecks: January 5, 1977 through March 6, 1979. These unique, highly endangered videos constitute a serialized record of events and culture in the region and provide a local perspective on national issues, including campaigns for racial and gender equality and the capital punishment debate. The KUTV news collection at the Marriott Library is the only publicly accessible television news archive in the surrounding area. Once these earliest airchecks have been digitally preserved, they will become accessible onsite as well as by remote request, and, for the first time, descriptions of these items and their content will be searchable online.

Walker Art Center ($20,155)

Digitizing at risk Walker Art Center Sound and Moving Image Collection recordings

The Walker Art Center proposes to digitize 135 recordings of artistic presentations from 1953 to 2006. This collection includes performances, interviews, and dialogues with internationally recognized artists in a variety of fields including painting, sculpture, dance, literature, film, music, theater, design, and architecture. The formats to be digitized and preserved include Hi-8, ½” open reel, and ¾” umatic videotapes; Digital Audio Tapes (DAT); and Soundscriber transcription discs. The proposed recordings will impact scholarship in the artistic disciplines noted above, and will prove to be assets for research on urban planning, community engagement, and the AIDS epidemic. This project is part of a larger goal to digitize the full Walker Archives, which has been identified as a priority in the institution’s strategic planning process for Fiscal Years 2018-2021. The Walker will make digitized archival resources available online on its website (walkerart.org) and as part of the Living Collections Catalogue (LCC) (walkerart.org/living-collections-catalogue).

Third Call (Awarded Spring 2018)

African American Museum & Library at Oakland ($19,590)

Preserving the Black Panther Party and Social Protest Films from the Henry J. Williams Jr. Film Collection

The project will digitize and provide access to 98 films and 4 audiotapes documenting Black Panther Party and student and union protest movements from the late 1960s to the 1970s from the Henry J. Williams Jr. Film Collection. The films include footage shot by the documentary film collective California Newsreel of the Black Panther Party and its leaders in Oakland, California in the 1960s; union and student protest films of Vietnam War activists; United Automobile Workers and Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union union strikes; Farah Manufacturing Company strike of 1972; and student protests at high schools in Oakland, California, following the police shooting of 14 year-old Melvin Black in 1979. The recordings will be cleaned, digitized, and prepped for cold storage. Access files of the recordings will be made accessible through the Internet Archive and master files will be preserved in the museum’s digital asset management system (Preservica).

The Bancroft Library ($46,039)

Global Influence: Preserving Moving Images from Environmental Movements in the West, 1920-2000

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, will digitize audiovisual materials documenting environmental movements in the West from 1920-2000, the roots of which influenced national and global movements surrounding land conservation, climate change, and environmental protection which are of high interest to researchers. While our archival collections in this area are largely processed and available to researchers, the audiovisual materials are currently unavailable due to their deteriorating condition, the risk of damage from playback, and obsolescence of equipment. This project will digitally reformat at-risk audiovisual materials in this area and make them available online to more fully tell the story of the environmental movements in the West and their global impact to interested researchers.

Barnard Archives in partnership with the Barnard Center for Research on Women ($24,349)

Preserving the Audio Recordings of The Scholar and Feminist Conference

The Barnard Archives and Special Collections, partnering with the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW, formerly the Barnard Women’s Center), will digitize 339 cassette audio tape recordings of the Scholar and Feminist Conference, held annually by the BCRW. These tapes, dating from 1975 to 1996, are comprised of recordings of the conference and its many prominent (as well as lesser-known) speakers and attendees, including bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Barbara Ehrenreich, Silvia Federici, Kate Millett, Barbara Kruger, Cherrie Moraga, Sharon Olds, Donna Haraway, and Bella Abzug. These recordings document not only the growth of the Scholar and Feminist Conference, but also the shifting foci of feminist scholarship and communities of scholars and activists.

Bryant Library ($12,728)

Everyday Voices: Preserving the Bryant Library Oral History Collection

The Bryant Library will digitize 55 cassette and 6 open-reel tapes containing oral history interviews recorded between 1965 and 1978 with Roslyn residents. The majority of the recordings are of then-elderly “Old-timers,” many with family roots extending into the nineteenth century and including members of Roslyn’s small but longstanding African American community. These unique and valuable recordings contain the voices of “everyday men and women who can tell us about the way it used to be around here.” There are also interviews with Roger Gerry, whose preservation efforts are visible in Roslyn’s historic district, and recollections of notable twentieth century author Christopher Morley. Digitization of these tapes will allow these long silenced voices to be heard once more. Comprehensive subject indexing, creation of detailed descriptive metadata, and online availability will make the content of these interviews discoverable and accessible to future generations of residents, scholars, and educators.

Columbia University Libraries ($49,931)

Bob Fass Radio Broadcasts from the 1960s and 1970s

Columbia University will preserve and provide access to almost two decades’ worth of audiotapes from the archive of groundbreaking broadcaster Bob Fass. A pioneer of “free form” radio for seven decades, Fass is best known for his late-night program Radio Unnameable. During the sixties it featured unscripted appearances by poets and musicians like Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, and social activists like Abbie Hoffman and Timothy Leary – a forum where listeners could interact with their idols and one another. In 1968 alone, Fass broadcast live events like the “Yip In” at Grand Central Station, Columbia University student protests, and the Chicago Democratic National convention. Once digitized, these recordings will be a major resource to study mobilization of dissent via mass-media in late-twentieth century America.

Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting ($12,655)

Saving French in Louisiana: Preserving LPB’s En Français Series

The Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting will digitize the 167 ¾” U-Matic tapes that comprise the first six seasons (1981-1986) of Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s En Français, a series broadcast entirely in French. The series features stories on Acadian history and cultural traditions, the connection between Louisiana and the Francophone world, and performances by the pioneers of Cajun music and Theatre ‘Cadien. The preservation of this series will play a vital role in the efforts to save Cajun French, a dialect in danger of being lost due to a decline in speakers and language shift. These materials will also open up new avenues of scholarship in the areas of social and cultural history, language and linguistics, human geography and anthropology, and music and theater history. The episodes will be catalogued according to the PBCore metadata standard and made freely available for streaming on the Louisiana Digital Media Archive and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Franklin Furnace ($27,396)

Preserving Rare Recordings of Performance Art in the Franklin Furnace Video Collection

Franklin Furnace (FF) will digitize 114 “at-risk” VHS tapes. These 20-year-old tapes are the only moving image records of performance art works presented by FF from 1992 to 2001. Each tape contains 30 to 60 minutes of rare and unique primary source material carefully viewed and described by FF staff. Major project processing activities include shipping the materials to an outside vendor for cleaning, repair, and digitization. Upon return, digitized files will be reviewed for accuracy before being entered into an on-site central repository, backed up, and disseminated online. This project is significant for scholars because providing access to moving image files that record the history of this evolving ephemeral art practice is vital to understanding the overall impact and significance of performance art within an art historical context.

Iowa State University Library ($49,800)

Activist Farmers on Film: Preserving the Recordings of the National Farmers Organization

Iowa State University, in partnership with Memnon Archiving Services, will digitize 166 at-risk films from the National Farmers Organization (NFO). In 1955, the NFO formed a small group in the Midwest to remedy the rapidly decreasing prices of diverse agricultural products. This grassroots organization soon became a national political movement, with membership surging to tens of thousands of farmers across 35 states. The material for this project includes 166 16mm black and white acetate prints, produced by the NFO during the 1960s as a way to communicate with members throughout the country. The preservation of these prints will provide critical insight into the experience of rural farming communities in the Midwest. In addition, the NFO farm protests encompass social, political, intellectual, and legal histories that will be relevant to a broad range of scholarship. This project will contribute to the fields of agricultural history, farm protest movements, and farmers’ rights.

National Public Radio, in partnership with the University of Maryland ($36,490)

Fuente de Diversas Voces y Perspectivas: Preserving and Providing Access to “Enfoque Nacional,” National Public Radio’s First Spanish-Language News Program

NPR’s Research, Archives & Data Strategy (RAD) team will preserve and provide access to National Public Radio’s first Spanish-language program, “Enfoque Nacional.” “Enfoque” was a weekly newsmagazine co-produced by NPR and member station KPBS in San Diego, California, that aired from 1979 until 1988 and leveraged a network of over 80 Latino journalists located across the United States and Latin America. The program covered international events and news of interest to the Latino communities in the United States, fulfilling NPR’s original mission to “speak with many voices and many dialects” and creating an invaluable primary source collection of Spanish-language media. During this 6-month project, NPR RAD will digitally reformat almost 500 hours of audio currently stored on obsolete open reel tape. The digitized audio will be ingested into NPR’s searchable database and made accessible to the public through the University of Maryland Libraries (UMD).

University of California, Davis ($11,340)

Red Power and Higher Education: Preserving the Audiovisual Record of the American Indian Movement for Education and Empowerment

This project will digitize, preserve, and make accessible 429 audiovisual recordings from the collections of three key founders of Native American Studies at UC Davis: Sarah G. Hutchison (1924-1988; Cherokee), David Risling, Jr. (1925-1993; Hupa/Yurok/Karuk), and Jack D. Forbes (1934-2011; Powhatan Renape/Delaware Lenape). In addition to pioneering Native American Studies, these scholars founded the California Indian Education Association, D-Q University (tribal college), California Indian Legal Services, and numerous other organizations central to the West Coast American Indian movement for self-determination. The audiovisual record of these activities—the very voices of these educators and activists—remains inaccessible on obsolete media ranging from rare wire recordings and reel-to-reel, to audiocassettes and VHS tapes. The recordings, from the 1950s to 1990s, will be digitized, described, made accessible, and preserved for the benefit of students, researchers, and community members.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte ($18,740)

Preserving the Harvey B. Gantt 1996 Senate Campaign Recordings

For this project, more than 300 audio and video recordings from the 1996 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina between incumbent Jesse Helms and challenger Harvey B. Gantt will be digitized, preserved, and made available for research and teaching. Gantt, a civil rights activist, groundbreaking politician, and accomplished architect/city planner, desegregated Clemson University in 1963 and became the first African American mayor of Charlotte in 1983. In both 1990 and 1996, Gantt challenged Helms, nearly unseating him. These campaigns have been the subject of significant scholarly attention, but never before has an extensive collection of speeches, advertisements, and interviews been available for research. These unique recordings will allow scholars in History, Political Science, Communication, and African American Studies to gain in-depth understanding of a key moment in national politics–when all eyes were on North Carolina as an established conservative senator was challenged by a civil rights icon.

University of Oklahoma Libraries ($49,900)

Preserving Native Voices from the Airwaves: Digitizing the Indians for Indians Hour Radio Program Recordings, 1942-1976

The University of Oklahoma Libraries will preserve recordings of the Indians for Indians Hour radio program, broadcast weekly over the University of Oklahoma’s (OU) WNAD station from 1941 through the mid 1970s. The path-breaking program was created by Don Whistler, a Sac and Fox Indian, as a forum for Native American expression, and it reached a wide audience in Oklahoma and the region, featuring segments on local and national significance. Digitization of the extant recordings will enable scholarly and community researchers to engage with a rare audio resource to study Native American self-representation, history, language and community life in the twentieth century. OU’s Western History Collections holds 400 hours on 152 open-reel tapes, many of which are in deteriorating condition. The OU Libraries will partner with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) to create digital copies, improve metadata for the collection, and make the recordings freely available online.

University of Virginia Library ($15,313)

Aluminum Instantaneous Discs from the Virginia Folklore Society, 1932-1940

The University of Virginia Library will digitize 175 aluminum discs created by members of the Virginia Folklore Society. These one-of-a-kind discs were created on field recording expeditions throughout Virginia in the 1930s. Among the first folksong recording projects in the American Southeast, they likely represent the earliest grooved disc recordings of African-American musicians in Virginia. Beyond early collecting efforts focused strictly on British ballads, these recording projects broadened the search for traditional songs of work and play. Files created through reformatting work will be wedded with detailed existing metadata currently available only in card files. Disc-level records with streaming audio will be freely accessible to all via the library catalog. Access to these recordings will broaden the existing narrative of the history of folklore research, a site of diverse interdisciplinary interest from historians as well as humanities scholars. It will also share with listeners the voices and stories of mostly unknown early-20th-century folk musicians.

University of Washington ($39,204)

Lesbian Feminist Broadcast Tapes

University of Washington Libraries Special Collections (UWLSC) will undertake 12-month project to reformat and digitize 219 quarter-inch open-reel tapes of KRAB-FM Lesbian Feminist Broadcasts which aired on the local community radio station KRAB-FM between 1972 and 1982. Programs covered diverse racial, religious, cultural, and ideological topics, such as lesbian Mexicana, classism, ageism, Native American issues, women in Old China, women’s health, romance, animal oppression, and matriarchy, as well as documented events like women’s festivals and Seattle’s first Gay Pride Week in 1974. The project will result in 95% of the collection’s audio recordings made publicly available for free; most will be accessible online for streaming in CONTENTdm; others will be available on site.

Archives of Iowa Broadcasting, Wartburg College, ($47,440)

Digitization of WHO Radio Discs, 1938-1961

The Archives of Iowa Broadcasting (AIB), in partnership with George Blood, L.P. and Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), will reformat 347 transcription discs of radio broadcasts created by WHO radio, Des Moines, Iowa between 1938 and 1961, and make the audio available online. WHO is a 50,000-watt NBC affiliate radio station that began broadcasting in April 1924. The materials selected for this project include predominantly locally produced programs related to Iowa farming, children’s entertainment, sporting events, political speeches, special events such as the Iowa State Fair and the Iowa Centennial, and interviews with soldiers by local reporters Herb Plambeck and Jack Shelley from Europe during World War II. The WHO transcription discs contain material related to many invaluable research themes with broad regional and national appeal, and will be valuable to researchers from a variety of disciplines, as well as students, K-12 educators, broadcasters and many others.

Wesleyan University ($48,573)

Hudson River Festivals

Wesleyan’s World Music Archives holds 30 years of recordings deposited by Phil Ciganer, the owner of the Towne Crier Cafe in Pawling, NY (since relocated to Beacon, NY). In this project, Wesleyan will target approximately 243 hours of audio recordings on cassette and reel tape from the Great Hudson River Revival festival and the Bear Mountain Festival of World Music and Dance. These concerts were recorded under the supervision of Ciganer between 1978 and 1982, and feature prominent figures in the American folk music and singer-songwriter scene, as well as numerous other performers from around the world.

Second Call (Awarded Fall 2017)

Binghamton University Libraries ($16,552.50)

Learning from Legends: Reflections on the 1960s Collection

The yearlong pilot project entails preserving, digitizing and publishing a gift collection of original recorded interviews with 278 civil rights leaders, activists, women’s rights leaders, politicians and Vietnam War veterans from the Sixties, making these historic materials broadly available to researchers and the public. Once the audio interviews are converted from microcassettes to digital files, Binghamton University Libraries will hire five students from the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) on campus to participate in an internship, in which they will prepare metadata for the files and do minor editing on them. In the future, another cohort of students will select excerpts from the digital files and combine them with photographs, short biographies of the individuals interviewed, and other educational content and bring the files to publication as Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Stanford University ($49,999.43)

Standard Hour Broadcast Recordings

This 10-month project will digitize 608 lacquer discs and 76 tapes of the Standard Hour program (1938-1955), the first radio series in the US devoted to symphonic music. The program was broadcast from 1926 to 1955, winning the George Peabody Medal for exceptional contributions to music in America in 1942. These live concerts of the San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Hollywood Bowl were broadcast throughout the Western US. The collection is a significant primary source for how the orchestras of the period actually played in concert and how cultural programming was received by the general American public. The Standard Hour featured important performers including conductors Pierre Monteux, Leopold Stokowski, and Antal Dorati; violinist Yehudi Menuhin; cellist Gregor Piatigorsky; pianist Robert Casadesus; and singer Jussi Björling. The broadcasts are documented on deteriorating lacquer discs and reel tapes that were produced in very limited quantities.

Boston College ($30,775)

Sounds of mid-20thc Irish-America: preserving historic music field recordings for research access

Boston College hosts internationally-known archival collections supporting the study of lrish traditional music; two of these, the James W. Smith Irish Music Collection and Joe Lamont Irish Music Collection, include open-reel tapes of unpublished music representing a classic case of high-value research content inaccessible without digitization and preservation. The 1950s/60s music performances feature some of New York and Boston’s most prominent Irish musicians at the time, and the informal nature and setting of the recordings–noncommercial “jam sessions” in public and private spaces–capture uniquely the time and spirit of this evolving musical genre. The recordings are presently inaccessible and at risk of loss, requiring professional attention. This project will treat and transfer 150 tapes; release descriptive metadata online; and publicize the importance of preservation and its value to musicologists, performers of Irish and folk music, and scholars of Irish-American history, cultural anthropology, and folkways of immigrant communities.

Denver Public Library ($22,990)

Preserving the History of World War II’s Elite Ski Troopers, the 10th Mountain Division

The 10th Mountain Division Resource Center oral history collection at the Denver Public Library (DPL) consists of 246 audio and audiovisual recordings of interviews with World War II veterans who served with the 10th Mountain Division. These recordings are all at risk of degradation or loss due to their age and the scarcity of equipment necessary to access them. Because many of the veterans interviewed have since passed away, these recordings are irreplaceable. These are unique among first hand accounts of World War II as “the 10th” transformed winter mountain warfare and returned home to create the ski industry. Currently the only means to utilize these resources is to visit DPL in person or to purchase a copy. DPL proposes to digitize these interviews, not only to ensure their long-term preservation, but to be able to offer them for free public use online to anyone, anywhere.

Duke University Libraries ($15,889)

Radio Haiti Open Reel Audio Tape: Intensive Remediation Project

Duke University Libraries seeks support for digitizing 88 quarter-inch open-reel tapes from the Radio Haiti Collection. An NEDCC assessment notes that twelve have an acetate base and suffer moderate to severe spoking, cupping, and brittleness. Seventy-six are Scotch 206 tapes with magnetic coating separation. The necessary intensive remediation is beyond the funding of our NEH-funded project. We will describe the digitized recordings in Haitian Creole, French, and English, and make them available available through a Duke website created for the larger collection. The tapes, representing the unique recorded legacy of Radio Haiti, have significant research and social value. Under the leadership of station directors Jean Dominique and Michèle Montas, Radio Haiti was a voice of social change and democracy, speaking out against oppression while advocating for human rights and celebrating Haitian culture and heritage.

Fort Sill Chiricahua/Warm Springs Apache Tribe ($41,733)

Apache Prisoner of War Audio Collection Digitization and Processing Project

This project will digitize Fort Sill Chiricahua/Warm Springs Apache sound collections. The Fort Sill Chiricahua/Warm Springs Apache community is descended from the Apache prisoners of war seized with Geronimo in 1886. Collections highlight the music and oral history of Chihene, or Warm Springs Apache youth living in Sierra Madre camps during 1882s so-called “Loco Outbreak,” including ancestors of the Haozous, Gooday, and Kawaykla families. Their recordings constitute the cultural heritage of Geronimo’s child soldiers. Fort Sill Apache recordings help scholars understand the consequences of the Loco Outbreak on Warm Springs Apache youth; their consolidation as prisoners of war alongside Nednai captors; as well as their re-assertion of Warm Springs consciousness when released from imprisonment in 1913. The recordings include War and Mountain Spirit Dance songs dating from 19th century southwestern warfare (1881-1886) and social dance songs and Christian hymnody dating from Apache prisoner of war exile and imprisonment (1886-1914).

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives ($38,240)

Preserving Rare Recordings of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and the Free Synagogue Pulpit that are held at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives

This project proposes to digitize original recordings of sermons and addresses primarily of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, together with other speakers, delivered during services for The Free Synagogue held at Carnegie Hall in New York City from 1931-1942. Wise is considered among the most significant American religious leaders of the 20th century. Wise was an active communal leader, a vocal and vigorous advocate for social justice nationwide, and a leading voice against Nazism. These sermons reflect Wise’s passion for social justice and his efforts for gathering support for Jewish survival and rescue during the Nazi era. Recorded on 10- and 12-inch aluminum and glass discs, no other known copies of these sermons and addresses exist. In their current format they are inaccessible and increasingly in danger of being lost. Digital transfer is urgently needed to preserve and provide access to these rare recordings.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival ($50,000)

Preserving the First-Person Oral History Recordings of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) produces 800 repertory performances of 11 plays for 400,000 ticketholders annually. OSF’s Archives is one of the country’s only organization-based theatrical archives and is a full-fledged research center with a wide audiovisual collection readily available for education, research and public programming. OSF will conduct a 12-month project to digitize 388 recordings of first-person oral histories, interviews, meetings and lectures documenting the history of OSF from its founding in 1935 to present. Facilitating, recording and collecting personal testimony has created a broad yet cohesive collection of oral histories and interviews by founders, artists and innovators, which are documented in an extensive but rapidly deteriorating audiovisual collection. OSF’s Archives’ recordings hold essential insights into the history of theatre in America, America’s appetite for theatre, Shakespeare in performance, and the impact of the Shakespearean festival tradition nationally and in individual American communities.

Special Collections & Archives, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University ($50,000)

Documenting the Evangelical Movement in the United States: Digitizing Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Open-Reel Audiotapes, 1957-1980

Special Collections & Archives, Wake Forest University, and repository of the North Carolina Historical Baptist Collection will reformat and digitize approximately 1,500 at-risk and rare open-reel audio recordings belonging to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The open-reel tapes document the American evangelical movement and contain presentations by prominent Southern Baptist pastors and church representatives at a number of evangelical conferences and annual meetings of the Convention. The speakers and programs on the tapes document the denomination’s activities and subjects of discussion, 1957-1980, ranging from Baptist theology to broad cultural and societal issues. This project will result in the long-term preservation digital storage for these tapes, and broad access through the Wake Forest University North Carolina Baptist History Portal currently being developed. Once completed, there will be an active outreach program, focused on demonstrating how historians, researchers, and religious scholars can use these records in their research and teaching.

Swarthmore College Peace Collection ($44,405.40)

Debating the Vietnam War: Film and Audio Recordings from the 1960s and 1970s

This project will digitize 144 open-reel tapes and 52 motion picture films of speeches, conferences, films and other programs which included public figures who spoke out to end the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s. The related metadata records in the Peace Collection will be extended to meet current standards. These unique recordings will be made available to the general public via the Internet Archive and the Peace Collection website. The voices and images of Vietnam veterans, anti-war activists, business leaders, religious leaders, civil rights leaders, women peace activists, entertainers, U.S. public policy figures, and Vietnamese activists will be made available for the first time, richly adding to our understanding of the history of the U.S. in the middle of the twentieth century, peace history, and the workings of social justice movements.

University of California, Berkeley ($29,210)

Preservation of the H.K. Yuen Social Movement Audio Archive

The UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library (ESL) will reformat and preserve selected at-risk, rare audio recordings (262 tapes; estimated 655 hours; dating ca. 1964-1980) from the H.K. Yuen Social Movement Archive. The entire collection consists of approximately 30,000 hours of audio recordings on reel-to-reel and cassette tapes documenting social activism in the San Francisco Bay Area including events at the UC Berkeley campus, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. Recordings to be digitized document a broad range of social movements including the Free Speech Movement, the United Farm Workers, the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, the Women’s Movement, and more. These recordings, which are currently inaccessible to researchers, are valuable to scholars from a broad array of disciplines and will be added to the Internet Archive where they will be accessible to researchers from around the world.

State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo ($34,136)

Reel to Reel Tape Recordings of the Creative Associates Recitals at the University at Buffalo, 1964-1980

Project to reformat 173 reel-to-reel tapes containing circa 627 musical works presented on recitals by the University at Buffalo’s Creative Associates, 1964-1980. The Associates were members of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts, established by Lukas Foss and Allen Sapp in 1964. These recitals were the concerts the Associates programmed themselves as supplements to the Center-scheduled concerts. As such they represent the musical interests of the Associates ranging from early music to contemporaneous music. Many performances of contemporary works were either performed by their respective composers or under their direction. Close to 20 premieres are included. The roster of performers and composers is exceptional. It represents a high number of luminaries of contemporary music of the period, including Crumb, Berio, Wuorinen, Carter, Copland, Bussotti, Scelsi, Feldman, Cage, as well as lesser-known figures whose representation here may be even more unique.

University of Pennsylvania ($10,132)

Caribbean Folklore Recordings, 1950s-1960s, Digitization Project: the University of Pennsylvania Folklore Department Collections

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) will digitize folkloric sound recordings created by some of the best-known American folklorists, who worked at the University of Pennsylvania’s Folklore Department in the years 1962-2006. These field recordings document songs and stories common to people in the early and mid-20th century. This project concerns the transfer of recordings clustered in the Caribbean: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent’s, and Nevis. The recordings are a singular record of folklore and culture in our hemisphere, and are very well documented with text and photographic records. This will make it possible to eventually digitally unite (across media) a body of research of great value to current and future students of folklore, Africana scholars, and many other researchers and music enthusiasts, as well as to people from the places documented.

University of Maryland, College Park ($21,398.38)

Preserving the Programming Archives of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. National Public Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland

The National Public Broadcasting Archives (NPBA) will reformat at-risk, rare audio recordings (600 open-reel tapes, estimated 300 hours, dating 1965-1984) from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) Collection. The NFCB is a national grassroots, non-profit organization which has served non-commercial community-based radio stations since 1975. Their mission includes assisting and advocating for the successful operation and funding of local stations, facilitating the production of innovative programming from diverse sources, and promoting the participation of minorities and women at all levels of public broadcasting. The audio recordings in this project include ethnographies of music cultures throughout the world, programs on social and cultural issues in the U.S. and speeches from feminist and African-American activists. These digitized recordings, made available via UMD Libraries’ Digital Collections repository, will be invaluable to international researchers from a wide range of disciplines including ethnomusicology, anthropology, media studies, sociology, political science, African-American history, and women’s studies.

University of Southern California ($20,500)

Lawrence Lipton’s L.A. in the Time of the Beats: Sounds of the 1950s and 1960s Counterculture

Lawrence Lipton’s L.A. in the Time of the Beats will reveal many previously unheard interviews and musical performances from the Beat generation and later countercultural movements. For this pilot project, we will digitize 300 hours of original 7″ reel-to-reel audio recordings of writer Lawrence Lipton’s 1950s and 1960s interviews with monumental artists like James Baldwin, John Cage, and Langston Hughes; live readings by numerous Beat poets from the “Venice West” scene; and live jazz and poetry experiments with musicians like Dave Brubeck and Buddy Collette. Many of these recordings were made for Lipton’s landmark study of the Beats, The Holy Barbarians (1959), and his study of sexual mores, The Erotic Revolution (1965). 300 hours of these recordings will be digitized and cataloged for free online public access via the USC Digital Library and Digital Public Library of America.

Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ($28,239.60)

Preserving and Making Accessible the Dictabelt Recordings of Rod Serling

The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR) will conduct an eleven-month project to outsource the digitization of 1,152 dictabelts in the Rod Serling collection and fund a temporary position at the WCFTR to do quality control inspection, ingest the files into the LTO system, and enhance the existing catalog records for the dictabelts and online finding aid for the collection. An award winning writer and producer best known for his television series The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) and Night Gallery (1970-1973), Serling also wrote scripts for made-for-TV movies, theatrically released films, stage productions and short stories for publications. The dictabelts document Serling’s work in all of these areas, as well as correspondence written and speeches given between 1965-1969. The digitized recordings will be available to the public for multidisciplinary research and study. Patrons will be able to listen to them on-site at the WCFTR.

Pilot Call (Awarded Spring 2017)

City of Savannah, Georgia, Research Library and Municipal Archives ($13,111)

W. W. Law Collection Audio Recordings Preservation

The City of Savannah Research Library & Municipal Archives (RLMA), partnering with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), will reformat at-risk, rare audio recordings (34 open -reel tapes; estimated 43 hours; dating 1955-1978, undated) from the W. W. Law Collection. Westley Wallace “W. W.” Law (1923-2002) was a prominent Civil Rights leader, local historian, historic preservationist and community leader in Savannah, Georgia. As president of the Savannah Branch NAACP from 1950-1976, his collection includes a variety of material related to the Civil Rights movement, not only in Savannah but throughout the United States. The audio included in this project include speeches by NAACP leaders, Civil Rights events, recordings of regional musicians, and local history programs. They will be valuable to researchers from a broad array of disciplines, including local and national scholars of American, social or music history, local community members, biographers, and students, among others.

Mississippi State University, Mitchell Memorial Library Special Collections ($25,000)

Citizens’ Council Radio Forums: Digitizing the Interviews of Segregationist Politicians, 1957-1966

The Citizens’ Council, founded in 1954 following the Brown v. Board decision, was very powerful in working to maintain segregation in Mississippi. They spread their message using several strategies, including television and radio segments; the Citizens’ Council Radio Forum ran from 1957-1966 and features dozens of national and Mississippi politicians, including James Eastland, George Wallace, and Strom Thurmond, and covered topics ranging from reaction to the Civil Rights Acts to the fear of Communism. The Citizens’ Council continues to be a topic of interest for scholars and Mississippi State University’s Citizens’ Council and Civil Rights era collections are heavily used by researchers from all over the country. Mississippi State is the only repository who has the Radio Forums and, through this grant, the university will digitize the tapes and make them available to researchers in the form of a searchable digital collection on the library’s website.

Museum of Flight ($25,000)

“Down we went into the maelstrom…” – The American Fighter Aces Oral History Digitization Project

The Museum of Flight will conduct a 12-month project to digitize a collection of interviews with American fighter aces and build an online repository of the digitized recordings and transcripts. The collection consists of 376 media items, mostly audio reels and cassette tapes, and features interviews with over 120 military aviators. The Museum will work with NEDCC to digitize 143 audio reels, along with eight cassettes in need of specialized preservation attention. These interviews are rare historic records that feature candid conversations with fighter pilots as they discuss their training, missions, and experiences during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. By preserving the contents of these oral histories, The Museum of Flight aims to provide a rich primary source for the study of aviation history, military history, and beyond.

University of Alaska Fairbanks ($24,690)

Digitization and Dissemination of Technically Problematic KUAC-FM Radio (Alaska) Programs (1979-1997)

One hundred and twenty-six hours from the nearly 950 open-reel audio tapes from the KUAC FM Audiotapes Collection held in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives at the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), will be digitized by NEDCC. The digital recordings will be available through the UAF Library Catalog via WorldCat for anyone with an Internet connection. The collection will be of interest to historians, scientists and researchers around the globe. Topics of national and international significance include Arctic policy, global warming, effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, whaling, dog mushing, interviews with well-known Alaska Native leaders and programs about youth, racism and women in the political process.

University of California, Santa Cruz ($17,766)

Digitizing the Avant-Garde: Selections from the KPFA music archive in the Other Minds Records

The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) will digitize 69 open-reel audiotapes of live music performances from the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. These recordings were originally made by KPFA, a Berkeley, California community radio station, and were subsequently transferred to the Bay Area music non-profit organization, Other Minds. UCSC is now the repository for the Other Minds records and KPFA music archive, which includes over 4,000 recordings on a variety of media. The recordings will be cataloged in the Library catalog and made available on demand to patrons both on-site and via remote access. These recordings provide insights into the early creative processes of composers and artists who are recognized influencers of American new music and will be of interest to musicologists, historians, composers, programmers, students, and others interested in experimental and avant-garde music.

University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center ($24,600)

Preserving the Interview Recordings of Mel Gussow, American and British Theater Critic

The Harry Ransom Center proposes a seven-month pilot project to outsource the digitization of 75 cassette audiotape interviews recorded by Mel Gussow (1933-2005), renowned New York Times American and British theater critic. Gussow was among the first to legitimize the off-off-Broadway movement and bring broad attention via the Times to early productions at LaMaMa, the Caffe Cino, and the Living Theatre – discovering writers such as Lanford Wilson and Sam Shepard, and actors Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, and Sigourney Weaver. Gussow also authored and edited nine books, including a biography of playwright Edward Albee and four on his conversations with playwrights Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard. The digitized interview recordings, made available to the public via the Center’s digital collections portal, CONTENTdm, will allow a multi-disciplinary research and teaching community to hear candidly from a range of figures representing forty years of American and British theater.

William Way LGBT Community Center ($24,650)

Reformatting of the Tommi Avicolli Mecca cassette tapes on LGBTQ history

The William Way LGBT Community Center will digitize 119 compact cassette tapes from the Tommi Avicolli Mecca collection, 1967-1992, Ms. Coll. 25, dated 1967 to 1988. This project will contribute to teaching, scholarship, and public discussion about national, regional, and local LGBT history, politics, and culture from the 1950s to the 1980s. The tapes, which are imperilled because of their age, format, and historic storage environment, will be transferred to digital files by NEDCC, cataloged in house at the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center, and made public through Collective Access.

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