The WGBH Media Library & Archives completed a digital library prototype project in December, 2009. With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we worked closely with three scholars to discover how they would want to search, access and make use of archival moving image materials online. (This project built on an earlier Assessment for Scholarly Use.)
The prototype is still live at http://openvaultresearch.wgbh.org though you will notice that many of the features developed there have since been further refined and integrated into this site.
The project also included sustainability research conducted by Ithaka’s Strategy and Research team.
Read the final project report, detailing work accomplished, lessons learned, and future directions for the MLA online.
We welcome your comments and suggestions!
At the height of the Vietnam war, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg was accused of leaking the “Pentagon Papers” to the press. The Pentagon Papers, swiftly published by The New York Times, consisted of copies of a classified report with the official title of United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense. They documented how the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations misled the American public and were not forthcoming with forecasts about the outcomes of the war in Vietnam.
Ellsberg shared the document with Times writer Neil Sheehan who began to publish excerpts in June, 1971. Nixon issued a court order demanding the Times cease publication of the documents. This was quickly followed by the Supreme Court case New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), which resulted in victory for the Times and for the First Amendment of the Constitution. Ellsberg, however was not off the hook. He surrended to authorities who charged him with conspiracy and theft under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Open Vault’s newly released episode of The Advocates features contemporary scholars and pundits debating the validity of these continuing charges against Daniel Ellsberg. They debate the merits of government secrecy vs. transparency and whether openness in government threatens national security… check it out!
“Should The Government Drop The Charges Against Daniel Ellsberg?”
To publicize the launch of the Vietnam Collection on Open Vault, WGBH producer Elizabeth Deane (American Experience, Latin Music USA, Vietnam: A Television History) and archivist Karen Colbron selected several sound excerpts from the collection for use in 60 second radio “interstitials”
Deane then worked with WGBH Radio producer Gary Mott to edit and broadcast the clips over the course of 4 weeks in April, culminating in the following clip airing on the collection launch day, April 30th, 2010, which was also the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon:
Clark Clifford, Former Secretary of Defense for President Johnson, 1981
Listen to the interstitial | View the full interview
“It is my belief that our country made a mistake by going into Vietnam. I think we would have done better to stay out. We could have watched it a while and had we watched it longer, I think we would have seen it more clearly… We made an honest mistake. I feel no sense of shame about it. Nor, should our country feel any sense of shame. We felt we were doing what was necessary. We had nothing to gain by going in. We asked for no territory. We asked for no advantage. We went in because we thought we were doing it for the purposes of the nations involved and really for all humanity. It proved not to be a sound basis.”
Other clips included: