by Robert Johnson
During my internship at the WGBH Media Library and Archives I was given the opportunity to travel to New Hampshire and Connecticut with my supervisor to talk to public media stations (both television and radio) about participating in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Archive Content Inventory Project. WGBH is administering the project, which hopes to survey the archives/collections of PBS stations across the country. Individual stations or statewide networks can apply for grants from CPB to fund a survey of their holdings.
Everyone was interested in participating but one station seemed almost thrilled at the prospect of being able to take a survey of the thousands of video tapes in their basement. There was a little uncertainty involved at points and maybe even a little fear. Depending on the size of the station there may be tens of thousands of films, video tapes, audio cassettes and digital files that need to be surveyed. That can be overwhelming but WGBH is working to make the process simple and understandable.
In my capacity as an intern, I basically went along as an observer. I probably said no more than two dozen words at the three meetings I sat in on. But it was a great experience nevertheless. These were my first official business trips and even though I was only responsible for shaking hands, smiling and nodding, I would like to think I learned something I can put to use later in my career.