Please Support Public Media: It’s our History

The WGBH Media Library and Archives is dependent on a strong public media system to continue to provide safe keeping and access to historic programming.

However, the proposed budget cut to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting puts public media at risk. This federal investment in public media is the stabilizing core that makes it possible to create educational programs, serve as a trusted source of in-depth and informative journalism, and share the vital insights of science, history, and culture — all free to the public. And if stations and programming are at risk, the archive and access to this history is also at risk.

Federal funding for public broadcasting represents less than 1/100th of one percent of the federal budget, while PBS is watched by 82 percent of U.S. households. It’s one of America’s best investments, costing only $1.35 per citizen each year. That’s right: $1.35. A true bargain!

It is time to speak up. More than ever, your voice can make a difference. If you would like to show your support for this important issue, please visit www.ProtectMyPublicMedia.org to both sign a petition to support continued funding and to find information about the ways public media serves our communities. Let your friends and family know how important public media is to you and watch for updates with additional information on how you can help.

Many thanks from all of us at the WGBH Media Library and Archives.

Karen Cariani
Senior Director, WGBH Media Library and Archives

 

Help us improve Open Vault and earn an Amazon gift card!

WGBH’s Media Library & Archives  (MLA) is currently seeking participants for a usability study of our online Open Vault digital archive. We are seeking five participants from the public media community and five scholar participants. The study will last about an hour or less, and all participants will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.

We are collaborating with Simmons College graduate student researchers Derek Murphy and Anna Boutin to learn about ways that Open Vault can be improved to make it easier and more enjoyable to use.  You do not have to be located in Boston to participate – the study is conducted long-distance over the internet. You’ll connect with our researchers using the video conferencing tool GoToMeeting (Simmons College will provide the software) and share your screen with them while you use Open Vault’s various features. This way, we can get your thoughts on where the website works and where it could use some work. Your participation would greatly help us make Open Vault the best it can be, and would also help our student researchers learn more about usability and media archives!

If you are interested in participating in the usability study, please send an email to Casey Davis, MLA Senior Project Manager at casey_davis@wgbh.org.

Join us at the new WGBH Satellite Studio @ BPL!

On Thursday, October 20 at 11am, WGBH Media Library and Archives (MLA) staff will host an event at WGBH’s new satellite studio in the Newsfeed Cafe at the Boston Public Library’s Johnson Building! Join us that day to learn about WGBH’s history and about the historic collections preserved and made accessible by the MLA.

WGBH MLA staff Leah Weisse, Production Archival Compliance Manager, and Casey Davis, MLA Senior Project Manager, will meet with library patrons and the public to discuss WGBH’s history, its productions, and provide an overview of the activities of the WGBH Media Library and Archives. Attendees will explore some of the historic audio and video content that is preserved by the WGBH Archives, and Leah and Casey will provide a demo showing attendees how to access WGBH’s historic collection of television, radio, and other materials.

For more info contact Casey Davis at casey_davis@wgbh.org. We hope to see you there!

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WGBH’s new satellite studio at the Boston Public Library. Photo credit: Casey Robidoux WGBH News

MD5 Checksum – Technical Tuesday

Hello,
Thanks for checking out the WGBH Media Library and Archives’ blog for our first Technical Tuesday. We’ll be sharing some of the techniques we use in our daily digital preservation and access processes. First up, creating MD5 checksums for files.

What’s a MD5?
A MD5 checksum hash is a value composed of 32 digits that can be calculated from a digital file to verify integrity and looks like this 9aee1a70c2055b5eaba6dcb73ffe42cc

At WGBH we generate and compare MD5 values every time we copy a file from one storage medium to another. If the MD5 value is not identical between the source and copied file, it means there was a change to the file somewhere during the transfer and the files are not identical.

We generate and store MD5 checksums for every file we preserve. When we run processes to check the integrity of our digital files, it’s important we have a base value to compare to.

Systems and software we use:
– Computer with Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
– “Terminal” application included with OS X

Generating an MD5 for a file is simple.
Open the Terminal application.
Type

$ md5 /folder/path/to/your/file/example.txt

Press “return”
That should return a value that looks similar to this:

MD5 (/folder/path/to/your/file/example.txt) = 9aee1a70c2055b5eaba6dcb73ffe42cc

That is the MD5 checksum for that example text file.

If you wanted to save that MD5 value to a separate csv report file you can do this:

$ md5 /folder/path/to/your/file/example.txt >> /path/to/your/report/file/md5_report.csv

Press “return” and you’ll find a new file created in the folder, /path/to/your/report/file/, called “md5_report.csv”. Inside it will have the filename MD5 output for the original file.
In the WGBH Media Library and Archives, we generate a MD5 csv report file for an entire directory on files on a hard drive using these commands:

$ cd directory
$ find "$(pwd -P)" -not -path '*/\.*' -type f -exec md5 '{}' \; >> /path/to/your/destination/folder/md5_report.csv

Once we have that, we can compare those MD5 values to another list to verify files have been copied successfully.

It’s important to note that there are other checksum algorithms besides MD5 that are more unique, such as SHA-256.

To calculate the SHA-256 value:

$ shasum -a 256 /folder/path/to/your/file/example.txt

The value should look something like this
53971fee91ae8530f32dad213d76aac0cc5cf9cb9771e6268b7568e791de0327.

We don’t use SHA-256 yet at WGBH because the preservation software and systems are not yet making use of it.

Check back here every Tuesday for more tips!

Check out the new & improved Open Vault!

The WGBH Media Library and Archives is happy to announce a new and improved, easier to navigate Open Vault.

We want Open Vault to be a useful resource for researchers and scholars interested in topics covered by the thousands of television and radio programs created by WGBH. Because of this, we’ve taken the time to improve our catalog of more than 42,000 records, making content more discoverable than past iterations of the site.

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We’ve also made improvements to the technology that runs Open Vault. We’re able to add new content and improve the data within the records more easily and often. We have also added links within records to the thousands of digitized WGBH media content available online at The American Archive of Public Broadcasting or The Boston Local TV News Digital Library  websites.

Another feature we’re excited provide is documentation and examples of some of our archival practices, so keep an eye on this blog as this material is made available.

Where to Start?

You can browse over 1,000 WGBH series titles and from there explore entire programs or clips available to view online.

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Open Vault also features curated, scholar exhibits ranging from topics like needlework and cooking to Boston’s 1960s Civil Rights movement.


You will also find WGBH special collections. These collections feature WGBH produced content centered around a specific program or topic. Many of these collections feature complete, unedited interviews from people featured in programs like Vietnam: A Television History, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age and Rock and Roll.


These Open Vault improvements will allow us to highlight important, historical content in new and exciting ways and well as better contribute and engage with the archival and library communities. Please visit often and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

User Funded Digitization

We’re happy to announce that the first Open Vault user funded digitization of a program has been completed and is now available to listen to online!

The program audio comes from the series, The Advocates episode 103 “Should the Law Permit Voluntary Euthanasia for the Terminally Ill?”

You can access the program audio by clicking this link.

If you haven’t tried requesting digitization or transcription of a program, it’s easy!

First register for a free Open Vault account and login.

Then search for a record of interest and click the “Request Digitization” or “Request Transcript” button.

That’s it!  You will then receive more information about your request via email from WGBH.

The New Open Vault

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As you’ve probably seen, Open Vault looks a little different than it did a month ago. The WGBH Media Library and Archives team have been hard at work revamping the website for over a year now and we’re happy to announce some new features you’ll be able to take advantage of.

Scholar Collections
You’ll notice on the right side of the homepage there are Scholar Collections. During the past year we’ve completed a project where scholars were granted access to WGBH material of all kinds of topics and then created articles based on their research. We’re pleased to announce that those articles, as well as related media and content, are now available on Open Vault as part of the Scholar Collections.

Browse WGBH Series and Programs
Another new feature of Open Vault is the ability to browse material that WGBH has in it’s Media Library and Archives. On the top of any page if you click on the “Series” button you’ll be taken to a page with an alphabetical list of all the Series we have material for in the Archives. Clicking on a particular Series title, you’ll be taken to a page listing the Series description as well as a list of Programs. If you click on a Program title, you’ll be taken to a page that has the description of the Program. If audio, video, or image material is available and digitized on Open Vault from a particular program, you’ll also be able to see that there as well.
We’re exposing our collection to the public in hopes to gain interest and provide access.

Request Digitization of Audio Video or Transcript
A feature that we introduced on the Boston TV News Digital Library website (bostonlocaltv.org) is the ability to request that a program be digitized. As part of this Open Vault relaunch, we’re including the ability to request a digital transcript be made of a program as well.
How it works is if you register for a free account on Open Vault, when you navigate to a page where no video is streaming and/or no transcript is viewable, you have the ability to pay for the digitization yourself by clicking the “Request Digitization” or “Request Transcription” button. This will send an email to the WGBH MLA staff and someone will be in contact with you about how much it would cost you to make that request digitized and available on Open Vault (rights permitting).  Think of it as a sponsorship of the preservation of the asset as well as helping to pay to make it accessible for everyone on the internet.

Improved Features
Even features that worked well on the older version of the Open Vault website have been given slight upgrades. You should notice improved browser compatibility, even on mobile devices. The video player is improved and navigating longer length media is easier. If a transcript exists for a video file and you jump to a specific point in the video, the transcript should automatically move there as well.

As with any website re-launch, there are still some bugs the development team is hard at work on so if any functionality is missing or a link is broken, rest assured we’re hard at work trying to resolve those issues quickly. Thank you for your patience.

Please feel free to direct any comments or questions to openvault[at]wgbh[dot]org.

Thank you for taking the time to use Open Vault and we look forward to bringing additional access to users in the future.

-WGBH Media Library and Archives