Helping to preserve public media history, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded WGBH a $750,000 Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant to support the work of the WGBH Media Library and Archives (MLA). Today’s announcement will allow MLA to develop a digital asset management system, improve Open Vault, our public access website, and support the digitization of 83,000 WGBH-produced audiovisual recordings that are currently stored on obsolete and deteriorating media formats.
The grant was one of 218 grants announced yesterday by NEH, totaling $43.1 million. These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant program. Totaling $13 million, these grants will support infrastructure projects at 29 U.S. cultural institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including the work of the MLA.
“There is a rich history that has been chronicled over the years by public media. Yet, as the years go by, this record of our nation’s news, culture, science and more becomes increasingly more vulnerable,” said Karen Cariani, the David O. Ives Executive Director of WGBH’s Media Library and Archives. “This grant will help our continued pursuit of preservation, ensuring this content remains a rich historical resource for researchers, academics, journalists and the public.”
As America’s preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS’ prime-time lineup, WGBH has been on the front lines of history for nearly seven decades. WGBH productions – from local radio and television to nationally distributed programming – have documented our collective cultural heritage in moving images and sound. Programs to be preserved as part of this grant include Save the Planet with Meryl Streep, The Machine that Changed the World, Julia Child and Company, All Our Children hosted by Bill Moyers as well as American Experience, NOVA, FRONTLINE and many more.
In 1979, WGBH became the first public broadcasting station to develop an archive, staffed by professional archivists. For more than 35 years, MLA staff have preserved, cataloged, and provided access to materials produced by WGBH. The group currently manages and preserves nearly 1 million audio, video, film, and digital assets dating back to 1947.
The National Endowment for the Humanities and WGBH together: Exploring the human endeavor
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Pinkalicious & Peterrific, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.