AAPB NDSR Webinars

Every two weeks through the end of November, we’re hosting a webinar event for the AAPB NDSR community on an area that’s relevant to the current projects. (After November, the residents get to start hosting webinars themselves!)

Our first webinar, held August 12th, featured Kara van Malssen, Partner & Senior Consultant at AVPreserve, discussing “Metadata: Storage, Modeling and Quality.” Kara’s presentation can be viewed here, as well as her handouts on data modeling and data quality.

In our second webinar, held August 25th, WGBH Digital Archive Manager/Production Archival Compliance Manager Leah Weisse discussed archival engagement with public media production workflows. The full 80-minute webinar can be viewed here, and Leah’s slides are available here.

We’re also linking to all of our webinar content through the NDSR GitHub Account; track the aapbndsr_webinars repository to get updates whenever we post new content!

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Metadata Practices at Minnesota Public Radio

Training in Boston was an exciting, fun, heady experience, but I felt a little overwhelmed by the end. How would I approach a new job coming off such a high, from a week of training?

The answer, of course, is just fine, thanks. I have the distinction of being the only resident who didn’t have to move for this project (thus the weekend after training was spent sleeping, not driving across any number of states). I grew up listening to Minnesota Public Radio, usually the classical station in my mom’s car. As an adult, I rely on MPR news, and I listen to the Current. When I’m out of state, I sometimes say I have a Wobegon accent. And when I read that they were one of the hosts for the AAPB NDSR program, I was excited; when I learned it was metadata based, I was stoked. I couldn’t have asked for a better project for the next phase of my career.

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Welcome to MPR!

Minnesota Public Radio is a huge part of the culture in this state. It began in Collegeville, Minnesota as a classical music station in 1967, gradually adding in news as it grew. Now based in downtown St. Paul, MPR has grown into a well respected news organization, reaching over 900,000 with its three regional radio stations, MPR news, Classical MPR, and The Current.

My project is a little different than most of the other projects in this cohort. So far, I’ve been digging around in the metadata of the internal database Eddy, trying to work out how things are organized, with the goal of documentation, and with the hope of figuring out a way to normalize it going forward.

My first week I was given a project as a means of exploring, and MPR being a news organization, it was a timely one. On August 1st, 2016 (and my first day at MPR), Ojibwe author Jim Northrup passed away. Northrup was a veteran of the Vietnam War and wrote very powerfully about his experiences, and he spoke candidly about his life and his goals of using the Ojibwe language and preserving his culture, his PTSD, and of course, his writing.

I spent a good part of each day my first week digging through broadcasts featuring him, and other Native writers in Minnesota. Some of these names are familiar to me, some of these books I have read, most I haven’t. I’m always interested in what voices are heard, what stories are told. It’s nice to hear from these storytellers in their own words. I hope this is a literary tradition that will grow and become more visible.

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The Gary Comer Audio Archive

Week two began with a deeper dive into the metadata, as well as continuing to manually transfer metadata from Eddy to the Archive portal. Yes, that’s a slow process, but it’s also been a useful training exercise, evaluating what can and cannot go on the portal, and cleaning up and normalizing the collection. Many different stakeholders feed into the Eddy database, and as a result, the metadata sometimes doesn’t all match up. Individual shows and producers have all described their productions differently, and as we talk about moving away from the current portal, we have a lot to consider about how we organize the records we share. There’s a very real human element that is constantly driving the conversation, as it’s not just the archive team creating the metadata.

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Archival Storage – the cold never bothered me anyway.

In addition to transferring things to the portal, I was also tasked with creating new records in Eddy. Margaret Bresnahan, archivist and my primary mentor, led me down to the cold storage (I love cold storage) and introduced me to the masters and copies of the first two Star Wars audio plays. For those of you who don’t know, Star Wars (A New Hope), Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi were all dramatized into radio plays. MPR had a huge hand in the production of the first two, Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back (and if I may say so, those are the best two of the audio plays, sorry RotJ). Cataloging them meant doing a fair bit of research, and it was such a pleasure to spend a little time revisiting the plays. MPR does not own the rights, so they won’t be digitized, at least, not right now. But just knowing the masters are in the archive fills me with such delight. It also raised a few more metadata questions that we now have to get to the bottom of, mostly concerning how titles work in Eddy, and how something might look clean for a user, but on the backend, it’s difficult to explain to a database that the three or four title fields (“Star Wars”, “Empire Strikes Back”, “Empire Strikes Back Episode 1”, Freedom’s Winter”) are all relevant.

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It’s a good thing I listened to these last summer. I tried not to scare anyone, but be warned, there’s a new movie in December.

Right now we’re exploring making certain fields and some audio (depending on rights) available directly to the web without transferring the information to the Archive Portal. It’s been a lot of conceptual planning, throwing ideas around, trying to bring in the folks who are actually responsible for building the website.

Meanwhile, I serve on the board of my childhood library, and we’ve been planning an extensive remodel of the building. It’s been interesting to compare the process of building our ideas for Eddy to the process of working with an architect on a physical building. Weirdly, this goes hand in hand with NPR’s proposal to the AAPB, talking about metadata and digital collections in terms of physical construction. Like Eddy, with its different metadata authors, the building was constructed in 1922 and was remodeled in the 1970s. Access and design are the same issues we’re talking about with Eddy. It’s all a bit nebulous in my head right now, but I’m excited to see where this goes!

If you would like to follow my day to day ramblings, my twitter account is @libkatem. See you soon!

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Digital Stewardship at KBOO Community Radio

Two weeks have passed since the start of the 2016 American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) NDSR fellowship program, and I am so glad that I applied and received a spot as one of the seven fortunate residents!

Kate McManus, Tressa Graves, Adam Lott, Eddy Colloton, Andrew Weaver, Selena Chau, Lorena Ramirez-Lopez. Stay updated via Twitter: @amarchivepub

Immersion week provided a chance for residents and host site mentors to meet in person for the first time, with WGBH as our host all week for day-long sessions. Immersion week offered workshops, training sessions, and tours of workplaces responsible for digital preservation of audiovisual archival materials (and more). Sessions were led by Jacob Nadal of ReCAP, UCLA Moving Image Archive Studies’s Snowden Becker (also my NDSR Advisory Board mentor), the WGBH’s Karen CarianiCasey Davis, and Rebecca Fraimow, Carnegie Hall Digital Asset Manager Kathryn Gronsbell, AAPB Metadata Specialist Sadie Roosa, Library of Congress Digital Conversion Specialist Rachel Curtis, Stephanie Sapienza of the Maryland Institute for Technology, and Joey Heinen at Northeastern University. A tour to the MIT Libraries allowed us to meet the current SAA Vice President/President Elect Nancy McGovern and Kari Smith for a session on digital preservation workflow.

We had some fun too, exploring the Boston area.

On my first day at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, Oregon, I toured the studio, met staff and volunteers, and attended a few meetings. One of the prominent points at a programming meeting covered the important FCC regulation on obscenity, indecency, and profanity. Because of the hefty fines associated with violating the strict regulation (even accidentally), KBOO suspends shows from the air and continuously tries measures to prevent hosts from letting any profanity slip. Amusingly, this was my first meeting using and talking about many, many expletives. At the end of the day, I joined the development director and program director for a meeting with representatives from Radio Survivor and Freeform Portland, one of the local low-power FM stations. The mission and goals of local, community radio stations overlap so it was nice to be introduced to collaborative Portland radio work.

At KBOO, I will aid in the design and development of a process for the digitization, preservation, and cataloging of 7,500 historic KBOO programs dating from the late 1960s. KBOO Community Radio went on the air in June of 1968 and according to current metadata Excel sheets, archival holdings include 5, 7 and 10″ reels from the late 1940s.

KBOO has 13 staff members, a few regular contractors, and couple hundred volunteers. There is such lively energy to get this radio station to run 24 hours a day without automation. KBOO offers audio production, podcasting, and digital editing training to volunteers who create its programming. Some volunteers I’ve met in my first week have been working at KBOO for over 10 years. Some staff also started as volunteers, and Board of Directors similarly are committed to the work it takes to keep KBOO on the air. I felt the collaborative, welcoming, respectful environment in meetings and interactions with people at the station.

Types of audio at KBOO include 5, 7, 10″ 0pen reel, CDs, cassettes, DATs, minidiscs, LP, and born digital audio files. Physical audio archival materials are stored in a designated archives room. Cassettes, DATs, and minidiscs have been digitized in-house, while open reels have been sent out to BAVC for digitization in the past. Corresponding digital files may be in dispersed locations on the networked shared drive. For current broadcast audio, the website acts as repository for radio programs. A script auto-archives the audio files so that listeners can find past programs with an online search. KBOO would like to have an online, integrated search of current radio programs and digitized archival audio materials. Providing a system to document the condition and digitization history of original assets would allow greater preservation management of archival audio.

An review of KBOO’s technology infrastructure is key to determine how their volunteer-driven organization can sustain new tools and technology. Additional meetings are set for the upcoming weeks to learn more. KBOO’s specific needs will be kept in mind with discussions of the pros and cons of open source solutions. How will archival work be integrated into KBOO’s existing volunteer-run model? What will be outsourced, what will be administered in-house, and how will digital preservation be funded long-term? The week of training in Boston provided me with knowledge that I will utilize for this project, including project management, designing workflow, standards in digital preservation and audiovisual archiving, computing and processing, and metadata management.

The station manager and program director were both receptive to the idea of me providing archival and digital preservation literacy workshops. This will allow me to share why audiovisual archiving is important and go further in-depth into what it takes to achieve digital preservation of KBOO’s culturally valuable collection.

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Kicking off the AAPB NDSR

The 2016-2017 AAPB NDSR residencies have now officially kicked off, starting with our AAPB NDSR Immersion Week. From July 25-29, hosts, residents and mentors gathered at WGBH to learn, discuss, and review information about digital preservation and archiving audiovisual materials.

Immersion Week presentations covered a wide array of topics, including the history of public media and the AAPB, an overview of physical and digital audiovisual materials, an introduction to audiovisual metadata, and instructional seminars on digital preservation workflows, project management, and professional development.  Each of our host mentors also delivered a presentation on the history of their station and their goals for the course of the residency.

On the more technical end of digital preservation, attendees participated a full-day session on “Thinking Like a Computer” and a hands-on command line workshop.

Immersion Week also included visits to MIT’s Digital Sustainability Lab and Northeastern University’s video digitization center, as well as a thorough tour of the WGBH archives, production facilities, and the Media Access Group.

All slides from Immersion Week can be found through the NDSR GitHub account, and several full filmed presentations will be available soon through WGBH Forum Network.

Around the edges of the planned instructional programming, residents still had the energy to check out some of Boston’s famous sites, like the JFK Presidential Library, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Fanueil Hall.

The hosts and residents have now dispersed to begin their public media preservation projects. Watch this space for updates from the residents as they document their work throughout the residency, and follow along on the #ndsr hashtag on Twitter!

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Welcoming KBOO Community Radio to AAPB NDSR

The staff of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) at WGBH has announced that Pacifica Radio Archives will no longer be a host for the AAPB NDSR program. A major component of the Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded grant project is to cultivate digital stewards in environments that offer strong mentorship and opportunities for professional growth in the field of digital preservation. It is crucial to us that each of our residents receives full-time support and an enriching experience from our AAPB NDSR host mentors and organizations. Due to cutbacks in the Pacifica Foundation archives staff, Pacifica was no longer able to commit to providing the mentorship component of the project. As a result, WGBH decided to secure a new position for Selena Chau, the resident initially assigned there.

NDSR resident Selena Chau will be completing an exciting digital project at KBOO Community Radio, Portland, Oregon’s listener-supported community radio station. Chau’s work there will not only cultivate her skills in digital preservation, but also have a lasting effect on the station and its collection. We are pleased to welcome KBOO to the AAPB NDSR community. KBOO submitted a great proposal in December 2015, and was a host institution runner-up; we’re thrilled that we now have the opportunity to work with them.

During her residency at KBOO, Chau will aid in the design and development of a process for the digitization, preservation, and cataloging of 7,500 historic KBOO programs dating from the late 1960s. The project will involve designing the metadata catalog, as well as investigating and developing systems for search and access to the digitally archived programs. To read more about KBOO’s project, visit our AAPB NDSR Hosts page.

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Welcome to our 2016-2017 AAPB NDSR cohort!

We received a number of fantastic applications and faced some extremely difficult decision-making, but now we are thrilled to announce that seven residents have been selected for 2016-2017!

Please welcome the members of our AAPB NDSR cohort:

Selena Chau
Host: Pacifica Radio Archives


Selena Chau is an archivist specializing in web design and digital technologies. Selena was a Dance Heritage Coalition Fellow at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, where she determined copyright status of archival dance recordings for online digital dissemination and designed streaming moving image content. She has also worked at UNLV Libraries Digital Collections and LOCKSS, providing greater digital access to serials publications and Las Vegas 19th and 20th century special collections ephemera. Selena curated and transferred the born-digital collection “Senses Places mixed reality performance and participatory environment collection” to the Stanford University Libraries and performed research for the film “Black Ballerina” (documentary in progress). Selena is the recipient of the 2014 Brooks McNamara Performing Arts Librarian Scholarship and Orange County Library Association Scholarship. Prior to receiving her MLIS from San Jose State University, Selena worked as a web and database developer and was a dance artist. Her research interests include linked data, copyright, and open access.

Eddy Colloton
Host: Louisiana Public Broadcasting



Eddy Colloton is a recent graduate from the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University. He received a BA in Critical Studies of Cinema from the University of Southern California. He has previously worked for the New York Film-makers’ Cooperative, the Denver Art Museum, the Association of Moving Image Archivists Online Continuing Education Task Force, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at CUNY, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He specializes in the preservation of media art, with a strong interest in video installations, software-based art, and the conservation of conceptual art.

Tressa Graves
Host: WYSO



Tressa Graves completed her MLIS through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Spring 2016. She received her BS in Anthropology and Museum Studies in 2014 from Central Michigan University. Since 2012, Tressa has been an intern at multiple institutions including the Alaska Film Archives, Clarke Historical Library, Michigan State University & Historical Collections, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. She has been presented posters and been on panels for Michigan Archival Association Conference, Midwest Archives Conference, and the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference. In 2014, Tressa also presented a basic film preservation workshop for the Historical Society of Michigan.

Adam Lott
Host: Wisconsin Public Television



Hello, archives world! I’m Adam Lott: B-movie enthusiast, lover of all things analog, and soon to be resident at Wisconsin Public Television. I’ve had a lifelong interest in film and video and have done everything from writing theory to working on-set. What’s always interested me most though, was the curation and preservation of rare and unique footage, which drew me towards a future in archives. If you ever want to discuss video game trivia or have any bizarre films to suggest, I’d love to talk!

Kate McManus
Host: Minnesota Public Radio



Kate McManus completed her MLIS at St Catherine University in St. Paul Minnesota in May of 2015, where she focused her coursework around archives. She also did her undergraduate work at St. Kate’s, where she completed a BA in History. Since 2007, she has held a variety of positions at libraries, museums, and archival institutions such as the Minnesota Historical Society, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and most recently, the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. She was a student leader, serving as a secretary in the St. Kate’s student chapter of the Society of American Archivists. A deep love of history and access to historical records informs her work, and Kate became interested in digital archives in graduate school. As she became familiar with archival standards and the relative lack of standards for digital records, and she grew passionate about helping to prevent the “digital dark age”.

Lorena Ramírez-López
Host: Howard University Television (WHUT)



Lorena Ramírez-López received her Masters in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2015. She has worked as an adjunct archivist of NYU libraries’ web archives; a digital asset manager specialist at Planned Parenthood; and a teaching assistant for MIAP’s film preservation course. She has worked at Fundación de Arte contemporáneo, Universidad Católica del Uruguay, TV Pública, Museo del Cine, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, CUNY-TV, CUNY-Graduate Center, WITNESS, and IndieCollect. She was involved in the film festival circuit and volunteered at New York Havana Film Festival, Corto Circuito, and New York International Latino Film Festival. She is a member of XFR Collective, a non-profit that partners with artists, activists, individuals, and groups to provide low-cost digitization services.

Andrew Weaver



Andrew Weaver is a Seattleite and 2015 graduate of the University of Washington’s Information School.  Since graduation he has been working with film, video and audio collections at the UW Libraries Media Center.  When he isn’t extracting metadata or trying to align azimuths, he enjoys reading books and skimboarding on the Puget Sound.

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AAPB NDSR Application TweetUp – Summary & Storify

On Monday, we hosted a TweetUp under the hashtag #ndsrapps to discuss the NDSR application process. Current and past residents, AAPB NDSR host mentors, and a/v archives professionals convened to answer questions from prospective residents and talk about the NDSR experience.

For prospective applicants, we’d like to highlight some of the thoughts and advice that came out of the discussion:

– when figuring out your preferences for host choices, think about your interest in the organization and what you want to be learning, as well as the strengths that you already have. Hosts aren’t limited by resident’s preferences, but they will take them into consideration when determining their top picks.

– don’t be daunted by a list of tech requirements for a residency, and don’t let imposter syndrome scare you off a project you really want to work on; many past residents (and hosts!) had limited experience before starting on their projects or current positions.

– as current CUNY resident Dinah Handel said in one Tweet, “the point of the residency is to learn new skills in a safe environment” — the most important criteria for an AAPB NDSR position is a willingness to learn on the job!

Other topics included thoughts from past residents on career transitions after NDSR, discussion of the online or video project, and questions about what kind of material the residents will be dealing with at host stations, among other things. You can read the whole TweetUp as a storify here.

Also, while we were Tweeting about tech in the residency, one prospective resident caught a tech issue of our own on the application form! Thanks, Molly – the bug that prevented applicants from filling out their top three preferences should be fixed in the new version of the form, which you can find on our Resident Application page.

Thanks to all who participated in the TweetUp!

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