The major public broadcasting organizations -- PBS, NPR and the Corp
for Public Broadcasting -- have asked President-elect Obama to
include a substantial amount of support for public broadcasting
projects in his economic stimulus package.
One of the projects the broadcasters are requesting is an "American
Archive." Here's the applicable part of their letter:
Innovation is fostered by access to trusted information.
Highly-trusted content of
enormous value is languishing on the shelves of public television and
Billions of dollars worth of content assets, largely purchased with
public money, are
effectively lost to educators, inventors, government officials and
private citizens because
they have not been indexed and stored on accessible digital media.
Worse still, some of
these assets are in real danger of physical loss through
disintegration and obsolescence.
Stimulus impact: The work of reviewing content, selecting material of
interest, digitizing and indexing it, clearing and cataloging
intellectual property rights
associated with it, and building databases and retrieval system to
access it, will create
hundreds of jobs. The work of maintaining the Archive's currency as
explodes in a web 2.0 environment will provide new and challenging
careers well into the
Potential partners: Library of Congress, National Archives, local
academic and public
libraries, local and national museums
A copy of the complete letter is online at
As professionals and technical experts in preservation of sound
recordings, it would seem that ARSC should both support the
broadcasters' request, and coordinate with them to assure that they
don't re-invent procedures and standards that we and our colleagues
have already developed and established. And not incidentally, to
create employment and contract work for our members.
Assuming some of ARSC's leadership is reading this, may I request
that you take appropriate action to establish a working relationship
with the public broadcasting groups, and to publicly support their
request for an American Archive project?