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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:

  American Archive
Innovation is fostered by access to trusted information. 
Highly-trusted content of
enormous value is languishing on the shelves of public television and 
radio stations.
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 
lasting historical
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 
content creation
explodes in a web 2.0 environment will provide new and challenging 
careers well into the
future.

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 
http://www.current.org/pbpb/documents/stimulus-request-Jan09.pdf

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?

John Ross