CPB moves to begin planning American Archive

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CPB advertised Monday to hire a person or organization to scope out the proposed American Archive of pubcasting content. Proposals for management of the one-year, $3 million pilot program are due by Nov. 14. The manager, which must have experience in big-project management and digitization, will use an RFP to select a group of pilot radio and TV stations and assist the coding and digitization of their program archives. The project will also create a “substantial” sample online archive and prototype demo by the ides of March 2009; do research on costs, storage and restorage techniques and criteria for selection of materials to be archived; and develop best practices and training materials. By piloting, CPB aims to get to know the processes needed to develop a unified archive initiative. The project will evaluate and modify the PBCore metadata dictionary developed by pubcasters with CPB financial aid. The project will set up categories describing available rights for the programming. A later project will handle the next step: developing ways to provide access to the programs. In February 2007, former APTS President John Lawson revealed that public broadcasters were likely to seek federal aid for the American Archive project. WNET archive advocate Nan Rubin wrote that archiving is the first step toward the universal on-demand access that media consumers routinely expect.

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