GBH received a $16 million award, its largest private grant ever, to support the preservation of public radio and television programs, the organization announced Wednesday.
The Mellon Foundation awarded the funding to support the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaboration between GBH and the Library of Congress, over four years.
“We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their support of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting,” GBH CEO Susan Goldberg said in a press release. “This vast collection of public media programs is American history as seen through local, regional and national lenses, but we are in a race against time to preserve these at-risk treasures now on fragile and obsolete formats. The AAPB ensures that critical works of culture, news, arts and more are identified and made accessible to the public for years to come.”
The AAPB’s collection spans more than 70 years with 100,000 items available for public access. With the grant, the AAPB will be able to digitize 150,000 items, doubling the size of its collection.
The foundation has previously supported the AAPB with three grants totalling $2.5 million, according to its website.
“The preservation of public media is as critical as its creation,” Patricia Hswe, program officer for public knowledge at The Mellon Foundation, said in the release. “Mellon’s commitment to help ensure the longevity of this multivocal cultural and civic heritage will provide future generations opportunities to understand themselves and their communities in more complete ways. I’m thrilled that GBH, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, will be able to pursue this rescue work on a large scale and make substantial progress in saving this endangered media.”