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The American Archive of Public Broadcasting Wiki: A Technical Preservation Resources Guide for Public Media Organizations

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH with a vision to coordinate a national effort to preserve at risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a centralized web portal for access to the unique programming aired by public stations over the past 70+ years. AAPB seeks to encourage coordinated participation by providing content creators in the public media system with standards and best practices, guidance, training, and advice for storing, processing, preserving and making accessible their historic content, and for raising funds in order to accomplish these tasks. In this Preservation Toolkit Wiki, the AAPB, former AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residents, and Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellows have compiled and provided information on available resources and tools that stations and other public media organizations can use locally in preserving, managing and sharing their own collections as well as gain access to through their participation in the AAPB.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) Preservation Toolkit Wiki was created in 2017 through the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency Project (NDSR), funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Wiki constitutes the final project of the AAPB NDSR residents, whose residencies took place between May 2016 and June 2017. Here, the residents have highlighted their collaboration and shared their resources, workflows, and documents used for managing audiovisual assets in all their possible formats and environments. AAPB staff and the AAPB Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellows, another initiative funded by IMLS in 2018 that placed current graduate students in fellowship positions at public media organizations across the country, have updated the Wiki with additional resources and information.

Sharing documentation, resources, and knowledge is an essential part of the audiovisual archiving field. Models of practice and documentation of existing workflows can be a powerful tool for establishing or improving archival initiatives. The AAPB hopes that this wiki will be an evolving resource, driven by the audiovisual archiving and public broadcasting communities.

If you would like to edit an existing article, or add an article of your own, please request an account.

For more information about the AAPB, visit

For more information about the AAPB NDSR, visit its main website at

For more information about the AAPB PBPF, visit its main website at

This wiki is a user-generated project of the American Archive community. AAPB, WGBH, and the Library of Congress do not endorse any products or services described in this Wiki.

Table of Contents

All Purpose Resources

Beginning Questionnaire

Breakdown of Analog Broadcast Standards

Budgets and Grants

BWF Metadata

Database Considerations

Digital Storage Considerations

Digitization options

Getting Started with Digital Preservation

MediaConch for Quality Assurance


Open Examples of Digitization Specifications

Overviews of Fundamental Concepts

PBCore MediaInfo Output

Storage Decisions and Exit Strategies

Think Like a Computer

Tools by Format

Understanding Digital Formats

Using Checksum Manifests

PBPF Handbooks

PBPF Fellow Workshop Plans

PBPF Program Equipment Plans

American Archive of Public Broadcasting - National Digital Stewardship Residency

The mission of the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) is to build a dedicated community of professionals who will advance our nation’s capabilities in managing, preserving, and making accessible the digital record of human achievement. The NDSR program began in 2013, with a pilot project developed by the Library of Congress in conjunction with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Like the other NDSR programs, the IMLS-funded AAPB NDSR was built around a cohort model and featured a preliminary immersion course, an ongoing mentorship program, and frequent educational opportunities throughout the residency. However, rather than focusing on one geographic urban area, the AAPB NDSR was the first residency to place residents at geographically distributed locations around the United States, encouraging the residents to use virtual networking to benefit individual projects and support the cohort.

Unlike previous residencies, the AAPB NDSR also focused specifically on the unique challenges of preserving of digital audiovisual materials. This allowed residents to gain hands-on professional experience with this highly complex and high-risk area of content, which very few library and information science Master’s programs focus on in any detail. It also addressed the lack of staffing of professional archivists at public television and radio organizations around the country. By providing skilled young professionals to work with the organizations in developing digital preservation plans for their material, the AAPB NDSR program created a cohort of skilled professionals in the field of digital audiovisual preservation, and played a key role in the ongoing preservation of public media content.

AAPB NDSR residents who created this Wiki included:
Selena Chau - KBOO Community Radio
Eddy Colloton - Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Adam Lott - Wisconsin Public Television
Kate McManus - Minnesota Public Radio
Lorena Ramírez-López - Howard University Television (WHUT)
Andrew Weaver - CUNY TV

Cohort Webinars
Manuals created from AAPB NDSR Programs: Public Broadcasting Digital Stewardship
American Archive of Public Broadcasting:

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