National Historical Publications and Records Commission

American Women project completed!

Over 1,900 historic broadcast recordings available streaming online!

We are pleased to announce that our “American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982” project is completed! All of the grant project deliverables have been met. These include:

  1. A searchable finding aid available on the Online Archive of California.
  2. Over 1,900 recordings streaming freely on the Internet Archive and the UC Berkeley Library catalog OskiCat.
  3. Item level descriptions of recordings available on the Pacifica Radio Archives online catalog.
  4. A manual for completing similar digital preservation projects.
  5. Reports and more. Visit the project’s official webpage here: http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org/nhprc1/home

We invite you to listen to these historic recordings and share with fellow students, researchers, professors, librarians, archivists, and media creators far and wide.

We want to say a special thanks to the National Historic Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives and Records Administration for their matching funds making this project possible, and to our partners: the Internet Archive, UC Berkeley Library, and George Blood, LP.

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Report from Archives 2015: SAA in Cleveland

by Jolene M. Beiser, Project Archivist

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Greetings! I recently returned to Los Angeles after a trip to Cleveland for the Society of American Archivists 2015 Annual Meeting. This trip and conference was an opportunity to let other archivists know about the important work we’re doing here at Pacifica to preserve women’s history, and to find out more about similar undertakings at other institutions.

My first two stops were the Recorded Sound Roundtable and Women’s Collections Roundtable meetings. At the Recorded Sound meeting we learned about the state of the initiatives having to do with Audiovisual Archives collections, including the publication of the ARSC Manual and the upcoming AMIA conference in Portland, OR. We also discussed initiatives the Roundtable might want to undertake during the 2015-2016 year, trainings seeming to be the most popular idea. I announced at the Women’s Collections Roundtable that we are almost finished with the American Women project (!!) and received enthusiastic interest and encouragement. Postcards announcing the project were also made available at the conference.

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On Thursday afternoon I presented with Carrie Daniels, Director of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Louisville, Aaron Rosenblum, Associate Curator of Special Collections at The Filson Historical Society, and Josh Ranger of A/V Preserve on the topic “Can I Trash This? Managing Physical Media Collections Post-digitization“. We had an energetic conversation about the special needs of audiovisual materials and why institutions choose to hold on to the analog materials once they’ve already been digitized, especially in light of their short (10-15 year) future lifespan. I talked about how as a result of the American Women project, we now have a plan to store digital preservation masters at the California Digital Library, Internet Archive, and in house, and are shipping the master tapes to the University of Maryland for long-term safekeeping. This will allow more room in our in-house vault for finding, digitally preserving, and making accessible more gems from our collection.

The conference allowed for more connections with Women’s collections archivists who can spread the word about the American Women collection to scholars and researchers at their institutions, and with audiovisual archivists with whom we are sharing ideas and best practices for preserving and sharing our collections.

Thank you to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for their support of this great project.

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American Women project presentations

by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist

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Beautiful Bryn Mawr College!

In May I traveled to the lovely state of Pennsylvania to, as part of this NHPRC-funded undertaking, give presentations on the “American Women” project at two conferences.  The first was “Women’s History in the Digital World 2015,” the second conference of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, held on the campus of Bryn Mawr College on May 21 and 22, 2015.  The conference was to “bring together experts, novices, and all those in between to share insights, lessons, and resources for the many projects emerging at the crossroads of history, the digital humanities, and women’s and gender studies…the conference will feature the work of librarians and archivists, faculty, students, independent scholars, and other stakeholders in the development of women’s and gender histories within digital scholarship.” You can view the presentation I gave to scholars and researchers about the American women project here: BrynMawr2015_20150519.

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Beautiful Pittsburgh!

On May 26th I traveled to Pittsburgh for the 49th annual Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) conference, held at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. I gave a presentation as part of the one day Pre-conference Workshop “From Idea to Deliverable: Planning and Executing Your Grant-Funded Project” on “Writing a Convincing Narrative”. You can view this presentation by clicking here: JBeiser_Narrative_20150527

And on Friday, May 29th, myself and former Pacifica Archivist Holly Rose McGee gave a presentation at the ARSC conference on the American Women project.  You can see our presentation here: Pacifica_ARSC_2015_audioOK

It was a pleasure to bring this important project and collection into the awareness of scholars, educators, archivists and librarians from all over the country. I was shown so much enthusiasm about the important work we’re doing here at Pacifica.

Quarterly Report to National Archives

by Brian DeShazor, Project Director

Pacifica Radio Archives recently submitted our quarterly report to the National Archives, describing the grant project activities undertaken during the quarter that included January, February and March of 2015. Highlights include the many ways we’ve promoted the project, particularly during March–Women’s History Month, via social media ( https://twitter.com/PacificaRadioAr, Soundcloud.com https://soundcloud.com/pacificaradioarchives, and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/19664526892/), via public service announcements on the radio, and events including the March 28th “Anaïs Nin’s Influence: Women who Knew Nin Talk About her Writing, Her Life and Their Friendship with Her” at the City of West Hollywood City Council Chambers and March 31st “Poetry Slam at Busboys and Poets” in Washington, D.C.

Feel free to peruse the report by downloading here: NHPRC report_April 30 2015.

April update

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Edgar, prepping the boxes for shipment.

by Jolene M. Beiser, Project Archivist

We are two-thirds of the way through this incredible project, having digitized 1,275 recordings out of the 1,700 to be digitized. Or final batch of 425 tapes have arrived at George Blood, LP in Philadephia, PA and are being cooled down prior to digitization due to extensive sticky-shed syndrome found in the batch, a common problem found in 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tapes from this time period (late 70s-early 80s).

Preparing this batch before shipping was also a rough go, which is why we jokingly referred to it as “BARTCH 4”. It contains hundreds of recordings that had little-to-no descriptive information in their records nor on their box labels, many of them requiring new descriptive records altogether. We are ever grateful for the funding from NHPRC to preserve this batch because there are so many gems that could have been lost without this project! Some highlights include: Black Ms. America, Eleanor Smeal announces the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and numerous Women’s music festivals and concert recordings. We’re looking forward to getting these digital files back and listening to them in June!

 

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Women in Labor History

by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist

Happy (belated) Labor Day!  The Zinn Education Project: Women in Labor History page is an excellent resource honoring the women who fought for workers rights, a few of whom are included in the American Women’s project! Great work Zinn Education Project!

Click to link to the Zinn Education Project Women in Labor History page

Click to link to “Zinn Education Project: Women in Labor History”

 

 

From the Vault: Pacifica Radio Achives’ weekly radio program

by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist

Over the years, Pacific Radio Archives has digitized hundreds of recordings featuring important women–artists, activists, politicians, etc. But we have just cracked the surface, having over 1,600 more to digitize and preserve as part of the American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 project.

Several of these recordings have been used for Pacifica’s weekly radio program entitled From The Vault.  I wanted to use this blog post to highlight some of these programs that have already been digitized.

Recently we featured a program from 1980, produced by Moira Rankin and co-produced by Deborah George for Sophie’s Parlor Collective, the oldest women’s radio collective on the air at Pacifica’s youngest station, WPFW in Washington D.C. This “Retrospective on Radical Feminism” was digitized in-house in 2013 and featured in a From The Vault episode available streaming here.

Also in March we feature a 1980 program entitled “Woman to Woman: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” a documentary about the relationship between and accomplishments of these two women.  This program was one episode of an eight-part KPFA (Berkeley, CA) series entitled Great Women. The remaining recordings in this series will be digitized as part of the American Women project and the entire series will be preserved together for the long-term. You can listen to this episode of From the Vault here.

One last highlighted program is Germaine Greer at the National Press Club (1971). Germaine Greer: theorist, academic, and journalist, was the first woman ever to be invited to address the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in 1971. An important voice of the feminist movement in the 1970s, she is captured here explaining to the private social club why it is important to examine the ways women are being presented in the press, and why women should be given more opportunities to speak for themselves. Listen to this episode of From the Vault here.

Thank you to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for the generous grant to support this important project.

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–More information about the American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 project can be found here.

 

 

American Women Batch 1–Shipping to George Blood, LP

by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist

The tapes were assessed, re-boxed, cataloged and packed; readied to take the long road trip across America to George Blood, LP in Philadelphia, PA. We hired art movers, US Art, to safely transport our first batch of 425 one-of-a-kind recordings in climate controlled trucks.

Project Director Brian DeShazor and Project Archivist Jolene Beiser, along with Pacifica Radio Archives staff Edgar Toledo, Joe Gallucci, and Mark Torres helped to pack up the tapes in heavy-duty plastic crates, protected from impact with bubble wrap, and with desiccant packs dropped in each box to protect against moisture.

According to George Blood, LP, they arrived safe and sound, and are being prepped for digitization.

Thank you to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for the funding to transport and digitize these precious recordings as part of our project American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982.

See more about the project here.

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