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[ARSCLIST] Public Broadcasting stimulus proposal

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

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

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