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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

American Archive content inventory project

Repository: Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Collection Description (CRHP): Of the 2400 hours of sound and video clips in this pilot project, an estimated 1800 hours deal specifically with the civil rights movement. Many extensive interviews with civil rights participants are included. The other 600 hours are of World War II veterans, and some of these recordings deal with civil rights and racial discrimination as well. The twenty-two stations chosen for this project are from California, the South, the Mid-West, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic.

Collection Description (Extant): Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) has completed a prototype archive that establishes a foundation for archiving public broadcasting material in the future. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) commissioned the project in January of 2009 to explore the scope of historic video and audio sitting on shelves throughout the public broadcasting system, and to determine what it would take to preserve and archive this historic content.

Twenty-five public television and radio stations took part in the project. In the first phase, the stations conducted a station-wide inventory for content related to two topics: the U.S. Civil Rights movement and World War II era oral histories stations created in conjunction with the 2007 Ken Burns series, The War. Stations inventoried more than 5,200 items totaling over 7,200 hours of content on formats that ranged from 16mm film to 1/4-inch audio to HDCam.

Twenty-two stations continued on to the second phase of the project, restoring, digitizing and cataloging sound and video clips. In this phase, stations archived more than 5,700 items totaling more than 2,300 hours of broadcast material.

Stations found treasures: Author James Baldwin's 1963 speech "100 Years of Freedom;" an interview with the daughter of W.E.B. DuBois; a young school boy reading his response to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.; a 1981 documentary featuring white supremacists arguing their case for racial re-segregation; and a 1963 series featuring interviews with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. [Taken from: "OPB Completes American Archive Project," Posted May 7, 2010,]

Access Copy Note: The American Archive database will be available for on-site usage at libraries.

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): early 1940s-2000s

Digital Status: Yes

Extent: digitized video and audio recordings (2400 hours)

Language: English

Rights (Extant): Contact the American Archive's executive director, Matthew White, for more information.


African American veterans
African Americans--Civil rights
Civil rights movements--Press coverage
Civil rights movements--Southern States
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Television broadcasting of news
World War, 1939-1945
X, Malcolm, 1925-1965


Sound recordings


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