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Program National Recording Preservation Plan

Radio Preservation Task Force Conference (2017)

Radio Preservation Task Force Seminar (November 2-4, 2017)

In November of 2017, the Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) held its second conference, a three-day event, headquartered in Washington, DC, to discuss issues or radio history, cultural significance and long-term preservation. An audio recording was made of many of its panel discussions.

Opening Remarks

  • Gregory Lukow, Chief, National-Audio-Visual Conservation Center, Library of Congress
  • Eugene Flanagan, Director, National Programs, National and International Outreach, Library of Congress

Indigenous/First Nations

This panel will address one of the "areas of deficiency" in existing archival radio collections: indigenous/first nations radio. Presenters will discuss the logistics of actual institutional work, describe specific radio work that has captured important political or cultural events, or talk about available collections and areas of study available to researchers. The discussion will reference radio, but it may also feature many cultural historians who work among multiple media.


  • Moderator: Jenni Monet (Independent Journalist; NFCB Board Member; Laguna Pueblo)
  • Lina Ortega (University of Oklahoma; Sac and Fox Nation)
  • Michael Pahn (Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian)
  • Simon Moya-Smith (Indian Country Media Network & CNN; Oglala Lakota Nation and Chicano)
  • Loris Taylor (CEO, Native Public Media)
  • Discussant: Amalia Córdova (Smithsonian Folklife)

RPTF Metadata Infrastructure

This panel discusses strategies for big data development regarding collection-level descriptions for radio collections. Experts in the areas of scripting, accessibility, and digital humanities curation hold a conversation about how to make collections searchable and accessible to a wider public.


  • Chair: William Vanden Dries (Indiana University)
  • Tanya Clement (University of Texas)
  • Ken Freedman (WFMU)
  • Eric Hoyt (University of Wisconsin and Media History Digital Library)
  • Mark Matienzo (Stanford and Blacklight)
  • Stephanie Sapienza (University of Maryland and MITH)
  • Alex Stinson (Wikipedia and GLAM)
  • Discussants:
  • Jack Brighton (University of Illinois and PBCore)
  • Karma Foley (Smithsonian Channel)


This panel is a roundtable format in which participants will discuss important gaps in the primary source record for sound sources in news and journalism; the possibilities of developing collaborations to seek funding to digitize important collections of these materials; and strategies for using them in research and pedagogy.


  • Chair and Moderator: Michael Stamm (Michigan State)
  • Matthew Baise (Voice of America)
  • Robert Browning (Purdue & C-SPAN Archive)
  • Mike Conway (Indiana University)
  • Nicole Hemmer (University of Virginia & Washington Post)
  • Heather Hendershot (MIT)
  • Shawn Nicholson (Michigan State University)
  • David Noell (Columbia University)
  • Dean Rehberger (Michigan State University)
  • Discussants:
  • Matthew Ehrlich (University of Illinois)
  • Chuck Howell (University of Maryland – Journalism Library)
  • Katharine Kosin (Newseum Education)
  • Gene Policinski (Newseum First Amendment Institute)

Endangered Collections

Archivists, preservationists, and academics discuss steps toward locating shelf space for endangered radio collections, including development of criteria for assessing which collections are most in need of attention. Experts from film, television, and sound preservation sectors share their strategies with the audience.


  • Moderator: Josh Shepperd (CUA & RPTF), Chair: Derek Vaillant (Michigan)
  • John Nathan Anderson (CUNY-Brooklyn)
  • Michael Biel (Morehead State University)
  • Paul Conway (University Michigan)
  • Caroline Frick (University of Texas)
  • Siobhan Hagan (MARMIA & Greenbelt Theater)
  • Mary Meyers (Regent University)
  • Dan Streible (NYU and Orphan Film Symposium)
  • Rebecca Toov (University of Minnesota)
  • Mark Torres (Pacifica Radio Archives)
  • Andy Uhrich (Indiana University)
  • John Vallier (University of Washington)
  • Discussants:
  • George Blood (George Blood Audio LP)
  • John Fenn (American Folklife Center)
  • Thomas Pease (Library of Congress)
  • David Walker (Smithsonian Folklife)

RPTF Material & Digital Curation

Nationally recognized experts from academic, museum, and public sectors discuss strategies for digital and material curation of sound-based materials. Topics of discussion include presentation of preserved historical media, public engagement, and educational application


  • Moderator: Matt Barton (Library of Congress and ARSC)
  • Charles Hardy (West Chester University and National Council on Public History)
  • Jonathan Hiam (New York Public Library)
  • Matt Karush (George Mason University and Hearing the Americas)
  • Elena Razlogova (Concordia University)
  • Mark Williams (Dartmouth College and Media Ecology Project)
  • Thomas Witherspoon (Shortwave Radio Audio Archive)
  • Discussants:
  • Betsy Peterson (American Folklife Center)
  • Carlene Stephens (Smithsonian Museum of American History)

Cold War Communication

Third session of the Cold War Communication Project at RPTF 2017. Sessions 1 and 2 take place at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on Thursday, November 2nd.


  • Co-Chairs/Moderators: Brandon Burke (Hoover Institution Library and Archives) and Jane Leftwich Curry (Santa Clara University)
  • Karen Fishman (Library of Congress)
  • David Jenemann (University of Vermont)
  • Yuliya Komska (Dartmouth College)
  • Daniel Rooney (U.S. National Archives)
  • Angela Becerra Vidergar (Stanford University)
  • Martins Zvaners (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Gender & Sexuality

Nationally recognized scholars and archivists of Gender and Sexuality Studies discuss how the Caucus plans to proceed with locating historical broadcasts, developing future grantwriting projects, and expanding access to the canon of Feminist and LGBTQ broadcasts.


  • Co-Chairs/Moderators: Kathleen Battles (Oakland University), Nora Patterson (University of Iowa)
  • Michael Austin (Howard University)
  • Sarah Cunningham (U.S. National Archives)
  • Brian DeShazor (Independent Noncommercial Radio Archivist)
  • Jason Loviglio (University of Maryland-Baltimore County)
  • Anne Jenner (University of Washington)
  • Catherine Martin (Boston University)
  • Ira Revels (Gay Spirit Radio)
  • Chris Terry (University of Minnesota)
  • Jennifer Wang (University of Wisconsin)
  • Discussants:
  • Susan Douglas (University of Michigan)
  • Michele Hilmes (University of Wisconsin)
  • Phylis Johnson (San Jose State University)
  • Carol Stabile (University of Maryland)

Grantwriting Workshop

Representatives from granting institutions discuss procedures for applying for preservation funds, examples of previous successful applications, and answer questions from researchers.


  • Moderator: Shawn Vancour (UCLA), Chair: Jenny Doctor (University of Cincinnati)
  • Jesse Johnston (NEH)
  • Pedro Gonzalez-Fernandez (CLIR)
  • Emily Reynolds (IMLS)
  • David Weinstein (NEH)
  • Discussant: Gerald Seligman (National Recording Preservation Foundation)

Radio History Research

The two most influential American radio scholars of the past 30 years describe their visions for the future of radio studies, and answer questions from the audience.


  • Moderator: Alexander Russo (Society for Cinema and Media Studies & CUA)
  • Susan Douglas (University of Michigan)
  • Michele Hilmes (University of Wisconsin)

Radio Archival Research

Directors of top federal and public archives talk about their approaches to aggregating, maintaining, preserving, and making accessible the sounds of political and cultural history.


  • Moderator: Casey Davis (WGBH/American Archives of Public Broadcasting)
  • Brecht Declercq (FIAT/IFTA Belgium)
  • Caitlin Hunter (Library of Congress)
  • Laura Soto-Barra (NPR)
  • Paul Wilson (British Library)

Spanish and Multi-Lingual Radio

This session will bring together scholars and practitioners of Spanish language/bilingual radio to discuss the importance of Spanish language radio to immigrant listeners, and the institutional challenges involved in creating and/or accessing Spanish-language archives. Emphasis in this session will be on community and public radio, bilingual and Spanish language. This session will be followed by the Caribbean/Latin American session, described below.


  • Chair and Moderator: Inés Casillas (UC-Santa Barbara)
  • Mari Castañeda (University of Massachusetts)
  • Amalia Córdova (Smithsonian Folklife)
  • Hugo Morales (Executive Director, Radio Bilingue)
  • Rosa Ramón (KDNA)
  • Magaly Rivera (Latino Public Radio Consortium)
  • Monica de la Torre (Arizona State University)
  • Discussant: Joy Hayes (University of Iowa)


This session, which follows immediately after the Spanish Language/Bilingual radio session above, focuses on preservation of and access to radio archives in the Caribbean and other parts of Latin America. This session will include archivists and librarians from Duke and Tulane Universities, both of whom digitized major audio collections of radio from Haiti and Cuba. Focus on the challenges and strategies for preservation of non-US radio collections.


  • Chair and Moderator: Alejandra Bronfman (SUNY-Albany)
  • Craig Breaden (Duke University)
  • Christine Hernandez (Tulane University)
  • Antonio Pereira (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
  • Jeff Rubin (Tulane University)
  • Discussants:
  • Robert Horton (Smithsonian National Museum of American History)
  • Mireya Loza (Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

Public Media Research Project

This large gathering of academics, archivists, practitioners, journalists, and founders serves to convene the first national project to examine the history of public broadcasting. Session topics include the development of scholarly and curatorial initiatives, and steps for opening lines of communication between sectors invested in public media.


  • Chair and Moderator: Allison Perlman (UC-Irvine)
  • Ernesto Aguilar (National Federation of Community Broadcasters)
  • Bob Avery (University of Utah)
  • Glenda Balas (University of North Texas-Dallas)
  • Karen Cariani (WGBH/American Archives of Public Broadcasting)
  • Ted Coltman (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
  • Casey Davis (WGBH/American Archives of Public Broadcasting)
  • Ralph Engelman (Long Island University)
  • Laura Garbes (Brown University)
  • Daniel Gilliam (Louisville Public Media)
  • Katie Day Good (Miami University)
  • Mike Janssen (Current- Public Media’s Trade Journal)
  • Nicolette Khan (NPR – All Things Considered preservation project)
  • Andy Lanset (WNYC)
  • Tony Macaluso (Studs Terkel Radio Archive)
  • Brent Malin (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Robert Morrow (Morgan State University)
  • Ingrid Ockert (Princeton University)
  • Kathryn Ostrofsky (Angelo State University)
  • Anu Paul (Fresh Air Archive)
  • John Passmore (WNYC)
  • Dana Polan (NYU)
  • Grace Radkins (Studs Terkel Radio Archive)
  • Kristen Reid (WBEZ)
  • Julie Rogers (NPR)
  • Laura Schnitker (University of Maryland – Special Collections in Mass Media and Culture)
  • Al Stavitsky (University of Nevada)
  • Gayle Wald (George Washington University)
  • Ian Whittington (University of Mississippi)
  • Discussants:
  • Alan Gevinson (Library of Congress/AAPB)
  • Michele Hilmes (University of Wisconsin)
  • Jack Mitchell (University of Wisconsin & NPR)
  • Bill Siemering (Developing Radio Partners & NPR)

Program Transcription Preservation and the Work of Collectors

The breadth and depth of radio recordings held exclusively by private collectors are well known to scholars who work with commercial radio broadcasting and electrical transcriptions. Many are shared freely. Archives and libraries, too, are valuable resources for the study of radio. Their collections are systematically preserved and described in online catalogs, but the recordings are restricted from off-site access. Are there means by which this dichotomy might be minimized or eliminated?


  • Moderator: Sam Brylawski (UC-Santa Barbara, former NRPB Chair)
  • Co-Chairs: Kyle Barnett (Bellarmine University) and Frank Absher (St. Louis Media History Foundation)
  • Michael Biel (Morehead State University)
  • Brandon Burke (Hoover Institution Library and Archives)
  • Alan Burdette (Indiana University)
  • Brian Craig (Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame)
  • Ted Davenport (OTR)
  • Jack French (OTR)
  • Paul Kornman (OTR)
  • Sammy Jones (CNN)
  • Derek Long (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
  • Karl Schadow (SPERDVAC)
  • Kerry Manderbach (University of Missouri-St. Louis)
  • Charles Reinsch (KRAB Archive)
  • Randy Riddle (Duke University)
  • Terry Salomonson (OTR)
  • David Suisman (University of Delaware)
  • David Plotkin (CBS)
  • Discussants:
  • Patrick Feaster (Indiana University – MDPI)
  • Donna Halper (Lesley University)
  • Ross Melnick (UC-Santa Barbara)
  • Josh Shepperd (CUA and RPTF)

Podcasting/Born Digital

This panel will focus on the preservation challenges podcasts and other born-digital audio represent. It will consider a number of current initiatives and tools for preserving, researching and studying this emerging form of audio distribution, and reflect on how the digital nature of podcasts both enhances and complicates preservation and access to audio culture.


  • Moderator: Jeremy Morris (University of Wisconsin & PodcastRE)
  • Patricia Aufderheide (American University)
  • Will Chase (NPR)
  • Virginia Millington (StoryCorps)
  • Jennifer Stoever (SUNY-Binghamton and Sounding Out!)
  • Jennifer Wang (University of Wisconsin)
  • Neil Verma (Northwestern University)
  • Discussants:
  • Gregory Lukow (Library of Congress)
  • Kevin Erickson (Future of Music Coalition)

African American and Civil Rights

Nationally recognized scholars, archivists, curators, and practitioners discuss opportunities for expanding the primary source canon of Civil Rights history by locating and preserving unexamined journalism, community organizing, and activist broadcasts.


  • Chair and Moderator: Sonja Williams (Howard University)
  • Bala Baptiste (Miles College)
  • Aniko Bodroghkozy (University of Virginia)
  • Josh Davis (University of Baltimore/Media and the Movement)
  • Sarah Florini (Arizona State University)
  • Brenda Nelson-Strauss (Indiana University)
  • Jocelyn Robinson (WYSO)
  • Suzanne Smith (George Mason University)
  • Katea Stitt (WPFW/Pacifica)
  • Angela Winand (Delaware Historical Society)
  • Discussants:
  • Walter Forsberg (Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture)
  • Guha Shankar (American Folklife Center & Civil Rights History Project)
  • James Winston (President, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters)


The Commercial Caucus brings together representatives from the commercial broadcasting community with scholars, educators, and preservationists to discuss ways commercial organizations are currently preserving – and plan to preserve – their audio heritage. The discussion will consider ways that the commercial radio broadcast community and the RPTF can build a symbiotic relationship that will insure both preservation and access to important cultural materials in the future.


  • Chair and Moderator: Michael Socolow (University of Maine)
  • Noah Arceneaux (San Diego State University)
  • Heather Birks (Broadcast Education Association)
  • Kathy Fuller-Seeley (University of Texas)
  • Alex Kupfer (Vassar College)
  • Ross Melnick (UC-Santa Barbara)
  • Cynthia Meyers (College of Mt. St. Vincent)
  • Mary Ann Watson (Eastern Michigan University)
  • Discussants:
  • Michael Freedman (CBS and University of Maryland)
  • Sam Litzinger (CBS)
  • Shawn Vancour (UCLA)

RPTF Network Workshop and Planning Session

This workshop creates a collaborative context in which the RPTF Network will discuss how to expand our knowledge about library holdings and private collections, and make sure that these collections are accounted for in our database


  • Moderator: Charlie McGovern (William and Mary), Chairs: Amanda Keeler (Marquette University), Neil Verma (Northwestern University)
  • Ernesto Aguilar (National Federation of Community Broadcasters)
  • Feliks Banel (University of Washington)
  • Maristella Feustle (University of North Texas)
  • Dylan Flesch (KEXP)
  • Emily Goodmann (Clarke University)
  • Mike Henry (University of Maryland)
  • Bill Kirkpatrick (Denison University)
  • Mark Matienzo (Stanford and Blacklight)
  • Diane Nititham (Murray State University)
  • Thomas Pease (Library of Congress)
  • William Vanden Dries (Indiana University)
  • Jennifer Waits (Radio Survivor)
  • Discussants:
  • Robert Horton (Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

RPTF Education Workshop: Public Outreach and Lesson Plans


  • Moderator: Eric Rothenbuhler (Webster University), Chair: Allison Perlman (UC-Irvine)
  • Tim Anderson (Old Dominion University)
  • A.J. Bauer (Ursinus College)
  • Lauren Bratskavsky (Illinois State University)
  • Christopher Cwynar (Defiance College)
  • Brian Fauteux (University of Alberta)
  • Oliver Gaycken (University of Maryland)
  • Anne MacLennan (York University)
  • Lisa Rabin (George Mason University)
  • Discussants:
  • Trevor Parry-Giles (National Communication Association)
  • Alexander Russo (Society for Cinema and Media Studies & CUA)
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