Hi, I’m Laura Haygood, a Masters of Library and Information Studies student at the University of Oklahoma (OU). I am part of the second cohort of Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellows. I was very fortunate to step into this position with a working digitization station in place. Many thanks go to Evelyn Cox, the previous fellow, for her work setting up the digitization station at Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA).
I am pleased to say that I have a wonderful team to work with here in Oklahoma. My faculty advisor, Dr. Susan Burke, has provided me with advice and stayed active in and engaged with the project. The OU SLIS staff have been a wonderful support; they have encouraged me and been persistent in pursuing all of our equipment. I could not have done this without Lisa Henry, my local mentor and technical advisor here at OU. Lisa would dash over every time there was a problem with the equipment, willing to troubleshoot solutions with me. Finally, my host station mentor, Janette Thornbrue, has been a terrific guide on my journey through this project, making me feel welcome at OETA and gladly answering all of my questions.
Overcoming Technical Troubles
While I was able to come into this position with a working digitization station, that does not mean I didn’t face a fair amount of technical troubles. Much of the equipment used by the first fellow was borrowed for the duration of the fellowship, so I needed to order and set up equipment for our permanent station. While the training we received from Immersion Week was helpful, Lisa Henry and I had a lot to figure out to order new and replacement equipment. In addition to purchasing equipment, we also had to discern what cables were needed to connect all of the equipment. We managed to get the new equipment set up during week 6 of the 9-week fellowship. It took us several hours, a fair amount of frustration, and a bit of improvisation, but we succeeded! Here is a breakdown of the equipment used by each cohort of the fellowship:
First Cohort equipment:
Sony Betacam deck
Panasonic DVCpro deck
Yamaha audio mixer (borrowed)
Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle
Horita Color Sync Generator (borrowed)
Second Cohort equipment:
Sony Betacam deck
Panasonic DVCpro deck
Mackie Audio mixer (replaced)
Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Express
Horita Color Sync Generator (replaced)
Horita Black Burst Generator (new
Leitch analog TBC (new purchase)
I have lived in Oklahoma for most of my life, so I was familiar with a lot of the material I digitized. There were definitely some hidden gems, though. As a child, I loved reading the Weekly Reader in school, and through this project I learned that Weekly Reader was created by an Oklahoma teacher, Eleanor Johnson. In addition to Oklahoma’s history, I vividly recall my personal experience with two of the events that I digitized, the Oklahoma City Bombing and the 2013 EF-5 tornado that hit Moore, OK. These tapes were heartbreaking to digitize, but uplifting as well, as I got to view the “Oklahoma Strong” disposition of Oklahomans. As a state, we band together to support and assist communities in need.
My biggest takeaway from this project is that you need a variety of sources to assist you when trying to blend 4 decades of equipment into a cohesive unit. In addition to my advisors, I received invaluable assistance from Gary Bates, our IT Specialist, and Jackie Jay of Bay Area Video Coalition. Jackie trained me on this equipment and graciously responded to countless emails from me as I ordered and set up our new equipment.
Written by Laura Haygood, PBPF Summer 2018 Cohort
The Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF), funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, supports ten graduate student fellows at University of North Carolina, San Jose State University, Clayton State University, University of Missouri, and University of Oklahoma in digitizing at-risk materials at public media organizations around the country. Host sites include the Center for Asian American Media, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WUNC, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, and KOPN Community Radio. Contents digitized by the fellows will be preserved in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The grant also supports participating universities in developing long-term programs around audiovisual preservation and ongoing partnerships with their local public media stations.
For more updates on the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship project, follow the project at pbpf.americanarchive.org and on Twitter at #aapbpf, and come back in a few months to check out the results of their work.