WGBH News and Media Relations


November 7, 2017

American Archive of Public Broadcasting Releases Exclusive Collections


The Library of Congress and WGBH have acquired and preserved original, full-length interviews from The Civil War, Eyes on the Prize and American Masters

BOSTON (November 7, 2017) – The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) recently acquired three collections of original, full-length interviews from groundbreaking public television documentaries: Ken Burns’ The Civil War, Eyes on the Prize and American Masters. Only excerpts of these interviews were included in previously released, edited programs. Now, the full-length interviews from these landmark series will be available to view online at americanarchive.org or in person at the Library of Congress and at WGBH, preserved for future generations to learn about our nation’s history.

The AAPB, a collaboration between the Library of Congress and Boston public media station WGBH, has digitized and preserved more than 50,000 hours of broadcasts and previously inaccessible programs from public radio and public television’s more than 60-year legacy.

Interviews from Ken Burns' The Civil War

The Civil War, an epic nine-episode series by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and produced in conjunction with WETA, Washington, DC and American Documentaries, Inc., first aired in September 1990 to an audience of 40 million viewers. The film is the recipient of 40 major film and television awards, including two Emmys and two Grammys.

The AAPB The Civil War collection includes eight digitized, full-length interviews with distinguished historians and commentators Barbara J. Fields, C. Vann Woodward, Robert Penn Warren, William Safire, James Symington, Stephen B. Oates, Ed Bearss and Daisy Turner. The Civil War collection is available online at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/ken-burns-civil-war.

Interviews from Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954–1965 tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. The award-winning documentary series recounts the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation from the murder of Emmett Till and the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and 1956 to the 1965 Voting Rights Campaign in Selma, Alabama. Eyes on the Prize was produced by Blackside, Inc and aired on PBS in 1987.

The Eyes on the Prize interviews collection comes from Washington University Libraries’ Henry Hampton Collection and includes 75 hours of full-length interviews with leaders and activists such as Rosa Parks, Constance Baker Motley, James Farmer, Robert Moses, Andrew Young, John Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, Stokely Carmichael and Myrlie Evers. The Eyes on the Prize collection is available online at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/eotp-i-interviews.

Interviews from American Masters

American Masters is an award-winning biography series that celebrates American arts and culture. Launched in 1986 on PBS, the series set the standard for documentary film profiles, and is produced by New York’s flagship PBS station THIRTEEN for WNET.

AAPB has preserved more than 800 full-length interviews filmed for American Masters with cultural luminaries such as David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Robert Plant, Tim Burton, Nora Ephron, Denzel Washington, Carol Burnett, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Quincy Jones and Jimmy Carter. The interviews, digitized for In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive and the American Masters Podcast, will be archived for long-term storage at the Library of Congress to ensure their survival for future generations. Researchers can access the full collection on location at the Library of Congress and at WGBH. Information about the American Masters collection is available at http://americanarchive.org/special_collections/american-masters-interviews.

The AAPB is a national effort to preserve at-risk public media and provide a central web portal for access to the programming that public stations and producers have created over the past 60 years. In its initial phase, the AAPB digitized approximately 40,000 hours of radio and television programming and related materials selected by more than 100 public media stations and organizations across the country. The entire collection is available for research on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and currently more than 20,000 programs are available in the AAPB’s Online Reading Room at americanarchive.org to anyone in the United States.


About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia™, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States - and extensive materials from around the world - both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation to coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 60 years. To date, over 40,000 hours of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and more than 20,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org.




WGBH Media Relations

Emily Balk

Catherine Burke