American Archive of Public Broadcasting
National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog Project
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The National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog Project funded by CLIR is the first project to build upon the American Archive of Public Broadcasting initiative. This project, scheduled for completion by June 2018, will create a national catalog of records providing robust descriptions of programs distributed by NET (1952-1972), comprising the earliest public television content. During the project, the Library of Congress will process and catalog more than 8,000 at-risk NET programs in its collection. WGBH will aggregate inventory records from archival institutions that hold NET moving image and sound elements in order to develop a national catalog to be added to the AAPB website and made available to the public.
The NET Collection is an invaluable record of non-commercial TV programming from 1952-1972 on public affairs, social issues, arts, culture, the humanities, science, and education. During this time period, public affairs documentaries and discussions covered the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and issues such as poverty, student activism, radicalism, privacy, the environment, the elderly, and welfare. Arts and cultural programming visually documented opinions and works of major authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, scientists, and intellectuals. NET presented contemporary theater performed by leading repertory companies. Science series covered issues such as the latest medical advances, space exploration, and the steps that led to the 1969 moon launch. NET’s educational programming included materials for classroom use, innovative children’s programming, and adult education programs.
Of the 8,000-10,000 NET titles, few are known to scholars because, to date, they have been stored in unprocessed collections. With the NET Collection accessible, television studies scholars can embark on in-depth studies of the network, access its innovative series, compare commercial and noncommercial television, and examine programs that offer diverse perspectives on topics such as bias in newscasts, the effects of television on politics and on children, and federal involvement in public broadcasting.
The centralized catalog will enable institutions holding NET materials to catalog their NET materials more efficiently. Collection managers will be able to make informed preservation decisions. Researchers, teachers, students, and audiovisual producers will be able to search the catalog for programs relating to a large variety of interests and then access programs onsite at the most appropriate archival institution.
While we're still working on the gathering the information for the catalog, we are eager to share the title lists we've been able to compile so far. If you have any more information about these titles, please contact Sadie Roosa at email@example.com.