American Archive of Public Broadcasting

General Search Tips

The AAPB website provides the general public with access to the AAPB Online Reading Room, where users can screen or listen to digitized materials that the AAPB has made available for research, educational and informational purposes. It also includes a database of the entire AAPB digitized collection, which currently includes 68,000 items (40,000 hours), and 2.5 million metadata recordings that describe items which have not yet been digitized. All of the records describe materials which have been inventoried, but not fully cataloged, and most contain only minimal information. The best way to find what you are looking for, or at least narrow your search on the AAPB website, is to conduct keyword searches in the search bar. Then, you can filter the retrieved results using the browsing options (facets) that appear on the left side of the search results page. You also can limit search results by inputting additional keyword search terms into the search box at the top of the screen that contains your initial search term. Using quotation marks around phrases (e.g., “civil rights”) will retrieve results in which that exact phrase appears in a record. If you come to the website not looking for anything in particular, check out the Browse the Collection section on the homepage for possible content to browse.

If you type keywords into the search box, you will be searching all of the fields in all of the records in the Online Reading Room. Conducting a keyword search using the search box (as opposed to the Advanced Search option) is the most fail-safe way to search the collection because it will retrieve relevant results based on the data available, even if that data has not be entered into the correct field.

From your search results, you can use additional facets on the left to filter your results.

Using the MEDIA TYPE facet, you can filter your results to show only Moving Image or Sound.

To filter your results based on their topic or format of the content use the GENRE or TOPIC facets: for example, Cooking, Arts, Nature, Talk Shows, and News Reports. Please note that not all records have been tagged with a Genre or Topic as cataloging is still in progress.

The ASSET TYPE facet filters results based on whether they are Episodes, Clips, Programs, Raw Footage, etc. Please note that not all of the records have been assigned an Asset Type, as cataloging is still in progress.

If you are looking for content contributed by a specific station or material from a specific state in the US, use the ORGANIZATION facet. With this facet you can filter your results based on which organization contributed the records to the AAPB collection, or based on the state in which the content originated. Clicking on a state will show all records contributed by all stations in that state.

The YEAR facet lets you filter your results by a specific year or range of years. Please note that less than half of all records for digitized assets are currently dated, as cataloging is still in progress.

To expand your search beyond content that is available in the Online Reading Room, click the "All Digitized" or "All Records" options under the Access filter in the facets menu that appears on the left side of the search results page.

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