Digitizing Lectures from Iowa State University

Grant to: Iowa State University Foundation (2020)


An award in the amount of $14,999.00 to Iowa State University Foundation in 2020.


Iowa State University has long had one of the most expansive series of lectures in the country. For this project they are focusing on lectures from the 1972 through the 1990s – 1640 hours, 259 reel-to-reel tapes, 732 audiocassettes all to be restored, digitized and made accessible via the university’s own sites and for the general public on their YouTube channel. “We were impressed by the sheer range of speakers and subjects from the series, a veritable cross-section of culture, politics, the arts and sciences,” says NRPF Executive Director, Gerald Seligman. “Just a short list of some key names will give you an idea of the value of preserving the lectures: Robert Hollinger, Salvadore Allende, Judith Crist, N. Scott Momaday, Seymour Hersh, Ntozake Shange, Frances Fox Piven, Ramsey Clark, Denise Levertov, Maynard Jackson, Angela Davis, Benjamin Spock… the list goes on: Virgil Thompson, Czeslaw Milosz, Barbara Ehrenreich, Arthur Miller – and so many more.”

“We’re excited to honor Iowa State University’s land grant mission in sharing diverse and timely lectures from the Iowa State Lecture Series. Established in 1958 many of the original ISU Lectures speak to the issues our country is grappling with today, namely politics, science, race, gender, and sexuality,” says Rosie Rowe, AV and Film Preservation Specialist at the University.

Adds Daniel Hartwig, Head of Iowa State’s Special Collections & University Archives, “Our goal for the project is stimulate awareness and discourse, as well as center and magnify these voices and movements.”

About the NRPF

The National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) is an independent, charitable organization and registered 501(c)(3) entity. The NRPF works across the United States to foster awareness of the diverse perspectives and communities documented in audio, to support the preservation of historical and at-risk audio collections, and to coordinate resources for the digital preservation of audio recordings. The NRPF was mandated through federal charter by the U.S. Congress under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-474) and was thereafter duly incorporated in 2010.

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