Preserving Unique and Historical Appalachian Recordings

Grant to: Appalshop (2023)


An award in the amount of $11,350.00 to Appalshop in 2023.


On July 28, 2022, a catastrophic, 1000-year floods inundated eastern Kentucky. The resulting floodwaters exceeded any previously recorded floods by 7 feet. The water breached Appalshop’s building and immersed the organization’s archive of photographs, paper records and most of its 18,000 obsolete-format audiovisual items in flood water. Roughly 80% of the collections stored on archival moveable shelving were fully submerged, with the remaining 20% on the uppermost two shelves initially remaining dry. Submerged materials were exposed to water containing mud and silt, and unknown debris and contaminants. The disaster placed nearly a century of first-voice primary source film and video documentation of central Appalachian history, art, and culture at grave risk of being lost forever.

Appalshop Archive will work with the preservation vendor AV Geeks to clean and digitize 280 tapes that were damaged by the flood. The lab services will include splice repair and other intervention conservation necessary to restore the playability of the media. Deliverables will be high-sample-rate Broadcast WAV files, from which Appalshop staff will make MP3 files for access.

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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