National Recording Preservation Foundation Awards $28,350 for Audio Preservation

For immediate release

November 1, 2023

By Jesse Johnston | Press Contact


Washington, D.C. — The National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) is proud to announce the distribution of awards totaling $28,350 to support vital audio preservation projects. These grants further NRPF’s ongoing commitment to safeguard and preserve the vibrant history of recorded sound. The 2023 grants have been awarded to three notable projects: the HBCU Radio Preservation Project; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Appalshop. Each will undertake essential work dedicated to preserving audio treasures of high cultural and historical significance for future generations.

HBCU Radio Preservation Project

The HBCU Radio Preservation Project, in collaboration with WYSO/Miami Valley Public Media and the Northeast Document Conservation Center, received $8,500 from NRPF. The Project is working to preserve archival radio materials from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and through this work is chronicling the impact of the stations on the campuses and the communities they serve. The current funds will not only support the selection and reformatting of at-risk archival materials at WRVS and the G. R. Little Library at Elizabeth City State University, but will also facilitate access to the recordings through the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The methodology developed during this initiative will serve as a model for working with other HBCU stations and their historical media. NRPF’s support underscores the critical importance of preserving these recordings, which are essential to understanding U.S. history.

University of California, Santa Barbara - Bernard Herrmann Recordings

The UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections received $8,500 from NRPF to preserve, digitize, and make accessible groundbreaking radio broadcasts conducted by Bernard Herrmann in the 1930s and 1940s. While Herrmann is renowned today for his film compositions (including scores for Psycho, Citizen Kane, and Taxi Driver), his early career as a composer and symphonic conductor for radio is notably significant. These recordings capture Herrmann’s innovative approach to the symphonic repertoire, championing the work of composers like Charles Ives, Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Robert Russell Bennett, and William Grant Still. NRPF’s support ensures that Herrmann’s contribution to music and culture will be available for generations to come.

Appalshop - Post-Flooding Disaster Response

Appalshop, a vital repository of central Appalachian history, art, and culture, faced a catastrophic 1,000-year flood on July 28, 2022, which inundated eastern Kentucky. The devastating flooding submerged many Appalshop collections and endangered others, affecting nearly a century of first-voice primary source film and video documentation, a unique collection that was at risk of being lost forever. Appalshop Archive will receive $11,350 from NRPF to work with preservation vendor AV Geeks to clean and digitize 280 tapes damaged by the flood. Their efforts will include splice repair and other conservation interventions necessary to restore the playability of the media, ultimately preserving this vital piece of Appalachian history.

“These grants demonstrate NRPF’s ongoing and renewed dedication to preserving recorded audio history in the United States,” said Jesse Johnston, NRPF’s Associate Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. “We see these awards as integral and basic support for essential preservation activities,” continued Johnston. “These projects reflect the breadth and diversity of our audio heritage, from historically significant radio broadcasts to the lesser-known recordings of an iconic composer and the safeguarding of audio recordings threatened by natural disasters.”

The National Recording Preservation Foundation is dedicated to protecting and making accessible the recordings that form a significant part of our shared cultural memory.

For further information about the National Recording Preservation Foundation and its grant programs, please visit NRPF’s Website.


About the NRPF

The National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF), a federally chartered corporation, is an independent, charitable organization. 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 created by the U.S. Congress by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-474) and was duly incorporated by the Library of Congress as a 501(c)3 organization in 2010.

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