University of Georgia strives to preserve local radio broadcasts and make them more accessible

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The University of Georgia Libraries continue their efforts to archive thousands of hours of local public radio news broadcasts from the past century.

It is a labor intensive process that only humans can sometimes do.

The shows were submitted for the Peabody Awards, the prestigious UGA-based honor. The bands range from the 1940s to the 1990s.

The times and times of these local shows have been transferred from their original format to digital. Now an effort is underway to transcribe them.

Mary Miller, a Peabody Awards Collection archivist, says it can be done by computer, but it’s not always perfect, and that’s where people come in.

“Just as long as it takes to correct these transcripts.” If you have an hour-long radio show, it will take at least an hour to correct it. And so there’s a tremendous amount of human time involved in this, ”Miller said.

UGA hosts what they call a Virtual “transcription” this Wednesday, where volunteers can lend their time and ears to make sure the transcripts are accurate.

“Being able to collect these transcripts means we get the little mistakes the software makes, but a human wouldn’t, all corrected, so they’re so much more useful for research and for people reading with them. , ”Said KC Carter, who also worked on the archiving project for UGA’s Brown Media Archive.

Peabody Awards executive director Jeffrey Jones said archiving these shows can give historians a glimpse of how the country has evolved.

“What the Peabody Collection shows a lot is how national issues are experienced, experienced and dealt with at the local level,” Jones said.

And he says preserving those shows in audio and written form can help make them more readily available to everyone.

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