KYUK AM

Manager's Corner: KYUK Receives Funding To Digitize Historic Footage

Mar 5, 2019

Elena Narull'aq Nick talks to her granddaughters while cooking up fry bread in this historic KYUK footage. Stay tuned for more news as we gear-up to digitize more of our audio and video archive.
Credit KYUK

We are excited to announce that KYUK has secured over $350,000 to digitize a portion of our audio and video archive, which will be made available online.

KYUK has documented life in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta since 1971, resulting in a massive collection of audio and video tapes – over 12,000 items! From dance festivals in Mountain Village to traditional kayak building in Bethel, KYUK has been there capturing it all. Because we no longer have the antiquated machines needed to play the recordings back, much of the content has been impossible to access until now. With this funding, KYUK will digitize roughly 2,000 tapes over the next two years and put them online for all to enjoy.

Each week you can tune in for our latest #ThrowbackThursday series, where we’ll share a clip from our online video collection on our Instagram feed and Facebook page. KYUK interns and #ThrowbackThursday producers Deja Jackson and Ana Ayagalria are working hard to select, edit, and subtitle the clips. We welcome you to tune in each week, like, and share.

Our Preservation Process
Our digitization efforts began in 2014 through funding from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB). Those videos are now available online at the AAPB website.

Our entire collection is currently being packed and shipped to a humidity-controlled vault at SummitDay Media in Anchorage, where it will be assessed and stored for the long-term. Once secured, we’ll begin making selections and digitizing.

With over 12,000 options, one of the biggest challenges is choosing which tapes to digitize first. To help us make those decisions, we’ve put together an Archive Advisory Board that includes community members from various organizations in the region. We are so grateful for their continued collaboration and commitment to this project.

KYUK Archive Advisory Board Members:
Benjamin Charles, AVCP Museum Coordinator
Beverly Hoffman, H&M Productions
John McDonald, H&M Productions
Vernon Chimegalrea, Donlin Gold
Chris Ho, Independent Filmmaker
Jacki Cleveland, Independent Filmmaker
Christopher Liu, Software Developer/Designer
Atan’ Winkelman, LKSD Yugtun Education Specialist

Once these programs are digitized they will be made available online through our partnership with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, and preserved indefinitely at the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. Copies of the digital archive will also be preserved onsite at KYUK. The Lower Kuskokwim School District will maintain a copy of our archive as well, so programs and footage can be integrated into culturally-rich curricula.

Our Funding
The majority of our current funding for this initiative comes from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and a federal grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

CLIR is a nonprofit based out of Arlington, VA that collaborates with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments. We are so grateful to CLIR for the $241,995 award through their Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.

NHPRC is a federally funded entity and the grant making affiliate of the National Archives and Records Administration, our nation’s record keeper. NHPRC sees the KYUK archive as a historical record of national importance and granted us $100,000 to digitize a portion of our archive.

We are equally grateful for funding and in-kind support from: Bethel Community Services Foundation, Donlin Gold, Calista, Everts Air Cargo, and Ryan Air.