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WGBH DuraCloud Content: One Night in Civil Rights History

james_brown_garden.jpg From the WGBH archive: James Brown plays the Boston Garden.

Boston, MA WGBH has been at the forefront of preserving historically and culturally important broadcast media resources for more than fifty years. With the release of WGBH's Open Vault in 2010 based on Fedora users have the ability to connect the dots among valuable media resources with a virtual visit to the WGBH online Media Library and Archives at

As a DuraCloud Pilot Partner WGBH investigated using DuraCloud for efficient storage and access to versions of some of that unique video content. In the future they would like to perform compute functions such as changing video formats and transcoding directly in the cloud.

Just how important is preserving digital video resources like the ones that WGBH backed up in DuraCloud?

On April 4, 2011 the nation marked the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King with personal remembrances and public ceremonies. On April 5, 1968, the day after the tragedy, James Brown, The Godfather of Soul, was scheduled to perform at the Boston Garden. As violence began to break out in cities across America, Boston Mayor Kevin White considered canceling all public events, including the James Brown concert. Civic leaders advised White that canceling the concert might trigger a riot. The mayor relented and then appealed to WGBH to bradcast the event to help keep the city quiet. Brown soothed the grieving audience by dedicating the show to the memory of Dr. King, and delivered and electrifying performance.

There were no riots in Boston that weekend. This unique and remarkable recording of the James Brown concer, part of our shared history,  is only one example of the significant media content that WGBH is actively working to preserve and make accessible with DuraCloud.

Read more about the concert and view the video of  James Brown's performance at