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WGBH Launches Extensive Online Library of Vietnam-related Material With Fedora-based Repository

Digital Collection Draws From WGBH-Produced 13-part Series Vietnam: A Television History
Boston, MA In an exciting new public offering, WGBH Boston today launched the Vietnam Collection,, an online video library drawn exclusively from WGBH’s 1983 landmark series, Vietnam: A Television History. The Vietnam Collection contains hours of rare archival footage and in-depth interviews with key decision makers and veterans on both sides of the Vietnam conflict. In a nod to history, the Vietnam Collection is being made available on the 35th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.
Format issues had made the collection largely inaccessible to the public since 1985 when the University of Massachusetts/Boston acquired the Vietnam: A Television History archive. All original interview material and stills, as well as a significant portion of the stock footage gathered for the Vietnam: A Television History, was transferred from film and will now be available. “This digital library of Vietnam-related material will grant scholars, academics, researchers, and the general public access to a national historic collection that has never before been available online. It will provide an unparalleled learning opportunity to new generations of students and educators and extend the educational use of primary source materials,” said Karen Cariani, Director of the WGBH Media Library & Archives, who spearheaded the The project is a two-year collaboration between WGBH Media Library and Archives, the University of Massachusetts/Boston (UMB), and the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). CCMNTL is partnering with faculty in Columbia’s Teachers College, Graduate School of Journalism, Department of History, and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures to integrate the Vietnam Collection into their courses. The goal is to make media material more accessible to students and educators and to create curriculum models based on digital media. The project will serve as a model for future digital media archives drawing from assets from public television and similar sources.
The release of the Vietnam Collection marks the re-launch of Open Vault, the home of the WGBH Media Library and Archives With a re-designed interface, enhanced interactive tools, and a new Fedora based repository, the website offers users new and innovative ways to explore, interact with, and comment on the media. “Users can now more fully immerse themselves in the content, creating the feel of a virtual visit to the WGBH Media Library and Archives” said Karen Colbron, Project Manager, Open Vault.
This project was made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
About WGBH Boston
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS’s prime-time lineup, along with some of public television’s best-known lifestyle shows and children’s programs and many public radio favorites. WGBH is the number one producer of Web sites on, one of the most trafficked dot-org Web sites in the world.
WGBH is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For more information visit
About Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning
The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) was founded at Columbia University in 1999 to enhance teaching and learning through the purposeful use of new media. In partnership with faculty, the Center supports efforts ranging from basic course website management to advanced project development. CCNMTL also extends the scope and reach of its work with strategic initiatives that engage educators, researchers, librarians, partner institutions, and the community in the reinvention of education for the digital age. For more information, please visit
About University of Massachusetts Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is nationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban universities. A comprehensive, doctoral-granting campus, it provides challenging teaching, distinguished research, and extensive service which particularly respond to the academic and economic needs of the state’s urban areas and their diverse populations.
UMass Boston’s Joseph P. Healey Library supports the curricular and research needs of the university’s students and faculty by providing a wide variety of library materials in traditional and new media formats.