Louisiana Digital Media Archive chronicles state history
BATON ROUGE - LPB and the Secretary of State's Office officially launched a new project squarely aimed at giving the general public an intimate look at Louisiana history through archived video of historic state events, places and cultures.
The newly launched Louisiana Digital Media Archive is the culmination of a five-year effort to piece together the educational video vault, which contains valuable and rarely seen media that showcases the state's rich history. The project was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and completed through work by Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.
Since 2009, the LDMA has digitzed more than 1,500 videos including interviews with Louisiana civil rights leaders, notable political figures, war heroes, artists and important literary figures. Several thousand other videos are planned to be added to the archive in the coming years. While the content isn't available for download, it can be viewed on the LDMA website by visiting their website.
"Preserving our state's unique history in a format that the average person can explore and enjoy has always been one of the critical missions of the State Archives," said Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler. "Seeing actual moving pictures of federal marshals escorting Ruby Bridges as she integrated New Orleans public schools, watching President Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, distributing information on Bourbon Street or witnessing the devastation left by Hurricane Camille all along the Gulf Coast brings us all back to those moments in time and makes them real. Working collaboratively with LPB makes perfect sense and allows us to continue to capture and catalog important historical moments so that they can be remembered by future generations."
The LDMA will feature archived episodes of LPB's award-winning series that focus on Louisiana politics, culture and history along with documentaries about the state. The archive will also feature historic collections of footage from some Louisiana's oldest and most respected news broadcasters including WWL-New Orleans and your own WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge. Oral history interviews will also be added to round out one of the most thorough collections of historical footage available.
According to LPB and the Louisiana State Archives, the project is essential at this time because of the deterioration of physical media and the equipment required to play it. By preserving and archiving footage that may be nearing the end of its "shelf life", LPB and the State Archives hope to save as much of the fragile video as possible and to provide a safe, permanent home for the content so that it may enrich and enlighten future generations of Louisiana citizens.
For more information about the LDMA, contact Bob Neese at LPB at (225) 767-4274 or Meg Casper at the Secretary of State's Office at (225) 362-5086. Again, to visit the online archive for yourself, go to http://ladigitalmedia.org/ to check out the collection for yourself.