School of Information Science and Learning Technology Will Use Technology to Save Local History


Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship offers unique hands-on opportunity to master’s students

The archives of a mid-Missouri community radio station will soon be digitized, thanks to a new fellowship at the MU College of Education’s School of Information Science and Learning Technology (SISLT), and SISLT is seeking two student Fellows to help perform this digitization.

WGBH Educational Foundation is partnering with SISLT to digitize historical audiovisual documents from KOPN, an all-volunteer community radio station that has been broadcasting from Columbia, Mo., since 1972. Through a new fellowship established by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, two student fellows enrolled in the SISLT master’s program will work to digitize KOPN’s at-risk audiovisual materials, which will ultimately be incorporated into the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

“KOPN has a treasure trove of old reels, vinyl, programming, and historical documents, so this is really a unique opportunity to generate and present knowledge about our community members,” said Sarah Buchanan, an assistant professor in SISLT. “We are pleased to be selected as a partner on this national project, as it will be a tremendous hands-on opportunity for the students selected as fellows. Plus, it will extend our department’s expertise in archival science into audio preservation.”

The first fellowship will begin in , and the second in . Fellows will work with KOPN over Spring and Summer 2018 to digitize media, generate metadata, and prepare files for ingest and preservation in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB). Both Fellows will attend an Immersion Week at WGBH in Boston, MA (early January, early June).

The grant also will support participating universities in developing long-term audiovisual preservation curricula, including providing funding for audiovisual digitization equipment, and developing partnerships with local public media organizations. The University of Missouri is one of five in the nation to receive the fellowship funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Fellows will receive compensation for their work at a rate of $23/hour in the form of a regular stipend, distributed biweekly for a total of $5,152. There is no tuition waiver. Both fellows will be fully funded to attend Immersion Week and SAA 2018 where they will share their work with the broader archival community.

To apply for the fellowship, please submit the following documents as a single PDF file to Dr. Sarah Buchanan ( by , with subject line “PBPF at KOPN”:

  • A cover letter. Include (1) a statement addressing the classes taken or or planned, and/or work experience that shows their interest in technical areas of the information profession; (2) a statement of their interest in the Fellowship especially pertaining to future career goals and/or experience with audiovisual/archival materials or the Missouri community; and (3) a statement of preference for the spring or summer position and their other commitments during that time.
  • A copy of their Program of Study listing expected completion of required courses and related electives (including but not limited to Archival Studies courses, Digital Libraries, Community Leadership, Digital Humanities, and others).
  • A two-page CV or résumé.

We will select and notify the Fellows by (spring) and (summer).

The successful applicant must be able to:

  • Work onsite with KOPN in Columbia, MO during or . Please see dates and work schedule below.
  • Meet monthly with Faculty Advisor, Dr. Sarah Buchanan, to develop documentation/curricula based on the onsite work, and with Local Advisor, Jim Hone, Digital Archivist at WUSTL, for audiovisual expertise.
  • Communicate with the four other Fellows at partner schools using collaboration tools; attend three webinars; and contribute to project updates through writing and presentation.
  • Attend Immersion Week at WGBH and attend the Society of American Archivists (SAA 2018) Annual Meeting in August in Washington, D.C. (see below).
  • Dates: Spring fellow will attend Immersion Week on and then begin their Fellowship at KOPN, working 16 hours a week for 14 weeks (). Summer fellow will attend Immersion Week on and then begin their Fellowship at KOPN, working an average of 25 hours per week over the course of 9 weeks (). The Summer Fellow will also collaboratively plan a workshop to be held in the Fall to share and build knowledge with their student cohorts.

Successful applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • Maintenance of 3.0 GPA. Continuous enrollment through .
  • An approved Program of Study with timeline for degree completion.
  • Completion of ISLT 7313 Collections Management, with plans to complete ISLT 9409 Digital Libraries, one Archival Studies course (9410: three offered), or ISLT 9429 Metadata.
  • Demonstrated interest in technical areas of the information profession as shown by classes taken or work experience.
  • Commitment through the duration of the Fellowship to meeting shared goals and contributing to graduate curricula and future training.

For more information about the Fellowship, please visit: