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Home West O‘ahu Happenings ‘Ulu‘ulu part of national project to preserve historic public TV programs

‘Ulu‘ulu part of national project to preserve historic public TV programs


ʻUluʻulu at UH West O‘ahu is coordinating the digitization of 2,000 films and videotapes from the PBS Hawai‘i collection as part of a nationwide project, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Image courtesy of ʻUluʻulu

‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i at the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu is part of a nationwide effort to digitize and preserve historic programs of publicly funded radio and television across America.

The project, called the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston, and participating organizations across the country who care for archival public media, including ‘Ulu‘ulu.

‘Ulu‘ulu, Hawai‘i’s official state archive for moving images, is coordinating the digitization and description of 2,000 films and videotapes from the PBS Hawai‘i collection. The entire digitization project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

‘Ulu‘ulu head archivist Janel Quirante said it is an amazing opportunity to be part of this effort and to work with such impressive partners.

“I’m so proud that the programs from PBS Hawai‘i archived at ‘Ulu‘ulu will soon be available to watch online through the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website,” Quirante said. “The footage will be in good company with other public media icons like Julia Child and Mr. Rogers!”

The digitized programs will be made publicly available through ‘Ulu‘ulu’s online catalog and the AAPB website. The digital preservation masters will be stored at ‘Ulu‘ulu and at the Library of Congress.

“We are in the business of preserving analog media — ensuring that these films and videotapes are carefully maintained, digitized, and made accessible to the public,” said ‘Ulu‘ulu collections specialist and producer Heather H. Giugni. “It is partnerships and opportunities like these that make our mission possible.”

‘Rich source’ of history for future generations

‘Ulu‘ulu received the PBS Hawai‘i collection in 2016 and the tapes are physically stored in the ‘Ulu‘ulu vault on campus. Over the years, ‘Ulu‘ulu has been able to digitize portions of this collection through various grant funding.

“I first met with the WGBH team in August 2023 when they invited ‘Ulu‘ulu and PBS Hawai‘i to participate in contributing the PBS Hawai‘i collection to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting,” Quirante said. “The next few months were spent finalizing the agreement between PBS Hawai‘i and WGBH while ‘Ulu‘ulu prepared the inventory and metadata of the videotapes to be digitized.”

With this new project with WGBH, ‘Ulu‘ulu will be able to digitize the remaining videotapes, with the first 700 tapes shipping from ‘Ulu‘ulu to the preservation lab, George Blood LP, in Pennsylvania.

“ ‘Ulu‘ulu staff Hōkū Ka‘aha‘aina and Jon Snyder prepared and packed the 700 tapes and we formed a car caravan to drop off the 33 boxes to the UPS Store in Kapolei!” Quirante said.

According to the AAPB website, American people have made a huge investment in public radio and television over many decades, calculated at more than $10 billion.

“The American Archive will ensure that this rich source for American political, social, and cultural history and creativity will be saved and made available once again to future generations,” the site stated.

The AAPB project is funded by a Mellon Foundation Grant to WGBH. To learn more about AAPB, visit