THANKS FOR VISITING!
Welcome to the Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA), the home of the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Digital Collection and the Louisiana State Archives Multimedia Collection. This is the first project in the nation to combine the media collections of a public broadcaster and a state archives.
So, what will you find here? This ever-expanding site contains a combined catalog of thousands of hours of media recorded over the past half-century. You can see interviews with Louisiana civil rights pioneers, notable political figures, war heroes, artists and literary icons. You’ll have a front row seat to Louisiana history through video of historic events. You can also visit remote and endangered Louisiana places and cultures. This history is at your fingertips through the LDMA. We will be continually adding new content, so come back often!
The mission of the LDMA is to preserve and make accessible the historic Louisiana video contained within the collections of LPB and the State Archives for the benefit of future generations. Unfortunately, the thousands of videotapes contained in our collections are deteriorating at a rapid rate. Many of these videotapes have outlived their shelf lives and could be destroyed by a single play. Additionally, the equipment required to play these videotapes is no longer being manufactured, making locating and maintaining obsolete machines a costly endeavor that will soon become impossible.
Despite these challenges, LPB and the State Archives have made a commitment to preserve our collections and the priceless media history contained within them. For forty years, LPB has produced award-winning news and public affairs programs, documentaries and cooking series, including “Louisiana: The State We’re In,” the nation’s longest running statewide newsmagazine. The State Archives holds the historic collections of many of the state’s oldest and most respected news broadcasters, including WWL in New Orleans, as well as newsreels, campaign commercials and hundreds of oral history interviews. Many of these videos are one-of-a-kind and have not been seen in decades!
The LDMA Initiative began in 2005, when LPB commissioned a report on the condition of Louisiana’s deteriorating recorded media collections. The findings of that report led to a dedicated effort to work with other media collections to preserve and provide access to the wealth of existing media in the state.
In 2009, LPB joined the American Archive Initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is an ambitious national project designed to preserve, catalog and make available historically and culturally significant programs and recordings from the nation’s public broadcasters. Through grant funding from this project, LPB was able to inventory more than 20,000 videotapes and digitize more than 500 hours of recordings.
In 2010, LPB and the State Archives received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to design the LDMA as a cooperative digital media archive. Through this grant, the LDMA partners created best practice protocols for the safe handling and digitization of our fragile videos and identified the most successful and cost effective method for the large-scale digitization of these recordings. The project also established policies and procedures for the access, acquisition, intellectual control, and preservation and digitization of archival and new physical media. These procedures have become a national model for media archiving.