NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, THIRTEEN's award-winning PBS documentary series American Masters released 500 videos from its robust archive, making a collection of interviews from the last four decades of American Masters films available and fully searchable for the first time at pbs.org/americanmasters. The American Masters digital archive includes over 1,000 hours of footage from more than 1,000 original, never-before-seen, full, raw interviews: a treasure trove of the movers and shakers of American culture, including Maya Angelou, Patti Smith, Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Matthew Broderick, Carl Reiner, Joan Rivers, Audra McDonald, Lee Grant, Patricia Bosworth, Sidney Lumet, William Buckley and many others. Just a fraction of the interviews filmed for American Masters appear in the final films; approximately 96% of the footage never gets released. Now, the American Masters digital archive makes this rich catalog of interviews available to the public.
Created as a public research-and-learning tool with an emphasis on usability, discoverability and comprehensive indexing, the American Masters digital archive uses a dynamic web interface to transform the archive into a powerful database of American artistic and cultural achievements. Each interview includes searchable, synchronized transcription powered by Trint. The search and synchronization features allow viewers to jump to sections of the interview just by clicking on a word in the transcript. Over the coming weeks, 500 more interviews from the collection will be released to the public.
In 2016, American Masters completed the digitization of 2,156 tapes and launched the digital archive, releasing interview selections through the American Masters Podcast and videos on the American Masters website. All full-length, digitized interviews are archived by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between Boston public media producer GBH and the Library of Congress to preserve and make accessible significant historical content created by public media.
Now in its 34th season on PBS, American Masters illuminates the lives and creative journeys of our nation's most enduring artistic giants — those who have left an indelible impression on our cultural landscape. Setting the standard for documentary film profiles, the series has earned widespread critical acclaim and 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 14 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of more than 250 masters past and present, the American Masters website offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, educational resources and more. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET.
The American Masters digital archive is produced by Joe Skinner and Winter Shanck is Senior Archivist. Michael Kantor is American Masters executive producer.
Funding for theAmerican Masters digital archiveis provided by the National Endowment for the Arts ($90,000) and the National Archives' National Historical Publications and Records Commission ($87,375).
Support for American Masters is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AARP, Rosalind P. Walter, Seton J. Melvin, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family Foundation, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.
About WNET WNET is America's flagship PBS station: parent company of New York's THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey and its news division, NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.