About Us

Welcome to Open Vault, the home of WGBH Media Library and Archives (MLA). We provide online access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. Since launching in 2007, the ever-expanding site contains video, audio, images, searchable transcripts, and resource management tools, all of which are available for individual and classroom learning.

For over 25 years the MLA has preserved, cataloged, and provided access to materials produced by WGBH. It currently houses nearly 1 million audio, video, film, and digital assets dating back to 1947.

MLA establishes policies and procedures for the access, acquisition, intellectual control, and preservation of WGBH’s physical media, digital production, and administrative assets. Please see Visit the Archive for further information. The MLA’s Media Production Organizational Tools are freely available to the production community. The tools, created by the WGBH MLA, consist of a handbook and four Filemaker databases. Use them as you move through the different phases of production to help you in organizing tapes and photos, compiling cue sheets, tracking licenses with third party sources, and in creating a final program log.

In 2006, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded a report on the assessment of the WGBH Media Library and Archives for scholarly use. In 2008 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the WGBH MLA to utilize scholarly input to design and pilot an online media archive content delivery system for research and classroom use and develop a preliminary business plan for future sustainability and growth. Much of the technical design and functionality of the new Open Vault website is based on this work. We welcome your thoughts on this research. Please contact us and be sure to include “Scholarly Assessment” in the subject of your message.

In addition, two other projects are underway. The first is an IMLS funded project in partnership with Northeast Historic Film, Cambridge Community Television, and the Boston Public Library, to develop The Boston TV News Digital Library: 1960-2000, the first online resource offering a city’s commercial, noncommercial, and community cable TV news heritage to educators and the public. The project will publish a combined catalog of the news collections from these institutions which include news materials from WGBH, WCVB, WHDH, UPN 38, and CCTV in addition to 40 hours of streaming video. The project will also work with Teachers’ Domain to enable access to the materials in classrooms.

The second project is an NEH funded project which will digitize and stream 254 original interviews (video and transcripts) produced for the broadcast War and Peace in the Nuclear Age on Open Vault. We are looking for matching support for these two projects. If you are interested in donating to the projects we encourage you to support Open Vault, or contact us.


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For professional licensing requests, please contact WGBH Stock Sales at 617-300-3939 or stock_sales@wgbh.org.