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CCNMTL Collaborates with WGBH and UMASS Boston to Activate Vietnam Digital Archive

Home > News & Updates > CCNMTL Collaborates with WGBH and UMASS Boston to Activate Vietnam Digital Archive

June 25, 2008. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has recently awarded a National Leadership Grant to the WGBH Educational Foundation Media Library and Archives (WGBH) along with the University of Massachusetts Boston Healey Library (UMB) and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) for the creation of a digital library with material from the 1983 WGBH miniseries Vietnam: A Television History. The IMLS grant award is $709,000, and WGBH has raised an additional $451,000 in matching funds.

The materials that WGBH generated to create the landmark 13-hour miniseries about the war in Vietnam are currently being preserved and digitized at the University of Massachusetts Boston. CCNMTL will work with WGBH to make these materials accessible to instructors, scholars, and the general public. Photographs and hundreds of hours of interviews, original footage, and archived footage will allow for significant scholarly work to be conducted with these materials that heretofore were inaccessible to scholars, students, and the public. Working in partnership with Columbia faculty from several departments, CCNMTL will define pedagogical models for engaging a range of these multimedia materials.

Dr. Charles Armstrong, Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences at Columbia University, is partnering with CCNMTL to allow the students in his fall 2009 History of the Vietnam War course to create their own short documentaries using materials from the digital archive. Drs. Margaret Crocco and Bill Gaudelli, Teachers College professors of Social Studies and Social Studies and Education, respectively, are teaming up to create a course where educators will assess how the Vietnam War has been taught, and conceptualize new methods of teaching this subject in K-12 schools using multimedia lesson plans. Dr. John Broughton, associate professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, will use the materials in a course in Media Studies to help students examine representations of culture and youth during the Vietnam era.

The public will have access to the miniseries materials through the WGBH Open Vault website ( and on-site at UMB Healey Library. Pedagogical models developed at Columbia will be made available to the public. WGBH, CCNMTL, and the University of Massachusetts also plan to create a consortium of institutions and instructors interested in using the Vietnam Digital Library in their own classrooms.

"This project represents an important partnership between public television, academic institutions, and a digital media and education center where the collaboration produces a profound and lasting impact on the teaching and study of the Vietnam War," said Frank Moretti, CCNMTL's executive director.

Related links:
pdf link Download the press release (PDF)
pdf link Read the Project Vietnam informational page (PDF)