May 2, 2008

Radio Bilingüe unveils historic digital archive project to preserve cultural programming

Using cutting edge technology to digitize, save and store hundreds of radio programs, Radio Bilingüe is unveiling a new web archival project that will preserve interviews and cultural programming featuring Latino community leaders and some of the top Latino performing artists in the world.

Programs of special interest — like interviews with historic figures such as the legendary Tejano music folksinger Lydia Mendoza, singer/composer Lalo Guerrero, “The father of Chicano music,” and social justice activist Bert Corona — are among those archived in the Historic Digital Archive project.

The archives also include interviews with author Isabel Allende, film maker Edward James Olmos, Mexican comedian Piporro, New Mexico’s folk musician Roberto Martinez, Nobel laureate scientist Mario Molina, Nobel Rigoberta Menchú , farm worker rights pioneer Dolores Huerta, Justice Cruz Reynoso, famous Mexican political cartoonist Rius, and more.

Available at www.radio bilingue.org, the project is funded in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and is being developed in collaboration with the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno.

Radio Bilingüe has about 6,000 hours of archival material and providing open access to these digital files over the Internet is a benefit to the community at large, said Hugo Morales, Radio Bilingüe founder and executive director.

“Radio Bilingüe’s community-oriented programs have documented the authentic voices and viewpoints of Latinos in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico,” Morales said. “No other bilingual media provider makes available such wealth of programming by and for Latinos with such a high social and artistic value.”

“This project is about organizing, cataloguing and preserving the memory of many diverse voices.” Orozco said. “It’s a collection of programs where leading Latino public figures and common citizens get to talk to each other in Spanish about their common experience and the most pressing issues of our time.”

“The archives will be available in high quality audio streaming, with bilingual text program summaries,” Gonzalez said. “They will be easy to browse and will feature interactive web tools that make possible for visitors to comment on archived programs. We have been able to digitize and catalog 500 hours of audio material so far.”

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