Harvard to Digitize 80,000 Hours Israel Broadcasting Authority Content

The Jerusalem Post (10/27/2020) reports:

The Israel Broadcasting Authority and Harvard University signed an agreement Tuesday to digitize 80,000 hours of recordings dating back to the pre-state period.

…History conscious people at the IBA were aware that the technology of yesteryear was fast becoming obsolete and unless the archives were transferred to a system compatible with today’s technology, they would continue to deteriorate and a great deal of valuable information about the development of the state, issues that transfixed or galvanized the nation, and, most important perhaps, the voices and images of national icons would disappear.

The problem, as always, was the cost factor. With its huge deficit, the IBA simply could not enter into a multi-million dollar arrangement.

But what may have spurred the IBA to risk at least part of the cost, was the damage done by water leaks and building faults to precious books, manuscripts and other documents stored in the archives of the National Library….

After long months of negotiations [three years] with Harvard, an agreement was reached whereby the IBA would transfer copies of some of its archives to Harvard, which would digitize them, keep one copy for the library of the university’s Judaica Department and send another copy to the IBA.

The process is due to begin next week, and Harvard, as under the previous agreement, will keep a copy for itself.

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