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Keeper of the Day #1: The Free-Range Archivist: Jason Scott

Keeper of the Day #1: The Free-Range Archivist: Jason Scott

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Today, The Keepers continues with the launch of “Keeper of the Day,” our new daily, year-long social media series featuring keepers from around the world. {Kind of like baseball cards}. Keeper of the Day will arrive in an array of modes—sound, photos, graphics, phone messages, quotes, radio, podcasts, videos…

Along with more stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians, we’ll be featuring keepers of all kinds—river keepers, seed keepers, climate keepers, peacekeepers—stewards of culture, civil liberties, the land, the free flow of information and ideas—people who take it upon themselves to preserve and protect.

Keeper of the Day (#keeperoftheday) will appear on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, kitchensisters.org, emails, and beyond. We’ll be telling in a medley of mediums. Daily for a year. A keeper a day.

We begin this wing of the series at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. Twas there we met him.

Keeper #1: The Free-Range Archivist: Jason Scott, the oral evangelist, the Master of Ceremonies of the Internet Archive. Listen and you’ll see why. This story was produced by one of our mighty interns, Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo, in collaboration with The Kitchen Sisters. This is Juliet’s first story. She took the reins and we were knocked out by what she did. Jim McKee mixed.

Episode #102: Archive Fever: Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française: The Director’s Cut

Episode #102: Archive Fever: Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française: The Director’s Cut

Last month, The Keepers premiered on NPR’s Morning Edition. Story #3 took us to Cinémathèque Française in Paris where we met its legendary founder and keeper, Henri Langlois. Now listen to the “Director’s Cut” version of the story on our podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…

Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

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Keepers: people possessed with a passion for preservation, individuals afflicted with a bad case of Archive Fever. The Keepers continues with the story of one such man, Henri Langlois, founder and curator of one of the world’s great film archives, the Cinémathèque Française. Henri Langlois never made a single film — but he’s considered one of the most important figures in the history of filmmaking. Possessed by what French philosopher Jacques Derrida called “archive fever,” Langlois begin obsessively collecting films in the 1930s — and by the outset of World War II, he had one of the largest film collections in the world. The archive’s impact on the history of French cinema is legendary — as is the legacy of its controversial keeper.

Read more here…

#keeperoftheday | Coming Soon

#keeperoftheday | Coming Soon

Next week The Kitchen Sisters launch Keeper of the Day, a year-long series of daily social media stories chronicling keepers from around the world. Join us in telling their stories.

Call our Keeper Hotline: 415-496-9049 or write us here: kitchensisters.org/keepers

The Keepers in Rolling Stone

The Keepers in Rolling Stone

Our Keepers story, The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky made it onto Greil Marcus’ Real Life Top Ten in Rolling Stone! And now our day, our month, our year is made…

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4. Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva), “The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky,” NPR (September 13). In this riveting seven-minute recreation of a lost WPA program—women riding horses into Appalachian hollers at the bottom of the Great Depression with donated books and scrapbooks they made from used magazines (recipes, ballads, local histories, “dogs, Spain, Nazis, model airplanes”)—you hear the voices of FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt, of scholars and descendants, but most of all you hear Mary Ruth Shuler Dieter, who is 97 and sounds like she’s already outlived time. There are bits of songs in the program, but she makes the music. It’s her voice you wait for: “They were so happy to get a book. Tickled to death. We always sat under the big old chestnut tree. They didn’t know how to read so I read it and read it again so they could understand it.”

The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky: The Director’s Cut

The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky: The Director’s Cut

The Keepers Story #2: The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky aired earlier this month on NPR’s Morning Edition. (Greil Marcus even wrote about it in Rolling Stone). Now listen to the “Director’s Cut” version of the story on our podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…

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During the Depression, those horrible years after 1929, the Appalachians were hit hard. Coal mines were being shut down. Many people were living in dire poverty with no hope. In 1936, as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Kentucky WPA began to hire pack horse librarians, mostly women, to carry books to isolated cabins, rural school houses and homebound coalminers.

The routes were rugged and treacherous. The “bookwomen” followed creek beds and fence routes through summer heat and frozen winters — their saddlebags and pillowcases stuffed with Robinson Crusoe, Women’s Home Companion, Popular Mechanics. Many people were illiterate and the women often stayed and read to them.

The pay was $28 a month. Each woman was required to supply her own horse or mule, their food and boarding. When the program closed in 1943 as America entered World War II, nearly one thousand pack horse librarians had served 1.5 million people in 48 Kentucky counties.

Read more and see more photos here.

The Keepers: Story #3: Archive Fever: Henri Langlois & the Cinémathèque Française, tomorrow on NPR’s Morning Edition

The Keepers: Story #3: Archive Fever: Henri Langlois & the Cinémathèque Française, tomorrow on NPR’s Morning Edition

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Here’s a little sneak preview of the story. Listen

Special Thanks: At the Cinémathéque Française: Costa-Gavras (President), Frédéric Bonnaud (Director), Laurent Mannoni, Céline Ruivo, Elodie Dufour, Sylvie Vallon. In Paris: Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda, Barbet Schroeder, Pierre Rissient, Jacques Richard, Jean-Michel Frodon, Gerry Herman, Patrick Bensard, Serge Bromberg, Dominique Païni,Georges Mourier, Glenn Myrent, Brigitte Lacombe, Marian Lacombe, Richard Overstreet, Agnès Montenay, Steven Barclay. Elsewhere: Wim Wenders, Tom Luddy, Francis Ford Coppola, Louis Menand, Haden Guest, Tom Conley, Robb Moss, Jacob Conrad, Beth Novey, Ellen Lewis, Kent Jones, Kronos Quartet and DJ Spooky. Archival Footage: From Langlois a film by Roberto Guerra & Eila Hershon coming soon to the Criterion Channel on Filmstruck with special thanks to Kathy Brew. Translations & Tape Syncs: Laura Brimo, Delphine Dhilly, Sarah Elzas. Photo of Henri Langlois by Enrico Sarsini.

Funding for The Keepers is provided by Little Passports, The National Endowment for the Arts and Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.

To hear more stories from The Keepers, subscribe to our Radiotopia podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present… (We’ll be dropping a half-hour version of Archive Fever with many more voices and stories on our podcast Tuesday, October 9)

The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky on NPR’s Morning Edition

The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky on NPR’s Morning Edition

The Keepers: Story #2

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During the Depression, those horrible years after 1929, the Appalachians were hit hard. Coal mines were being shut down. Many people were living in dire poverty with no hope. In 1936, as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Kentucky WPA began to hire pack horse librarians, mostly women, to carry books to isolated cabins, rural school houses and homebound coalminers.

PackHorse2-LibrarianOnHill

The routes were rugged and treacherous. The “bookwomen” followed creek beds and fence routes through summer heat and frozen winters — their saddlebags and pillowcases stuffed with Robinson Crusoe, Women’s Home Companion, Popular Mechanics. Many people were illiterate and the women often stayed and read to them.

PackHorse3-CabinDelivery

The pay was $28 a month. Each woman was required to supply her own horse or mule, their food and boarding. When the program closed in 1943 as America entered World War II, nearly one thousand pack horse librarians had served 1.5 million people in 48 Kentucky counties.

PackHorse6-scrapbook-hummingbirds

“The librarians would go through these ragged magazines and dilapidated books and they would cannibalize them, deconstruct them, remix them and create these new scrapbooks.” -Jason Vance

SPECIAL THANKS: Eleanor Roosevelt, Ruth Shuler Dieter, Grace Caudill Lucas, Rick Overbee, Sr., Rick Overbee, Jr., Kathi Appelt, Jeanne Schmitzer, Heather Henson, Jason Vance, Mark Edwards and Rick Howard at KAMU, Cameron Adkins at WPLN, John Lumagui at WUKY, Brent Clark at WCTE, Mac Dula at WMFE, Bill Dean and Cincinatti Public Radio, Laura Ziegler, Donald C. Boyd, Doug Boyd at University of Kentucky Oral History Department, Eliza McGraw, Debbie Barber, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Appalshop, Berea College, FDR Library, Kentucky Historical Society, Nathan Salsburg and the Alan Lomax Archive, Jacob Conrad at NPR, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn. KITCHEN SISTER INTERNS: Selene Ross, Vika Aronson, Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo, Juliette Luini, Grant MacHamer, Michal Wisniowski, Katie McCutcheon, Taylor Simmons, Bayley McMillan, Paulina Hartono, Mary Franklin Harvin

Photos courtesy of University of Kentucky Archives

Our Sonic Signatures

Our Sonic Signatures

With each series we do we have theme music, a sonic signature, that ushers in the stories on NPR and our podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…

For our Peabody Award-winning series, Lost & Found Sound — we created a mix of a Tony Schwartz recording, Music in Marble Halls made in the early 1960s with Jimmy Giuffre playing clarinet and his wife walking on high heels in a Manhattan office building that we layered with sounds of the century, including the voices of  legendary Memphis DJ, Dewey Smith, the Watergate hearings, The Edison Phonograph, and Edward R. Murrow. We produced it in collaboration with the astounding Academy Award-winning sound designer, Randy Thom at Skywalker Sound.

The theme music for our first Hidden Kitchens series was a scrap from a recording on Arhoolie Records, by Csókolom a modern Gypsy-ish band we heard with legendary record producer, Chris Strachwitz at a Folk Arts Festival in Memphis in 1998. Chris was so taken with the band he got them to meet him at Sun Studios two days later and recorded the album, May I Kiss Your Hand. In the second season of the series we merged it with a recording Polish violist Wieslaw Pogorzelski made with our sound designer extraordinaire Jim McKee.

The music that opened all the stories in our Hidden World of Girls series on Morning Edition and All Things Considered was Asha Bhosle with Kronos Quartet, from their album collaboration, You Stole My Heart. The cut you hear is Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Lover, Come to Me Now). It was a riveting curtain opener for those stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, women who crossed a line, broke a trail, changed the tide.

Le Tigre and their song, Sixteen, was the theme music for our series, The Making Of… what people make in the Bay Area and why…, a collaboration with KQED and AIR’s Localore. We were scoring our story, The Making of the Homobile: A Story of Transportation, Civil Rights & Glitter and the Homobile founder, Lynne Breedlove was telling us about driving with Le Tigre blasting out of the car. We took a listen and a theme was born. Here it is with the trailer we did for the series.

The most recent season of Hidden Kitchens — War & Peace & Food on Morning Edition had it’s own theme music — the opening of Paul Simon’s lyrical, Can’t Run But.

And now, with the launch of The Keepers a new theme comes to herald these new stories — Moondog’s Stamping Ground. Thank you, Moondog for holding down your corner and endlessly blowing our minds with the music in your head.

The Keepers: Story #1: Archiving the Underground: The Hiphop Archive at Harvard, Tomorrow on NPR’s Morning Edition

The Keepers: Story #1: Archiving the Underground: The Hiphop Archive at Harvard, Tomorrow on NPR’s Morning Edition

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SPECIAL THANKS:

At The Hiphop Archive at Harvard: Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, Executive Director and Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies + Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research + 9th Wonder (Patrick Douthit) + Harold Shawn + Harry Allen + Professor Tommie Shelby + Michael Davis + Brionna Atkins + Justin Porter + Robert Rush. At the Loeb Music Library: Josh Cantor + Sarah Adams. At the Hip Hop Collection, Cornell University Library: Ben Ortiz. At NPR: Rodney Carmichael. Interns: Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo, Juliette Luini, Selene Ross, Vika Aronson, Michal Wisniowski, Grant MacHamer. At large: Jeff Chang + Pedro Coen + Nas

PHOTOS COURTESY OF:

The Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research and The Kitchen Sisters

You can hear the Director’s Cut of Archiving the Underground and all the upcoming stories from The Keepers series on our award-winning Radiotopia podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…

The Keepers – A New NPR & Podcast Series

The Keepers – A New NPR & Podcast Series

This week, we launch a new series — The Keepers — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small. Protectors of the free flow of information and ideas.

Story #1: Archiving the Underground: The Hiphop Archive at Harvard premieres tomorrow on NPR’s Morning Edition.

The Kitchen Sisters invite you to create The Keepers with us. Along with the NPR stories and podcast, the project includes a year-long daily feature called Keeper of the Day—short stories and imagery for social media and the web highlighting groundbreaking archivists, community keepers and passionate collectors through photographs, graphics, short videos, recordings, powerful quotes and vignettes. #KeeperoftheDay will draw on a vast array of intriguing archiving communities, large and small, across the globe.

Tell us. What do you keep? And why? Who are keepers we need to know about? Who is protecting, collecting and preserving in your world? We’re looking for stories, images, ideas and recordings.

Call us on The Keeper Hotline: 415-496-9049 / Reach out to us on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook / Or send us an email using the form here.

You can hear the Director’s Cut of Archiving the Underground and all the upcoming stories from The Keepers series on our award-winning Radiotopia podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…