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Wednesday, June 16 • 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Sunday Sounds: Preserving the Radio Ministry of Brooklyn's Bethany Baptist Church (On Demand)

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This presentation will discuss how the Brooklyn College Archives sought to preserve the audio-visual portion of one of its collections: that of the Rev. Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr. The pastor of Brooklyn’s Bethany Baptist Church, Jones was a significant figure in the African-American community in Brooklyn. He was active in the Civil Rights movement and a contemporary of Martin Luther King, Jr., with whom he co-founded the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Jones was in demand as a preacher both locally and around the world. In the mid-1970s, he was approached by a New Jersey radio station with an offer to have his Sunday sermons broadcast in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut markets. He accepted, and the broadcasts, promoted as The Bethany Hour, continued for over twenty years. The collection donated to the Brooklyn College Archives contains cassette recordings of several hundred of these sermons, as well as video recordings from the program’s short time on broadcast television. With no playback equipment for patrons, and concerns about the physical integrity of the recordings, the archives decided to digitize the materials, which would not only preserve them but allow the Archives to make them available to local patrons, as well as researchers anywhere in the world. With a tight budget and no digitization expertise on staff, the archives applied for and won a Council on Library and Information Resources Recordings-at-Risk grant to digitize the entire collection. Despite some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project will be made available to the public by the end of March 2021.

avatar for Colleen Bradley-Sanders

Colleen Bradley-Sanders

Head of Archives and Special Collections, Brooklyn College
Colleen Bradley-Sanders is the College Archivist at Brooklyn College, where she supervises the staff and is responsible for overseeing all activities of the Archives and Special Collections unit of the library.

Wednesday June 16, 2021 1:15pm - 1:45pm CDT