About Our Show

In theme-based seasons, Material Memory explores the effects of our changing environment—from digital technologies to the climate crisis—on our ability to access the record of our shared humanity, and the critical role that libraries, archives, museums, and other public institutions play in keeping cultural memory alive.

Episode Zero introduces the podcast through a conversation with CLIR President Charles Henry about the threats to our cultural record, what is at stake if it’s lost, and what can be done to protect it. 

Season One celebrates the UN-designated Year of Indigenous Languages. In each of six episodes, host Joy Banks speaks with people involved in the work of restoring audio and audiovisual recordings of indigenous languages and their sometimes Herculean efforts to make these recordings accessible to the communities they represent.

Season Two, to be released in spring 2020, will explore the wicked problem of ensuring that born-digital material remains accessible for future generations. 

Season Three, to be released in summer 2020, will look at the many ways in which the climate crisis is posing new risks to the survival of our human record.