Will Chase is a digital archivist and researcher with the Research, Archives & Data Strategy (RAD) Department.
Passionate about recorded sound, Chase has led extensive efforts to digitally reformat NPR's audio archive in order to preserve valuable program content from obsolete and degrading physical media. Collaborating with both NPR staff and external partners, more than 120,000 hours of previously at-risk audio are now available in Artemis, NPR's internal database of audio, transcripts and web content. In this role he works with curators and audio specialists from the University of Maryland and the Library of Congress, establishing workflows and standards for audio preservation.
Chase also had a leading role implementing a digitization lab in NPR's headquarters designed for high throughput migration of audio from tape and optical media to digital files. He worked with RAD colleagues, NPR engineers and technicians to establish a facility that achieves this goal and continues to also serve as a teaching lab for interns and colleagues.
As a digital archivist, he creates metadata in Artemis to describe NPR content so that it is searchable and accessible for the long-term. As a researcher, he supports news and programming by scouring public records, databases, and archives, and conducting in-depth fact-checking. His research experience allows him to be an effective trainer, teaching colleagues best practices for tracking down hard-to-find archival audio.
Before Chase joined NPR in 2014 as an intern, he worked as an audio preservation engineer at the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill and the State Archives of Florida. He contributed a chapter on audio preservation reformatting to the ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation, and is credited for his tape transfer and audio restoration work on releases from Smithsonian Folkways and Dust-to-Digital. He holds both a master's degree in library and information studies and a bachelor's degree in music from Florida State University.