About the HHRA, in Detail

About the Sources

The Hip-Hop Radio Archive's episodes come from three sources:

1. Episodes stored as part of the The Internet Archive's Hip-Hop Radio Archive collection are safely preserved for the long-term and tagged with extra metadata to allow for easy searching and categorization. Episodes are streamable directly from the HHRA web site.

2. Episodes stored at the Internet Archive, but not as part of the HHRA collection are similarly preserved for the long-term. Extra details are stored locally as part of the HHRA database. Episodes are streamable directly from the HHRA web site.

3. Episodes stored elsewhere on the web (blogs, Mixcloud, Soundcloud) exist in the HHRA database, but their long-term preservation status may be tenuous. Episodes are not streamable from the HHRA web site, but are instead linked to. Click through and you should be able to stream/download from the host site.

The original sources of the episodes vary and are credited in the database when known.

About the Metadata

The following metadata is being tracked on each episode (though, obviously, some information is incomplete and cataloging episodes will be an ongoing task):

  • Show title
  • Station frequency and call letters
  • Station location
  • Station college/university (if applicable)
  • DJs/hosts
  • Featuring (guests that join the hosts during the episode)
  • Archive notes
  • Credit
  • Source URL

Metadata is pulled from items in the Internet Archive, including custom metadata fields that are tagged appropriately, and then stored locally in a database. This information is periodically updated. Additionally, the data that's actually displayed on the site can override Internet Archive fields via additional fields in the database.

Site Features

The home page allows visitors to search by date and/or either show, location, station, or college. Additionally, it shows the most recently added show and a random show from the archive.

In addition to search results, the search result page (/search/) will also show a brief bio about the show being searched for and albums released during the month or year being searched, where applicable.

Each individual episode page (/show/) will show a brief show bio, the three shows that aired closest to the one being viewed (when at least the month and year of the show are known), and the three albums released closest to the show's airdate will be displayed in the sidebar. The main section of the page will show metadata and descriptive text (where available) about the episode.

About the Backend

The site is developed with basic PHP (no CMS), MySQL, HTML, Javascript, and CSS with no additional frameworks necessary (aside from jQuery). Headers and footers are included files and everything is kept plain and simple. This in line with Trevor Owens' third axiom of digital preservation as outlined in his forthcoming book, The Theory & Craft of Digital Preservation: "Tools can get in the way just as much as they can help. ... In many cases, it’s much more straightforward to start small and implement simple and discrete tools and practices to keep track of your digital information using nothing more than the file system you happen to be working in."

The site design is based on a free template called TXT from HTML5UP.