TV News Gift, Part I

15 May

The local ABC affiliate has offered us their archive of 50 years of TV news (1961-2011) from Eugene, Oregon. A team of folks recently went out to the production company’s sound stage to do a field appraisal of the materials to get a better sense of what we’ll be dealing with. The beauty of the gift is the scope and comprehensiveness, and that fact that they are giving over the rights to the library. Even if there are gaps in the 50 years, it is still a great deal of content from a mid-size TV market covering some pretty interesting times.

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A lovely relic, unfortunately not part of the gift.

In a nutshell: 355 boxes of mostly U-matic videotape, much 16mm film wound on cores, fat binders of dot matrix printouts of broadcast and segment contents.

Some cool people like video, but I kind of hate it. Too many formats, too fragile, the way it hides itself on seemingly blank tape inside a box–where is the mystique? But hopefully this project will improve my relationship to video, if only because the content is so compelling.

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