Research News

Workshop will chart the future of television news preservation

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive (Vanderbilt University)

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded funding to Vanderbilt University for a workshop and planning effort to examine and address the technical, legal and economic challenges of preserving broadcast television news in the 21st century.

The project, “Sustaining Television News Preservation for the Next Generation,” will bring together archivists, librarians and television news professionals for a two-day workshop at the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries March 8-9, 2018. Participants will develop new strategies for sustaining library-based broadcast preservation.

Cliff Anderson (Vanderbilt University)

Clifford B. Anderson, associate university librarian for research and learning at Vanderbilt University, and Bernard Reilly, president of the Center for Research Libraries, are the principal investigators. The planning team also includes Sharon Farb of UCLA’s Broadcast NewsScape and representatives from the Library of Congress.

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is a longtime leader in the preservation of broadcast news programming. Now in its 50th year, the Television News Archive has been recording, preserving and making broadcast news accessible to researchers and the general public since August 1968.

“A free press is among the pillars of liberal democracy,” Anderson said. “The library and archival community has a collective responsibility to preserve and disseminate news in all formats, including television broadcasts, so that citizens can make informed judgements about the past, present and future. This planning grant will help us to develop a sustainable plan for distributed news preservation during the next 50 years.”

“Broadcast news content has become indispensable raw material for scholars in public policy, the humanities and social sciences,” Reilly said.

A call for participation for moving picture archivists, librarians and other professionals who would like to take part in the workshop will be issued in October 2017.