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Television/Video Preservation Study: New York Public Hearing, March 1996


            A Study of the Current State of
      American Television and Video Preservation

       Volume 3: Hearing Before the Panel of the
                  Library of Congress
                Sheraton New York Hotel
                  New York, New York
                     March 19, 1996

         Report of the Librarian of Congress  

                  TABLE OF CONTENTS

Opening Remarks by William Murphy, Coordinator, Current
State of American Television and Video Preservation Report

Introductory Remarks by James Billington, Librarian of Congress

Statements by:

John Cannon, President, National Academy of Television 
     Arts and Sciences

William Boddy, Professor, Department of Speech CUNY, 
     Baruch College and Graduate Center

Deirdre Boyle, Associate Professor, 
     The New School for Social Research

Kitty Carlisle Hart, Chairman, New York State Council for
     the Arts

Stan Singer, Manager, NBC News Archives

Michael Lang, Senior VP, Business Affairs, ABC Broadcast 
     Operations and Engineering

Joel Kanoff, Associate Director, Video Services, ABC News

Doug McKinney, Director of Archives, CBS News

Donald Decesare, Vice President, Operations, CBS News

Jac Venza, Director of Cultural and Arts Programs, WNET-TV

Judy Crichton, Executive Producer, The American Experience, WGBH-TV

Peter Adelstein (Image Permanence Institute), Chairman, 
     ANSI Technical Committee IT9

Peter Brothers, President, SPECS BROS, LLC

Robert Haller, Manager, Anthology Film Archives

Duane Watson, Aaron and Clara Greenhut Rabinowitz Chief
     Librarian for Preservation, New York Public Library

Barbara London, Associate Curator, Video, Department of Film, 
     Museum of Modern Art

David Weiss, Executive Director, Northeast Historic Film

Graham Leggat, President, Board of Directors, Media Alliance

Gloria Walker, Community Organizer Television Coordinator, 
     Deep Dish TV Network/Educational Video Center

Stephen Vitiello, Director of Distribution, Electronic
     Arts Intermix

Sara Meyerson

Sam Suratt

                 P R O C E E D I N G S

James Billington         Librarian of Congress
Erik Barnouw             Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
David Francis            Chief, Motion Picture Broadcasting
                         and Recorded Sound Division, Library
                         of Congress
Mona Jimenez             Executive Director, Media Alliance
James Lindner            President, Vidipax, Inc.

                   Panel Moderator:
    William Murphy, Coordinator, Current State of 
   American Television and Video Preservation Report

          MR. MURPHY:  Good morning, everyone.  Please
take your seats, we're about to begin the day's

          I want to first begin the day by turning the
microphone over to Dr. James Billington, the Librarian
of Congress.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  Thank you.  We're pleased to
welcome everyone here to the Library of Congress
Hearing on the Current State of American Television and
Video Preservation.

          Two weeks ago I presented the Library of
Congress to our Congressional Appropriations Hearing
and this morning I'm happy to be on the other side of
the room facing witnesses.  Today's hearing doesn't
have the legal and physical implications of a
Congressional hearing, but it's a very important event
for the Library of Congress and for the archival
community generally, and indeed, for everyone who
shares concern about preservation of our television

          Our first public hearing on this subject was
held in Los Angeles on March 6th.  The panel heard
statements from archives, major studios and educators
and others who share this concern over preservation. 
We heard encouraging reports from the major products of
prime time programming because as commercial
enterprises they have sufficient economic incentives to
maintain their materials under reasonably good
conditions, and thus insure availability for future
use.  On the other hand, we heard from smaller
organizations with little or almost no resources to
safeguard and preserve the valuable television video
materials in their care.

          This is the second of three public hearings
that the Library of Congress is conducting this month
and they're intended to develop a report on the current
state of American television and video preservation and
a plan listing recommendations.  Both the report and
the plan will be published later in the year as a
single document.  This activity is authorized under the
American Television and Radio Act of 1976--20 years
later; it takes a little while to get around to these
things in Washington, as you may have heard.  But it's
being pursued in response to a recommendation more
recently from the National Film Preservation Board,
which is another Congressionally created body for which
we have a responsibility at the Library of Congress,
and also from the many groups and individuals who
helped draft Redefining Film Preservation, A National
Plan, which the Library of Congress published in 1994.

          Now the American Television and Radio Act of
1976 authorized the Library of Congress to establish
and maintain archives whose purpose is to preserve a
permanent record of the broadcast programs which are
the heritage of the people of the United States and to
provide access to such programs to historians and
scholars without encouraging or causing copyright
infringement.  These hearings and the report to follow
will help the Library develop and refine ATRA'S
policies--that's the acronym for American Television
and Radio Archive--to insure that we carry out our work
in concert with the other archives and libraries, and
with production and broadcast organizations. 

          These hearings and the report then parallel
our earlier film preservation study in several
important ways.  First, we seek the same goals; that
is, to preserve the American heritage.  In this case,
television and video, and make it more accessible for
educational use.  Second, to obtain a wide range of
views and opinions representative of the diverse
interest that exists in the creation, preservation and
research use of moving images in all its aspects,
including arts and entertainment, news and documentary,
public affairs, video art, community video, just to
name some of the largest categories.    Thirdly, we
wish to encourage other archives and libraries to work
with the Library of Congress to accomplish the very
difficult task of preserving television video and
making them available.  Fourth, we wish to address the
problem of funding, television and video preservations
programs, both in public archives and industry, no easy
task at a time when resources are scarce, relative to
the preservation workload ahead.  Public and private
partnerships are essential and during the course of
these hearings we hope to receive your recommendations
on how these kinds of partnerships can be established.

          There are other parallels with the film
preservation report worth mentioning.  Like American
film, much of the early history of television, as I am
sure most of you aware has already been lost,
broadcasts were live and kinescope or film recordings
were used selectively, Ampex introduced a videotape
recording technology in 1956, and since then the
industry has manufactured or adopted numerous
incompatible video formats making technological
obsolence a major archival issue.  Like nitrocellulose,
the staple of the film industry until 1951, videotape
has proven to be both a blessing and a curse.  We've
entrusted our historical and cultural images to
videotape and yet it's vulnerable to degradation and
destruction.  Like film, everything associated with
video preservation is expensive, including specialized
storage facilities, electronic equipment, a skilled
technical staff, and reformatting costs.  The very
notion of reformatting large collections of videotape
is a daunting one because their volume already exceeds
the means of most organizations.

          Yet the rewards for safeguarding and
preserving our television and video heritage are
immeasurable, no one can fully understand who we are as
a people and what we've become as a society without
having access to the recordings created by television
and video production during the last 50 years. 
Historians, sociologists and other scholars, even
politicians and parents, debate the causal relationship
of television to the society-at-large and the future of
such debates will be fruitless if the historical
evidence to pursue them does not survive.

          I might say as not just the Librarian of
Congress who is responsible to the Congress of the
United States but as somebody who has been a resident
of Washington for nearly a quarter of a century, it's
been amazing to watch how official Washington and all
its aspects increasingly feels that it's either
legitimize or de-legitimize as sustained, vindicated,
elected, dis-elected, whatever, through this media, and
therefore, it seems to me that the interest in it and
the concern for how it functions, what its legacy is,
is only going to increase.  So this problem is one that
is very much a part of coming to grips with what we are
becoming as a nation in the second half of the 20th

          So in conclusion, the Library of Congress
encourages all of you in the audience to write down
your opinions and recommendations an we will collect
them up to April 29th.  We hope to hear from people in
writing who don't have a chance to speak today, and
today we will hear from a number of distinguished
individuals, some professionals in the field, others
representing important organizations, that share the
goal of preserving American television and video and to
which, as I say, we have a special responsibility under
the Congressional mandate that we're pursuing here

          Before we begin, I'd like to thank David
Francis to my left, our admirable head of the Library's
Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound
Division, and a long-time pioneer in the preservation
business on two continents--we're happy that he's on
ours right now; and Steve Leggett, extraordinarily
industrious, always self-effacing, in the back of the
room back there, just does simply wonderful work for
the Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound
Division.  I can't say too much for all they're doing. 
They're real saints in this pursuit of preserving this
important part of our cultural heritage, and
particularly for their work on this project.

          And most especially the man to whom I'm going
to turn over the microphone, Bill Murphy, on loan from
our sister institution, the Washington National
Archives and Record of Administration, who is doing an
admirable job serving as the project's coordinator, who
will moderate today's hearing and to whom I'm pleased
to turn over the microphone.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Dr. Billington.  At
this time I would like to introduce the members of the
panel.  You've already met David Francis.  To my right
is Dr. Erik Barnouw; and next Mona Jimenez, the
executive director of the Media Alliance; and last but
not least, Jim Lindner, president of Vidipax, Inc.

          And so let us begin, but before we go into
the proceedings, let me state some of the ground rules
for the discussion and testimony in the interest of
moving the proceeding along expeditiously during the
rest of the day.

          First, we will ask each panel to sit together
at the witness table when it is their turn to speak. 
Second, the speakers will make their presentations in
the order listed; and third, each speaker should take
approximately ten minutes to give a statement.  If you
have a longer written statement, that too will be
published in the record.  If you exceed your time
limit, I will try to let you know politely so that you
can bring your statement to a conclusion.  Fourth,
please speak into the microphone so that you can be
heard in the back of the room.  Your statement and the
discussion are being recorded and transcribed and you
will receive a copy of the transcript for your review. 
Fifth, the Library of Congress panel will ask questions
and make comments when each group of witnesses has
completed their statements.  

          I'm sorry we don't have enough time to accept
questions or comments from the floor, from the
audience; but I encourage all of you to send us written
statements which will be considered in the report.

          This is all I'm going to say, and so with
that let us begin with our first witness, Mr. John
Cannon of the National Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences.  Good morning, Mr. Cannon.

          MR. CANNON:  Good morning.  I am the
president of the National Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences, and first of all let me tell you about
who we are.  We do represent I think goodness, kindness
and we are the embodiment of not-for-profit activity,
we are statesmen of the industry; but putting all that
aside, we have a remarkable structure.  We represent
virtually the entire United States.  We represent about
95 per cent of television in the United States and the
concrete evidence of that is that we make available
local awards, local Emmy awards throughout the country. 
And it is our belief that television is not in New York
and Los Angeles exclusively, that television really is
people in many, many cities and many, many places, and
we, because of our structure, can reach out.

          I want to talk to you this morning about
thinking of preservation of television material,
documentaries and recorded history throughout the
United States rather than solely thinking about great
shows that we all saw on network television.  But of
course, again by our structure, because we represent
the Emmy, the Emmy is the terribly, terribly
distinguished award.  In the world, anywhere you go,
everybody knows the Oscar, everybody knows the Emmy. 
Now there are very few awards like that.  I can give
you two or three, four more, but by and large other
awards are--they're nice, they're somewhat conveniences
for having dinners, and kind of warming up for the main
event; but the only people unhappy about Emmys are
those who don't win them.  Everybody wants an Emmy. 
And you would have to sit in the office or run from the
office, which I frequently like to do, about people
calling and saying they should have won and Emmy and
how unjust the world is.  But putting that aside, we
find that--maybe I shouldn't put it aside, but really I
find it very flattering and it only emphasizes how
truly great this Emmy is.

          So when we talk about having archives, and
this is something very, very good, this is the kind of
thing we have a total commitment to at least
philosophically, if we can't do it physically which I
don't think we can do, but from the very creation of
this Academy we have always been proponents of it and
we have found that the educational world has been quite
marvelous at this and the Academy, which began in Los
Angeles and New York, began this kind of activity.  I
know I was president at one time of the New York
Chapter and we had a very active relationship with NYU
in preserving materials.  But we found that from a
national viewpoint that we couldn't possibly do
anything meaningful.  
          So we support all kinds of organizations that
want to do this and I'm sure you're all aware of the
very, very  major commitment that the Museum of Radio
and Television has, and they have a great deal of money
and they just opened, if you saw in The New York Times
yesterday, they opened a branch, $16 million in Beverly
Hills.  And I do know that Mr. Paley, who started this,
I don't think he ever made the short walk which is only
one block from what is called Black Rock, CBS, over to
ABC, it's from 53rd Street to 54th Street, and he never
made that walk, but he did one day decide he would go
over and see Leonard Goldenson.  So he made the walk,
went up to see Leonard Goldenson, he said, "Leonard, I
want you to support something," and it was his museum. 
And it never stopped from that point on.  I've never
seen anything in our industry supported so widely and
with such deep pockets as that museum.  So what your
relationship is with that, I don't know.  I will ask
you later on what it is.  

          But I would like to focus a bit on some of
the things that we have done in our Academy and maybe
that we can open up some windows here for your
thinking.  We had, oh, ten years ago, suggested that
each of our chapters encourage their community--let's
say Phoenix, Arizona--to establish an archival reposit
of what had been the best of television in Phoenix. 
Now this concept I think has a lot of merit.  We can
now envision--we have 17 cities and regions which as I
tell you covers most of the United States; but I think
it's very interesting if you're in Miami to have a
place you can go and see what has been the best of
Miami television.  And I can further see occasions
where people would gather in the industry to review
their industry and all that's been accomplished there. 
Cities do this, local television is very, very strong,
and people who have made great contributions to
television in all the local markets are honored. 
They're honored by our organization and other
organizations.  But this is a step further.  It's not
easy to do.  I would also encourage them to send
material to the museum; but I think maybe if the
Congress, if the Library of Congress would do this, it
would have more impetus, it would have more motivation. 
But I try to open, as I say, open new vistas for you
here and I think this is something that I don't think
you'll hear from anybody else, of the concept of how
much material there is that only those people,
generally speaking only those people in their own
communities saw and were a part of.  But that to me is
very, very valid and it fulfills what television should

          We feel that television is--the viewer should
be the boss of television.  The view is the one who
makes all the decisions.  And nobody forces anybody to
watch anything.  Television will never be, or when we
say television today we mean all of broadcasting, the
telecommunications, whether it be satellite cable--this
is all one family, one experience really.  But it is
the viewer that sets the standard an all the viewer has
to do is turn it off.  And so television will never be
better than the viewer demands it to be and the more we
as an Academy, our dedication is to excellence, and we
are constantly talking to the people in the community
if we can and tell them to be as demanding as they can. 

          We have a project in the Academy called
Creating Critical Viewers.  This is to educate young
people, the high school age, how to watch television. 
We don't want them to grow up and be couch potatos.  So
we have made a very major effort and invested very
major money in this so that we now have in 17 chapters
around the country, we have a paid administrator who
does this, and we engage--each chapter engages somebody
from the educational world who can communicate with the
schools.  Television people are good at communicating
with the public in general, but they are not educators
and they don't quite know how to get into that world. 
But this is evidence of what can be done, what can be
done for the public, and I think that's what we should
all think about and that's why we should preserve the
best of telecommunications, the best of these efforts
for the public, not for private collectors, but for
those who can benefit for the most, so we have a true
heritage to pass on.  And we in the Academy can educate
young people so that they come out with a critical eye. 
We think that's very good.

          And also it's very encouraging that the
management, the station managers around the country
encourage this.  They do not find it a threat to their
commercial profits.  They agree that the better view
they have, the better television they'll all do.  There
is no downside to doing good television and there's no
downside to having a program that doesn't have a big
audience either.  In News and Documentary, Dr.
Billington was a presenter at our News and Documentary
Awards.  PBS has always done very, very well in those
awards because they dedicate the time to it.  And on
the commercial networks, sometimes we don't get as high
quality, although that varies, there's some very high
quality actually in the networks; but if you put aside
every so often the profit motive and say what can we do
that is the best for the public, it will happen.

          So what we can do here by talking to you is
see if we can give you some ideas and give you a
feeling for the whole broad spectrum of television in
the 50 States of the United States, with which we have
a relationship.  

          I thank you all, and first of all being here
is annulus; but particularly to the Library and its
effort, I think this is very timely and it's a step
forward, and just couldn't be any more admirable.  So I
thank you very much for listening to my few words and I
would be very pleased to talk to you and answer
questions.  Maybe I'll ask you some questions.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much, Mr. Cannon. 
Questions or comments?  David?

          MR. FRANCIS:  I was very interested in what
you said about the idea, I think you used Phoenix as
the example--

          MR. CANNON:  Yes.

          MR. FRANCIS:  --of selecting in the different
chapters the programs which are important as far as
that part of the country is concerned, because one of
the big problems with television is there is so much of
it and it's not all national.

          Now it seems that this idea could be
developed by the Academy so that each area was deciding
what they considered were the most important programs. 
I think that would be a very valuable service, and it
could lead to those programs being preserved in that
area.  What do you think about this?  How successful
have you been so far?

          MR. CANNON:  Well, it didn't quite work. 
These things take a great deal of incentive and effort. 
The fire has to build up, you know.  I think though I'm
very glad to hear what you say.  I think that it's
worth another try.  Ten years ago when we advocated
this, I don't think the Academy was doing all the good
things it's doing now.  We have a very major
scholarship program now, we're giving two $20,000
scholarships and that's pretty good, because I look
around and there aren't that many $20,000 scholarships
being given out.  Most scholarships are for $2,000 and
that will buy you books maybe, or $5,000; but we
decided to go into this in a very major way.

          The reason I cite this is that atmospheres
change and when people realize what can be done and
we're doing these things, maybe this is another step we
could take.  I really think it's worthwhile.  And if we
could get a letter particularly from Dr. Billington, if
I could get a letter saying we encourage this, this
kind of encouragement would be a very good thing for us
and might bring this to a meeting and that's the way
these things start.  We'd have to think out how this
can trickle some place, as I wanted to do it with the
museum, but I think they've got a pretty full plate
over there.  Maybe we can do this through you.  But we
need to have it go somewhere too, as well as--do you
agree with that?

          MR. FRANCIS:  Yes, certainly.

          MR. MURPHY:  Jim?

          MR. LINDNER:  You were mentioning the role of
education in regard to your membership and there's no
question that your membership is certainly the movers
and shakers of the television industry in many regards,
and I was wondering since the membership is so large
whether the Academy has published any brochures or
other information to help educate your members on 
how to take care of their materials?

          MR. CANNON:  No.  We never have.  No, no. 
That has never been done and that would never be done
because there is no program that would call for it. 
But again, that's a good idea.  

          What we offer here is an availability if
somebody wanted to do that, the Academy has the
structure that allows for a lot of communication, if
somebody wants to come along and do that.  What better
way for distribution than to use us.  That might be a
good joint effort with somebody.

          MR. MURPHY:  Okay.  Thanks again, Mr.--

          MR. CANNON:  Dr. Barnouw, I wanted to--

          MR. MURPHY:  Go ahead.

          MR. CANNON:  As I was joking with Dr.
Barnouw, I said that I read his book since I was three
years old, he said I was very precocious when I did
that, and I said but he wrote with such clarity, how
does he know that I didn't?  But I want to take a
personal moment here to ask you, Professor Barnouw, of
what you do now.  Do you lecture still at Columbia? 
Are you still writing book?  I'd like to know that.

          DR. BARNOUW:  I'm not lecturing at Columbia. 
I've retired some 20 years ago.

          MR. CANNON:  I know that, but I thought--

          DR. BARNOUW:  I am still writing books, yes.

          MR. CANNON:  All right.

          DR. BARNOUW:  I don't want to make this a
personal advertising program.

          MR. CANNON:  Okay.

          DR. BARNOUW:  Yes, I just published a book
called "The Media Marathon," essentially a memoir which
goes to my life in all the media.

          MR. CANNON:  I'll certainly be looking for
that.  It's a privilege to be here with you.  Yes, Dr.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  I was wondering if either
the Academy or the museum, which you mentioned, you
mentioned in connection with the museum deep pockets. 
One of the fundamental problems with preservation is
that there are virtually no pockets at all.

          MR. CANNON:  That's right.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  And I wondered if you had
any thoughts as to how first of all you organization,
which does have all the prestigious and important
people in it, do either they or the museum have any
systematic institutional stated commitment to the
preservation of the television heritage or have there
been any major meetings or pronouncements devoted to
it?  I just wondered as a matter of history.

          MR. CANNON:  I would highly recommend and I
think I mentioned to Mr. Murphy when he came to see me,
I highly recommend that you meet with first of all
Frank Bennick, who is the chairman of it, and he is the
president and CEO of The Hearst Corporation, all of
television and all of the newspapers too.  I think that
would be a very worthwhile visit for you to have.  They
are the ones who would have that kind of resource and,
of course, that's what they are doing.  They are
preserving television.  The Academy no, the Academy
does not and I don't think it's likely that the Academy
would get resources exclusively for that.  Anything
could happen, but for when we talk about financial
wherewithal and also the structure and actually doing
it, I'd say the museum would be my prime target if I
were you.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  I see.

          MR. FRANCIS:  Bill, can I ask something? 
Could I ask one small follow-up?   Do you actually
manage to preserve the Emmy award programs, the
programs to which you give the awards?  

          MR. CANNON:  Yes, we do.  We keep, one way or
another, when we do a--when we do a telecast, by our
contract one copy of it comes to us.  Generally the
networks keeps a copy too, the networks keep copies of
things like that.

          MR. FRANCIS:  But the individual programs?

          MR. CANNON:  No, not in--only winning
programs or--well, for instance, News and Documentary,
we get some marvelous material and it's so much of it
that we call up schools and see if they can pick it up
or we just have to throw it out.  There's just not--
there aren't enough buildings to put all of this in. 
They are going to take all our news and documentary
winning programs and preserve them.  So we'd like to
find more opportunities like that and we'll find
another college, I think we can do it for sports, and
this concept of having someone's resource for it--we
like the schools, we think the schools are great at
this and they give a lot of attention to it and it's
very beneficial to them because students of the
communications departments can refer to this material
and it's quite wonderful.

          But for an organization such as ours that has
no many award structures and so many awards programs to
do, our biggest problem is to clean out the shelves and
keep it moving out of our premises.  We can't find a
building big enough to hold all that.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much indeed, Mr.

          MR. CANNON:  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  I think in the interest of time
we have to move on and thanks again.

          MR. CANNON:  Thank you.  I hope you have a
very successful day and a very rewarding experience. 
It's quite admirable.

          MR. MURPHY:  We've been informed that Kitty
Carlisle Hart will be delayed, so we will move on to
the next panel of educators and we'll ask those people
to come and take a seat.

          Well, good morning to you, and let us begin
with William Boddy.

          MR. BODDY:  Thank you.  I'm going to read a
five-page statement, so I should be ten minutes.

          Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you
this morning about a subject, television preservation,
which is crucial to the work of scholars and educators
across many fields and many academic institutions.  My
words today will, I hope, build--

          MR. MURPHY:  Excuse me, could you pull the
microphone closer?

          MR. BODDY:  Sure.  My words today will, I
hope, build upon previous testimony in Los Angeles from
educators, including Janet Bergstrom who spoke as a
representative from the Society for Cinema Studies, an
organization I have been actively involved with for
over a decade.  I would first like to acknowledge the
work of the Library of Congress in film preservation,
including the hearings which produced a 1994 report,
"Redefining Film Preservation, A National Plan."  I
will defer to the expertise of others here and
elsewhere who will speak to you on technical matters of
physical preservation and legal practice; what I wish
to add is simply the voice from a community of scholars
and educators whose work would be immeasurably
impoverished without access to the national heritage of
television and video material.  

          While occasionally arcane and technical
sounding, the work of television and video
preservation, I believe, serves to support nothing less
than the fundamental need of citizens in a democracy to
understand their collective past and to actively shape
their own cultural and political futures.   I'd like to
address the four central issues of storage, access,
public/private partnerships, and funding, from the
point of view of someone who earns a living teaching
and writing about the history of American television.  

     To briefly introduce myself, my work in television
history began with a doctoral dissertation at New York
University, a dissertation which ended up as a book at
the University of Illinois entitled Fifties Television. 
Since then I have contributed two dozen articles on
U.S. broadcast history to scholarly journals and
monographs in this country and abroad.  The subjects of
these have ranged from television broadcasting efforts
by CBS and others in the early 1930s to the post-war
programming strategies of NBC and CBS, the quiz show
scandals of the late fifties, the TV violence campaigns
of the early 1960s, the rise and fall of the classic
television Western, the contested role of American
television programming in the U.S. image abroad, and
the history of independent video in the United States. 
I'm currently writing a book on the social history of
electronic technology for Oxford University Press, as
well as a book on The Twilight Zone for the British
Film Institute's TV Classics Series.

          Before turning to these larger questions of
what we ought to be preserving, allow me first to
direct some specific remarks to the four issues of
storage, access, public/private partnership, and
funding, which were raised in the Library of Congress's
report on film preservation.  While, it seems to me
that these can, in large measure, be addressed in
similar terms to those involved in film preservation,
there are a number of novel aspects to the world of
television preservation.  Concerning storage, for
example, I believe the Library can make an important
contribution by supporting the research and
dissemination of optimal methods for the preservation
of original materials and the conversion of original
materials to new storage media.

          It might be noted that the term "television
preservation" involves original materials ranging from
35mm and 16mm film stocks as well as a plethora of
technologically obsolete or endangered electronic
recording systems.  Unlike theatrical filmmaking, where
film formats and viewing technologies have remained
remarkably stable historically, television demands the
preservation of rapidly changing hardware systems as
well as program material.  It seems to me that the
Library of Congress can lead in the sharing of
expertise concerning these historically fragile
technological platforms, in order to insure continued
access to the programming they support.   Likewise, the
Library can pool technical expertise in the conversion
of these technologically endangered television
materials to more permanent and accessible electronic
formats, with the recognition that any new formats are
themselves likely to prove historically transient. 
Finally, as in film preservation, it seems to be
prudent to pursue both the conservation of original
materials and the conversion to new electronic storage

     The problem of access to television and video
materials presents similar continuities and exceptions
to the model of film preservation.  There are common
goals in insuring the widest possible access for
scholars and educators to television collections, in
simplifying procedures for copyright clearances and
fair use, in enabling remote access to information
about the holdings of private and public archives, and
finally in moving to direct electronic access to non-
copyrighted television and video materials.  These
issues of access are likely to be more complex and
vexing than the challenges of physical preservation and
storage, and copyright holders need to be protected
from unauthorized commercial exploitation of their
work, a concern more urgent with the prospect of a
commercial Internet trafficking in full motion video
and sound.

          However, and this is the most deeply felt
point I would like to make this morning, there is an
urgent need to preserve the distinction between
educational and commercial uses of television and video
archive material, and with that distinction, the
practice of fair use of copyrighted material by
scholars and educators, whether for research, classroom
instruction, presentations at professional conferences
or scholarly publication.  The Library of Congress
could encourage archives to devise donor agreements to
maintain this fundamental distinction in order to
insure access by scholars to copyrighted deposit
material.  Issues of copyright may be more complex in
television than in film;  unlike the model of the
studio feature film, networks and station operators
rarely own copyrights for the works they broadcast,
outside of news and sports.  Copyright is more often
held by individual production companies operating in an
unstable  business marked by a rapid turnover of firms.

          Regarding issues of private/ public
partnerships and the funding of television
preservation, copyright owners must, I think, assume
the major responsibility for insuring the physical
preservation of, and scholarly access to, their
television and video material.  However, the Library of
Congress can support these efforts by sharing
information about the storage and transfer of primary 
materials and by encouraging and coordinating remotely
accessible databases of archive holdings.  Public
efforts should also be extended to support the
preservation of vulnerable television and video
material which is either outside of copyright or which
lacks immediate commercial prospects for its copyright
holder.  A public/private partnership in the form of a
federally chartered foundation could also support
efforts to preserve the diverse voices of artists and
independent video makers whose television work may
exist in endangered video formats and equally
endangered non-profit institutions.

          I would like to conclude by speaking not of a
ten most-wanted list of disappeared programs, but more
generally about the special challenges of television
and video preservation in deciding upon what is worthy
of preservation.  It is clear that television archives
confront a fundamental challenge in their collective
task; unlike the preservation of the collection of
unique one-run theatrical films, the basic definition
of a television artifact can be confounding.  In the
commercial television medium, which thrives on various
forms of seriality, ought one to collect series pilots,
or some sense of representative episodes, or entire
seasons, or multi-year runs of a particular series? 
Even compared to the thousands of American feature film
of the Hollywood era, the universe of television
material potentially available for archiving is
staggering, even more so in view of the on-going
proliferation of program outlets via direct broadcast,
satellite, cable, and broadcasting.  Despite this
multiplication of program sources, many of them
recycling material from previous seasons, meaningful
scholarly access to television's past cannot be insured
to commercial syndication and to advertising supported
cable, no matter how single-mindedly devoted to various
forms of nostalgia they may be.

          There is a host of contingencies which
determines the entrance and survival of any particular
network program in the syndication market, ranging from
the original program genre and number of episodes, to
the commercial and ideological needs of the current
commercial programmer and broadcast advertiser. 
Television lacks film's cultural memory bank of the
repertory cinema or the video shop, and   In an
understanding of television's role in our nation is
impossible without scholarly access to a much wider
universe of program materials than those of interest to
the demographically minded programmers at Nick at Nite
or The Family Channel.

          Given this situation, let me offer an
historian's plea for the preservation of the widest
range of television material.  Invaluable public
institutions like the Museum of Television and Radio
have taken on the dual task of both celebrating that
which it judges of highest quality in the medium and
also of assembling a collection which will illuminate
television's role as cultural and political agenda-
setter and battleground.  However, historians need
access not only to the prestigious prime time network
hits, but also to less celebrated television material,
from low prestige genres, from affiliate fringe time,
from independent and community stations, and from the
chaotic world of small format video and public access

          My own scholarly interests have been directed
at understanding the role of television programming in
wider cultural, intellectual and political contexts,
including the shifting definitions of citizenship and
the public sphere, the relation of American
intellectuals to mass culture, the policy debates
regarding broadcast regulation, the effects of
television violence, and the international role of
American commercial television.  Addressing these sorts
of questions in an historical context in a meaningful
way is not likely to be accomplished by looking at a
few critically privileged programs.  Instead,
understanding how commercial television became
entangled in such larger cultural and political issues
requires a broad consideration of as many relevant
programs as possible; a consideration only possible
with access to the resources of private and public
television archives.  

          Much of the most productive recent historical
work in film and television studies has indeed focused
on the culturally marginal and excluded, guided in part
by the proposition that what a society pushes to the
margins of cultural expression can say a great deal
about what is central to its beliefs and practices. 
Television preservation, therefore, must make available
to future researchers and scholars the full range of
what is to be found on our nation's screens.  Likewise,
future historians considering some of today's loudest
public and political controversies associated with
television,  like the debates over the effects of
negative political advertising or the cultural
consequences of so-called trash TV, will depend on
their access to the often culturally denigrated
programs which provoked these controversies.  My point
is simply that contemporary critical taste cannot offer
assurance about what future historians will find
revealing about our contemporary culture, and absence
such assurances, the prudent course seems to be to try
to preserve the diversity of our television

          The challenges of preservation and access to
the uncountable hours of our television past and
present, a medium of both great cultural and political
power and of an almost willful ephemorality, are indeed
daunting.  While my life in the classroom exposes me to
students who bring what seems to be increasingly short
cultural memories, there is also a genuine hunger among
students and among the public for non-nostalgic
confrontations with our cultural history.  As
television increasingly becomes the medium for
historical representation and popular memory, it is
vital that its own place in history be available for
scrutiny and contestation.  The often unglamorous work
of television preservation is the necessary ground for
such democratic interrogation and we neglect it at our
peril.  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Mr. Boddy.  I think
we're going to skip Peter Herford for now and go on to
Deirdre Boyle.  Good morning.

          MS. BOYLE:  Thank you very much.  Thank you
for inviting me to speak here today at this hearing. 
Others will make the case for why broadcast television
news and entertainment programming need to be
preserved.  Rather than add to that resounding chorus,
I will simply say that growing up in the '50s, as a
member of the first television generation, I responded
actively to television.  At 12 I appeared on a local
children's show to speak out about my gripe, that
children should be seen and not heard.  Arguing
persuasively I believed at the time, that children
would never grow up to be effective citizens and
responsible adults if they were prevented from
expressing their thoughts and testing their ideas; I
exercised the power of television to shape public
opinion.  I thought we all had that right, that that
was what television was there for.      

          Because television has not always served as
an arena for public discourse and creative expression,
members of my generation when presented with the first
consumer video technology in the late '60s responded by
setting out to re-invent television, to create a
parallel system to the then monolithic world of network
TV.  They were inspired by the ideas of Marshall
McLuhan and other media gurus; by the social and
political movements sweeping the country at the time--
and the world I should add; and by a revolution in the
arts that celebrated process, not product.

          Some of the most talented members of that
first TV generation joined video collectives, not
broadcast unions, producing lively video programs seen
in Soho lofts, public library basements, community
centers, on public access channels, in alternative art
spaces, off-off Broadway theaters, and later on, on
public television, network TV and eventually pay cable. 
It was independent video pioneers like TVTV, working
outside the industry, who first brought the portapak to
a major media event, the 1972 Presidential Nominating
Conventions.  TVTV demonstrated the versatility of
portable video to networks still hardwired to
cumbersome quad equipment, propelling the development
of the first ENG cameras and the quick transition from
vid-film to all-video news departments, and
aesthetically influencing the look of television news
and documentary programming.  Without a consideration
of the contributions of video pioneers such as these,
any history of American television, not to mention
recent American social history, will be incomplete,

          The achievements of video artists and
documentarists, many of whom worked within the
experimental TV labs at public television stations
during the '70s and '80s, are co-extensive with
television but go far beyond it.  Artists like Nam Jun
Paike, for instance, produced single and multiple
channel video works using video as a sculptural medium,
creating environments never designed with television in
mind.  The task of preserving such art work is perhaps
more daunting than tackling single-channel videotapes,
but no less important if accurate records of the
cultural history of the last half of this century are
to be made.

          My own area of research, the history of
documentary video makers in the '70s, led me in 1983 on
a cross-country journey in search of historic tapes and
their makers.  This was my first brush with the already
alarming state of video preservation.  In New Orleans,
I excitedly located a tape I had read about and heard
about, only to discover as I opened the black plastic
box, a sickeningly sweet smell emanating from the
encrusted white crud that covered the unplayable tape. 
The New Orleans Video Access Center had been inundated
and their tape archive, housed in the basement, was
badly affected.  It was only one of many such
disappointments encountered while researching: tapes
mislabeled, tapes missing, tapes that played for five
minutes then devolved into a series of morse code like
black-and-white glitches, tapes made on machines that
were unrepairable or nowhere to be found.  Housed in
garages, basements, in closets and footlockers, the
precious record of an historic period lay vulnerable to
fire, flood, heat, humidity, carelessness and

          I was part of the first wave of video
historians, critics and curators who uncovered the
array of preservation problems confronting individual
artists, media art centers, video distributors, funders
and exhibitors.  Since then I'm happy to report
progress has been made in launching this vast effort at
locating historic programs, cataloguing them, providing
archivally acceptable storage for these tapes and their
playback equipment, developing reliable, low-cost
methods for cleaning, restoring, and preserving tapes,
and sharing information with others similarly engaged. 
All sorts of partnerships have been forged.  Time
prevents me from enumerating them, but in a monograph
that I wrote a few years ago for the Media Alliance,
Video Preservation: Securing the Future of the Past, I
did outline some of this.  The very fact that the
Library of Congress has agreed to this hearing and to a
serious inclusion of video and television programming
within its preservation purview, is perhaps the best
sign that the times are a-changing.  

          Clearly there are economic incentives that
motivate broadcasters' interests in the preservation of
classic entertainment programs and the archiving of
broadcast news and public affairs programming.  But
economic reasons should be the least compelling ones
when deciding video preservation priorities.  Consider,
for example, the tapes made by Broadside TV, a unique
experiment in local origination cable programming
produced by community video activists in Appalachia in
the mid-'70s.  Although the characters who appear in
these tapes are not household names like Lucy or Uncle
Walter, they helped extend the concept of oral history
to video and gave isolated people living in the hills
and hollers of Appalachia a tool to confront strip
miners, state legislators, and future generations. 
From the viewpoint of the social historian, the student
of American politics, communications and culture, the
value of such tapes is immeasurable, and I'm happy to
report that this collection is housed in the Archives
of Appalachia in Tennessee.  

          Here's one more scenario to consider.  I
think few people here would argue that Ken Burns'
documentary series on the American Civil War was a
signal broadcasting event.  By coupling early
photographic images--daguerro tintypes, carte-de-visite
photos--with readings from the letters and diaries of
both famous and ordinary ordinary individuals, Burns
evoked the agony of a nation divided.  His success
depended upon the official documentary photos of battle
scenes or of commanders-in-chief shot by artists like
Matthew Brady, as well as anonymous portraits of raw
recruits produced two for 12-1/2 cents.  Burns employed
the full range of photography, a visual medium barely
30 years old at the time. 

          Imagine if you will now a documentary
producer 100 years from now who is interested in making
a documentary about the recent Gulf War.  She would
need to have access to videotapes; not just to those
broadcast as news by CNN or NBC, but those exchanged by
military personnel and their families during the war. 
It was during this war that home video became a favored
medium for the intimate exchange of ideas, images and
memories, absorbing the functions of photography,
letters and diaries.  These homemade tapes were just as
much a part of the war record as the orchestrated image
of high-tech electronic war seen on television.

          Since videotapes have come to replace
snapshots, audio tapes, Super 8 films, letters, and
even written diaries for reporting the milestones of
our lives, video has become the fabric of our family
memories and by extension of our collective social
history.  We in this room know that video has a limited
lifespan.  The manufacturers of videotape and recording
technology know this, too; but the millions of people
who own handicams and record Billy's birthday party,
Jennifer's soccer game, and the children's wedding on
tape don't know that their precious memories will fade
in time to mere snow on a flickering screen.

          What does this mean to a culture that has
become increasingly dependent on visual images for its
self-image,  its view of the world, and its
understanding of what is and isn't true?  What does
this mean if our databanks of images, those public and
collective as well as those private and personal, fade
into oblivion?  I would argue that, without evidence of
the past to re-examine and reconsider, we become
increasingly vulnerable to the spin doctors of history
who reshaped the past to serve other agendas.  The
entire spectrum of video recordings, from those
professionally recorded for cultural institutions like
network television, to those made by you and me to
memorialize the events of our lives, demands our
attention and concern.  Were the public to realize just
what is at risk if video as a medium is dismissed as
ephemeral or someone else's concern, we would have a
considerable lobby behind us and this enterprise.

          And my last comment is really made as an
educator.  When I completed the book that I had been
working on for 13 years and heaved a sigh of relief, I
gave it to my graduate assistant to read to find out
how well I was communicating to someone who was born
the very year that video and man first went to the
moon.  Needless to say, Alex was not very conscious of
video during the period of time that is the subject of
my book.  I was gratified that he was very enthusiastic
about what I had written and surprised at his amazement
to discover that what I had to say about the '60s and
the '70s was so different from what he had learned
elsewhere in this culture.  Bell-bottoms and peace
signs and rock music of the period, was pretty much the
lingering image of this time for him; and he is a very
intelligent and sensitive person.  We had a very
interesting dialogue, and I shared a number of these
tapes with him, and it convinced me that there was
indeed a reason to make the images of this time period
available to younger people.  But more importantly,
what really struck Alex was the sense of optimism that
pervaded this time period, an optimism that was so much
a part of my generation and that is not a part of his
generation, a sense that one can change the world, that
it is indeed the legacy of youth to feel empowered and
to believe that it is possible to make a difference. 
And I think if for no other reason than this, making
these historic materials available is necessary and
perhaps increasingly a necessary counter-measure if we
are to have a really vital society.  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much.  Is Peter
Herford in the room?   Questions from the panel?

          MS. JIMENEZ:  I have one.

          MR. MURPHY:  Yes, Mona?

          MS. JIMENEZ:  Yes, I was wondering if you
could describe a little bit more about access to the
materials, in addition to the physical problems that
you were experiencing.  Where do you actually find
particularly independently produced video materials? 
Where do you find them--either one of you actually--
through what kinds of networks and what obstacles do
you face in finding the materials?

          MR. BODDY:  You're probably more expert on

          MS. BOYLE:  Well, let's differentiate the act
of researching and searching for things in the highways
from the by-ways.  As an educator I turn first to non-
profit video distributors like Electronic Arts Intermix
and Video Data Bank and a few sources like that,
because given the infrastructure within the independent
media community, distributors have taken on the role of
maintaining, keeping alive, cataloguing, and otherwise
making accessible the history of independent

          There has been something of a bias toward art
over documentary because art often seems to have a
longer life than documentary works.  There are other
places to turn.  I'm not sure if Media Network still
has their information service, but it has been a source
for locating more fugitive materials like documentaries
that haven't always been seen as financially lucrative
in terms of distribution.  I think that people wind up
having to read a great deal in order to find other

          MR. BODDY:  I would add that Electronic Arts 
Intermix, Video Data Bank, the Museum of Modern Art all
have very active circulating collections.  In terms of
day-to-day teaching, those are the three sources I've
used.  They also do a very good job in documenting
material, providing lots of information, bibliographies
on artists and tapes, and are very forthcoming about
allowing student access to material not for classroom

          In New York City, the Donnell Film Library,
and to a small extent the Museum of Television and
Radio, collects and holds this sort of independent
work.  And I agree that there is a bias toward film or
video about artists rather than in community activism
and documentary. 

          MR. MURPHY:  Dr. Billington?

          DR. BILLINGTON:  One of the things with film
we've done is that--well the Congress has done really--
is to create this National Film Registry whereby we
pick 25 sort of films for their historical, cultural,
aesthetic significance every year, and that's designed
to dramatize the need and also to pick out some
important illustrative examples for preservation.  Do
you think something comparable would be possible and
useful in the world of television, and related to that
is the literature, the academic literature, does it
provide a sufficient base of sort of shared critical
standards that would enable one to pick such in this
much more, in a way miscellaneous and diverse world of
television, 25 such or some other number; we found that
to be particularly I think a useful way of dramatizing
the need for film preservation.  Would it 
be--we always say at the time, it's my responsibility
ultimately to pick these on the base of the board's
recommendations, of course, and a lot of public input. 
We always say that it's not the Academy Awards, these
are not the Academy Awards, but these are historically,
culturally and aesthetic significance, that's the word
that the Congressional Act has produced.  

          Do you think it's possible to define such a
universe and is it desirable to dramatize the cost of

          MR. BODDY:  I think that the National Film
Registry has had a good effect in the film studies
community, particularly because it's obvious that 
you've looked beyond the Hollywood feature film with
the major grosses or the critical successes of a
particular year, and broadened the definitions and the
cultural memory of film.  I think it also provides a
kind of window on the work of film preservation.  I
think those two aspects are important for the task of
widening our definitions of television and television's
past, especially about recovering the stuff that isn't
an Emmy-award winning show, that wasn't aired on a
network, that nevertheless may have had an incredible
historical impact.  So I think that designating a broad
range of television material, to have something that
was very mainstream and very prominent alongside
something like TVTV or something from that independent
community, would be very helpful.

          The other part of the registry program, using
public screenings to reinvigorate the theatrical film
experience, I don't know if there is an analogy with
the work of television preservation.  And certainly the
basic task of designating, of wading through and coming
up with 25 or 75 titles, in television is a bit more

          But I think the positive aspects of making
the work of preservation more visible and of broadening
the cannon, of redefining what it is to think about
television, I think that would help.

          MS. BOYLE:  To answer the second part of your
question about is there a body of literature extant, I
think there is more and more being written and our
efforts are somewhat symptomatic of that.  But I think
that in order to make a selection of titles to
preserve, you would have to assemble a body of experts
from a fairly wide frame of reference because there are
overlapping areas of expertise, but then there are
other areas of expertise that don't overlap at all. 
And there would be considerable contention I think
within, say, the wider community of independent video--
perhaps it's not all that different from looking at the
tribes within the film community.  I think one would
have to throw a very wide net. 

          And it may be worth considering in this
larger debate criteria around endangered programs
rather than only significant programming, or at least
to give them some sort of equal status.  With film, the
problems of nitrate preservation created priorities. 
With video, I think urgency is less easily defined
technically, but there are certainly works that are
becoming unretrievable as time passes and there may be
some need to factor that into decisions.  But like
Bill, I would agree to anything that gets public
attention: if it's a list, and lists do tend to get
people's attention, then by all means, use whatever
will work.

          MR. FRANCIS:  Really, this is a follow-up on
that question.  Obviously the Library itself can only
do so much. One of the things we're hoping that will
come out of these hearings and out of the study is that
we can engage the whole community more in dealing with
these problems.

          We've heard both here and in L.A. of the
importance of particularly non-broadcast television to
the academic community.  Would it be possible for say
S.C.S. to come up with a listing of key items, even if
it only contains 200 or 500, not currently available
which the academic community would like to have, so
that the final plan could address some specific
programs.  Obviously there's a rights issue here as
well, but if it was possible for say S.C.S. or any
other body to come up with this endangered television
list of material that would be widely used if it was
available,  I think this would be a very valuable step
forward because it would give us something concrete
which we could concentrate on.  Do you think that's a
feasible approach?

          The second part of the question is do you
think if there was agreement over this list, that the
academic community itself in order to have these
materials available, would be prepared to assist in
some small way in preserving and making available the
programs, subject obviously to copyright owner's

          MS. BOYLE:  Even though I'm wearing my
academic hat here, I wear several others, including
that of a curator and a writer and someone who's been
involved in other aspects of the independent media
community.  I think that there are certainly good
reasons to go with an organization like S.C.S. in
making these choices.  But I think it leaves out some
of the key players, for example, curators in museums,
and the people who have been directors and producers
within media arts organizations.  While academics may
have interests in this area or even have close ties, I
think that there would be some problem in having the
full breadth of independent media necessarily
represented in their choices.  Perhaps I'm being overly
cautious here, but I think I'm a little reluctant to
endorse the idea of turning it over to one academic

          MR. BODDY:  Yes, I think that's appropriate. 
I think it's a good idea and I think that S.C.S. could
collaborate with other people.  I think those voices
are important to bring to that question.  So I'll bring
it back to S.C.S. people.

          MS. BOYLE:  The other part of your question
about whether academic institutions would be willing to
lend an economic hand in this matter--I don't know
about other academic institutions, but my own doesn't
lend economic hands to its own faculty.  So I think
that one has to then look to large institutions, and
perhaps there is an advantage in creating partnerships
with well-endowed institutions that permit public
access to their collections.  But I don't know if it's
realistic to expect that this is going to be an
overwhelming response.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thanks very much.  We're now
going to invite Miss Kitty Carlisle Hart to the witness
table.  Good morning.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  Good morning.  Hello. 
Any one of these microphones will do?

          MR. MURPHY:  Right in front of your name

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  I see.  Now we all know
who I am.
          This is indeed a welcome opportunity to speak
to this distinguished panel.  The issue of television
and video preservation is dear to me personally, as
Chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts,
because as you probably know--

          MR. MURPHY:  Excuse me, could I ask you to
pull the microphone a little closer?  Yes, that's good. 
Thank you.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  As you probably know, I
spent quite a long time in my life in television.  I
was on a program called To Tell the Truth for about 17
years and I care a great deal about television.  It's
turned every town into a small town for me, because
people come toward me smiling and they remember me from
To Tell the Truth and other shows long before that.  So
I'm a veteran of Goodson/Todman and the early
television, so this is something that I care about.

          Now speaking in my role as chairman of the
New York State Council--can you hear me now?  Good. 
Perhaps a bit of history will clarify why the Council
is concerned about television and video preservation.

          The Council was an early and ardent supporter
of independent video.  As early as 1966, the Arts
Council had already helped experimental artists present
video in a variety of performances and exhibitions.  I
remember the early performances and exhibitions on
television, and let me tell you, they were pretty
experimental.  It was almost incomprehensible, but it
was something, and it was the wave of the future, and
my people at the Council said we've got to go for it,
and I believed them, so we went for it.

          In 1969, the New York State Council on the
Arts provided a grant to start a series of video
production networks for young people with the public
television stations around the state.  When the Council
budget increased in 1970, sadly it's decreased
remarkably, video flourished, community video centers
were established across the state from Buffalo to Port
Washington.  Other groups emerged to explore the
creative potential of the medium and put it in the
hands of performing and visual artists.  A study was
commissioned to create the television lab at WNET,
which was really very important.

          This was a time of tremendous possibility and
experimentation.  Artists like Nam June Paik and
Shirley Clarke were creating a new artistic medium. 
With small investment public funds, we created a weekly
rural cable series in the Catskills and in Jamestown. 
Partnerships with public television brought the arts
home to homes throughout the state and around the
country.  Innovative documentaries were being produced
in ways not possible for film.

          In the early 1980s the Council was funding
over 80 organizations involved in video in New York
State.  Hundreds of productions had already been
created and the Council was not alone in its investment
in independent video.  Other public funding agencies,
the National Endowment for the Arts, the National
Endowment for the Humanities, public television, arts
councils in many other states, were deeply involved in
funding production and acquisition of this work.

          In the next few years we would hear from
museums and from distributors that their collections
needed to be transferred to another video format.  In a
very limited way, the Council began to assist in the
conservation of videotapes at the Museum of Modern Art
and in the collections of several distributors.  The
Council felt that it was vital that the work continued
to be available to the public in the present and also,
obviously, for the future.

          Where are all these tapes today?  Very little
is in traditional archives.  Work of the most
influential community workshops is stored in barns,
attics, public library stacks.  A few organizations
have made heroic efforts in providing safe haven to
whole collections, like the Visual Studies Workshop in
Rochester.  A variety of institutions, scholars and
curators are coming forward to assure that the very
different creative uses of video are catalogued,
conserved, and brought to the attention of the public. 
Working with Media Alliance, the Council has helped
bring these organizations and individuals together to
share their knowledge and foster collaborative efforts. 
Deborah Silverfine, the director of our electronic
media and film program, will be submitting a statement
of our activities, along with some recommendations for
future plans.

          To touch on some of our efforts, the Council
has provided some support for cataloguing so that
regional and specialized collections are reflected in
the NAMID database being created.  The Council has
funded both lab costs and storage space, but it can't
do it alone.  It's not possible.  The problem is far
too big.  We hope that the study being undertaken by
the Library of Congress will point toward new
partnerships, new solutions, and increased awareness of
television and video preservation needs.  And, so much
of our contemporary culture and our history is being
recorded on video by choice or by necessity, it is
critical that we find ways for those images and sounds
to endure.

          Have you any questions?  It's quite a large
subject.  We all have a lot of questions.

          MR. FRANCIS:  Miss Hart, the achievements of
the Council are well-known and are incredible.  It's
very sad to hear that funding is more difficult now
than it was in the past.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  Oh, much.

          MR. FRANCIS:  We heard when we were in Los
Angeles from one of the people in Florida who said that
Florida is operating a state lottery which gives a
certain amount of money towards film and television
activities.  I wondered whether New York State had
considered this; and whether you thought it was a
feasible approach?  You're aware probably of what's
happening in the United Kingdom at the moment, that the
lottery there is providing a resurgence of funding for
all aspects of the arts.  I wondered whether on a state
level here, and particularly in a state like New York,
this was a feasible approach to rebuilding funding?

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  The only time a lottery
was approached to me by the lottery director Mr. Quinn
was to do a lottery for the arts, and it died aborning,
it didn't last very long.  It was not properly
publicized, it was not taken up properly, and it didn't
quite work out.  That's the only time.  I've always
opposed a lottery because I felt that the minute we had
a lottery in this state, then the state would stop
funding the arts, because they would say you're getting
it this way, so we're not going to do it, and I wasn't
sure that it would work.

          MR. FRANCIS:  Thank you.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  I have someone here named
Debbie Silverfine, who is head of our electronic media
and film, and she's very good about answering
questions, if you want to ask any technical questions.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  Let me ask a non-technical
question.  First of all, thank you very much for being

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  Delighted to see you

          DR. BILLINGTON:  For all the wonderful work
you've done over the years, which would be impossible
to fully document, but some day it's going to obviously
become part of our--not merely New York, but our
national history.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  Thank you.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  So we're really honored and
pleased to have you.  But as a public personality, how
do you feel--this is a very non-technical question, but
a rather essential one, perhaps second only to funding
and perhaps even more important--how does one, someone
who's been extraordinary successful in relating to the
broader public and yet at the same time maintaining
your own very high standards, how does an issue like
this get across to the public?  I mean the public
watches television, but I've never seen an announcement
on television saying could you help; we have phone-a-
thons for everything else.  Is there some way that
television itself could contribute to its own

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  If you've been watching
television, you will realize that not only would they
not be interested, they're not interested in decent,
first-class programming.  I hope the press is here.  I
find the whole television spectrum a disgrace and I
find that my friends only watch news, one or two
programs, WNET, CNN, and some of the cable things like
history; but it has fallen into total disrepute and the
standard is so much lower than when I first came into
television, that it is a disgrace.

          So to ask a television studio to even
understand what video, public or experimental
television is, I don't know how you would get it across
to them.  I despair.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  But how then does one
communicate about this to the general public?  Surely
it would be helpful in terms of the general, national
consciousness of television to have a little more full
knowledge of the richness and variety of what has
actually already been achieved, albeit small ways and
in various peripheral ways to the main enterprise
perhaps.  But that would seem to be all the more
important for getting a broader range of the television
experience preserved and made public.  How does one
dramatize the importance of that if television itself
can't help?

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  I agree.  I think that's
absolutely true.  The only thing I can think of is some
cable stations that might be more open to this kind of
suggestion.  The networks certainly are not.  But cable
is beginning to come into its own, as you know even CBS
and NBC are going into cable and there will be stations
that will be interested, I'm sure.  And one has to find
them, you have to--we have to go after that.  It's a
very good idea.

          Debbie, where are you?  Why don't you come up
here and tell us what you think?

          MS. SILVERFINE:  I think I'm not invited to
speak today, but I will write them a statement.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  What do you think could
be done to broaden the spectrum?

          MS. SILVERFINE:  I'm Deborah Silverfine, I'm
the director of electronic media--

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  I've explained.

          MS. SILVERFINE:  --fine.  We will be
submitting some recommendations.  But if we do find any
partners who can make the plea, really do help us, and
I think the work that American Movie Classics has done
about raising the consciousness of the issues of film
preservation are very helpful for the American public. 
And, they can be doing even more, talking about various
aspects like the role of sound in film, the
documentary, etc.  And I think they might be one of our
partners actually in bringing this consciousness to the
fore about television history.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  Who is they in this case?

          MS. SILVERFINE:  They, meaning the cable
stations that repackage earlier programming.  I agree
with Mrs. Hart that we need to look to our public
television stations and a number of the cable stations,
and I think the networks might be more helpful if
called on the right way.  They will be important
partners in this effort, because that's where people
watch television.

          MR. MURPHY:  Speaking of the networks, we do
have to move on to the next panel.

          MS. SILVERFINE:  They're up next.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  They're up next?  Oh,
good, I'll stay and listen.

          MR. MURPHY:  I want to thank you very  much
for your statement.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  And please do stay and listen.

          MS. CARLISLE HART:  I'm delighted to have had
the chance to meet you all, and my friends again. 
Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Can the Broadcasters Panel A
please take the witness table?

          Good morning to everyone.  We'll start with
Mr. Singer from NBC.  Good morning, Stan.

          MR. SINGER:  Good morning.  I have a brief
statement, just sort of a general overview.  I'll be
happy to answer any questions on what we're doing

          MR. MURPHY:  Could you speak closer to the
microphone please?

          MR. SINGER:  Yes, I will move it closer.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.

          MR. SINGER:  I'm Stan Singer, I'm the manager
of the NBC News Archives.  The NBC News Archives is
responsible for preservation of news film and
videotape, archival databases, film and tape libraries
and warehouses worldwide for NBC News.  NBC News has
relied on its archives as a support mechanism for over
50 years.  What began as a way of keeping a collection
of major news events became a way to present broadcasts
in a cost-efficient manner.  If one show shot an image,
a second show was not required to send a camera crew
out to record it again if the archives could turn a
clean, well-preserved copy quickly.  Needless to say,
our images are used every day, in every news show that
airs on NBC.  We also feel this great responsibility
towards keeping the recorded history of this country
during the second half of the 20th Century.

          Additional attention has been focused on the
collection, heightened by the rise of the number of our
outlets, including the NBC Super Channel in Europe and
the Microsoft joint venture.  Cable and the Internet
are just two growth areas that could produce an
unlimited number of access points for the consumer. 
The problem is there is not an equal amount of
programming to go with it; thus, the archives provides
NBC with enormous flexibility to produce high-quality
programs at a reasonable cost.  But this new world is
also fraught with perils for archives and I'll talk
about that in a second.

          The NBC News Archives is currently involved
in a number of special projects to improve our
collection.  We've spent two years designing a powerful
new database that will allow NBC personnel to perform
sophisticated searches on the editorial content of the
archives via visual write-ups, transcripts, and key
words.  They will be able to view or hear digitized
portions of the collection and place electronic orders
for the original material to our libraries and
warehouses around the globe.  We are designing a new
facility to allow better climate controlled storage for
our film and tape, as well as offering us the ability
to separate duplicate copies of our broadcasts to
prevent catastrophic loss.

          For the past three years we've been
transferring our oldest tape formats.  Our two-inch
tapes will be completely transferred to an analog and
digital copy by the end of the year.  Shortly we will
begin the enormous task of transferring our 3/4-inch
cassettes.  The reason why these are the first on our
list of preservation items are two-fold.  The two-inch
tape, though generally of good quality, will no longer
have the hardware to play back in a very short amount
of time.  While there is an abundance of 3/4-inch
hardware, these tapes have shown the most dramatic
decay of any portion of our collection.  Jimmy Carter
and Ronald Reagan are rapidly fading.  This does not
mean that other tape formats are much better; all
videotape will require transfer in the not-too-distance
future.  This will present, as the previous speaker
mentioned, an enormous crisis for the country and the
world if we broaden the scope to include all consumer
videotape that's in everyone's possession.

          The digital era may help all this and I
certainly will be the first to cheer when we leave the
videotape era.  But there's also this peril.  We are
feeling our way through the new mediums.  In the
process, the focus has been on producing, not
preserving.  What will happen to all those web sites? 
What will be a cost-effective way of archiving cable
channels?  What will be compatible to what?  There are
many ideas as to what is digital and many hope that
computer and television meld together into one great
unified and standardized entity.

          But there is also the chance that the climate
that produced the two-inch and the 3/4-inch videotape
will simply repeat itself.  During that period, the old
medium film was being replaced by the first videotape,
but that two-inch tape was too expensive and most was
recorded over as a cost savings.  This is similar to
what we hear about high quality digital disks.  Then
other formats developed, some better than others, some
that failed rather quickly, just like what's happening
now.  Libraries became splintered as different groups
controlled their own formats.  Much was lost because
production groups did not focus on preservation.  Much
was lost when experimental formats were abandoned. 
Much was lost because hardware evolved.  All the while,
new information came pouring in and new ways with ever
greater volume.

          All these scenarios are occurring today and
it's important that the Library take a leadership role. 
For you to set the standards of how best to preserve
all tape formats and to keep a storehouse of the
hardware, as well as the cassettes.  Beyond this, the
Library must anticipate the results of this next
revolution and try to assist in setting guidelines for
retention of all that is being produced in non-
traditional ways, with multiple digital hardware and
software formats, and to work towards a unified digital
format, and to best determine how to save all the 24-
hour per day streams of information.

          We will face this at NBC and then much more,
and we look forward to working with the Library and
others in the field in sharing our experience.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.  Mr. Lang?

          MR. LANG:  Thank you.   In June of 1993, the
senior corporate management of ABC gave its
enthusiastic support to a project intended to ensure
that the network's vast archive of own video material
would be preserved.  In the over two and a half years--

          MR. MURPHY:  Closer to the microphone please?

          MR. LANG:  In the over two and a half years
since then, representatives from ABC News, Sports,
Entertainment and broadcast operations and engineering,
have worked together to build the foundation of what
eventually will be a unified network film and tape
archive carefully houses, properly maintained, and
consistently indexed.  The magnitude of this task is
daunting.  ABC now holds approximately one million
separate reels and cassettes of network-owned material,
most but not all of it news footage.

          At the time we began contemplating the
creation of a unified archive, these massive holdings
had long been balkanized into different collections,
located in different places, operated by different
divisions or departments, catalogued in different ways
and to different standards, and stored with different
levels of care.  Even worse, we soon realized that some
unknown percentage of this material was in danger of
being lost. 

          For example, during preparation for a
retrospective Barbara Walters special, a number of
field tapes were retrieved from storage for viewing as
possible source material.  Damage caused by adhesives
once used in the assembly of reels was discovered on
one important interview tape; other two-inch and even
newer one-inch reels were found to be dirty, brittle
and flaking; and there was mysterious warping damage
that caused tracking problems on an interview tape that
was only seven years old.  It soon became obvious that
no easy fix for this problem would be forthcoming. 
Even with all our resources, we could find no
technological Heracles capable of quickly cleansing
these, our video Augean stables. 

          Instead, ABC Broadcast Operations and
Engineering, the technical arm of the network,
proceeded to design and construct the ABC Media
Conservation Facility (the MCF) which is exclusively
dedicated to the on-going process of preserving the
network's videotape assets.  Attached to our written
submission is a description of the MCF prepared by
David Chilson, the engineer who designed it.  But I
would like to briefly discuss in general terms both the
facility and the way it works. 

          The physical space, approximately 2,000
square feet, is divided into two basic functional
areas:  one for screening and the other for dubbing. 
The screening area, which is not yet operational, will
be where representatives from ABC News, Sports and
Entertainment preview, when appropriate, endangered
tapes in order to determine whether any of the existing
material need not be dubbed to fresh stock.  For
example, unlike film, videotape cameras are often
rolling several minutes before a newsmaker arrives at
the podium or in the doorway, and sometimes reporters
doing "stand-uppers" don't get it "right" the first
time.  When multiplied by the myriad of news field
cassettes in the ABC inventory, excising repetitive
shots of unoccupied podia or pre-occupied reporters may
in the end save thousands of hours of dubbing time,
which translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars
in materials and labor costs.  The costs of raw stock
alone is almost $100 an hour: $75 for D-2 and $25 for
beta oxide one hour cassettes.  

          In the dubbing area of the MCF, in order to
satisfy operating requirements as well as meet our
obligation to insure the long-term preservation of
valuable material, two copies of each endangered tape
are being made:  an analog beta copy and a digital D-2
copy.  Each fresh beta copy is returned to the shelves
of the working library from which it was plucked, and
the D-2 copy, the long-term archival storage copy, will
be placed in an appropriate facility either on or off
the company's premises, where it can quietly reside
until another working copy is required.

          During our initial planning process, all
parties had agreed that the deteriorating copy, once it
had been dubbed afresh, could be discarded.  Even a
mildly skeptical observer, however, might easily
conclude that only the intense pressure of overflowing
shelves will force this cleansing the deaccession to

          Although D-2 is our initial choice of format
for long-term archival storage, it almost certainly
won't be our last.  For the moment, at least,
considering the massive quantity of material with which
we have to deal, it meets our most pressing criteria;
it's digital, it's reliable, and it isn't ridiculously
expensive.  As other options become viable, disk-based
media for example, we may move away from D-2.  Indeed,
when disks become economically competitive with tape,
the random access capability of the disk format, plus
the likelihood of a very extended shelf life, would
certainly make it an attractive successor format. 

          Unfortunately, with a perpetual archiving
process that will involve changes in the selected
storage medium, one of our most troublesome concerns is
how to ensure that we continue to possess and maintain
the technical equipment required to permit the playback
of electronically stored images.  Unlike printed paper
which presents itself directly to the human eye, analog
and digital signals are incomprehensible until played
back through an electronic mediating device that
converts them into recognizable pictures and sound.  As
formats evolve, the greater risk lies not in the
eventual deterioration of properly stored archival
media, but in the probable unavailability of the
equipment, including spare parts, needed to play the
stuff back.

          Like Proteus, formats and media will continue
to change.  But great caution should be exercised
before scrapping one established archival storage
medium and substituting another.  Considering the
volume of material with which we must deal, the
possibility of reconverting all previously archived
material to each successor medium to maintain some neat
consistency and eliminate the need for more than one
sort of playback device, would be both impractical and

          For entities like ABC, with several hundred
thousand hours of material on hand, the desire to
achieve preservation at a reasonable cost is obvious. 
We must, therefore, seriously consider the possible use
of compression.  Compression technology would permit a
radical reduction in the amount of both the storage
medium required and the space in which to house it. 
The issue of whether it is archivally responsible to
compress video material is, we understand, a highly
charged one.  Some opponents of compression pronounce
it anathema, maintaining that to use it is to
needlessly throw away a percentage of the material
which we are committed to save.

          But what is the material to be preserved?  Is
it the analog magnetic signal, or in the case of
digital formats all those ones and zeros resting on the
tape?  Or is it instead the pictures and sound which
are created when these invisible elements are processed
by an electronic mediating device?  If what we mean to
save are the images and sounds, and if they can be
created, using less electronic information, to a degree
virtually undetectable by any human being, then we have
preserved everything of value.          

          It is even possible to compress to a higher
standard than that of human comprehension.  Using so-
called "lossless" compression, which is probably
slightly under two to one, image creation can occur to
a degree that preserves levels of sharpness and color
well beyond the capability of the human eye to discern. 
And the difference between an uncompressed image and
one created at this low level of compression would be
virtually undetectable even to an electronic monitoring
device.  In either case, the pictures and the sounds
will have been saved--at a significant savings. 
Obviously, for material which may be used for
production purposes involving much editing or other
electronic manipulation, the less compression the
better.  But for material which most likely will not be
subjected to intensive processing, the notion of a
compressed archival format should not be ruled out.

          It would surely benefit ABC and the many
other public and private organizations who have decided
to preserve their respective videotape holdings, if
these and similar issues could be discussed on some
continuing basis.  A forum is called for in which ideas
and information pertaining to the preservation of
videotape records can be shared.  We certainly hope
that one outcome of these hearings will be periodic
gatherings at which the archival problems, both
technical and conceptual, which we encounter
individually, can be discussed and perhaps even solved
together.  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Michael Lang.  Joel

          MR. KANOFF:  ABC News is a for-profit
commercial network news organization providing news and
public affairs programming.  Although not widely seen
at that time, the television network offered its first
newscast in 1948.  This was followed in 1952 by a
weekly program called All Star News, and in the fall of
1953, eight months after ABC's merger with Paramount
Theaters by Leonard Goldenson, ABC started a regular
Monday through Friday news program anchored by veteran
newsman John Daly.  

          ABC broke new ground in the fall of 1958 with
the introduction of early and late evening news
programming, and in the late '60s, ABC joined the other
networks and increased its evening news program to 30
minutes.  Barbara Walters became the first anchorwoman
of a network evening news broadcast in 1976.  Under
Rune Arlege's leadership, innovative programs were
introduced, such as World News Tonight, 20-20, Prime
Time Live, This Week with David Brinkley, and
Nightline, the first regularly scheduled late-night
newscast of its kind to use satellite technology to
bring together leaders and experts for in-depth
discussions on the top stories of the day.

          Over the years, ABC News has built a unique
and far-reaching news gathering organization
domestically and throughout the world.  Currently among
other capitals there are bureaus in Beijing, London,
Moscow, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo.

          As you may well imagine, preservation of
footage from past events and programming is of great
importance in a television network news universe. 
While the majority of footage used is certainly newly
shot, each show contains archival footage.  In a
typical World News Tonight edition, almost every spot
contains older footage used to put a fine point on a
subject, supply background, develop its history, or
just remind us of the continuity of our way of
government or of life itself.

          ABC News will continue to collect the wide
variety of materials that reflect U.S. and
international news events, history and cultural trends,
religion, science and technology, environment and
wildlife.  Our preservations efforts extend to footage
of events of every day society and every level of
magnitude.  Footage of people from the most famous to
the obscure, the entire range of human social
activities, flora and fauna from everywhere, landscapes
and even still lifes of objects.  That is to say
besides news, the collection includes a great deal of
generic footage, children in schools, people working in
factories, ships and airplanes, beauty shots, aerials,
all of which can be reused in a wide variety of

          Our core collection consists of approximately
850,000 units of film and tape dating to 1960.  Another
60,000 tapes and kinescopes are off-air records of
programs, current programs, as well as all but
forgotten programs such as Scope, Directions, ABC
Reports, The Reasoner Report, and Now.  The core
collection is film-based through 1975, mostly 16mm
color reversal.  Mixed film and eumatic through the
late '70s, eumatic until 1986, and beta cam to the
present.  Roughly 12 per cent of the core collection is
film; about 47 per cent of the collection is beta cam;
the rest 3/4-inch.  That is the core news collection
used by all programs for production.  We also have many
millions of feet of film and many thousands of video
cassettes in storage.  These are trends and production
elements for documentaries and magazine segments.  The
further use of these production elements is more
restricted, so they do not circulate freely.

          Roughly speaking, we save over 4,000 tapes a
month, about 5,000 in a political year such as this
one.  No, we don't save everything, there just isn't
space.  We immediately recycle a roll with a
correspondent's stand-ups, since we don't feel it's
important to save rehearsals for the final take, which
is of course preserved on the air history anyway.  We
recycle graphic builds and multiple camera set-ups of
minor importance to the event recorded.  But, with
regard to subject matter, because we try no to prejudge
and therefore not to dictate what will be important to
producers in the future, we tend to err on the side of

          By necessity, however, we do have to make
some difficult choices.  Moreover, one shot may serve
for dozens of diverse future production requirements,
provided that the computerized description is
sufficient for it to be located objectively.  Keeping
these issues in mind, library staff carefully evaluate
materials turned in by producers and camera crews at
all our bureaus and decide what materials to
permanently archive or to recycle.

          News production demands swift, accurate
access of archive materials.  However, the richness of
the videotape recording greatly reduces the
effectiveness of standard archival cataloguing methods. 
Key words and brief subject classifications at best do
not do justice to, and at worst misstate and distort
the moving image.  For that reason, an extensive
account of the visual an auditory contents of the
recording is necessary.  Producers, researchers and
writers at ABC News rely on their ability to quickly
get a functional, verbal likeness of the recorded image
from our computer system.  In proposing retrieval
requests to the system, these users may cast their net
as narrowly or as broadly as they like.  They may call
up specific documents or thousands of documents,
although they may not request thousands of tapes.

          Unlike the comparatively more relaxed
research done by documentary filmmakers, the television
news producer is forever working against the tightest
of deadlines to get the footage cut into that evening's
broadcast.  Full text retrieval is practically
worthless without the hand of the diligent cataloguer. 
In the ABC News idiom, cataloging refers to the
descriptive shot listing of the footage.  The content
field of a typical 20-minute field recording can go on
for pages, depending on the substantive density of the
footage.  In this scenario, catalogers must ask
themselves among the many things I see and hear, what
is important to describe here?  Also, how might this
material be utilized again and within the guidelines of
the classification method, the style sheet and the
established lexical thesaurus, how will an army of
different producers seek to access it?   That is, what
descriptive language will they use?

          Cataloguing is a lengthy and continuing
process an the focus and dedication required enjoins us
from being as comprehensive as we would like.  At
present we are able to fully shotlist on a percentage
of the new footage we acquire.  Decisions must be made
as the potential usefulness of the work and ultimately
the significance of the story.  Remember, everything
does get a record in the computer, but only the top
stories are catalogued.  Nevertheless, cataloguing
brings in the clients.  In the news film tape world,
the operative variant on "build it and they will come"
is "describe it and they will use it."  It is axiomatic
that there is a direct proportional relationship
between the quantity and quality of catalogue detail
and the use of particular tapes and film.

          We have traditionally provided and continue
to provide access to outside producers for the purpose
of stock footage sales and research.  In 1989, it
occurred to us that what was lacking was a portable
index to our holdings.  This was in the dawn of CD Rom
technology and in that format we were able to provide
an excellent word-searchable index to our footage with
retrieval software every bit as powerful as the Stairs
application that runs on our mainframe.  We distributed
this to the outside source and sent many without cost
to libraries and information resources throughout the
world.  Still, CD Rom disks are out of date from the
moment they are cut and we look to the Internet and
Worldwide Web to provide the means to distribute
information about our collection to outside stock
footage customers and to researchers in general.

          Right now the entire CD Rom catalogue of news
footage, available for licensing from ABC News Video
Source is available on FootageNet on the Web.  We have
great hopes for the future of electronic data, and in
coming years even retrieval of footage itself on the
Desktop.  Unquestionably, the greatest benefit there
will be the provision of low-cost footage access to
educators at schools, universities, and non-profit
organizations throughout the country.

          As I have said, the archive is a very
meaningful part of the production fabric.  In fact, the
television news moving image collection has matured
into occupying a rather enviable status.  It is not by
chance that now at the end of this century of the
moving image and electronic communication, that the
television library has found new friends and loyal
partisans.  Having earlier learned the painful lesson
that you can't go out and reshoot history, the networks
are now more respectful of these valuable corporate
assets and resolute that they endure.

          Besides the historical significance of this
footage, there is an economic consequence.  While the
use of library holdings has enabled shows to keep costs
down, entire program concepts like the 20th Century
project at ABC and documentaries that we produce for
cable, have been developed around pre-existing footage. 
Cost center libraries have become profit center

          Michael Lang has explained the MCF in detail,
so I won't go into that, except to say that the news
division in general and the news film library in
particular, having a big stake in the success of the
Media Conservation Facility, participated in the
planning of the facility from the earliest stages and
we are confident that appropriate, careful procedures
are in place for the preservation in logical stages of
the footage in our charge.

          However, I should like to call your attention
to the fact that the preservation of footage in active
TV news archives commences well before the preservation
dubbing takes place.  The term archive here tells only
half the story.  The other half is best characterized
by the words circulating collection.  In this respect,
we are also quite distinct from other types of
circulating TV collections like entertainment
collections because of the volume of circulation and
the extent of reuse.  At any one time, we have an
average of close to 90,000 pieces in circulation, and
much like a public library, when original materials
circulate off the library premises, they are at risk
and we have to be concerned.  Circulating tapes means
tapes getting worn, damaged, or worst, lost.  Each run
across a recording head shave some of the magnetic
stratum off a tape.  Unlike published materials, much
of the footage we collect is irreplaceable.  It is true
that we are at the outset of technological changes
which will obviate the term wear and tear; that is, the
optical disk for storage of master materials, as well
as the concept of actual physical circulation.   That
is, images will be distributed electronically and
digitally.  Yet, for many years to come, we will be
circulating our tape, there's so much of it.

          So the point here is that we often can't wait
for the scheduled preservation project to complete its
good work, for we will always be beleaguered by physics
as well as by the user who critically suffers amnesia
when it comes time to remembering what he or she did
with a cassette.

          MR. MURPHY:  Can you bring your statement to
a conclusion?

          MR. KANOFF:  Sure.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.

          MR. KANOFF:  With the advent of the ABC News
24-hour channel, the library is again taking a vanguard
role in expanding its operations and facilitating the
use of the footage it maintains in ever more
challenging ways.  A nexus of technological, cultural
and business advantages now in evidence, including the
Internet, HDTV, Interactivity, new digital video
formats, recent mergers, and an end of millennium
public that gives news a privileged place in every day
living, makes this a time of extraordinary opportunity
for the television news collection.  

          At this juncture it is especially important
for the Library of Congress, the National Archives and
other government institutions to work more closely with
the network archives to sponsor specialized discussions
or conferences devoted to the problems of the TV news
collection in particular and to cooperatively establish
criteria for the on-going deposit of network news

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Joel.  Doug McKinney? 
I'm sorry, Donald DeCesare will go first?

          MR. DE CESARE:  Thank you very much.  We say
DeCesare, by the way, although it defies linguistic

          Good morning, and thank you for allowing me
and my colleague from the CBS News Archives to
participate in this important hearing.  

          First I ought to give you a little background
on myself.  I've just completed six years as the
executive in charge of the archives; if not the
biggest, certainly one of the most respected
collections of broadcast material in the world.  While
not a professional archivist myself, I've had to face
many of the same challenges that the professionals in
our organization and these organizations represented
here have faced.  Beyond those, I had to plan the
budgets, get them approved, and spend the resulting
funds in accordance with sound business practices, as
well as sound preservation practices.  

          I've been a journalist for more than a
quarter century now and it's been my great privilege to
cover all the kinds of news stories that this world has
to offer, from sewer commission hearings, which is how
I started, to wars, revolutions, political, cultural,
social changes of all times.  And I've continued to
work actively as a journalist even after I've entered
the management ranks.  So, with that background, in
1990 I was asked to take charge of the archives, for
fine as they are, worthy as they are, vital I would say
to our work as they are, they had come under internal
criticism at the end of the last decade.  There were
those within the parent company at that time who were
giving some consideration, believe it or not, to
disposing of the collection, both to the idea of
selling it off and also to the idea of having it
managed by  outsiders on a royalty and fee basis.  So
we faced then the most basic of all questions, I
suppose the one which brings us here today, why have a
collection at all?

          After some study and introspection we
answered that.  The archives are us.  Everything we do
as a news organization, every event we cover, every
picture we take, every story we produce, every
broadcast we air, all are the bits in an ever-expanding
mosaic of human design.  We are both the artisans and
the historians.  To do our work, we must turn in full
circles over and over again, seeing where we were to
see where we are.

          Once you recognize that news archives contain
everything that happened before today, and tomorrow
they will contain today, you understand that the
material there is uncontainably indispensable to your
daily work.  Should you be without it, you would,
literally, have no reference points.

          While studying the archives, we learned
something else, something practical which helped us
persuade our company to keep the collection and to
invest in it.  We learned that nearly everything we
broadcast includes archival material.  Were there to be
no CBS News Archives, there could be no CBS News.  Even
our own company had begun to take for granted the
millions and millions of images and sounds we were
preserving.  We had to say these are not artifacts,
they are in constant use.

          Our collection with very few exceptions holds
everything that CBS News has ever done; that which
we've aired and that which we haven't, in every medium,
in audio, film, tape, stills, scripts, transcripts,
music, books, CD Roms, data cartridges, all of it.  We
collect it, we index it, we store it, and we retrieve
it.  It's a complicated and expensive enterprise, and
that's why people were very concerned about it back at
the end of the '80s.  As I said, we learned it's
essential, and that our company now fervently believes. 
And in so believing, the enterprise called the archives

          Well, we are, as you can guess from my
remarks, our own biggest customers, using our material
over and over in more and more ways.  We program our
own network and now we help program others.  We license
material to the best-known documentarians like NET and
the BBC, and we license to independent documentarians
as well.  We've expanded our business relationships to
include feature film producers, corporate producers,
educational producers, even the general public.  We're
so busy in fact and so much in need of ready access to
the material, that we are bringing it all back to New
York.  All of our material, once scattered about
various warehouses in this state and others, will once
again be housed with us within the complex that we call
the CBS Broadcast Center.  Where a few years ago we
considered selling the archives, now, selectively, we
are buying others, so as to assist in the preservation
of the irreplaceable images and sounds of our age.

          So, are our problems behind us?  Well, many
thankfully are, solved internally by the professionals
that you see represented here, who are passionate about
those obligations.  But some new problems are emerging,
ones which may well require a broader perspective than
found within our own company.  Because our material is
such a treasury, it's very important that at least one
other repository, the National Archives, have a
secondary collection of these jewels, as insurance
against some unthinkable catastrophe among us and as a
service to scholars and historians who cannot be well-
served by us.  But should that be the only additional
collection?  What if any obligation do we have to
support collections elsewhere, such as in universities,
presidential libraries, museums?  There are those, some
in Congress I understand, who think that unauthorized
duplication and distribution of our material through
so-called clipping services should be considered fair
use.  There are those who think that such use is
anything but fair, who think such services undermine
the editorial integrity of the product, while at the
same time siphoning revenue which could help pay the
high cost of building and maintaining the archives.

          While we believe that all the rights to our
material rest with us and always will, we are fully
aware that digitization will bring even more
duplication, making possible even more possession and
distribution outside the ordinary authorized channels. 
Inexorably, new ideas of ownership and new issues of
rights are evolving.  We want to help others understand
these, and in turn, we ourselves need help in

          We can use public discussion of all of this,
and so we are particularly grateful for the opportunity
offered by these hearings, and I can assure you that we
are ready to do our part.  Thank you for the time and
consideration.  Let me ask Doug McKinney here, the
director of the CBS News Archives, to provide some, as
we call it around CBS News, context and perspective, to
these remarks.

          MR. McKINNEY:  It is with a combination of
some relief and awe that we come before this panel, the
nature of which has been imagined as a hope for
eventuality now gladly arrived.  While many eloquent
voices are here to cry, we no longer face such a wilderness.

          The preservation of entertainment programming
as it applies to CBS has been addressed by our other
counterparts at the Los Angeles hearing.  Here in
tandem with Mr. DeCesare I'll focus my remarks on the
nature of the CBS News Archives, our efforts in
preservation, and end with a few suggestions addressing
the mission of this panel.

          CBS has the largest collection of its kind
among the major networks, having kept and maintained
more material generally in addition to having started
earlier. Dating principally from 1950 to the present,
CBS News has well over one million video tapes,
including original field cassettes as well as program
broadcasts, and several million feet of hard news film
as well as another 80,000 containers of film and tape
masters, prints, program negatives, and out-take
material from long form documentaries and news magazine
programs.  All materials are now stored in Manhattan on
approximately 60,000 square feet of climate controlled
space and all nitrate film was transferred to safety
stock some years ago, fortunately.

          In addition, copies of the CBS Evening News
from the mid-'70s to the present and of many other CBS
News broadcasts, including special and documentary
programs, are on deposit at the National Archives, via
Library of Congress copyright registration. 
Significant donated collections of CBS News material
for scholarly research and museum display are also part
of the holdings of the Museum of Television and Radio
and continually added to, and of the JFK and LBJ
Presidential Libraries, in particular.

          We work with historians and researchers
wherever feasible and license news material for use in
as wide a variety of circumstances as there are uses of
reality based pictures and sounds.  For motion pictures
such as Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 to children's school
reports.  In addition to the CBS Network and CBS News,
archival programming can be seen regularly on seven
non-CBS cable networks.  And in addition to the
preservation of network produced material, we have also
been involved in the preservation of material produced
by networked owned and operated stations, and to a
lesser degree other affiliates.

          Our preservation priorities are in two
principal areas currently.  Two-inch videotape, of
approximately 20,000 such tapes we have roughly 10,000
left to re-master, currently to D-2 and beta SP;
ironically the tapes themselves are in better condition
than anyone might have predicted.  The urgency here is
stated in the limited number of machines left to play
them on, but the equally dwindling number of
experienced technicians who can operate the equipment. 
The idiosyncratic variables involved in successful
archival two-inch playback, and Jim will appreciate
this, include archaic skills such as knowing when,
where and how to apply one's thumb to the tape path.

          The other area of immediate technical concern
is more straightforward but of equal necessity.  Three-
quarter-inch eumatic cassettes from that format's
introduction in the mid-'70s are reading the end of
their lifespan now.  This is not particularly a problem
of equipment or personnel, as the format is still used
widely, but is an even greater problem due to volume. 
The good news, which I know can be and has been echoed
by our colleagues at NBC and ABC is that a substitute,
fully representative amount of national network
television news has been preserved to date.  The bad
news is that a great deal yet needs to be done,
particularly at the local level, if we are to avoid
losing a significant portion of the means of
understanding our social, political and cultural
identity, which is what television news represents.

          Some recommendations.  While the national
network's efforts are critical to our concerns here,
more help an coordination of assistance is needed at
the local and regional levels.  Indeed the
recommendations to follow might also apply to network
television preservation, but resources are
understandably more limited at the local and regional
levels.  If the national news presents daily swatches
of the fabric of our lives, it is local news and all
its particulars that often reveals the threads of that
fabric; and if the national news can appear as a crazy
quilt in time, so too does local coverage provide the
warp and wolf, often literally as well as figuratively. 
But for the same reasons, a recording of the
President's press conference may be only as significant
as a tape of what Main Street in Memphis in March '96
looked like, let alone of Oklahoma City in March of

          As it is a given that not even everything
worth savings will be preserved and the resources are
finite, criteria for preservation at any level are
necessary.  But in addition to standard considerations
such as uniqueness and content significance, at least
one other condition should apply to local news material
invoking some test of content variety.  This would
serve to include what by nature would necessarily
appear mundane now, but whose representational value
would increase with time.  In that sense, we have
occasionally wished we had more of the background
material of the past which was discarded for having no
anticipated news value then, but which would have
uniquely representational value today.

          It appears obvious that even a limited
nationwide program would necessarily require a
coordinating function.  To that end, we suggest the
foundation of a nationally directed office for
television and video preservation coordination. 
Adapting some of the mechanisms established for motion
picture preservation, such an office would (A) act as a
clearing house for the identification of materials in
need of preservation, to avoid unnecessary duplication
of effort, to direct those with material to those who
could provide needed transfer services, or to
coordinate the combination of small amounts of material
matched to facilities of great capacity.  Not everyone
can afford to build facilities for long-term storage
nor do they need to.  (B), assist in the formation of
relationships linking local independent stations or
video producers with appropriate local or regional
institutions, successful programs exist as models. 
(C), administer and award preservation grants and/or
assist in coordinating the activities of preservation
funding sources, as well as preservation loans, to be
repaid from proceeds of subsequent exploitation by
rights holders.  (D), help find homes for found,
donated or other such materials.  This could include
linking rights-holders with found materials or enabling
the preservation of materials in private hands without
compromising the ownership or the permitted or
otherwise legitimate use of such materials, for
instance, home movies as well as quote unquote lost
television shows.  (E), publish and/or otherwise
publicize a humanly comprehensive explanation of
copyright rules and guidelines for appropriate behavior
with respect to such rules.  Realizing that this in
itself could take years or prove impossible given
expected changes in adaptations in light of developing
digital applications, it is not, however, facetious,
for it does need to be more widely recognized that were
it not for copyright protection, little of what we're
concerned with preserving would exist now.  Finally,
establish a web site for information exchange.  And
having scratched that surface, the issues of access
will require similar means of address and cooperative
coordination, but accessibility will improve in tandem
with preservation an will indeed foster further

          But for the moment, preservation must precede
access, and although this is a television hearing, we
don't have television facilities; Bill, I did bring a
clip, but overall the idea is to enable future
generations to see this, a clip of last night's evening
news, just as we are now able to see this, a clip of
the evening news from 1949.  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Doug.  

          MR. FRANCIS:  This is maybe a rather rambling
question, but it's trying to summarize what we've heard
this morning.  It seems to me that as far as national
news is concerned, both transmitted stories and
material which is not transmitted, there is a
commitment from all of you to preserve it for the
          I also heard one of you say that you felt it
was also important to have another copy of all
preserved material available in a national institution. 
I believe that is an important point, and I hope there
will be some way, now that there are so many new
methods of dissemination (Internet, cable, etc.) that
all of you might feel this was a useful backup
considering all the money that you've put into
preservation.  I was very pleased to hear that

          But the one problem that's left is not a
preservation problem, but an access problem.  I would
expect that you would all find it impossible to provide
individual access for scholarly purposes to the
materials that you hold.  I'm really trying to think of
a way around this and one possible route (because I
understand that it's absolutely essential that you
control the material) would be to make a copy off-air
with time code invision.  This could be done by an
organization like the Library of Congress, which could
become an access center for scholarly research.   The
material would be secure, because it is a spoiled copy.

          I don't know whether this is something you're
prepared to talk about or consider, but it seems that
from our perspective we have to find some way of making
available this sort of material for scholarly use
without putting that burden on you.  And I don't know
whether anyone has a comment about that.

          MR. DE CESARE:  May I give it a try, sir?

          MR. FRANCIS:  Yes.

          MR. DE CESARE:  I'm the fellow who mentioned
the National Archives, so I'll give it a start.  And
that's something we're very much committed to, we think
it's very important, it's a part of our responsibility
to the general public in what we have produced.

          There's also a practical consideration in all
candor, and that is the scholars that you mention.  We
do not have the facilities nor do we anticipate having
the facilities for daily scholarship kinds of work.  We
have often been asked to provide this kind of facility,
but it's a very expensive undertaking.  I don't suppose
I have to tell you that scholars are not in a position
to pay the kinds of commercial rates that commercial
producers pay and it presents a very big problem for

          What we have tried to do and what we're
wrestling with, and why I particularly mention the
copyright and rights issues, is by allowing the
material to go beyond ourselves and beyond the National
Archives, for example, to the various museums that we
lend material to or even give copies to, starts a chain
of events that as they then looking for sources of
funding seek to lend it themselves.  And this is a big
problem that we're having right now with a particular
archive, a very respected institution, but one which
seeking funds for its own preservation purposes is now
commercially lending our own material.  That is
something that we have to wrestle with.  Where do we
stop the sense of responsibility to the nation and
where do we start some irresponsibility to ourselves? 
Unfortunately I don't have the answer to that, but it's
one which we are wrestling with.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  Well, let me pursue that a
little, because it seems to me that's a very crucial
question.  It seems to me that this is a very perilous
situation we're hearing described, because for
perfectly understandable and sensible commercial and
production reasons, you're all preserving much more
than you used to and you're much more conscious of it.

          However, your concerns are necessarily and
properly essentially commercial and survival, you're
all competing against each other and against other
people.  So you've got very important assets which you
sensibly are trying to recycle and use.  

          There is a very distinct public interest in
all of this which you all also recognize and it floats
in and out of your presentations.  But it's not clearly
focused and it isn't clearly focused as they say in the
public sector either, so it's very confusing.  I mean
each one of you have your archives basically in a
different institution for instance, just for starters. 
All of those institutions are under financial pressures
also.  So the kind of situation you're mentioning is
something that's going to increase.  You're under
financial pressures, the public institutions are under
financial pressures, and I see an enormous mess
emerging with a great deal of institutional confusion
on all sides, unless something is done to clearly
establish and clearly fund the public interest part of
this, so that the fire wall is built up and it's kept
distinct and people are able to think seriously and
clearly instead of a muddle-headed way, where half of
the consideration is their own financial concerns,
which we all have, and half of it is very genuine,
public concern, which we all also feel.  We're all
patriotic Americans and we all are concerned that our
children be able to figure out all the confusions we've
gone through in the second half of the 20th Century,
most of which involves television, as well as the
creativity and the successes, so forth.  But that has
to be done.

          Now what I'm suggesting is should there be
some distinct national institution, maybe apart from
the Library of Congress, apart from the Archives,
something set up specially, totally funded by the
television industry, but totally devoted to the public
part of this and established with a fire wall so that
it doesn't get mixed up in the promotion of television,
but is solely devoted to the preservation of it as a
public records for the United States, and maybe that
should be all-together different, maybe it should be
part of an existing institution.  But it's sufficiently
important, and I don't hear out of this discussion how
it's going to emerge, and plotting the dotted lines,
everybody's under financial pressure, and we're going
to end up in a situation where the public part of this
is done in a highly uneconomical way, with half a dozen
institutions all struggling to do bits and pieces of
it, duplicating each other in an inefficient way.

          Should there be some new institution--I
didn't come with this prepared speech in mind, but it's
prompted by the sincerity and the hopeful side of what
you're saying, that on the commercial side there is
considerable progress.  Can we build on that and get
the commercial people to get together and basically
fund a central, national preservation facility and
institution?  Is that a practical idea or is that
something you would never agree on?

          MR. McKINNEY:  If I may?  There's a nay-sense
aspect or a foundational aspect even in the television
industry with the Museum of Television and Radio to
some extent as a means, because I think there were two
issues involved in what you were saying, one of access
and one of public custodianship if you will, as
distinct from network custodianship or rights-holders
ownership of its own material.

          The Museum itself was founded by network
people, William Paley and the other networks--

          DR. BILLINGTON:  It doesn't really do any
serious preservation, does it?  Well, boutique
preservation.  It's not the same thing as serious

          MR. McKINNEY:  No, it doesn't.  But rather
than duplicate the efforts, if the networks are going
to make the effort to preserve the materials initially
on their own, then supplying the Museum with a means of
access as a study center, and one of the problems is
the scholarly aspect of research for it, although we
can easily now imagine a future not too far down the
road where you can put things on the phone lines if you
want access to see it, I mean that's quite a ways down
the road still in terms of a practical aspect.  Right
now if you want to research television you have to
physically travel to two or three places.  That,
however, is more than you used to be able to, now that
the Museum has opened a branch in Los Angeles.  You can
spend a couple of hours at the Museum in particular and
watch news or entertainment programming.

          One of the beauties of it is that it is easy
to copy on material these days and the means of access
physically is much easier that it once was.  You don't
need a projection room necessarily.  Those things are
going to adapt.  But on the national side, if material
is already stored as a safety measure in the national
archives, then you don't necessarily have to duplicate
everything everywhere, nor do you have to make it
necessarily all the aspects of the collection in one
central location.  But the Museum itself is all ready
to some degree, to a large degree funded by the
industry as a--

          DR. BILLINGTON:  But it isn't doing film
preservation, that's my point--is it?  With all due
respect, I'm not saying what they're doing isn't

          MR. FRANCIS:  The Museum of Film and
Television is basically selecting programs that it
feels the public would like to have access to.  I think
that we're talking about something different.  We don't
know what the scholar wants to see in advance, so we
need to keep a broader range of program materials.

          I think there is an important role for the
Museum because it is taking what are acknowledged to be
important programs and giving the public a chance to
see them.  However, I think that's a totally different
sort of operation than the Library of Congress is
undertaking.  We are trying to make available as broad
a spectrum of material as possible not knowing what
people want to see and without making pre-judgments
about that material.  We get confused between these two
separate roles.  The Museum satisfies one very well
indeed; but the other one, which is one that I think
the Library, the National Archives and other archives
are concerned about is not being satisfied.  I think
this is what Dr. Billington is addressing, this second

          MR. McKINNEY:  A place to go and sit down and
study television.

          MR. FRANCIS:  You don't know what people are
going to ask for until they come and ask for it, so
you've got to keep a broad range of things that are
acknowledged to be important and things which could not
be defined in advance as being important enough to put
in the Museum of Film and Television.

          MR. MURPHY:  Joel?

          MR. KANOFF:  Yes, without going into
different strata of interests in society for television
programming, there is a difference between the public,
I think as David is trying to say, and the scholar, the
scholarly need for access.  And sometimes those things
overlap.  But I think if you go into the Museum of
Television and Radio, which is an excellent
institution, on any particular day, especially on a
weekend day, you will see a lot of the public who are
really just there to see old programs, sometimes in a
nostalgic way, but perhaps not in a scholarly way, and
that's what we're interested in. 

          I think the National Archives and the Library
of Congress are really best suited to command and take
responsibility for this type of operation, which would
intend to give access to scholars and researchers who
have a real need to look back at news and other types
of programming.

          DR. BILLINGTON:  Well, it's not only
scholars, it's the record of America.  America is a
throw-away society.  We have a responsibility to
preserve these things.  The most important
breakthrough, one of the most important breakthroughs
in cancer research occurred recently--it's a very
interesting story--because the Library of Congress
preserved the book that everybody else threw away
because they thought the guy was a quack when he wrote
the book.  Yes, today's quack, today's idiosyncratic
producer is tomorrow's genius.

          Public institutions have an obligation to
preserve--this is an enormously creative country and as
the holders of the copyright deposit of the United
States, we're particularly conscious of that.  People,
it's a very creative society, but everything is created
on perishable materials.  And to preserve the range and
to preserve the kind of possible hunches of something
that may prove to be far more important in the 21st
Century than we can imagine now, that's our
responsibility.  And the simple fact is there are not
going to be the means to do it unless the commercially
successful part of the industry supports the public

          It's not just for scholars.  It's for our
children and our children's children.  But the tendency
tends to be to make archives, museums and institutions
kind of shrines of contemporary taste rather than
preservation of what tomorrow's needs might be. 
You've all given eloquent testimony to the extent to
which you yourselves are discovering how important your
historical legacy is.  I'm just trying to push it a
step further and see if we can't get--and I'd like to
just throw it back if we have time for one more
question, you said we ought to work together in the
future.  I think there was a recognition of that very
thing in your own testimony.  Do you have any ideas? 
We had some good suggestions over here and at the
beginning of it, I wondered if you had any particular
suggestions as to how that might be possible?

          MR. KANOFF:  Well first, I think to have
conferences among a group of limited participants,
among the major networks and government institutions,
to work out a project for the future which would
involve providing for the preservation of the materials
probably at government institutions, and for access to
those materials, I think that the networks have shown
many times in the past that they can work together for
both their own operational interests as well as for the
public good.  And we tend to be in agreement when it
comes to the need for people to see what we've done in
the past.  We feel that our work over the past 30, 40
years has been tremendously important and we realize
the need for others to make use of that material
intellectually.  We need to agree amongst ourselves and
with a large economically viable and stable institution
about how that will happen.  

          So I think the first thing would be for us to
get together in semi-formal meetings to do that.

          MR. MURPHY:  Stan?

          MR. SINGER:  I think we also have to think in
non-traditional terms.  You're not going to get all
800,000 copies of our cassettes.  It's just not going
to happen.  It's field material, it's material that
we're just not going to be sending some place else.

          But I think we need to think in terms of
well, tonight's broadcast, should it not be grabbed in
some automatic way of grabbing an HTML page, that grabs
frames, that grabs closed-captioning and perhaps audio,
that then can be distributed in a way that it's not
traditionally physical.  There is a cassette at your
doorstep, that there is some national way of repository
of this on-line data.  I think we have to--we're not
going to go the path of cassette or film or that sort
of thing.  It's just not--I don't think it's feasible. 
We're making every plan to preserve it, but to then say
let's build another 10 million cassette facility, it
seems extraordinary I think.  But there is great
potential and maybe we're not quite there, but
certainly the technology is there to say I can
instantly grab tonight's nightly news and give you 250
still representations plus the closed-captioning
wrapped around it within an audio viewer today.  And
this could happen with all the networks, and I think we
have to look towards that road and come up with some
way that that works.  That really is just a black box
at the end of the production schedule.

          MR. MURPHY:  I'm afraid we've fallen behind
schedule.  I'd like to thank this panel and ask that we
take a break for ten minutes.  Please be back promptly
in ten minutes.  Thank you, panel.


          MR. MURPHY:  Welcome again.  We'd  like to
get started with the rest of the proceeding and we're
going to hear from our next witness, Mr. Jac Venza, who
is the director of Cultural and Arts Programs for WNET
here in New York.  Mr. Venza?

          MR. VENZA:  Is the audio all right?  Can one
          I'm going to be speaking primarily to the
nature of what our company does and what we've created,
since there's been so much time given to technology by
people who know more about it than I do, and archivists
who do.

          Public television is such a strange system in
itself that I think it might be useful for the record
to have some of the background how we work so you would
know where to find what.  Particularly since WNET, the
company that I'm involved with and represent here
today, is one with GBH in Boston, who you will be
hearing from shortly, who probably produce and provide
about 80 per cent of the programming to the national
service, to more than 250 stations around the country. 
They have access to the tapes when they're fed from
Washington and in many cases the rights extend for over
three years.  That's been the traditional until now. 
That means that copies for the reuse very often rest
with the stations.  That means there are as many as
several hundred copies of things in some random state,
depending on the ability, the financial ability to tape
and to store things.

          Our company, WNET, is licensed in New Jersey
and it serves the tristate area of New York and New
Jersey, and it's probably the largest by audience size
of all the public television stations.  It began
programming in 1962 as WNDT and it was dedicated to
programming alternate kinds of materials that were not
covered by networking.  The subjects deal in the arts,
history, nature, science, and public affairs.  But many
of these programs are co-productions with American,
independent, and foreign broadcasters.  In some cases,
WNET is the presenting station in America, licensing a
program for a limited PBS distribution period, and that
means the use and the archival support of those
programs tends to be less than any others.

          In 1969, the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting and PBS were formed, and in 1970, the 20-
year-old pioneer National Educational Television, NET,
was merged with New York's younger station, WNDT, and
the call letters changed to WNET.  So the ownership of
20-years of Ford Foundation sponsored NET programs went
to WNET.  However, the NET archive of the earliest
programs went from their Ann Arbor storage and
distribution facilities to the new Washington, D.C.
archive of PBS.  As I understand it, and you know more
about it than I, I think those earliest programs are
the first ones to transfer their housing now to the
Library of Congress.

          I'd like to touch briefly on my other chief
producing colleague, George Page, because his program,
the highest rated weekly series, Nature, comes from his
division, which also produces other science programs
and limited series; for example, The Brain, The Mind,
Travels, and a series on childhood.  In almost all
cases, these are international co-productions and
shared ownership and specifically produced American
versions of each series of programs.  In other words,
the versioning you've seen in America may be a varied
version for our audiences on the same material in some
other form that will exist in archives abroad, or
perhaps with other distribution sources.

          Once an air date is assigned, a tape master
of the PBS network version is stored at PBS and WNET. 
Traditionally the two copies, two master copies, are
sent to PBS and one retained at WNET.  

          I am going to concentrate if I may on the
area that I know best, and that's really what I've
devoted the last 30 years to and that's the
preservation of the arts through the media.  These have
included public television's first drama series, NET's
Playhouse, and later Theater in America.  These series
recorded many of the works of the emerging non-profit
theaters and their new playwrights, directors and
actors.  They include the first television productions
of early plays of Sam Shepard, Edward Alby, Wendy
Wasserstein, and more recently George Wolf.  They
include the first television records of the theater
debuts of Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline,
and many others in their first years in the theater.

          For 23 seasons under the Great Performances
umbrella, hundreds of dramatic works of American
playwrights and adaptions of American literature were
produced, as well as the Metropolitan Opera
Production's Great Performance annually produced debuts
of new American operas from regional companies in
Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Houston, just a few

          We've created a whole video library of
America's greatest composers, like Aaron Copeland,
Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin,
Richard Rodgers, Charles Ives, Julie Stein and Miles
Davis.  We've already recorded many of the seminar
works of new composers like Philip Glass, John Adams
and Quentin Marsalis.  

          Two generations of Americans have already
watched the rise of great singers and musicians that
they never would have known, being distanced by
geography or economics.  Examples: Jesse Norman,
Beverly Sills, Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Thomas
Hampson, Itzhak Perlman, and of course, Placido Domingo
and those other tenors, to name just a few.

          But public television began at a critical
time in the '60s when all forms of American dance were
bursting with creativity.  I think that it's
significant we began to produce this kind of
programming at the time that the National Endowment of
the Arts was formed.  At our station, I've personally
been involved in the creation of nearly hundreds of
programs of American dance.  Thankfully we've recorded
the prime time performing years of Suzanne Farrell, Lotoli
McCarva, Peter Martins, Judith Jamison, Rudolf Nureyev,
to name a few, who are no longer dancing.  There will
be no question about how harmless creative
choreographers wanted their dancers to move.  For
example, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Alvin
Ailey, Jerome Robbins, Martha Graham and Paul Taylor
were  all key collaborators in translating their works
to television.

          Most of the programs that I've referred to
thusfar are performances, recorded in the studio, the
theater or concert hall, with the best video and audio
technology at the time of production.  Film documentary
introductions or transitions often surround the
performance, and in these cases the film is transferred
to tape, so there is really no existing film master of
that footage at all.  Because of the importance of some
of these artists, we've donated the unused footage, the
trims, to a specialized archive, like the celebrated
dance collection of the Lincoln Center Library, but
there have been few archives willing to take that sort
of material in the form that we've been able to
dedicate it.

          If we have a foreign production or a home
video partner, one or more other versions of the master
will be created, and these versions may vary in length,
content, sound or graphics.  It means the archivist
needs a more detailed code to identify how many
versions exist, what are their differences, and what
copy he has.  Because the high quality of fine music
recording required for our various kinds of music,
often these programs include a commercial audio
arrangement of some kind, and so very much more
elaborate archive exists of the unmixed tracks and
they're usually retained by the distributor of the
record or the tapes.

          Until recently, all single camera
documentaries were shot and edited on 16mm film. 
However, we could seldom afford the cost of a film
master, since all the initial distribution required was
tape.  In other words, most of the film--that's the
basis of many of our archives in the last 30 years only
exist in the tape master--all the film is gone, there
was really no archive to support keeping it, at least
at our station.  

          Most often these documentaries involve
several years of archival, visual research, from a
series of existing film, tape and graphic archives. 
Often the new filming involved elderly witnesses or
experts critical to the story.  Truly for the
performing and visual arts, these high quality
documentaries have a very different impact than any
book on the subject.  And in fact the research for the
books for the scholars of the future will probably need
access to these tapes; it's something you've given some
attention, Mr. Francis.

          Finally, I'd like to join with Kitty Carlisle
to call attention to one of WNET's I think most
significant earlier activities, which was really the
work that the New York State Council and the Ford
Foundation supported, the experimental laboratory,
which was an effort to bring artists of many
disciplines to really have their first experience with
the idea of videotaping and what would happen to them.

          I think probably, working in public
television, that's the good news.  The good news is the
quality of what we created and how uniquely different
it was in intent, working in the non-commercial world,
in terms of what we thought was value to bring to the
public through the media of television.  The bad news
is that as we were financed as a non-commercial
operation and because we were so underfinanced, and we
were dealing with artists who also were supported by
institutions who were non-profit, we joined together to
pay this most minimal rights possible contractually so
we could have the programs.  It meant that essentially
the programs are now tied up in rights and ownership in
a way that I think would be almost impossible to have
access to anyone except archival scholars until some of
the new systems of distribution provide enough income
for us to go back and fairly renegotiate with the
artists, the ownership, for their use in these other
new markets.  I think that for that reason, an
archival--significant archival storage is going to be
particularly important of the materials that I've been
developing, because so many of them are tied up right
now until that can be solved.  

          I'm not going to spend any time with video
technology, because I care and know less about it than
all the gentlemen who just gave you a marvelous update
on what the technology is from the networks.

          I think the other thing that you know more
about than I do is finding a better way to deal with
cataloguing.  I'm afraid that the longer we distance
from the time of the programs, the ability to find the
material you want--I'm thinking for example just in my
experience we've created three major series.  The first
pilot one was called A Time to Dance, later one called
U.S.A. Dance, and one called Dance in America.  When I
retire, I don't think there's anyone who will know
what's in them and how they differ, not just in time
and in technology, but I worry that we in public
television have not been financed in a way that's
properly allowed the cataloging that's going to make
access to these possible in a significant way.

          Finally, I'm concerned that having created a
unique video record of American arts, ideas, history,
nature and sciences, public television is far too
financially vulnerable to salvage what it has created. 
That does not end on a very cheerful note, but since
I'm addressing the people who have already taken on
responsibility of trying to protect that library, I'm
open to questions.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much, Mr. Venza. 
We're going to move on to the next witness and we'll
come back to you with some questions and comments.

          I'd like to ask the next witness to make a
statement, Judy Crichton, who is the executive producer
of The American Experience, WGBH-TV, also one of my
most favorite documentary series.  Very nice to see you
this morning.

          MS. CRICHTON:  Thank you, and good morning,
I should add to that that I'm here in part as a former
journalist and I want to pick up on some things that
were said by the representatives by the network.  I
also am representing my colleagues at WGBH and among
the work that is on-going is the Nova science series,
the FRONTLINE series.  WGBH also some years back
initiated Vietnam:  A Television History, which is a
13-part series.  

          WGBH has been in business now since 1955.  We
come to you very much as Jac does, not with his
absolutely beautiful performance work, but with a
singular video library.  We are part of the on-going
problem--we are a user of archival material and I want
to talk about that a little bit more, and we are also
aware that we are generating archival material for the

          I was very pleased, Dr. Billington, by your
remarks, because much of what I have been responsible
for collecting over the years has not always had a very
obvious or immediate impact.  Yet, both in the shows
that we have done at The American Experience and at
FRONTLINE in particular, we interview many extremely
important and well-known people.  But those people who
are most at the top of the news, there is usually
singular collections of that material.  We have also,
really in our own way, been social historians who have
talked to numbers of people toward the end of their
life who saw a world very different from the one we are
living in now, and who leave quite remarkable evidence
of the lives that have gone before.

          Because The American Experience is a public
television history series, we work with numbers of
academic advisors and scholars who have helped us put
that material into some context.  In addition, while
there isn't a day of our life that people are not in
your facilities at both the Library and the National
Archives, and when you all closed down, our people were
in total panic because of it.  We are enormously
grateful to you for you work.

          We also have prided ourselves on going beyond
known sources and in many cases expanding the
parameters and the universe of archival material.  We
do such things as advertise and set up 800 numbers.  We
collect material from private libraries and collections
and people's attics, and have kind of a rescue
operation of our own.

          Looking back at the work of WGBH, which went
on the air in 1955, it is very clear to me as it is to
all of you that what is important is not really
necessarily the content of the interviews, but it is
sometimes what is not said or what is left out, or even
the postures of people involved.  An example, WGBH
produced a series called Prospects of Mankind with
Eleanor Roosevelt when she was 75 years old.  It was a
series of interviews with international leaders.  V.K.
Krishna Menton was the first guest.  There was an
extraordinarily frosty and quite interesting interview
with a young John Kennedy, who clearly Mrs. R had no
taste for at all.  These tapes reveal a tremendous
amount.  A student can begin to understand why people
of my age and older were so fascinated with Mrs.
Roosevelt, in part through the postures of difference
and the civility of the interviews, as much as the
specific content.  It becomes a historical artifact for
the next.

          In 1964, WGBH did a lovely film with Robert
Frost, wandering through the woods and fields around
his home.  I would argue that it is easy to protect his
poetry; but that we also need to protect the memory of
his posture, the sound of his voice, the way he
responded to those fields, the comfort with which he
picked up an axe and chopped wood.  This is the gift of
film and this is the gift of television and that is
what we are fighting to preserve.

          Similarly, a few years later there was a
series called The Negro and The American Promise.  Dr.
Kenneth Clark interviewed James Baldwin, Malcolm X,
Martin Luther King.  There are young producers working
for me today who are mining that material.  We in the
past few years did a film about Malcolm X.  Now we are
very lucky at WGBH because we do have storage
facilities and we have a superb media and archival
center of our own, and I'll come back to that and tell
you a little bit about it.  But these people who are
working with us know what it means to go back to these
materials and how important they  are.  Our series of
Vietnam, which was in 1983, which included political
leaders from all sides of the conflict, Vietnamese,
French, American, scholars as well, material from
obscure archival sources--that's material of
extraordinary value, and we understand full well that
we cannot allow it to evaporate.

          Where I'm concerned about what was said
earlier is that as a former television journalist, I
know that the single most valuable material is often in
the out-takes, that the compression of time--yes,
you'll have minutes of emptiness at a podium, but that
isn't what we're talking about.  We're talking about
the attitudes of people before they make public
announcements.  They're asides, the things that strip
away the facade and let you begin to understand what is
real and what is contrived.

          Similarly, in the kind of shows I do today,
even though we try to be as responsible and thoughtful
as we know how, we're still a terribly extravagant
media.  We interview extremely important people for
long periods of time.  The out material is as important
if not more important than what we put in the shows. 
We don't have the wisdom of hindsight.  Thirty years
from now there are going to be scholars and historians
who say that what we selected was not really the nub or
the heart of the issue, no matter how hard we tried or
what good advice we had.  We will look at things
differently as we will look at that Vietnam series
differently.  We look at it differently today.  The
outs and the material that substantiates how a film is
produced and what the filtering mechanism that the
material was sifted through are extremely important.

          WGBH has, as I mentioned a moment ago, a
media archive and preservation center and it has worked
hard at raising money to support that center.  We are a
non-profit institution and we eat what we earn.  But we
have now 6,000 hours of program masters, thousands of
boxes of out-take elements and documentation.  We
require that independent producers who are commissioned
by us turn back their material at the end of that
period of production and WGBH holds the copyright.

          We have succeeded so far in preserving a
small quantity of that material.  Our archivist, Mary
Ide, is here with me this morning and a very conscious
and serious effort is made to select what we consider
the most important material to preserve.  But again, I
know how distorted that can be with time, that what one
generation thinks is important may not be, half a
generation even from now.

          I understand that it is not possible and
probably not wise to preserve every frame of video or
film that has been shot.  But I really beg you,
whatever selection process  you go through, and I
understand how vulnerable that is and some of the
consequences of doing that badly, that you try and drag
with you all the makings that went into that work,
because if you think of television, simply in terms of
what has aired, I think you are only touching the
surface in terms of what it is you all want to achieve.

          Now with a small bit of reservation, I would
like to close with one quite different subject on this,
because I am very conscious, as an older producer, what
the absence of historical material can mean and what
its impact can be.  And I want to tell you about one
very specific area in which I have struggled for many
years, and the distortion of the image of ourselves as
Americans is very clear and obvious.  And that deals
with the whole business, the visual history of African
American life in America, going back to the founding. 
There is information, general information on slavery,
we all know that.  But it tends to be limited and it
tends to be stereotyped.  We know about the
agricultural workers but our youngsters don't know
about the master builders or the cabinet makers.  Too
few know about the role of black soldiers who fought in
the American Revolution--Crispus Attucks, maybe if
you're lucky.  Colonial images included scant numbers
of black faces as you know and because those images
weren't there, Americans have grown up with a distorted
vision of the human landscape.

          I have spent years of my life trying to teach
younger people how to get over those hurdles and also
trying to understand myself how the hurdles got put up
beyond the obvious.  I'll leap to the end of this story
by saying that about six or seven years ago, I went to
an older friend of mine who had been managing editor on
the Herald Tribune during World War II, and I said
"Les, for god's sake, explain to me why I'm having such
a hard time finding images of black soldiers in Europe
in 1944.  They aren't existing in the large commercial
archives--why aren't they there?"  And Les had a very
good explanation.  He was the guy who got the pictures
when they came over the desk and decided what would go
into the paper.  And he threw out images of black men
because he thought his viewers--his readers were not
particularly interested.  And because he threw them
out, they didn't make their way the way the other
material did into our general archives.  Similar things
happened and I can be very specific on another occasion
with newsreels.  But the consequences was that 40 or 50
years later, the commercial archives without this
material, people simply ignored the problem.  And the
fact that men had served in the Revolution, in the
Civil War, in the Spanish-American War, in all American
wars, was lost because it was too difficult to get the

          We have made at The American Experience a
small effort within our own limitations to find
archives that specialize in this material, special
holdings, family holdings.  We've gone to the black
colleges and universities.  The Ford Foundation did a
study a few years back and these institutions are so
under-funded that those collections are very often in
chaos.  So it is only the best funded producers and the
ones who are goaded and nagged to death who are coming
up with an image of America that is reasonably
accurate.  And as television becomes the repository for
these still materials, television then goes on to
perpetuate the problem.

          So I am very concerned that an era of this
kind not be made for the next generation.  I don't know
hat that era will be, I'm not wise enough to go out in
time and look back and see what the elimination of a
whole collection will do to us as a society.  But I
know in this one instance it was genuinely wounding and
that it will be replicated if we don't protect what
we're generating today.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much.  Now
questions and comments.  Let's start off with Jim.

          MR. LINDNER:  In public television, my
understanding is that very often you are contracting
independent producers.

          MS. CRICHTON:  Correct.

          MR. LINDNER:  And Mr. Venza, you had
mentioned that there is this issue whereby you have
very limited rights, you have rights to air for a
certain amount of exposure.  And one question I have is
how do we, since these are independent producers, what
kind of suggestions might you have for us to preserve
these materials after the airing is done and these
producers in some cases vanish into the ether and it's
gone forever?

          MS. CRICHTON:  Our problems are totally

          MR. LINDNER:  I was interested in that.  They
seem to be.

          MS. CRICHTON:  Go ahead.

          MR. VENZA:  When I--I should explain that I
began in public television--in commercial television in
1950.  I was there at the very beginning of everything. 
By the time the idea of a non-commercial system
existed, I knew what there were among my friends in the
arts who were never going to appear in commercial
television, there was no reason for them to.  It was
clearly defined that the ratings would be so low that
the idea of putting them in the media was not there. 
And the great proof of it was the great CBS series
Omnibus, which proved that a mind of musician could
take the media, Leonard Bernstein's first efforts were
done on commercial television but the ratings were so
low, that the Ford Foundation who sponsored this effort
decided not to do it.  That meant that when we started
in this country, we were so under-funded that we had to
find a way to generate sources financially so you
wouldn't have to ask Balanchine--we took five years
trying to get him to take television seriously after
his experiences at commercial television, and then say
but you have to use half as many musicians and only a
few of the girls.  

          So our job in public television was to find
the resources from philanthropy, from private
foundations, from some corporate funding.  None of
those sources in the first years demanded ownership,
but it meant that we barely gathered enough money to
make the recording.  So we owe it now to go back.  It
means that your work no with PBS Library will guarantee
the future that some exists of the master.   I believe
it's going to have to take a commercial resource,
because I don't believe there's going to be a change in
government support looking at their attitude toward the
National Endowment of the Arts, humanities, or public
television, it's going to happen there.  But I do
believe that the work that I've done will not spoil and
I believe it's going to be up to you to guarantee that
when there is television on demand and there's enough
rational reason to go back and pay those rights, at
least there's a master that exists.  

          I'm going to take one minute more.  We had
years to get Balanchine to work with us.  We had 10 or
12 programs when he died.  When we tried to do the
documentary, the masters, our own masters we got back
from PBS were flaking.  Fortunately we had two or three
masters to generate a new master.  And since we do not
have at our station a fundraising archival thing in the
capital campaign,  I asked if they could put a section
called archives, and husband and wife looking through
what they'd like to donate saw Dance in America,
archive, $100,000.  They said we'd like to do this. 
And this one couple gave the money to reversion 71
tapes.  I don't have the rights to them, but at least
we have a new master. 

          That is really I think the role we have here
because I think there will eventually be enough
commercial resources to find ways to get those things
in distribution.  I'm just worried that the master
won't be there when that happens.

          MR. MURPHY:  Mona, did you have a question?

          MS. JIMENEZ:  Thank you very much for you
comments.  I've enjoyed this a lot and I've learned a

          I come from the world of independent video
makers that produce and are screened often at museums
or in other venues outside of broadcast, but also on
public television.  I'm just wondering, first of all in
terms of WNET's collection, is it stored on-site or is
it stored off-site; and then the second part of the
question for both of you is do you see any ways that we
might be able to collaborate between our worlds but
also from some of the other groups that we're hearing
from in terms of the storage problem, you have a
storage facility but I don't know if you have room for
other things, just well, if we might be able to solve
some of those problems collaboratively?

          MR. VENZA:  When we work with an independent,
they at least are guaranteed that there are the masters
that are sitting at our place.  But again, the ability
to use them in a new market would mean we would re-
negotiate financially, so everyone would benefit.

          The most important thing about what we've
done is that until now, when you had your own material
in the station as they have at GBH, you at least have
access to look at it again and help sell it.  That's
one of the biggest problems.  We're not going to be
able to make any interesting commercial movement in the
new avenues of delivery if you can't show anyone the
material, and that's going to be a bigger problem
because getting access to something once it's in the
Library of Congress is much harder to get than it was
when it was at PBS.  So you will be creating a deeper
hole for us to dig ourselves out of.

          I used to be able to get a tape out of PBS in
a day and a half; now I think your system of retrieval
is months, at which point very often the person
interested in seeing it is long gone.  So that is going
to be one of the biggest problems in the future, that
you don't create such a perfect archive that you have
to be a scholar with two years to work on the project
to have access to the material.

          MS. JIMENEZ:  I'm actually in favor of
regional storage.  

          MR. VENZA:  But once something is on public
television that we presented, I think it's one other
backup for the independent.

          MS. CRICHTON:  The one thing you should know
is that we do now buy rights to the programs that we
commission.  Occasionally when we come in and acquire
an already produced show, those rights are tied up; but
our rights problems are not acute like Jac's because
we're not using large orchestras and opera companies. 
So we do own those rights for the most part.

          We also have, you should know, already set up
a system whereby scholars do have access to our
material, including the transcripts, including the outs
where possible.  It's very preliminary, but we have
begun that.

          MR. MURPHY:  David?

          MR. FRANCIS:  Perhaps I could just respond a
moment to what Jac Venza said.  Our problem is that
most of the material we've received so far from PBS is
in the form of two-inch tapes.

          MR. VENZA:  I'm aware of it.

          MR. FRANCIS:  And pretty well all the money
that we have available is at present going to copying
two-inch tapes.  You're expressing a concern for the
preservation of this material.  We want to insure that
it is preserved before we make it available.  Are you
suggesting that one should send back a two-inch tape
before it's copied?  

          MR. VENZA:  No, no.

          MR. FRANCIS:  We feel that would be

          MR. VENZA:  What I'm suggesting is that we're
all subject to a government that supports our kind of
activity so poorly as compared to other countries, that
you just said the whole--the further you distance
yourself from material, because now we have the
technological distancing.  In those years, people did
not have cassettes in the office.  It's amazing the
calls I'll get from people who simply said could you
send over a cassette of X, and I'll say to the agent,
my dear, there wasn't a cassette in those years, it was
a two-inch tape.  That's the reason you never saw it
again, that's the reason you don't have it, the reason
the actor doesn't have it.  It didn't exist.

          It doesn't occur to people that there was a
period in which you did not have anything except a two-
inch machine to look at the master.  That's why I'm
saying the earliest and what will soon become
historically the most important materials from the
early NET years, the early dance series that we did at
GBH, is so pathetically out of date technology but some
of the great artists are on that--

          MR. FRANCIS:  Sure.

          MR. VENZA:  --and the reason it's accessible
is because in those years no one knew about rights.  No
dancer never did.  So they bought the film rights and
University of Indiana has circulated dreadful film
copies of those early primitive tapes at GBH and
they're in every university in America.  So the worst
possible thing we've ever done is circulated, because
the rights were worked out at the top.  And that's why
today, it's going to be easier, because very often we
will make a music program with a home video deal and
that means at least the public access libraries can buy
it.  So it isn't just the financial benefit for myself,
it means that any time I have a home video deal, at
least I know that when I'm not here, people will have
access to the material.

          MR. FRANCIS:  Can I just say something about
the out-takes.  I think archives are always concerned
about accepting out-takes because so often they are not
catalogued, and they feel that once you get that far
removed from the original production data, you cannot
identify a lot of the material.  Therefore, you can't
satisfactorily  make it available.

          In both the cases you mention, out-takes were
identified, so if they were given to a national
archive, it would be possible for the archive to make
them accessible.

          MS. CRICHTON:  I think that our material for
the most part is.  I think it's sort of a requirement
that we impose at least on the producers I work with. 
But if you go back into the UCLA newsreel archives for
instance, it is true that you look through a great deal
of junk.  But it is also true that if your eyes are
educated, you often find what is most important within
that peripheral material.

          I think that as we move towards learning how
to collaborate with each other that it is an area where
standards should be set out and not everybody is going
to mind those standards; but even if some of the more
serious producers and producing organizations do, we're
very far ahead.

          MR. VENZA:  If we have time, I'd like to
answer that as well.
It depends very, very much on the attitude of the
curator, and I'm going to give you two examples.  Years
ago we started the first dance activity.  I filmed a
whole week of activity of Jose Limon, it was his very
late years, and he was still performing, teaching, and
we wanted those things.  We used only a few minutes of
it, and I had cans  and I didn't know what to do. 
Genevieve Oswald, at the Library of the Performing
Arts, was an avid collector of anything.  I did not
have the money to even sink up the material, but I knew
it was valuable and I called and said would she take it
if I just gave a release, the material.  I know that
for years knowing she shouldn't have done it, she taped
every damn thing in the world off--we did not have the
rights to actually give things, because we didn't have
those rights.  A completely different version of that
in the same Library is the Theater Collection.

          A few years ago, Joanne Woodward came to me
with the idea of doing something on the group theater
for the American Masters series.  She said that she and
Paul owed their acting style to an epoch of people and
those witnesses would be gone.  So we began to do one
program.  I couldn't stop the interviews--20 or 30
people were interviewed, we had a boxcar full of
interviews and still no one was doing the programs.  So
before we began to cut that program, there was the
decision to make should we make a dub master, and I
said it's $10,000  more but it's so important, let's do
it.  We made the program, a 90-minute program, while we
still had all those hours and hours of people. 

          When I talked to Joanne this year she said
that of the people we interviewed, only three are still
alive, and it sat in boxes because we could not sink it
up because no one would accept it in that form.  And
finally she and Paul, eight years later, just out of
their own funds, gave the money to sink it up and give
it as a gift to the Library of the Performing Arts.  

          Now those are two cases.  I only have two
cases where I had to financially find the support to
put something in proper shape for the archive, and that
is going to be one of our problems, and we'll have it
together since we all work in a non-profit world. 
We're going to have to find some philanthropic or
government support for a more civilized way to generate
the kind of recordings we need.  I think the out-takes
in terms of my case are tragic.  Because we only had
10, 15 minutes to do this, I just rattled off names. 
Each one of those names with it goes an extraordinary
thing that they did in public television.  That's very
different than what they did in the theater or concert
hall.  And all of the bits and pieces will become very
much more important.

          MS. CRICHTON:  In news and public affairs
there is one thing that you ought to know, which is
that one reason that networks resist out-takes and in
some ways I do too, is that they are easily abused. 
And interviews, particularly sensitive interviews or
political interviews, are an act of trust between the
producer and the person who is being interviewed.  And
you have won the right to interview that person because
he or she trusts that you will not distort the

          I am not suggesting that I am arguing for
out-takes to be used by other producers for
undisciplined pastiche in some other form.  I am
arguing that it be used as serious library material
that can be studied and maybe in some cases you will
find a way of setting the same standards that were
initiated at the outset.

          MR. MURPHY:  We will take a break for lunch
now and try to be back around 1:30 for our next group
of panelists.  Thanks again for your testimony.

          (Whereupon, the proceedings were adjourned,
to reconvene later this same day.)

           A F T E R N O O N   S E S S I O N

          MR. MURPHY:  We are back.  We are very happy
to see you again.  We'll proceed with the rest of the

          We're going to start this afternoon with two
statements concerning videotape technology, and we have
two distinguished visitors.  The first is Dr. Peter
Adelstein from the Image Permanence Institute, and also
representing the chair of the ANSI Technical Committee
IT9.  It is a pleasure to see you here again.  Dr.

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  Thank you.  Is this mike

          MR. MURPHY:  Yes.

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  First of all, let me start
off by saying that I probably come from a different
perspective than most of the people that have been
before your panel.  I was trained in science and spent
close to 40 years with Eastman Kodak Company and the
last 10 with a non-profit research lab at the Rochester
Institute of Technology.  My field of interest has been
physical properties of photographic film, gelatin, and
magnetic tape. That's the perspective which I am
bringing to this panel.

          For the last 25 years, I have been chair of
the American National Standards Institute committee,
which has as its scope the permanence of imaging
materials.  So that's what I am going to be addressing
this afternoon.

          Now the importance of standards is very
obvious when you are talking about the dimensions of
light bulbs and sockets or the width of magnetic tape. 
These are parameters that have to be standardized.  But
when you're talking about image permanence, this is not
quite as obvious.  Why do you need standards with
respect to permanence?  There are a number of very good
reasons, and a lot of this is evident from the benefit
that standards have been to the preservation of the
photographic image, a field in which there has been a
great deal of standardization work over the last 30 to
40 years.

          One is that curators and archivists are not
expected to be experts in the behavior of materials and
how long they're going to last.  So they need to rely
on people who spend their livelihood in these
particular disciplines. The standards organization
serves as a means of getting people together with
different background and resolving differences of

          The whole field of permanence of materials is
a very difficult one to obtain hard data.  You have
anecdotal information but that information is really
not hard.  It is on materials which have existed for 25
or 50 years, about which you know very little.  You
also have poor knowledge about the storage conditions
and how they have been kept.  The other type of
information is by incubation, subjecting  materials to
high temperature and high humidities.  There is always
the danger that what you're doing at these accelerated
conditions does not reflect the real world.  And there
are many cases where we know it doesn't, although there
are many cases which we know it does.

          So the standards committee is a group of
people who will resolve a lot of differences of
opinion.  And when we write documents, it's very
important to have people from different disciplines. 
For example, the pure scientist will tell you to keep
everything at absolute zero, while the archivist will
tell you that's really not a very practical thing to
do.  So you do have to reach some type of compromise
between what is scientifically correct and what is

          Standards have also been very useful in the
photographic field by improving the quality of
materials. Specifications have been written for both
photographic materials and for the matte board which
you use with photographic materials.  Once there is a
specification, manufacturers try to live up to it.  So
for those reasons, standards are really very important
and in the United States they come under the aegis of
the American National Standards Institute.  

          In 1989 a subcommittee was formed which deals
with the permanence of electronic imaging.  Up to that
time, nothing has been done in that particular field. 
We've been meeting twice a year for the past seven
years.  The group is composed of the user community
(like the Library of Congress), manufacturers, other
government agencies, and some independent labs.

          Now when it comes to magnetics, there are
really two things that you have to be concerned about
with respect to permanence.  One is the inherent
stability of the material itself and the second is how
you store and handle the material.  So there are two
important considerations.  This group first tried to
write a specification on how you tell a good magnetic
tape from a poor magnetic tape, or a poor magnetic tape
from a very poor magnetic tape.  This is not an easy
task.  Magnetic tape fails as a rule physically and it
fails physically for two reasons.  Either because of
the way it's handled or because binder degradation
causes it to be weak in certain physical properties. 
So that means that in a specification you need physical
tests.  Physical tests are required for the cohesion of
the magnetic binder, for the adhesion of the binder to
the support, for the friction which can't be too high
or too low, and tests to be sure the tape doesn't clog
up heads and create drop-outs.  An alternate approach
is to measure the degradation of the binder which is by
reaction called hydrolysis and you can do that by
chemical tests.

          The ANSI subcommittee decided what physical
properties were pertinent, and they agreed on test
methods for some of these, such as adhesion, friction,
and hydrolysis.  But once you decide on the property,
then you have to determine how you're going to measure
it.  Every laboratory has a different procedure and
some are good and some are poor, and sometimes none of
them are very good.  Once you get a test method, then
you have to have some way in which you can accelerate
the stress you put on the material, because you're not
interested in determining what the properties of
magnetic tape are as of today; you're interested in
determining what they're going to be like in 25 to 50

          So there's two things you can do.  You can
either incubate the tape or you can make the test very
severe.  The next decision is to decide what is a
failure--how much friction is too much or what kind of
drop-outs can you tolerate.  This is further
complicated because drop-outs are very system
dependent, you're going to get drop-outs in some
systems which you're not going to get in others.  So
you run into some very difficult technical problems.

          A lot of work was done.  We had cooperation
from three U.S. manufacturers.  However, we had zero
cooperation from foreign manufacturers.  None of the
Japanese were involved in our work, despite repeated
efforts to get them involved.  To make matters worse,
in the past couple of years, the American manufacturers
have ceased activity in this area.  So right now there
is not a critical mass in this subcommittee to finish
the work on preparing a tape specification.  

          I suspect the position of the American
manufacturers is that permanence is not a strong point
of magnetic tape.  The permanence of magnetic tape is
not a great plus, and manufacturers have to be
concerned with the bottom line.  You can't fault them
for that; if they don't take care of the bottom line
they're not going to stay in business.  Devoting their
scientific talent on this characteristic is not a way
of making money.  It's a good way of losing money.  And
so they have not put in the effort in recent years. 
Accordingly, activity in writing a specification for
magnetic tape has ceased.  It's not a story you may
like to hear, but it is the fact.  In the Middle Ages,
if a messenger brought bad news he was usually executed
and I'm just very glad that we're living in the 20th

          The other area which affects permanence very
strongly is its storage.  This is really what everybody
who has magnetic tape should pay very, very careful
attention to.  It's a lot cheaper in the long run to
store magnetic tape properly than to try to restore it. 
In this area, the ANSI subcommittee has been more
successful because we had a lot of input from the
consumers.  You don't need the complicated laboratory
facilities to write a storage specification as you do
for a specification.  So a document on storage was
prepared, was valid and was passed.  We expect it to be
published in 1996.  It specifies the temperature and
humidity conditions; the lower the temperature, the
longer the material is going to last.  Likewise, the
lower the humidity the longer the material is going to
last, although there are limits to how low you go.  Of
course, the other problem which has been addressed
already in some of the testimony that I heard this
morning is that of the hardware and the format.  Some
people were talking about obtaining tape cassettes when
all that they had available was obsolete two-inch
tapes.  That is a major problem and it's a problem
which isn't going to go away.  It's a problem which
also exists in optical disk technology, I think even to
a greater extent, because there you have software as
well as hardware and the field is changing very, very

          The only answer to that is reformatting. 
People who have tape archives should keep tape at
recommended conditions, i.e. low temperatures, low
humidities, and that will prolong the life of the tape
as long as practical.  The time will then come when it
will have to be recopied or be reformatted.  

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.  Peter Brothers, from
SPECS Brothers, Inc.

          MR. BROTHERS:  SPECS Brothers.  Is this on?

          MR. MURPHY:  Yes, it is.

          MR. BROTHERS:  SPECS Brothers is a magnetic
tape decontamination/restoration facility.  We
specialize in disaster recovery and the rejuvenation of
archival tapes suffering from material breakdown.

          Since 1983, we've been examining, testing,
cleaning, repairing and restoring tapes that would not
play back at all or had signal retrieval problems.  We
also, because of the fact that we do a lot of hands-on
work and focus on the physical restoration of tape
prior to playback have a slightly different and
somewhat unique perspective on video preservation.  We
deal in the practical realities of video preservation
and restoration on a daily basis and we've identified a
number of actions and biases that are fairly widespread
in the industry that we feel have very far-reaching

          Initially there are two pre-conceptions one
encounters repeatedly that must be addressed if any
current video preservation initiative is to be
successful.  The first is represented by the statement,
"Print and film are physical media, but video is an
electronic medium."  We hear this opinion frequently at
conferences.  While video  may be recorded, manipulated
and transmitted electronically, the medium on which the
information actually exists is physical.  With
videotape, the potential for preservation is greatly
enhanced by the fact that the signal itself is fairly
hard to destroy.  However, if the tape itself becomes
so abused or degraded you can't retrieve the signal,
the fact that the signal is fairly durable is somewhat

          A perceptual bias exists throughout the
industry that disassociates the physical tape from the
program or the image it contains and makes the tape
vulnerable to mistreatment.  Humans are by nature
visually and task-oriented.  A videotape containing
images of President Nixon physically looks like a disk
or a small plastic box.  It's physical appearance
recalls neither the president nor the many hours of
shooting and editing required to create the program. 
Experience shows that personnel do not intuitively make
the connection.  Once a program has been recorded or
viewed, the tape itself becomes an object, divorced
from the image it contains and emotionally devoid of
          People get very excited by new machinery and
the images on a monitor.  People understandably don't
get excited by the physical tape which contains the
image.  One of the results of this is while personnel
and machinery are maintained in relatively clean,
climate-controlled environments, there's a tendency to
stick tapes away in whatever space an organization has
absolutely no other use for.  I understand from a
number of the presentations here and from others I've
talked to that there's work being done to correct this. 
There is still a problem in that many of the people who
are developing new archival facilities aren't always
the people who are handling the tapes, and the
perceptual problem exists throughout.

          If people really did associate the physical
tape itself with the value of the program it contains,
people would not be putting tapes in extremely
unsuitable environments.  Even when an organization
provides climate-controlled storage such as people are
doing now, abuse is going to continue in other areas of
the operations.  Simply consider the difference between
the care that's used in moving machinery around a
facility and how people treat tape.  Machinery is moved
very gently and carefully, it's always put down right
side up.  Tapes are constantly stored improperly on
their sides because it's convenient, and the most
common way of moving a tape is a swing of your arm and
a distinct drop of anywhere between two inches to a
couple of feet.  This treatment is obviously going to
cause some severe problems.

          The widespread unintentional abuse of
videotape brings us to the second preconception we'd
like to address. That is the very commonly held feeling
that since videotape was not originally designed as a
long-term storage medium, a lot of recorded materials
are now decaying and there's really not much we can do
about it.

          We handle large volumes of older tapes.  The
primary reasons these tapes are sent to us for
restoration should not be attributed to design flaws or
inherent material instability, but to the fact that the
tapes have been subjected to extremely hostile
environments under conditions we would not expect other
materials to survive.  To date, the industry should
really consider itself lucky.  Whatever the initial
design intent, most professional videotapes have been
fairly durable and are capable of surviving tremendous
abuse before they're permanently destroyed.

          From a physical viewpoint, we actually
consider magnetic tape a fairly good long-term storage
medium.  Research exists that indicates the life
expectancy of tape can be extended significantly.  If
tapes are properly handled and stored, they very
probably will outlast the availability of the playback
machinery that's necessary to retrieve the signal. 
Furthermore, a wide variety of restoration techniques
exist that can reduce the effects of aging that
otherwise render tapes unusable.

     The premature aging we're seeing in videotapes
today is primarily caused by excessive exposure to
standard environmental factors, the same factors that
cause degradation and decay in most other products:
dirt, moisture, and heat.  Dirt is all pervasive.  Very
small amounts of debris in between the tape and the
playback head will interfere with signal retrieval. 
There is sufficient debris on every tape we have
examined to cause some interference.  

          A perceptual problem occurs here also. 
People too often assume that to put tape in a
protective case is adequate.  None of the standard
cases that are available protect tapes totally against
either dirt or moisture.  If a tape is exposed to any
variation in temperature, the air inside the case
expands and contracts and sucks dust right down into
the case.  Every single tape, before it is transferred
to a new format, should be cleaned or you will end up
permanently recording signal loss that is not inherent
to the original.  This signal loss is caused by dirt
and debris on the tape that could easily have been

          Basic cleaning is sufficient for removing
particulate matter.  There are commercial machines that
are built for this or people can build their own.  Most
of these machines use some sort of wiping tissue and a
burnishing post or blade.  We would like to mention
here that the tungsten carbide and the sapphire blades
used on most modern machines are not the same as the
razor blades that gave cleaning machines a very bad
reputation many years ago, blades that were causing
substantial damage to tapes.  We have not seen any
evidence whatsoever either from test results, from our
own extensive experience, or from anyone we've talked
to, that indicates the use of modern blades causes
damage to tape.

          While damage to tapes from dust and
contamination is usually overlooked because it simply
isn't recognized even after a problem tape is put up on
machinery,  damage from water and moisture is
frequently identified.  Binder hydrolysis is both a
common and serious problem.  As well as the problem
itself, one solution to this problem is widely known in
the industry. This is a procedure called baking that
has shown itself to be very effective in melting
hydrolysis residue causing it to be reabsorbed back
into the tape.  Baking often allows the tape to be
played back if it is badly hydrolysed.  

          This is not a panacea.  Baking addresses one
specific problem.  We're constantly having people call
us up, asking us to bake tapes when hydrolysis is not
the major problem.  Baking exposes a tape to
substantial heat and it's well accepted that heat is
not good for tape.  This procedure is not something
that should be applied under many circumstances and can
actually end up damaging the tape. 

          Temperature is an area where tapes are
commonly abused.  We have seen many circumstances where
tapes have been stored in rooms that human beings can't
enter without breaking out into a sweat; situations
where there's absolutely no temperature control
whatsoever.  It's very important to have fairly strict
temperature controls to preserve tape integrity.

          On the other hand, rigid standards are not
absolutely necessary for all usage.  There are a great
variety of conditions that are tolerable.  These
conditions do not include situations where tapes are
left out on loading docks in the rain, put in rooms
full of dust and debris, or stored in basements that
flood all the time.  The tapes need to be taken out of
these negative environments so that they will last for
a reasonable amount of time.  If the tapes can't be
restored or transferred at this point, at least
removing them from these extremely negative
environments may allow for the opportunity that they
might be restored and transferred sometime in the

          We have discussed the neglect tapes are
subjected to under normal circumstances because the
damage being done is not highly visible.  There is
another kind of neglect that frequently destroys tape
because the damage actually is highly visible.  We deal
with a lot of disasters and disasters are very obvious. 
The damage is right there, it's very extreme and very
visible.  Because it is so visible, people assume that
the tapes are destroyed.  This is not generally the
case.  There are effective procedures available for
reclaiming tapes that are in disasters.  Tapes do
become somewhat more delicate when they're exposed to
extreme contamination and extreme circumstances, so
they have to be handled very carefully but they usually
can be saved.

          A lot of the damage that is done to tape
happens over time.  If tapes that are in a disaster are
handled promptly, often the tape can be restored before
it's permanently destroyed.  We have restored tapes
that have been under sewage and we've saved tapes where
the cassette shells have melted onto the hubs and had
to be totally disassembled and the tape removed.  Tapes
are routinely salvaged from these sorts of
circumstances.  People should not assume that if a
catastrophe does occur that they've lost their valuable
programming.  Some materials may be lost, but the vast
majority of these materials can be restored.

          The most common disaster that people run into
is a flood situation.  To a large extent, once again,
this is because of the way people treat the materials. 
In commercial buildings, if you store tape in a
basement underneath the sewage lines and the water
lines, it's very likely that these items are going to
be damaged.  Additionally, there are a surprising
number of storage facilities that are on flood plains. 
This is not a particularly good place to store your
very valuable materials.

          Fire is less frequent, but it's a more
volatile threat to tape, simply because it combines
more elements.  In fire scenarios, the tapes not only
are exposed to heat, but they're exposed to a
tremendous amount of debris, to the water from fire
suppression systems, and also to chemicals that are
used in fire suppression.  One of the things that we
want to point out here is that after a fire, generally,
services are called in to clean up the space, clean up
the carpets, and clean up the machinery.  Unfortunately
tapes are too often treated just like the carpets as
opposed to the machinery.  Cleaning personnel are
allowed to clean the tapes with water, ammonia and
detergents.  This is not a very good idea and can do a
lot more damage than the actual fire itself.      In
conclusion, we obviously feel that tape can be a very
good long-term storage medium, but we are concerned by
the manner in which the tapes are treated industrywide. 
Unfortunately we don't see any easy way to alter the
prevailing attitudes.  Tapes simply don't look like
anything of value.  If you look at a picture and
something starts to go wrong, you can visually see
something happen.  Very seldom do you see anything with
tapes.  So they will continue, unfortunately, to be
destroyed by benign neglect.  For decades we've had
fairly good general handling and storage guidelines. 
They have not been followed.  If they had been
followed, a lot of the problems we're running into
today wouldn't be occurring.  

          Still, the current state of television and
video preservation is surprisingly good.  Despite the
neglect, large volumes of magnetic recordings are
playable.  The majority of the tapes that have already
deteriorated or have been damaged can be restored, and
there's still sufficient obsolete machinery around the
country for virtually any tape format to be played
back.  If we don't initiate a comprehensive program at
this time, however, we're likely to encounter serious
problems in the future.

          If you've got a situation where a transistor
technology machine breaks down, it can usually be fixed
fairly easily or the parts replaced.  Twenty years from
now, that may not be so easy to do if you need a
specialized computer chip.  Additionally, you have a
situation where to this point the obsolete formats have
been fairly sturdy.  They have been able to stand up to
a lot of abuse.  The new formats are thinner, smaller,
and much more delicate.  They may not be able to stand
up to the same abuse.   The standards that are being
developed, the storage conditions under which things
should be preserved, the handling of tapes, may well
become much more important.

          We're already observing new patterns of decay
in the new formulation of tapes, tapes such as D-1, D-2
and Beta SP, that weren't present in the older formats,
types of decay that really emphasize the need to treat
the tapes properly.  Two of the most common problems
we're running into we have labeled spot hydrolysis and
accelerated contact hydrolysis.  Spot hydrolysis is
caused by condensation.  When water from condensation
gathers on the edge of a tape, underneath that spot of
water the hydrolysis of the binder is very rapid.  It
breaks the binder down and glues the edges of the tape
together, leaving a crystalline residue.  If you
attempt to play this tape back, the tape will rip.  You
can't generally see this sort of damage because it's
happening inside the cassettes.  We're constantly
running into problems of condensation on cassettes.  In
the past, condensation has not been a tremendous
problem except in playback.  If you let the tapes dry
out before you played them, there usually was not any
permanent damage.  This may not be the case in the

          The other problem, accelerated contact
hydrolysis, is caused by the interaction of the tape
backcoat and the polished metal guideposts that are
being used in the new cassette formats.  When exposed
to moisture,  the metal post acts as a catalyst and the
backcoat of the tape breaks down very, very rapidly,
gluing the tape to the metal guidepost.  Once again,
this is happening inside the cassette and you may not
see it.  If you attempt to play the tape, there's a
very good chance the tape will snap.  If the tape is in
a disaster scenario, where it has been submerged in
water, the backcoat of the tape can be totally
destroyed within 24 hours by this sort of decay. 
Simple exposure to very moist conditions in the air or
in storage, can cause tape failure within a couple of
weeks as opposed to the years or months that often are
necessary for serious hydrolysis in some of the
obsolete and more sturdy formats that we've been
dealing with up to this point.

          These new patterns of decay highlight the
need for continuing research.  At this point, the data
that we need requires rather sophisticated equipment
that is hard to find outside of government facilities. 
It would be very helpful if a government agency such as
the Library of Congress could collect suggestions for
data that is necessary, collate these suggestions, and
present them to the government laboratories so that we
could get some of the data we need to deal with the
problems that we're encountering now and the new
problems that we will encounter in the future.

          Finally, we'd like to make a plea concerning
experts in the field of video preservation and
restoration.  Expert advice is essential, but one
should be prudent when applying or relying such
information.  Much of the information in the field that
is passed around is opinion and may not be supported by
data or experience.  Other information is garbled by
repetition and inaccurate.  Just like the old
children's game of Telephone, the message three or four
steps down the line bears little resemblance to the

          Conversely, experts should not attempt to
inhibit the flow of information by hiding behind the
term proprietary.  Few techniques are really exclusive
to a single individual and most experts' real advantage
is the length and breadth of their experience.  While
one would not expect an expert to provide a complete
blueprint of his methods, a brief explanation of
procedures that are used and the theory behind them is
essential, otherwise an organization has absolutely no
idea what's being done with their material.  Quite
simply, people should ask questions and make certain
that they understand the answers that they're given.

          In conclusion, we believe that communication
is the key to success.  We would not be having the
success with restoration that we are right now in our
facility if we had not had access to a tremendous
amount of research that has been done all over the
world, things that we are able to interpret,
synthesize, and put together into practical
applications.  We believe that all of the various areas
must be open in their communication and there must be a
great amount of cooperation for us to be successful. 
Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.  Questions?  Mona?

          MS. JIMENEZ:  First, Dr. Adelstein, you were
saying that the three tape manufacturers had pulled out
of the committee or pulled out of the work, and I'm
just wondering first of all who they were, if you're
free to say that?

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  Yes.  IBM, 3M, the third one
escapes my memory.

          MS. JIMENEZ:  Ampex is it?

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  Beg your pardon?

          MS. JIMENEZ:  Ampex?

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  And Ampex.

          MS. JIMENEZ:  And Ampex.  And then why would
the work cease, is it because you don't have tape
available or financial resources, or--

	  DR. ADELSTEIN:  Well, what you need to write a
specification on properties are laboratory facilities. 
Unlike the specification for storage where you need
people who have had experience in storage, and who have
storage facilities.  To write a specification you need
someone who has, for example, a friction test.  They
can incubate tape in ovens at different temperatures
and humidities and they are scientifically trained to
be able to interpret the data obtained on incubated
tape.  So you need scientists and you need the
scientific apparatus.  The only people in this country
who have the facilities are the manufacturers.

          MS. JIMENEZ:  I see.  How much would it cost? 
We can't completely be stuck because the manufacturers
have pulled out, we're in big trouble.  So we have to

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  I know this is a statement
which I made several times and the reaction I get is
very similar to yours.  You don't like to hear what is
being said and I don't blame you.

          The only laboratory in the country which I
think has facilities to do this is the National Media
Lab, which is government-supported.  But their
facilities are limited as well.  The only hope that I
really see in preparing a tape specification is if we
could somehow write a specification which just measures
the hydrolysis of the binder.  But that means you don't
get into some of the other characteristics, for
instance, adhesion.  And that may be possible with the
help of the National Media Lab, but it's not a sure
thing at all.  I have been in contact with the National
Media Lab just within the last month to see if we can
move that along.  

          I suspect that if we ever did write some type
of specification which just dealt with the chemistry
and not the physical properties we've have an awful hue
and cry on the part of the manufacturers.  But I don't
have a great deal of sympathy for them.

          MS. JIMENEZ:  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Jim?

          MR. LINDNER:  This is for Mr. Adelstein as
well.  Again, getting back to this issue of standards. 
It seems that talking a little bit about equipment for
the moment, we've been talking mostly about tape, it
seems that for lack of a better term there's been a
wholesale abandonment of a standards practice on the
part of equipment manufacturers.  It used to be that
before a format was introduced to the industry or to
consumers for that matter, it went through the Society
of Motion Picture and Television Engineers or some
other process, and it seems that lately at least the
manufacturers are intentionally introducing formats
that are just slightly different for commercial
advantage.  The most recent example is Panasonic with
their DVC format and Sony with their DV format.  They
both use virtually the same algorithms for compression
but they use different tape that's different by
literally three millimeters, which is clearly not
trying to find a standard.

          Is the same thing going on with equipment
standards, I mean are manufacturers just forgetting
about standards and practices at all and they really
don't care about standards and practices any more and
they're just doing it on their own?

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  I can't really answer your
question very well because it's outside of my field,
the equipment aspect.  Some people have suggested why
don't we just write a standard for playback equipment. 
In other words, standardize on a piece of equipment
that tape should operate on.  In my opinion that's a
ridiculous suggestion. What they're saying is let's
standardize technology the way it is today and that
means we're not going to have progress in the future. 
The manufacturers won't stand for it and wouldn't
listen to it.  You just can't stop advances.  

          The manufacturers, of course, are out to
advance their product and to do that they want to make
things better and different.  So there is an economic
reason why there should be differences between

          MR. LINDNER:  So you don't see there being
less formats at all, you see there being more formats
as time goes on?

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  I can't make a prediction.  I
don't know.

          MR. FRANCIS:  It's very pleasing that there's
now more information about tape preservation and
handling, but that in some ways is causing more
confusion.  If you manage a large collection, basically
you're always concerned with the bottom line.  Let's
just take two-inch as an example.  Obviously you have
various choices.  You can try and preserve your tape
longer, but that means you have to keep your equipment
in good repair longer.

          You have another alternative.  You use all
the money that you were going to spend on additional
storage and on maintaining obsolete equipment now and
copy the tape onto a format which didn't have the
equipment problems.

          I see in the new standards, for instance,
they're talking about the idea of recommending a much
lower humidity than previously.  But reading the
standards correspondence, it appears that if you have a
wide tape like two-inch, then it may have to spend up
to 30 days or more in some sort of intermediate
humidity situation before you can withdraw it.  

          It's very useful to have a lot of these
issues on the table; but I haven't seen anything quite
like there is for film where you can see the advantages
of each of these alternatives.  You can compare the
cost of longer storage with perhaps the cost of
maintaining say two-inch equipment.  And it's not only
two-inch you need comparisons for, you need them for
all formats, because some formats which are much more
recent have a very short life.     

          I wonder whether the Image Permanence
Institute or any other organization is trying to chart
this information to make it easier for people who are
actually managing collections, to decide where to spend
their dollar?

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  Yes.  Well, of course, your
words warm the cockles of my heart, because you're
referring of course to work that's been done at the
Image Permanence Institute and which I know you're very
well aware in which the have come up with a concept of
a preservation index and  a preservation index monitor,
PIM.  That was based on chemical changes in
photographic film base and how it's affected by
temperature and humidity.  You can take any environment
and come up with a number of how good it is which is
given in years.  The same effects of temperature and
humidity also exist for dye stability as well.

          We have got to realize that the photographic
industry is 100 years old, the tape industry is only
half that old, and concern about permanence has only
been relatively recent.  The best papers have been
written about it early, about 15 to 20 years ago.  So
the industry is not as mature as far as dealing with
tape preservation.

          I think you could probably get a type of
preservation index just looking at the hydrolysis of
magnetic tape.  That doesn't get around some of the
disadvantages that you have, for instance, of humidity
conditioning your tape.  That isn't dealt with in the
photographic industry either.  If you go to low
temperature storage, you have a price to pay and the
price is the warm-up time.  And of course it's a lot
easier to warm it up than to humidify it up.

          The 30 days humidification time that you
referred to I think was a little excessive and the
individual who actually suggested that has modified his
position somewhat. The current thinking today is that
if you find that your tape, particularly helical scan
tape, isn't following the track that it should, that is
you don't get a good playback, then you probably have a
humidity problem.  The tape should then be humidified
until it does play right.  But 30 days is a little
excessive I think.   

          With respect to the comment you  made about
should you put your money in preserving what you have
or should you copy now, I'm a firm believer in
preserving what you have.  If you copy now, you're
going to be given the same problem in 20 years.  So why
copy every ten years when you can copy every 20 years?

          MR. MURPHY:  Peter Brothers, from your work
with the physical property of tape, can you recommend
any areas of further research that you think are needed
to make your work easier and give us a greater sense of
comfort about the future of videotape?

          MR. BROTHERS:  Well, as Dr. Adelstein was
discussing, we need to know more about the hydrolysis
process itself.  We have developed a procedure where
we've been able to readhere loose oxide onto the base
coat.  We have supporting theory as to why it works,
but we really need some quantitative data that we do
not have the test equipment to provide.  Theoretically,
it has to do with the hydrolysis process.  Again,
theory indicates that to some degree the hydrolysis
process can be reversed.  Unfortunately, there is
insufficient hard data on the reversal mechanism and
how long it takes. 

          A lot of restoration procedures involve
exposing the material to extreme conditions and we
don't have enough data on how long or how extreme those
conditions need to be and how much--how far the effect
has to go before the tape is playable.  For example, in
the situations where we're talking about the length of
life of a tape, models are often determined by an
arbitrary percentage of hydrolysis product in the
binder.  But there isn't really enough hard data on how
much hydrolysis product in the binder actually
interferes with playback.  Different models use
different levels.  There has not been enough testing.  

          There also is a lot of residue material that
is found on the surface of tapes.  There's calcium,
there's sodium, there's breakdown from the lubricants,
and there's the residue from the hydrolysis process in
the binder.  When talking to different people, they'll
often identify the residues as different things.  It
would be very helpful to do more laboratory testing and
really find out just exactly what all of these residues
are and how frequently they appear.  The basic
breakdown of hydrolysis where the polymers break down
into low molecular weight, oligimers and carbolic acid
is important, but there's obviously other breakdown

          Other decay has been so overshadowed by the
hydrolysis problem that I don't believe that there's
been enough research done in this area and it could be
very important.  If we find a way to retard the
hydrolysis breakdown of the tape, there may well be
other decay that is going to show up as long-term
problems.  Problems that haven't shown up as well in
accelerated testing at this point.

          DR. ADELSTEIN:  I think that another aspect
that should be mentioned.   Both Peter and I have been
talking about hydrolysis, but another aspect of
magnetic tape permanence is the fact that we're dealing
with a very flimsy material.  To get greater and
greater compaction we're making it flimsier and
flimsier.  So we take this flimsy  material and we run
it through all kinds of complicated machinery, and run
it over stationery heads, and we expect it to be very

          So when you want greater compaction of
information on one hand, and greater durability in the
other, then you're going at cross purposes.  They're
not compatible.  It's like having a water soluble
raincoat.  There's a contradiction in terms.  And a lot
of tape damage that Jim and Peter will testify to, is
just caused by the handling of the material.  This
happens to a much lesser extent with optical disks and
with photographic film.  The more severe handling of
photographic film is a motion picture film and that is
much, much thicker.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much for your
statements and your willingness to answer our
questions.  We'll take a 15-minute break.


          MR. MURPHY:  Can we have the representatives
of the Archives and Museums come to the witness table?

          The position of Public Archives and Museums
in the program has nothing to do with their importance. 
We had to juggle various calendars and this is just how
it broke out.  We are going to go in the order listed,
except that Robert Haller will be a little late, so
we'll start with Mr. Duane Watson, representing the New
York Public Library.  Mr. Watson is the Aaron and Clara
Greenhut Rabinowitz Chief Librarian for Preservation.

          MR. WATSON:  Good afternoon. 

          As you've just stated, I am the chief
librarian for preservation at the New York Public
Library.  The New York Public Library is the world's
largest public library system consisting of 82 branch
libraries and four world-renowned research centers, the
Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, the Library
for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for
Research in Black Culture, and our soon to be opened
Science, Industry and Business Library at Madison
Avenue and 34th Street

          The Library's preservation program, now in
its 30th year, and involving more than 70 full-time
staff members, coordinates preservation services for
each of these library centers.  Each year, more than
100,000 items from the collection, now surpassing 50
million catalogued items, receive some kind of
preservation treatment.

          The Library commends the Library of Congress
for embarking on this study and providing national
leadership in the field of American television and
video preservation.  We are pleased that this study
includes representation from a wide range of
organizations and individuals.  It is especially
encouraging that the librarian is seeking information
on the preservation efforts and needs of the various
types of public institutions with video holdings. 
These measures, we believe, are essential if a
comprehensive national television and video
preservation effort is to be established.  This
includes adequate funding, the development of
preservation priorities, and the development of
national standards.  We welcome the opportunity to
contribute to this study by sharing the New York Public
Library's experience with and concern about video
preservation both through this hearing and in the more
detailed survey which we are in the process of

          The New York Public Library's video holdings
are often primary documents, unpublished and unique
recordings of artists and their works.  They document
the most significant artists and events of our time and
contain local and individual interpretation of people
and events.  They are vitally important elements within
the videotape preservation, which is now under

          Another area of immense importance both in
quality and quantity are videotapes which were
published but which are no longer available anywhere
else and which are not being preserved anywhere else. 
Together these two types of videotape "document" the
past 30 years in detailed ways which must be preserved
for future generations of study.  Without these tapes,
significant and dynamic issues in our history will be

          Videotape has become the "medium of choice"
of the past two or three decades, particularly by
artists and recorders of social and cultural life who
for the first time in history can obtain affordable
equipment to record their own works and observations. 
This is especially true for dance and choreographic
works.  Also, educators and students have utilized
videotape as a pivotal communication and teaching
device for transmitting information on every subject. 
Consequently, the preservation of so important an
aspect of American culture must be one of our national

          The documentation and dramatization of our
experiences that were once exclusively captured on film
are increasingly being captured on videotape.  We must
take immediate steps to insure that this physically
fragile medium is preserved or we will lose a
substantial part of the history of the last two

          We live in an era of transition from
information and artifacts in chemicals on paper to
information in electronic forms.  As we undergo this
transition, the ultimate answers to preservation of
electronic information and materials cannot be known
with certainty.  Copying to the currently best format
is the option available while we await technological
changes which lead to longer permanence.  Because we
will be continuing this transition for many  years, we
must devise strategies to save as much videotape as
possible.  Funding for the transfer of videotapes to a
more stable medium is desperately needed during the
wait for an alternative preservation medium to arrive. 

          We see several concerns.  One is the type of
materials.  The scope and subject matter of the
television and video materials held by the various
divisions of the New York Public Library and the
procedures followed for preserving and providing access
to them is varied.  However, the common concerns
regarding television and video preservation have
encouraged cooperative efforts and assistance by the
preservation program.  Together we are preserving video
footage that would appear to fall outside the scope of
other institutions or individuals. 

          Some of these are productions that were
created originally for television broadcast; others are
not fully edited or are productions that were not
created for theatrical exhibition.  We feel that these
types of material merit preservation because of their
value to researchers and to the history of television
and video.  Researchers and documentary videomakers
require large volumes of raw footage from which to
select appropriate segments, just as filmmakers will
shoot many more hours of footage than will ever make
their final cut.  For these reasons, we would urge that
concern be given not only to the preservation and
restoration of individual released titles, but also to
collections that contain released, unreleased and raw
television and video footage. 

          This is not to suggest the preservation of
anything and everything.  Given the costs, we recognize
the importance of being selective about what is
preserved.  The study of the current state of American
television and video preservation provides a vital
opportunity for many institutions to share information
and express concern.

          The hearings process also provides insight
into appropriate selections for preservation efforts;
however, unreleased titles and raw footage held in
research institutions must be included in any plan
designed to preserve the nation's television and video
heritage.  This material when viewed by future
generations will provide them with greater insights
into the people and events of the past, and will be the
basis upon which future generations will rely for their
understanding and interpretation of our time.

          Institutions such as the New York Public
Library rely upon funding from external sources for
assistance.  Increased national awareness and continued
funding is necessary to secure environmental conditions
and appropriate screening equipment, to preserve
endangered materials, and to train television and video
historians, archivists, catalogers and technicians. 
Such support and cooperation between the holders of
video collections will allow us to preserve our video

          Technical standards.  Scientific studies on
video preservation issues must be undertaken to examine
the unstable properties of video in relation to time
and environment and to determine the negative impact of
storage materials, systems and environment.  National
standards must be established, published and widely
disseminated so that television and video archivists
are not left to rely upon their own experiences and the
studies conducted by the manufacturers of the media
materials.  A forum such as the National Moving Image
Database would provide a means of sharing bibliographic
and technical information.  We fully endorse a national
survey of all institutions collecting and/or preserving
television and video materials and are eagerly
participating in this survey.  This undertaking will
provide some sense of the volume and the scope of the
nation's repositories.  The results may be daunting,
but are essential to enlightened preservation decision-

          On-going dialogue and information sharing. 
The New York Public Library already has become a
"museum of equipment" as we face the need to preserve
videotapes.  Keeping old equipment in proper working
order and using a telephone network of concerned
professionals around the world to trace needed machine
parts has become a daily part of the preservation work
of staff who handle videotapes.  Increased national
attention and leadership to expand this network of
obsolete equipment and parts will be an essential
activity if we are to retain the videotaped work of our

          Finally, we would like to encourage the
Library of Congress to facilitate an on-going dialogue
among the various institutions whose comments were
sought for this study and testimony, and to encourage
individuals and institutions not represented to join in
a national effort.  The Library of Congress should lead
this effort to enable cooperation among institutions
and individuals, to share the wide range of concerns
and problems associated with videotape preservation. 
Increased support is also needed for the professional
associations which are already actively focused upon
the issues of videotape preservation.

          The New York Public Library collects and
preserves materials in all formats and it is our
mission to provide free and open access to these
materials.  A number of the units of the library
actively collect videotape, and I am going to mention
just a few items of our collection here or the types of
collections, to give you an idea of the range of the
preservation problem which we are facing.  It will be
in more detail in the printed copies that you receive.

          At the Donnell Media Center which is curated
by Marie Nestus who is here in our audience, we have a
large collection of 15,000 videotapes which are heavily
used by our public.  Donnell collects exemplary
television programming, primarily American produced but
including work from around the world.  We have never
had he money to provide the kind of environment to
store these collections.   It's through the efforts of
Ms. Nestus that we have preserved this collection,
which is rare and often unique.  

          At the Library for the Performing Arts, we
have extensive video holdings.  The Theater on Film and
Tape Archive, known as TOFT, and curated by Betty
Corwin, is the world's foremost collection of film and
videotape of live theater performances.  Through
agreements with unions and theatrical guilds, we are
able to videotape live theater performances across the
United States.  This is a large collection; it also has
a number of endangered films which we have transferred
to "safer" tape for the moment.  Up to 132,000 feet of
endangered film is stored off-site.  These were early
performances done before we were actually using

          The Dance Collection, curated by Madeline
Nichols, has an archive that is now in its 31st year,
with over 8,000 videotapes.  51% of the use of the
Dance Collection is using videotapes that people come
to see at the site itself.  If we lose those, we have
lost a way of looking at an art which we have never had
before.  That is to actually be able to see the dancers
in action.  This is a very significant part of our
collection and a very important one.

          The Rogers and Hammerstein Archives of
Recorded Sound at the Performing Arts Library also has
a large collection of music and opera videos.  Most of
these are from European and Asian broadcasts, not
readily available in this country.  Part of the problem
with that collection is the fact that we do not have a
standard cataloguing system for them.  Nationally we do
not know what other people have yet, and it would be
very important to share this kind of information.

          At the Schomburg Center for Research in Black
Culture, we have been documenting and preserving the
history of black culture around the world and have a
large collection of videotapes there, in which are
included historical, political, anthropological,
religious, and performing arts documentaries.  In
addition, we videotape our oral history interviews and
document public programs which are not available
anywhere else.  The Schomburg Collection is curated by
James Briggs Murray who has been the founder and real
source of development in that program.

          In the Humanities Center, in our manuscript
collection, curated by Mary Boone-Bowling, the
videotape collection numbers over 150 videotapes with
subjects relating to 20th Century American history. 
They include documentaries, out-takes, and political
and personal coverage of issues.  Using a grant from
the U.S. Department of Education, we were able to
preserve about 65 per cent of the film and video
material, but that program has been eliminated and
there are no longer any funds available.

          In conclusion, let me say that because of the
needs and problems associated with the numerous and
various collections housed at the New York Public
Library, we applaud the efforts of the Library of
Congress and its staff.  These hearings and the
accompanying survey provide an opportunity to
participate with our distinguished colleagues in this
important step toward a national preservation program
for America's television and video heritage.

          Thank you for this opportunity to discuss the
New York Public Library's concerns about the
preservation of this fragile and fugitive medium and to
add its support for a national preservation program.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Mr. Watson.

          I now ask Barbara London, who is the Curator
of Video at the Film Department of the Museum of Modern
Art to give us her statement.

          MS. LONDON:  Thanks.  It's the Department of
Film and Video.  Thanks very much for the invitation to be

          Since the founding in 1929 of The Museum of
Modern Art, the institution has been dedicated to
exhibiting, collecting and preserving the art of our
time.  The Museum first presented video art in the 1968
exhibition, "The Machine as Seen at the End of the
Mechanical Age."  This was only three years after the
first consumer video camera was put on the market. 
These were exhilarating, formative years of video art. 

          Technical factors made it challenging for
museums to exhibit video.  Nothing was automatic. 
Reel-to-reel tape decks required that someone be on
hand to thread up, start, and rewind each tape.  For
the "Machine" show, Nam June Paik turned his Lindsay
Tape into a video installation, by jerryrigging an
endless tape-loop device.  He set two open reel half-
inch playback decks about ten feet apart on a gallery
floor.  He ran the spliced-together tape between them. 
After about a week, Paik's Lindsay Tape wore out, it
died.  This classic work was presumed lost forever
until a kinescope version turned up in Germany a few
years ago.  The kinescope at least give us an idea of
what this spirited work was like.

          The next video appeared in the 1970
"Information Show," along with Xerox and mail-art. 
Videotapes by artists from North and South America and
Europe were shown.  Many of these titles have
subsequently been destroyed by fire and the extreme
humidity of Brazil.

          The Museum began its contemporary "Projects"
exhibition series in 1971 with a site-specific, live
camera installation by sculptor Keith Sonnier.  The
early video installations of Peter Campus, Shigeko
Kubota and Bill Viola, to name a few, followed in the
project series.  

          In response to the broad scope of video art
being made internationally, the Museum established an
on-going video exhibition program in a specially
designated gallery in 1974.  Since that time, we have
presented more than 2,000 independently produced
videotapes from 20 countries.  We have helped define
the evolving documentary, narrative, computer-
generated, and other experimental genres.  

          In 1977 we launched "Video Viewpoints," a
lecture series.  Here artists present and discuss their
works with an interested audience.  We've transcribed
all of these talks and they are available to
researchers in the Video Study Center.  Around the same
time we began acquiring artists' videotapes.  Initially
we purchased 3/4-inch sub-masters.  This was in 1975. 
During the 1980s, we shifted to acquiring one-inch sub-
masters.  In the future, we will change over to a
preservation format that is digital.  This will
undoubtedly be a major undertaking, which fiscally we
are not prepared to make yet.  When we do take this
step, we will work directly with the artists and with
other archives to use the best existing master.  We
will not duplicate anyone else's efforts, we will work

          Today our Video Study Collection includes
more than 800 titles.  We have the right to hold up to
three copies of each title:  a preservation sub-master,
an exhibition copy, and a study copy.  Several years
ago with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation we
started cataloging the video collection and we have
succeeded; we are up to date.  We've used the Star
System.  We've modified for our own purposes the Star
program that our film colleagues at the Museum use.

          As many of you know, the Department of Film
and Video Preservation Center has just been built.  In
fact, as I speak, the collection is getting settled
into its new premises in the Catskills.  The video
collection now is stored under ideal conditions, 55
degrees fahrenheit and 45 degrees relative humidity. 
We'll shift and adjust these as we learn that we should
be maintaining slightly different figures.  Each tape
and each storage shelf has a bar code sticker attached
to it.  This method has proven to be the most efficient
collection management system.  The bar coding is, of
course, connected to Star.

          Our video preservation activities over the
years have been conducted with very limited funds,
primarily from the New York State Council on the Arts. 
Whenever we can, we collaborate with other archives. 
To give you a few examples of what we've done, about
ten years ago we transferred John Sturgeon's early
black-and-white, half-inch, open-reel work to one-inch. 
We did part of this work up at the Experimental
Television Center (in Oswego, New York), which I think
has already been mentioned.  We worked with the Kitchen
in transferring Vito Acconci's PAL videotape entitled
"Theme Song" on to one-inch NTSC.  We found out after
exhibiting Vito's tape and then holding on to the
exhibition copy, that we had the only copy of this work
in existence.  We had played the tape for at least a
month, for many hours.  This exhibition tape became the
preservation sub-master.

          A few years ago we worked with Electronic
Arts Intermix in remastering Tony Oursler's now flaking
3/4-inch color videotapes.  So we worked closely with
Stephen Vitiello, who will speak on his project. 
Similar to FIAF members, video art archivists work
together and pool financial resources, expertise and

          The Museum has also acquired video
installations, which pose distinct preservation
problems.  In these environmental and sculptural works,
disparate media are combined, such as video, the
architecture of the room, some sculptural elements, and
sometimes a computer controller.  For example, our
video sculpture, "Nude Descending a Staircase" by
Shigeko Kubota, uses video monitors with screens of
very particular sizes, because they fit into particular
holes cut into the risers of the plywood staircase. 
Our video installation, "Between Cinema and a Hard
Place" by Gary Hill also has specific needs and very
specific schematics and requires trained staff members
who are knowledgeable about installing the work. 

          After any installation like this has been
exhibited for a long period of time, the specially
designated cameras, monitors or projectors have been
worn, and these in most cases are obsolete models. 
Replacement parts become impossible to find.  The loan
fee the Museum charges when another institution borrows
an installation in the collection goes into a special
video installation preservation fund.  In time when
these funds have built up enough, they will be used to
purchase the necessary backup equipment and parts.

          The Museum of Modern Art is well known for
its exemplary film preservation work.  You are familiar
with our preservation activity with nitrate film, and
more recently with our Super 8 film endeavors. 
Similarly, our video preservation activities are
carried out so that work can be seen more widely by
present and by future generations.  Our main purpose is
to have high quality exhibition material.  The Museum's
underlying mission is educational, to build an
appreciation for the art of our time.  We've performed
this educational role through on-going exhibitions, the
accompanying program notes and catalogues, the Museum's
monthly and quarterly magazines, as well as our
circulating video shows.  

          In 1984 the Museum opened a Video Study
Center where scholars can come by appointment to do
research using our more than one thousand catalogues,
our numerous periodicals, our artist files,
storyboards, and photographs.  This unique archive
documents the history of video art.  We have rare
ephemeral material from the early community video
groups, early video programs in the alternative
exhibition spaces located around the world, as well as
artist production labs at public television stations in
the United States and European television co-production
and exhibition projects.

          The Museum feels strongly that exhibition
collection and preservation go hand-in-hand.  In the
future, great value will be placed on artist video of
the 1960's, the 1970's and the 1980's, in the same way
that scholars look back to the film of the early 20th
Century, when there was a proliferation of film formats
and extraordinary creative activity.  Unfortunately
much early film has been lost.  Increasingly scholars
will look back to the video produced over the last
thirty years; they will search and discover a lot of
early video has disappeared.  

          Video is a major art of our time.  There are
a significant number of international artists who have
concentrated on video and installation throughout their
distinguished careers.  They have developed distinctive
themes and stylistic vocabularies.  We must all work
together to preserve this heritage, the true art of the
20th Century.  How can we do this?  Because more fires,
more earthquakes, more neglect will deprive us of our
video art masterpieces.

          Here in the Empire State we have received
small grants from the New York State Council on the
Arts.  I hope this can continue.  Unfortunately, with
video preservation, the corporate world turns the other
way.  Preservation is not as flashy or as chic, as
funding such areas as computer video games.  It is
difficult to bring attention to the dilemma that we
have on our hands.  How do we preserve the great works
that we have?  Can we set up an East Coast BAYVAC?  We
cannot wait until the best, best, best new video format
arrives.  We will lost too many vulnerable works in the
meantime.  So I'm very grateful that we have this
hearing, to get this on the record.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you very much.  Next is
David Weiss, executive director of Northeast Historic

          MR. WEISS:  Thank you, Bill.  It's a pleasure
to be here and have a chance to make a statement today.

          I feel a little bit I guess self-appointed to
represent the hinterlands, coming down from Maine; but
my remarks are more or less focused on the fact that we
are a regional, relatively remote type of facility. 
I'll start by describing our organization and its
collections and policies a little bit.

          We are a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation
established in 1986.  Our mission is to preserve and
make accessible the moving image heritage of Northern
New England.  We have recently purchased and are
renovating a 1916 theater building as our home.  We
have seven full-time equivalent employees.  The
facility includes a temporary climate-controlled vault
which is kept at 60 fahrenheit and 45% relative
humidity.  There is no air filtration.  We've designed
a permanent storage facility but we probably won't get
around to building it for two or three years, if then. 
We have a reference and research  library, public
exhibition area, 125-seat theater, and a technical
services area for repair of film and transfer of film
to videotape, and administrative offices.

          Of our collections of four million feet of
film and 2,000 hours of videotape, about 50 per cent
are television or video materials and the dates range
from 1953 to the present.  We have collections
representing seven of Maine's television stations,
which includes mostly 16mm news film, some two-inch,
one-inch, 3/4 and Beta.

          The TV collections include programming like
Maine Public Broadcasting's two-inch masters of a
weekly Franco-American public affairs program called
L'fley L'mere, all political commercials broadcast from
one station from 1988 to the present on a variety of
formats, 50 hours of unedited material and some finish
documentaries on 3/4-inch videotape related to Samantha
Smith, who is a Maine elementary schoolgirl who went to
visit Gorbachev and then died in a plane crash, it
attracted a fair amount of attention up there; as well
as the usual mass of 16mm news film, advertising and
local programming.

          Our video holdings include work like the
Archie Stewart collection which starts with 60 years of
16mm film which he shot from 1926 to 1986, and
continued shooting on videotape and providing an
enriched record using a VHS camcorder.  We have
industrial works on beta, including a record of a Maine
island telephone system shot for GTE-Visnet.  Other
videotape holdings include a visual studies student's
open reel half-inch tape documenting the 1969 takeover
of the administration building at Harvard, and the
Little Tree collection which is also open reel half-
inch and is a Native American, or an American Indian's
documentation of his knowledge of traditional medicine
through long walks through the woods.

          At our institution, television preservation
is defined by safeguarding 16mm news film collections
in temperature and humidity controlled storage and
creating master copies on beta and reference copies on
3/4-inch and VHS.  Two-inch videotape will be
transferred to beta as funding and staff time allows,
the one-inch is left to its own devices.  

          We're facing preservation problems with open
reel half-inch which after some effort we've given up
trying to transfer in-house.  We also have several
hundred unique 3/4-inch videotapes from the late '70s
which when we look at them they're not playing back
correctly anymore and we don't have any real way to
deal with those.  We don't have the finding to
systematically go at this; and I know that we have even
more stuff from the early '80s which looks more or less
okay, but it will be an increasing problem.

          Our preservation priorities, and I think his
would be true for a lot of small regional places, are
split between trying to preserve the most at-risk
materials and focusing on the ones most likely to
generate revenue through stock footage or home
videotape distribution or other ways.  It is a constant
issue that we struggle with.

          Between 40 and 50 per cent of our collection
is available to researchers.  This means that the
material has had some descriptive cataloguing and a
reference copy is available.  Copies where rights allow
are available for reuse and a lot of video cassettes
are available free for  outside loan to members of
Northeast Historic Film.  We have minimum records at
the collection level and detailed item level
cataloguing only for about 20 per cent of the
television and video collections.  We use LC subject
headings and have a local thesaurus.  Three of the TV
collections we have have detailed production files.

          I think one of the main points I really
wanted to make was that the specificities of our
nation's regional life are an important part of our
history.  Collecting and rationally curating material
from small markets and non-national creators is
important if we are to have a sense of ourselves as a
multi-faceted society.  This work is important.  This
work cannot realistically be dealt with solely by the
Library of Congress or other national facilities.  A
comprehensive national TV and video preservation
program must include a network of organizations who
together preserve the nation's television and video
production.  The coordination of the many stakeholders
in this endeavor is the key to success.

          In the Northern New England region, Northeast
Historic Film is essentially the only archival
institution with a defined mission to preserve
television and video materials.  Our primary area of
responsibility is Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont; but
we know that Massachusetts, and with the possible
exception of Rhode Island, the rest of New England
lacks curatorial attention to television and videotape,
and I'm excepting from that statement places like WGBH
and Harvard MIT, who are generally focused on things t
that the have produced or that relate to their own

          I recognize that this is not an ideal state
of affairs and we admit are lacking the resources to do
better.  Yet we are in the region and we're making some
progress and I think that across the country many areas
are worse off.

          Our choices in accepting and prioritizing
work with television and video collections is
critically important.  Ninety-eight per cent of our
reference collection and most of the pool of potential
new acquisitions being created today is on videotape. 
In addition, the only affordable way to provide access
to our film holdings is to create reference videotapes. 
And television stations are generating a vast amount of
videotape material which could provide a rich chronicle
of the years since the late '70s.

          The development and continued viability of
our archives depends on our ability to preserve this
material.  Success in this area will require one, a
more evolved relationship with television stations and
other producers, i.e., a clarified relationship between
archives and the corporate entities that control
television production and dissemination; and two, the
ability to transfer television and video to new formats
before it falls apart on our shelves.  

          The Library of Congress can help by using its
stature to articulate a clear message that the national
interest is being served through the preservation of
this material, coordinating the smaller players, and
providing guidelines or models of arrangements between
archives and copyright holders, television stations and
producers.  The producers of local television material
want continued access to that material, limited costs,
control of the images, and a sense of receiving fair
value for their efforts. 

          I think that from my point of view basically
the costs of preservation of those materials must be
borne by revenues that are going to have to be
generated from those collections in one way or another,
plus whatever the archives can bring to bear on the
issue and whatever the creators decide to contribute. 
The creators are generally profit driven corporations
and they have to see a clear benefit both financially
and perhaps a new sense of obligation to provide a
long-term social benefit before they'll get very much
involved.  The archives on the other hand want
ownership of the materials, to enable grant writing and
fund-raising, the freedom to relicense, allowing us to
raise money through reuse, and to serve our mission of
allowing access to holdings.

          We feel that there is some common ground to
be found between these positions and look forward to
participating in the planning process.  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, David.

          And now our next speaker is Mr. Graham
Leggat, president of the board of directors from the
Media Alliance.  Mr. Leggat?

          MR. LEGGAT:  Thank you.  It's a pleasure to
sit on this panel with my friends an colleagues and to
address such a distinguished panel.  I'm grateful for
this opportunity.

          Unlike a number of the speakers who have just
spoken, Media Alliance is not an archive or a
collection.  Founded in 1979, it is instead an advocacy
and service organization that's dedicated to advancing
the independent media arts, by which I mean video film
and related electronic media.  It's positioned between
local and national groups, it's a statewide
organization, and it serves as an information
clearinghouse on video preservation, organizing
training opportunities and networking events and
providing technical assistance.  

          In 1993 Media Alliance published a monograph,
Video Preservation: Securing the Future of the Past, by
Deirdre Boyle, who spoke earlier today, which has been
widely distributed.  

          While today I'll address certain common needs
of Media Alliance's diverse constituency, I'd like to
note that we're especially concerned with collections
that are held by groups that lack staff or resources
devoted to preservation; that is smaller organizations
and groups.  Media Alliance is concerned with the
preservation of videos that fall into two general
areas--video art works produced by national, regional
and New York artists, and community television,
produced by community-based organizations and video
collectives.  Currently collections of these types of
video are housed in small or mid-size libraries,
smaller museums, media art centers, college media
departments, video collectives, community
organizations, public access television stations, and
non-profit distributors.  It's a unique body of work
that I'm talking about and it represents a major
investment of both public and private funds into an
historical and cultural legacy that unfortunately
remains largely out of reach of both scholars and the
public.  Out of reach because in many cases the folks
who work in these organizations where these collections
are housed are often unfamiliar with movie image
preservation, conservation and collection management,
and as I mentioned, lack the staff or resources to
perform such tasks. 

          So we have a vast repository of treasures,
cultural treasures that unfortunately are not being
able to be accessed as they might be.  The collections
are largely uncataloged and the unavailability and
underuse is a great shame.  It often includes works by
cultural communities that are traditionally under-
represented in mainstream media.

          New York in particular is home to a
tremendous range of video work produced in communities
all across the  state, from New York City to remote
upstate towns.  This is due in large part to the work
that New York State has done through its state Council
on the Arts, and New York was the first state I believe
to fund video as an art medium.  At the same time,
federal, state and private dollars have supported
projects promoting the use of video as a tool for
community development and dialogue.  Video production
sprung up within local boards of education, for
example, as the first examples of media education
programs.  And communities and individuals thus were
given the means to explore a dynamic and powerful new
tool, one that was uniquely appropriate to express the
spirit of grassroots community development that was so
evident in the late '60s and '70s when video first was
born as a medium of expression.

          Community-based video production grew out of
these democratic traditions and the ideas of free
speech and of equal opportunity, of active
participation in government and government
responsiveness to local needs that are so vital.  When
artists and community producers picked up the first
open reel half-inch video port-a-packs in the late
'60s, the relationship of regular ordinary folks to the
telecommunications industry changed dramatically. 
Within a system conceived as a one-way path for
communication, there grew a movement for non-commercial
alternative media that continues today and the ability
for communities to create their own video programming
provides an opportunity for all folks, all Americans,
regardless of race, creed, religion, class, or
political ideology, to speak, share their cultures, and
take part in the development of their local communities
and national identity.

          The media arts field has learned a great deal
about video preservation in recent years, not the least
of which is that it requires a multi-faceted approach,
something that a panel like this one speaks very well
to and that I'm sure your speakers today have spoken
well to.  We've seen success in several priority areas
that have been identified through regional and national
meetings and it's clear from these meetings that we
must continue collaborations that bring together the
resources of many institutions to benefit the field as
a whole.  We must continue to create regional models
that link the expertise of local groups with that of
nationally recognized centers for film and video
documentation and preservation.  

          I'd like to speak very briefly to two key
areas that we believe will be useful to look at in a
study.  Storage.  Of course, immediate steps must be
taken to insure proper storage of video materials while
other long-term preservation strategies are developed. 
We have to recognize that it's not always desirable or
feasible to simply transfer collections to exiting
major repositories.  Funding is needed to research the
feasibility of creating new storage facilities or
upgrading existing facilities on a regional basis.  A
national survey along with accompanying regional
surveys are needed to determine how moving images are
currently stored, what the costs are, and whether
collaborative strategies are possible or desirable.

          As far as cataloging is concerned, there's
currently no infrastructure that allows intellectual
access to many collections, especially to tapes made in
1985 and earlier.  The early years of video.  Each
institution has attempted in its own way to document
and save its own collections.  Significant progress,
however, is being made on a standard national database
through partnerships between the National Moving Image
Database, NAMID, a project of the American Film
Institute and regional media arts and community
television groups. 

          In the New York region, the immediate goal is
to create an inventory level database of key at-risk
collections.  This initial level of cataloging will
both assist groups internally to allow them to
prioritize which tapes or collections to work on first,
as part of a long-term preservation plan.  It will also
allow groups to work together to preserve tapes held in
common.  As part of the NAMID database, the information
will eventually be accessible to scholars, educators
and programmers, through recognized research networks. 

          As mentioned, many of these organizations are
typically unfamiliar with standard cataloging
practices.  In addition, computer and human resources
are limited and existing hardware and software vary
greatly.  Also, there are few available training
programs to teach cataloging and description of moving
image collections, and few models for compatible
information systems between institutions with similar
collections.  This is an unfortunate state of affairs. 

          While many groups are committed to principles
of compatible cataloging, they also need information
collected by NAMID for their own purposes, such as in-
house catalogues, publications, or reports.  And so
far, NAMID has worked closely with groups in upstate
New York to address these concerns, developing a
template for compatible cataloging among five separate

          With severe cuts to the NEA however and
changes in the guidelines, the future of NAMID and its
partnerships with media arts groups is called into
question.  The NAMID must be stabilized with increased
funding for participating funds, in particular for
smaller museums, libraries and artist spaces.   

          Physical preservation.  There's a continuing
debate over appropriate archival formats and that
debate has confused funders--that's an unfortunate side
effect--and those involved with preservation and
conservation, and in some cases this confusion has
perpetuated inaction.  We need to balance the need to
find a stable format against the immediate need for
duplication.  If we wait for the industry to develop an
archival format, we're effectively abandoning the
current collections.  We desperately need sites for
testing and for open experimentation with archival
formats and methods.  The work of BAVC, the Bay Area
Video Coalition in San Francisco, is an excellent model
for an environment in which information is freely
shared with the goal of making the best possible
transfer at the lowest possible cost.  BAVC's model
also links research and experimentation to a site for
current production, a smart move.  It makes sense if we
do encourage producers to make an archival copies at
the time of their creation.

          In terms of collection management, video art
and community television collections offer unique
challenges to collection management, beyond the
physical care of the material alone.  Collections may
contain work that was donated, produced on-site or
acquired for exhibition or broadcast.  Significant
works exist in organizations that may not have adequate
staff or expertise to properly document their
acquisitions.  In order to provide access to materials,
many groups need technical assistance to resolve
questions of ownership and copyright.  There is a need
for commissioned papers on these issues, using case
studies and offering recommendations for resolving
rights, with sample forms and documentation and
guidelines to preventing future problems.  Archivists,
librarians, producers, rights holders, programmers, are
among those who might be consulted in the development
of such materials.

          Finally, funding.  With little funding or
expertise, progress on preservation has been slow and
patchy.  Arts and cultural groups have suffered
continual cutbacks in private and public funding over
the last five years, since the late '80s.  Media arts
is also one of the most under-funded disciplines for
arts funding.  Thus, resources tend to go towards
production and public programming and not to

          In addition, video preservation has always
been under-funded in relationship to film preservation. 
For example, while the American Film Institute offered
a regrant program for film preservation, there's never
been a comparable program for video preservation.  A
tiny fraction of the resources of NAMID, for example,
have gone to groups such as Electronic Arts Intermix,
Video Databank, and Anthology Film Archives, with major
institutions receiving the bulk of the funds.

          In conclusion, it's our feeling, it's the
feeling of our organization, that national, regional
and local strategies are needed to address preservation
issues.  Thus, for efforts to be truly successful,
funding must be provided at all levels using multiple
strategies.  Existing organizations and collaborative
projects such as NAMID, BAVC, and the New York regional
cataloging efforts, must be strengthened. 

          There are on-going needs for information and
technical assistance and for periodic meetings to
network and to develop new skills.  These efforts are
important at both the national and regional level, and
in the distribution of funding and other resources, we
mustn't force small organizations to compete against
major institutions and repositories.  There must be a
recognition that tapes of significant value exist in
many different cultural and geographic communities. 
Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, sir.

          Kate Horsfield from the Video Databank in
Chicago cannot be here today, so we'll move on to the
next speaker, Gloria Walker, who is here representing
Deep Dish Television Network and Educational Video
Center, and she is the Coordinator of Community
Organizer Television.

          MS. WALKER:  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Welcome.

          MS. WALKER:  Thank you.  I want to thank you
all very much for allowing me to come and do this
presentation, and thank everyone who's talked about
community media.

          I work at Deep Dish and also at Educational
Video Center.  I train community organizers to produce
and use video as an organizing tool.  I discovered
community media shortly after I graduated from film
school at the University of Iowa in 1981.  Public
access was just getting started then and we were very
lucky in Iowa City because Nicholas Johnson happens to
live there and as a former member of the FCC he helped
us write up our franchise agreement, so we had a real
good access center in Iowa City.

          I had been a welfare mother my last year in
film school and after being a suburban housewife for
eleven years, I became acutely aware of how cruel and
inaccurate the images of women who--single mothers like
myself were, that were being presented in the press and
in films and television.  With the Reagan campaign in
1980, it seemed clear that politicians like to use
these distorted images to feed on people's hatred and
ignorance about poor people.  So I naturally became a
big advocate for public access because I could see from
my own experience how these stereotypical and degrading
images really hurt people.  Public access not only gave
me a chance to develop my skills in producing
television, it allowed me the freedom to present myself
and others like me from a more accurate perspective.

          About ten years ago when I had my own
production company I often transferred people's home
movies to video for them.  One film in particular
stands out in my mind.  It documented a couple's trip
out west.  The people who shot the film were evidently
very shy about being caught on camera, so the footage
was almost entirely of what they saw from their car,
hours and hours of scenery of mountains, trees, and
highways rolling by.  A couple times as they panned to
the left, they would briefly catch the image of the
person driving.  They would immediately either stop
recording or pan back to the right, acting as if the
image of this family  member was a mistake.  Years
later when the children of this couple viewed the video
transfer, it was this shot, the mistaken glimpse of the
person driving the car, that they would most treasure. 
Those mountains and highways are still there, but the
people who were caught ever so briefly in these pans
had died.  The children of this couple were delighted
to catch these images of their parents when they were

          I tell you this story because I believe that
although community media, very much like the person
driving the car, may be considered too much on the
periphery, too "fringy" to be truly appreciated today,
that a few years down the line it may be exactly what
we or our children may find the most precious, the most
valuable, as they try to understand the nature of the
times we live in.

          I work with Deep Dish TV.  I am a part-time
worker.  Deep Dish has a staff of three part-time
workers.  We're a very low-budget operation but we do a
tremendous amount of work.  Deep Dish TV is the
nation's first grassroots satellite television network. 
It was started in 1986.  It's more than a television
network though, it is also a network of activists
across the country and internationally who produce
video to educate and organize around issues that are
being ignored by the mainstream media.  Our programs
are down-linked by over 300 public access stations in
the United States and some PBS stations and they've
also been seen internationally.

          I lived in Albuquerque for four years and one
of the high points of the time I lived there working at
the access center was when we did an up-link
celebrating the 500 years of resistance when other
people were celebrating Columbus.  It was very
exciting.  We were able to--we had a call-in portion
and we had a panel of Native Americans and Chicano
people talking about environmental justice issues and
it was a very powerful experience for us because they
were sharing their stories, but we were also getting
phone calls from people in Canada, people in Florida,
because anyone with a dish, who happens to have a
satellite dish could also pick up our programming.  So
it was a very exciting moment.  And to me it kind of
exemplifies the power of community media, when people
can get access to the technology that normally they
don't have access to.  But it's kind of a matter of
using imagination and technology to be able to use the
satellite to link people in a community basis all over
the country and potentially all over the world.

          Deep Dish has always been conscious of the
heavy emphasis of mainstream media on New York and Los
Angeles as production centers and has actively worked
to have programming produced in and covering other
parts of the country and of the world.  Deep Dish was
started by Paper Tiger TV actually.  Paper Tiger is a
collective that produces media critiques, very clever,
often biting critiques of mainstream media.  Their
programs are shown here on public access and there's
such a demand for them in universities across the
country and internationally that they started to look
into using a satellite, and that is how they developed
the idea of Deep Dish television.  They wanted to see
what was going on in the rest of the country, see what
other people working in their communities were doing
with video, and so they started doing outreach.  So
Deep Dish was kind of borne out of that.

          Paper Tiger has an international reputation
for producing these videos and we often show Paper
Tiger shows on Deep Dish television.  We work very
closely with Paper Tiger, especially like on the Gulf
Crisis series that was produced.  This is a series that
was very important to all of us because as everyone
knows who lived through that "war" there wasn't much
coverage on regular television, once the bombs started
dropping, of any dissent.  It was very hard to see that
there was anyone in this country who was opposed to the
war.  And this project really showed the other points
of view, plus it had a lot of very valuable information
that went into the history of the region in the Middle
East.  So this kind of programing is very, very
exceptional, it's a pity that more people don't know
about it and aren't aware of it, and that's kind of our
constant mission, to let people know about Deep Dish TV
and to know that they can participate in it.  It's a
very democratic use of video.

          Another group I'd just like to mention is the
People's Video Network.  It's a group of activists who
work with unions, producing programs.  They've recently
produced a program on Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black
journalist who was almost executed last August.  There
was a national outcry in support of Mumia and a lot of
work went into producing videos and distributing videos
about Mumia's case, and it's clear that video did play
a very important role in helping this execution--he got
a stay of execution right before he was supposed to be
executed.  So, as an example of the way that video can
be used actually to save lives.

          I'd also like to mention the Alliance for
Community Media.  It's a national organization of
people who work with public, government, and
educational access facilities.  They hold a hometown
video festival every year that selects the best entries
of works produced by community producers.  So I'm
bringing up all these different organizations; I don't
just want to talk about Deep Dish, so that you know
that there already is an infrastructure here of ways of
selecting the best of community media that's being

          Oh yes--and all of the organizations I've
just mentioned are all non-profit organizations.  None
of them have very much money and none of us that I know
of have the facilities to archive our tapes in the
proper manner.  I do hope that you will consider some
way of allowing us to still archive our tapes with the
Library of Congress and to maybe even--I would really
like to see us have, as was suggested earlier, a
library set up for distributing these alternative kinds
of videos and to store them in a safe way because it is
really valuable, and I think on down the line in a few
years their value will actually increase even more than
they are today.

          I recently learned that the Library of
Congress made several requests for copies of Newsreel
films.  The New York Newsreel was a collective of
activists who produced over 200 films during the '60s
and early '70s that documented many of the same kinds
of things that Deep Dish TV, the People's Video
Network, and Educational Video Center produce today. 
Organizers working in communities, people demonstrating
and working for social change and injustices such as
police brutality, and I just want to read a quote from
the Catalogue of the New York Newsreel.  "For the most
part, the established media has always served the
interest of the corporate giants.  Newspapers, radio,
and television are almost exclusively controlled
through advertising by the major corporations.  They
have conspired to maintain a monopoly on public
information and manipulate public opinion to suit their
interests.  Newsreel's goal was to place the power of
the film media into the hands of poor and working
people to serve their interests and needs.  In Newsreel 
films, it is the people who speak out strongly against
economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and U.S.
military aggression in Southeast Asia." 

          There actually, before the New York Newsreel
there was a Film and Photo League of the 1930's and I
just recently found out about them and I'd like to read
a little bit of information from an article.  The
People's Video Network produces a magazine and this is
taken from an article in here about the Film Video
league, or the Film Photo League.  They produced films
and photos during the Depression.  "In a period where
the press denied the reality of the suffering around
them, it was not known as the Great Depression until
after it was over, the Film and Photo League documented
the desperate conditions and heroic struggles the
Depression was known for--evictions, bread lines,
strikes, hunger marches, the Bonus March, the
Scottsboro Case, the Hoovervilles, the demonstrations
and protests, and the everyday lives of the people. 
Because the press never admitted there was a
depression, many people felt atomized and isolated in
their suffering, their loss of jobs, evictions, hunger. 
People blamed themselves or their local community. 
Like today, the reality of most people's lives were not
reflected in the corporate media and the documentaries
of the FPL were not suitable fare for the only major
media outlet at the time, the Hollywood controlled
movie theaters.  The newsreels that were shown tended
either to be patriotic propaganda or diversionary
fluff, flagpole sitters or how many people could fit
into a phone booth.  In order to show their
documentaries FPL members would take their newsreels to
union halls, farms, one-room schoolhouses, and
churches, frequently in places with no electricity. 
They would hook the handcrank projector's bulk to a car
battery, pin a sheet between two trees and run their
films.  Leo described the reaction of their audiences
to seeing their documentaries--their jaws would drop
open.  People were amazed to see that they were not
alone in their problems.  The same thing was happening
to people all over the country and the world.  The
reactions that many of the Film and Photo League
working class audiences had in viewing these
documentaries depict in their own reality has many
parallels to the current day.  Today's audiences face
many of the same problems, confused, isolated, and lied
to.  One study carried out during the Gulf War showed
that the more TV people watched, the less they knew
about what was going on."  And again, I just want to
say that the Gulf Crisis TV project was a very strong
response to the media tendency to ignore the dissent in
this country against the war.  And it was carried by
some PBS stations.

          MR. MURPHY:  You'll have to bring you
statement to a conclusion.

          MS. WALKER:  Sum up, okay.  Well, I would
just like you to consider that what entertains us today
may not be what we want to know about ourselves and our
world tomorrow.  Thank you.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.  Our next speaker is
Stephen Vitiello, the director of distribution from
EAI, Electronic Arts Intermix.

          MR. VITIELLO:  Thank you.  

          MR. MURPHY:  Speak into the microphone,

          MR. VITIELLO:  Thank you very much.

          Electronic Arts Intermix was founded 25 years
ago to support video as an art form.  Howard Wise, who
was a director of a gallery of kinetic art recognized
video as being that much more exciting, that much more
powerful and still fairly unrecognized.

          In the 25 years that we've been in existence,
we've represented large bodies of work by over 200
artists from all over the world.  We now represent a
library collection of about 2,000 titles.  We hold
obsolete formats, we hold archival formats, we
distribute primarily on 3/4-inch and VHS that have
seen--I'm not sure, I can't even know how many formats
sort of come through our places and keep moving out.

          The job that I've come in contact with, just
dealing with preservation has been through necessity. 
What distinguishes our collection is a little bit
different than some of the other people who have spoken
today, is that our collection exists totally for
access.  We have tapes so that they may be distributed. 
We do preservation based on request.  And my own job as
distribution director is really not a technical job,
but yesterday I spent four hours out of eight trying to
transfer a tape which featured Mr. Erik Barnouw, who is
on your table earlier, a documentary on Hiroshima, for
a high school teacher who was buying a tape out of her
own money and needed it by the end of this week.

          We work very closely with the artists that we
distribute.  Many of the artists are exclusive to our
distribution.  Several people mentioned Nam June Paik
today.  About four years ago he said to me, before I
die you must find all of my masters from WNET, which
everybody had said were thrown away.  I contacted the
archive at WNET where he had produced over 15 programs. 
The person I spoke to didn't know who he was.  I
mentioned Global Groove, which is perhaps the most
well-known international experimental video, and
everybody just said those tapes are gone.  Some of them
may be in storage with Anthology Film Archives, which I
found some very valuable material, but it was generally
out-takes that the station had thrown away.

          At the last moment I found a box of 3/4-inch
tapes, some of which were 20 year sold and were ready
to be thrown away.  On the tapes were scribbled just
numbers and letters, and through lots and lots of phone
calls and sort of figuring and guessing, I came to find
out that those were can numbers.  I called back the
same man at WNET and I said do you have L1, 2, 3, et
cetera, and he said oh, yes, that's Global Groove, Nam
June Paik, we have the material.  And through a friend
who was in doing programming at the station I had 23 I
think two-inch tapes arrive on my floor, and Nam June
came in the office, sat on the floor, and looked like
the happiest little kid I had ever seen in my life.  

          It really is true that cataloging this
material is still very, very new.  I think also when
talking about video, I don't know how to say this quite
so articulately, but there should be some equivalent of
when we talk about animals and dog years.  Because the
video that I was trying to transfer yesterday with Erik
Barnouw was a sub-master made about 7 or 8 years ago
and it was not play, it would clog and heads over and
over and over, and I think everybody, every discussion
today has brought up still photographic film or 16mm or
35mm film.  And a 7-year-old video is sort of like a
70-year-old film in dog years.  

          I've been overseeing the transfer of some
home movies from 1916 through 1925, about seven hours
by one family, and they've transferred far more
beautifully than tapes that are 5 or 6 or 7 years old.  
          Another thought I've had sitting here all day
is that one big missing chair on your very important
table is industry, meaning there should be a
representative from SONY, there should be someone
who's--it's sort of like giving us a boat that would
sink in five years and being told to live on there. 
The industry who produces these formats.  I've heard
different people recently say between 60 and 100
formats of video since inception.  The people creating
those formats should really help take responsibility. 
I mean SONY, I know in Alabama was doing free transfers
to VHS or betamax and we sent some tapes there as a
test.  Six months later I got back the tapes but
without any sound.  And the idea of transferring to VHS
is also just giving you another incredible ephemeral
form that won't last more than another few years.  So I
think it's something very important for these talks,
whether you have to kidnap them or drag them in by the
hair, to make them see that one of the most important
means of communication has been offered from their
hands and in certain ways it's been sort of--had its
head chopped off at times.

          One other thing if I may, I'll mention, is
that we have been very lucky to receive some funding
from the New York State Council on the Arts and
occasionally even private collectors.  But it's
absolutely never enough.  And the only way that we've
really managed to take care of the tapes that we have
is through collaboration such as Barbara mentioned with
the Museum of Modern Art, with other distributors, with
artists.  I've had collectors who wanted to buy
material; I've asked them instead to support the
transfer of totally unknown material; had people who
were doing programming but couldn't afford our purchase
fees, but they also happened to work in technical
facilities, had them give us free, in one case D-1
transfers in exchange for a fair number of free
rentals.  I think the more we communicate within our
own field and with all the people who called very week,
we get calls from all over the country just asking for
advice, that there's always ways to take care of the
material without much money, although there's always
some that's needed.  

          Thanks very much for the opportunity.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you. 

          I see Robert Haller has arrived and we'll ask
him to come to the witness table and make a statement
on behalf of Anthology Film Archives.

          MR. HALLER:  I hope my voice survives, I've
got the flu.

          My name is Robert Haller, I'm the director of
Anthology Film Archives.  I've got a two-page written
statement which I'll go through quickly.

          Anthology Film Archives began restoring
videotapes in 1983.  As time and resources have
permitted, we have continued with this work.  In 1983,
the condition of early video, the first decade of 1965
to 1975, was already a catastrophe with much early and
important work decayed or lost.  Since then videotape
materials have been improved by the manufacturers, but
they are still not sufficiently stable to be used as a
preservation material.

          Our institutional focus, that is Anthology's
institutional focus, is personal, independent, and
experimental video.  It is both a form of expression
and a distinctive record of the last third of this
century.  Independent video is the polar opposite of
broadcast commercial television.  Individually produced
made with the expectation of narrow casting rather than
broadcasting across continents, independent video aims
at viewers who embrace challenges and questions rather
than entertainment and answers.

          Decades from now the videotapes made by
independent and experimental artists will be at least
as important if not moreso as the product made by the
networks and seen by millions.  Though the audience for
independence is small, they speak with an uncompromised
authenticity less frequently found in the mass media.

          In this context, the fragility of independent
video made on half-inch tape on equipment with a
shorter shelf life and electronics often more
idiosyncratic than those used by the networks is a grim
spectacle that resembles a sandy beach awaiting its
annual visit by a Caribbean hurricane.  The grains of
iron oxide, like the grains of sand, will be swept away
unless they are trucked to safety; in our case, to a
video archive where temperature and humidity will slow
the deterioration that will come in the most gentle of
climates.  Then if the necessary playback equipment has
also been preserved and if people care and funds exist
to re-record the independent signal onto what is then,
and I stress then the state-of-the-art video format, a
tape's life will be extended for another decade or so.

          Because the technology is still evolving, we,
those of us who are working with video preservation,
are denied the benefits that came to film early in the
century when standard gauges, 35mm and later 16mm, at
fixed rates of frames per second, allowed films made
anywhere to be shown nearly everywhere for almost any
time, now 100 years.

          What in summary am I saying?  That tape is so
unstable that it's care demands extraordinary measures,
that personal experimental video needs even more than
that produced by commercial sponsors, that financial
support for this restoration is tiny and likely to stay
that way, and that because the technology is evolving
with the velocity which exceeds 24 frames per second
but will not and probably should not be standardized
yet, our task is impossible.  But of course we keep
trying because we have no choice.  As Winston Churchill
said, "Never give up, never, never, never."

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.  Well, let us begin
with some questions.

          Certainly the variety of materials that
you've described in the last few minutes is quite
incredible.  There is a world beyond networks and we're
glad to hear of that.  I have a question to begin.  

          Those of you who do work with video artists,
what are the typical terms that a video artist might
require from an archive or a museum for deposit? 

          MS. LONDON:  Well, since the video collection
began, I've been more interested in purchasing than in
receiving gifts, because artists have spent a lot of
money to produce a work.  So we have a contract, and as
I said, this entitles us to three copies.  So what the
artist expects is the work has a home, we have a
preservation sub-master.  We take it on as a work of
art and we will do our darndest to have that exist
forever.  We have the rights only to show it in the
museum unless we have negotiated special rights to put
it into the circulating film video library, or to put
it into a traveling show.  

          And I always say to artists, I'm also a word
junkie, give me every shred of paper you have about the
work.  So that's what goes into the study center.  So
for me, that's very important then, when the cataloging
time comes that there's information on the past
exhibition, where the original is, all kinds of
production notes.

          MR. HALLER:  At Anthology our position is a
bit different.  Most of our material comes from people
who are dead, so even though I would like to get the
written material that Barbara's talking about, it's
usually not available.

          Well, for instance, we are working on a large
Ed Emschwiller project right now, the Channel 13
collection that was referred to a few minutes ago is in
storage at Fort Lee, New Jersey.  And we discovered
that much of the material is in formats that we are
still trying to decipher.  It's difficult.

          MR. MURPHY:  Jim?

          MR. LINDNER:  It's a little daunting, at
least for me as a panelist, in that the scope of the
panelists and the different places you come from is
very diverse; but it seems to me that one thing you
have in common is, or at least two things--one is that
matures aren't holding up and the other is that you
have a real need to provide access.  And it seems to me
that there's some way where there's some kind of fit,
and I don't have an answer here; I'm sort of asking for
a question in that I'd like to find out what kind of
programs you have in place to have access fund or help
fund preservation, and whether that's realistically
viable from a financial standpoint, for whether the
fees that you could charge for access are so small that
you could never begin to do any meaningful work,
because it seems that you all share this common, that
you all need to preserve things and you all need to
provide access.

          MR. VITIELLO:  We offer about five different
levels of purchase which goes from $45 to an individual
or $200 for VHS copy to a university, to up to $2,000
for some of the larger museums who collect on one-inch
or D-2.  And often that money, the larger archival
purchases are used directly--I mean we've sold tapes
that weren't preserved so that we could use that money
coming in to provide a much healthier copy.

          MR. LINDNER:  But do you actually generate a
profit through access?  In other words--or maybe not a
profit but less of a deficit, if you will?  Is using
access funds a viable way to sort of bring your
organizations out of this--

          MR. VITIELLO:  For us, that's how we survive,
is by distributing, which is for us--which is then
access.  We get what was once--I guess 50 per cent was
from public funding and now I guess it's down to about
30 per cent of how we survive as public funding.  And
the rest is through renting and selling the tapes.

          MR. LINDNER:  So is it fair to assume then
that if you had more access then you'd get more money?

          MR. VITIELLO:  Yes.

          MR. LINDNER:  So since it would seem to be
that if all of your organizations all have valuable
materials that people want to see, that at least part
of the problem is getting the word out if you will, of
letting people know, potential viewers who are out
there in the world, that these materials are available,
they can be seen, and that the revenue that will be
generated by that accession would help sort of float
the ship, as it were--is that a fair--

          MR. VITIELLO:  Um-hem.

          MS. LONDON:  But the people who want to see
that work are other museum curators, writers, artists,
who if we charge more than $5, I don't think they could
pay it.  And I think I'd rather look at other avenues
of getting revenue together, like I'm always trying to
be very clever, so with an exhibition, say when we did
a documentary show curated by Deirdre Boyle, we raised
enough money to then go and preserve some of the really
early works.  When one of my colleagues in painting and
sculpture will say oh, I'm doing this show on German
art from the '80s, why don't you do a video program at
the same time, I'll say okay, if you buy the
videotapes.  And then I get new work into the
collection that I wanted.  So I'm always--I think we're
all trying to sort of take from here and put it here
and pull it.

          MR. LINDNER:  But except that there are
organizations which are profit-making organizations
which are stock footage houses which do exactly--

          MS. LONDON:  But I don't have the rights to
turn over say Nam June Paik's Global Groove in my
collection to a stock footage house.

          MR. LEGGAT:  Also, it's appropriate for
distributors to use access as a revenue-producing
agent, but it's not necessarily appropriate for a
museum or a library or something like that.  In
addition, stock footage houses, the footage belongs in
a different economy from that which video art and
community media belongs.  Typically stock footage
houses make money because their footage can be used in
commercial projects and it's not always the case say
that hours of public access programming or video arts
or community media, those are not images that people
want in their commercial projects typically.  So we're
talking often about two different medias.  Nonetheless,
there are, as you point out, there are some
organizations for whom access can be used as a revenue-
producing mechanism, but it doesn't speak to everyone,
it doesn't speak to the whole picture.

          MS. LONDON:  And also there is the issue of
copyright.  When it comes to stock footage, I mean

          MR. LINDNER:  I was using--I don't want to--
when I was referring to stock footage, what I was
referring to is that for different markets, different
fees are appropriate for different applications, and so
not everyone charges $5 for access.  Clearly if
someone's going to put something in a feature film, if
you have a copyright, it's going to be a lot more than

          MS. LONDON:  Right, but--

          MR. LINDNER:  And so I guess what I'm trying
to get at is there a way for the Library of Congress to
help in this issue of access in terms of allowing the
visibility if you will of your collections to be larger
than--as a whole  you represent a huge amount of
incredibly important material.  But as individuals
you're each under-funded, you're small and in some
cases very regional, very local, and I'm just sort of
throwing out the idea that by heightening the overall
visibility of the works that are contained within your
collections, that that would indeed increase access and
that would indeed increase funding to allow you to
survive better.  It's just an idea that I just had and
I don't know whether it's viable or not.

          MR. MURPHY:  David?

          MR. FRANCIS:  Well, as you can see, we
haven't got anyone on the panel from the industry and
the Library of Congress is just another advocacy
organization as far as this is concerned.  We just hope
our advocacy may be in a different plane.

          I'd like to find a recommendation that we
might actually achieve, which helps the area we've been
talking about.  I've been trying to all the time think
of something and it's very, very difficult.  There does
seem to be one advantage in the formats you're working
with.  The equipment is pretty portable, the older and
the newer equipment.  The only thing that I could
really think of, and I'd have to let your advocacy
groups come up with this, was a proposal under which
there might be a small pool of equipment which could be
borrowed by organizations.  Perhaps some of the older
equipment could be available as well.  It could be
passed from one organization to another to enable them
to cope with certain transfer difficulties.

          I'm really trying to think of something that
we could put as a recommendation that we as advocates
might be able to persuade someone else to fund.  One
hates to have in a final report recommendations that
are not achievable.  So I was really just trying to
say, if any of the advocacy groups here felt they could
put together a proposal that was achievable, that we,
ourselves might be able to find someone to support, I
would really like that.

          MS. LONDON;  Some of us have talked, I know
I've talked with Mona, and I know preservation is of
course very important, say the Center upstate,
Experimental TV Center, they have all kinds of old
formats, there's an incredible artist-become-engineer
who's amazing.  It would be great to see that center or
another one like Electronic Arts Intermix, if they were
interested, or someone else, where we do all work
together like the Bay Area Coalition in San Francisco. 
I think they've provided an excellent model and I think
it's like their model, the equipment is all there,
they've got the technician now who knows how to work
it, he's pooling together experience, he's worked with
the regional artists.  So I think thinking of sort of
this as a region--

          MR. FRANCIS:  It seems at the moment that the
advocacy groups are really concentrated in the New York
and the L.A./San Francisco areas.  Is it possible to
use the models that already exist in other areas?  Is
there any way of bringing people together in other
areas to achieve similar groupings so that there can be
four or five centers in the country?  I'm just trying
to think of something that one can propose that is
achievable in some way.  It's very difficult.  I'm
clutching at straws, I know.

          MS. WALKER:  I think we all have ideas, it's
just a matter of funding.  I think archival facilities
regionally based would be wonderful, a place where we
could store our tapes at the right temperature and
humidity and have equipment there.  It would be
wonderful to be able to have that kind of facility, but
I don't know.

          MR. FRANCIS:  What I'm trying to say is can
you come forward with some sort of proposal that is not
so big that it has no chance of success.  I would like
to feel that we had some recommendations that we might
have some chance of achieving.  I'm looking to you to
come forward with something that would help--not the
total answer, but a start.

          MR. LEGGAT:  When is your deadline?  When do
you need it by?

          MR. MURPHY:  This year.

          MR. FRANCIS:  We have to complete the--

          MR. MURPHY:  Under negotiation.

          MR. FRANCIS:  --and the report by the end of
this year, so there's a bit of time.

          MR. MURPHY:  As a group, your organizations
probably have had more experience with half-inch EIAJ
tape than the larger archives and certainly  more
experience than the networks themselves, because EIAJ
never had an impact in the networks.  Is this a crisis
format or can you still get equipment, is the equipment
workable?  Can someone speak from their experience in
copying half-inch tapes?

          MR. VITIELLO:  The answers are yes to
everything.  It is a crisis format, but it is still
possible to have the tapes cleaned and transferred. 
There's several places that we worked with.  I think
for the general public the information is very limited. 
I've spoken to so many people who have baked their
tapes, so many people have hand-cleaned them with
Palmolive on film reels and--serious--artists or people
who have been in the field for 30 years and still kind
of resort to guerilla methods either because of money
or just not trusting sending their tapes off to

          At our office we have four half-inch reel-to-
reel players.  The heads on all of them are gone and I
haven't found anybody who can help us replace those. 
So for the moment I've stolen one from the Whitney
Museum and transferred a bunch of tapes.  But just one
other thing about  half-inch that I've found is that
it's not always the case that once I've tracked down
the original material and transferred it, it's not
always in better condition than a 3/4-inch copy that
was made 7 or 8 years later.  So it's important to get
as many copies as possible to work with and to compare
and contrast, but it's not always the oldest or most
original that I believe to be the most useful material.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thanks very much.

          We'll now have the next panel come forward.

          Let me say that your being last has nothing
to do with the importance of you presentations.  I only
arranged it because I know you people live relatively
close by and you can get home without too much trouble.

          But we're very happy to see you here today
and look forward to your statements, and let us begin
with Sara Meyerson, a consultant in the area of video

          MS. MEYERSON:  Thank you.

          Good afternoon.  I feel really privileged to
be able to speak here today.  Is this working?

          MR. MURPHY:  Yes.

          MS. MEYERSON:  And it is really with great
pride in our profession that I view the enormous
efforts that everyone has made here and elsewhere to
further this investigation into the state of television
and video preservation and restoration.

          I spent 20 years as the archivist and manager
of the ABC News Film Tape Libraries and when I started
there was just so much to do, there were so few of us
in this field of moving image collecting and
preserving, and there was little background material
available to help with my talk.  But I found Sam Suratt
at CBS and thus followed endless phone calls and weekly
lunches discussing mostly my problems which he helped
me with enormously.  I think he may have gotten tired
of it, but he seemed to have a lot of patience.

          However, we managed to create standards for
our TV archives and set up the foundations for the
cataloging and preservation of these materials.  It was
a lonely task, but somewhere in the mid-1970's a group
started to meet in Washinton and that was the beginning
of our professional organization, the Association for
Moving Image Archivists, and after that I didn't feel
so alone.

          Television is one of the most potent
informational, cultural and historical media of our
time, but the preservation and restoration of its
important historical heritage has not nearly kept up
with the enormous amounts of materials that have been
produced, and we've been talking about that, and there
are many obstacles in the way.  But these public
hearings, papers and reports will provide us with many
of the reasons and the obstacles.  I've watched the
archival community make many in-roads, but the large
part of the journey is ahead of us.

          I want to talk about or reflect on today, two
areas that we have talked about today, but perhaps my
solutions or moves to solutions will be appreciated. 
The first of course is access and its ramifications. 
The second is communications between archives.  In a
sense, one is dependent on the other, but each is also
separate.  So I thought I'll start to talk about access
first, and this is just one of the small areas of

          Without access, preservation doesn't mean
anything.  And so we have to try to improve some of our
tools of access, the cataloging and descriptive tools,
the computer applications, the Internet, the on-line
services, CD Roms and the other new things that are yet
to come.  The cataloging of material differs in public
institutions, stock footage houses, broadcasting, and
industry archives.  We have been trying to work on a
standard and have established rules but they didn't
always apply to everyone.  Much  material is cataloged
too extensively, creating long records, taking too much
time, and thus material is not available in a timely
fashion.  I'm happy to see that a cataloging standards
group has been formed by the Program for Cooperative
Cataloging and they want to devise a core bibliographic
record standard for audio/visual materials.  And its
other purpose is to create a level of completeness
somewhere between minimal and full level logging, which
I am glad to hear about.  It's a beginning to simplify
some of the cataloging.  It's extremely necessary,
especially for small archives that do not have the
staff or the time and do not need lengthy records. 

          During my years at ABC we developed our own
standard which was a combination of stock footage
terms, which is very exacting for moving images, and
general descriptions.  This gave us concise visual
descriptions and enough narrative to round out the
record; but they weren't extremely lengthy and they
were very easy to accomplish.  The use of this practice
I think is especially good for smaller archives who are
grappling with local news footage or other things, and
they can do it more quickly, and it is pertinent to
have this record of regional America, especially in our
smaller archives throughout the country, to have it
available as quickly as possible.

          The next access tool that has become the
available of archival holdings on the Internet, CD Roms
and other direct services, and we can say great, now
everyone who looks can find out what the holdings are
and can find what they're looking for.  However, this
has created more problems, most importantly copyright
issues.  And although I don't want to go into a lot
about copyright issues because that's for some place
else or someone else, the copyright issues are going to
become more and more problematic, coupled with the
vagueness of the copyright law.  This had made these
questions more and more difficult.  We need to protect
the holder of the copyright but we also need to protect
the institution holding the materials.  And now we have
a problem--yes, we have access.  But can we use these

          We've had countless seminars, panel
discussions, round-table discussions, written papers,
and I've come away a little wiser but not that much.  i
think that we need to establish a task force that would
create specific guidelines to identify the real
problems facing both users, holders and holding
institutions and to create a forum for discussion
locally and nationally.  If we don't do this soon, the
problems will become uncontrollable, and copyright
infringement on the Internet for example is one of the
most critical issues which is facing our work, and both
industry and archives are really concerned with it.

          Another issue facing access is non-access. 
Unfortunately, many of the broadcasting, advertising
and other industry archives have limited or non-access
to their materials.  And though I understand the basis
for these restrictions because I've worked with them
for many years, I do think these private archives need
to find ways to provide more public access and/or start
to seriously contribute the materials to public
institutions, so that educators, scholars, students,
producers and others will be able to use these

          How do we encourage them to deposit into
public institutions?  I could suggest two
possibilities.  One, maybe we could create industry
incentives.  What those industry incentives are would
be a whole discussion and I'm not sure I can address
that right now.  The other I think is if we provided
clear and concise copyright guidelines, industry might
be more willing to contribute material to public
institutions because they would be less fearful.

          It's imperative and necessary for industry to
place important materials into public institutions and
this leads us into my next concern and that is the lack
of communications between archives.  It is true the
archival community has made gigantic progress when in
1984 the National Center for Film and Video
Preservation was instituted under the AFI to facilitate
these discussions and service the archival field.  They
have been influential in keeping the field engaged in
discussions for the past 12 years and have widened the
community by bringing together more diverse groups. 
They have gone out there to create dialogues between
archives.  We need more of this.  We do have
Operational Group Armia which holds a yearly conference
and tries to keep in touch with its constituents.  But
this is not enough.  We need more forums for education
and we need large public and private archives to take
the lead.

          Next I would like to see the establishment of
local networks that meet regularly to share
information, to help each other to provide ways of
outreach, to create programs, and to foster public
awareness of the importance of preservation.  Some ways
to increase this awareness could be archives doing
programs together locally, perhaps storing materials
together to save money, to pool restoration sources,
and we talked about this before, that we really try to
get together to accomplish this.  Even in a city as
large as New York we don't have a local TV and video
group which  meets regularly to discuss our problems
and to try to pool some resources.

          I would also like to see industry forming a
group, perhaps a TV foundation, to raise funds for
preservation just as The Film Foundation.  There are
many people, wealthy people in this industry, I mean
big producers of materials, that might be interested to
form such a foundation.  How we approach them and how
we can get them to do this, that's something that we
would have to discuss further.

          We need some material, we need some national
guidelines to help and encourage to do this.  The task
ahead is great, but if we can start to create easier
access and more cooperations between archives, we can
begin to gain the awareness that we need to help our
mission to save television history.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Sara.

          Sam Suratt, formerly with CBS News and
formerly before that with the Smithsonian in
Washington.  Very happy to see you here today.  Sam?

          MR. SURATT:  Thank you.  And thank you for
inviting me to speak before this august body on a
subject that I have very dear to my heart and have had
for some years.  And thanks to Sara for her kind
remarks.  I was fond of saying that in the early days
of television archiving you couldn't get four together
for bridge.  Until Sara came along, I couldn't play gin

          I will restrict my remarks to television not
because I don't like video art, but because my
experience has been in television.

          Over the past ten years the business of
television has gone through some dynamic an sometimes
contradictory changes.  It has shrunken, divided,
multiplied, conglomerated, expanded, downsized, created
huge multi-media companies, destroyed at least one huge
multimedia corporation, become international, and
opened up local production companies.  The television
industry has become splintered into many narrow casting
outlets, each having a small part of the market. 
However, the market for television collections, whether
we all them archives, libraries or inventories, has
increased many times.

          This should be good news for the collections
of television programs and the scholar's wish to study
the   cultural phenomenal wrought by this popular art
form.  But most of us who have worked in the field of
television archives for many years are uneasy with this
boom and the reuse of old programs for the new narrow
casting channels such as The History Channel, Lifetime,
Arts and Entertainment, USA, The Family Channel, TBS,
and now even The Food Channel and The Weather Channel,
and on and on. 

          The problem I suspect with all this attention
to the older television programs is that it is
ephemeral and will dry up and blow away when interest
and styles change and another generation's taste
dominates the television spectrum.  Because there is no
overall inventory of what television programs exist,
who owns the rights to them and what is the physical
condition of the media they are on, there is no
assurance at any organization or many organizations can
pick up the job of long term preservation.  The song
may have ended for Name That Tune, but the problems of
preserving the few remaining programs will linger on
and on and on.

          I am sure that you've been told many times
the problems and a huge cost of preserving television
programs by copying them to the newest medium.  The
medium du jour changes every five to ten years and the
number of programs produced increases as well, making
an incredible snowballing of the cost to preserve even
sample programs, much less most of the programs
produced.  It appears to be a no-win situation.  It is
quite obvious by now that the Library of Congress
cannot preserve all that is worthwhile or even not
worthwhile of television programs.  The Library has
done a magnificent job preserving cinema and recorded
sound, and would, if given Department of Defense size
appropriations, do a wonderful job preserving
television.  But as generation X would say, let's get
real.  There is a feeling in the wind against larger
and larger federal spending for even the most laudable
of projects.  So I think the Library of Congress should
spend its energies, both intellectual and monetary,
toward leading the movement to preserve television
programs rather than trying to do it by itself, and to
take advantage of the current boom in recycling old
programs for cable distribution.

          One flaw in the otherwise beautifully
conceived United States copyright law is the deposit
requirement which places the responsibility for long-
term preservation in the hands of the Library of
Congress.  What was fine for books, maps, and sheet
music 200 years ago doesn't work all that well with the
tidal wave of films, recordings and now television
programs.  Certainly such works should be registered
for copyright protection; but I think the burden of the
costs of long-term preservation should be borne by
those who stand to profit from the work.  

          I would like to propose a three-tiered
solution for the preservation of television programs. 
First, the Library of Congress should obtain an
appropriation, not huge, to conduct an exhaustive
survey of all television programs in the hands of
archives, networks, studios, and private collectors, in
order to determine the exact size and nature of the
preservation project.  This survey should record the
type, title, series, original broadcast date and
subject matter, along with the condition of the
original recording and current copy.  This information
can be made proprietary for certain producers who wish
it to be, but most of it should be shared so that
duplication of programs in different collections can be

          Second, and I know how difficult this will
be. The Library should obtain a revision of the
copyright law to hold the current holder of rights to a
television program, not necessarily the original
copyright holder, responsible for its preservation, in
the most up-to-date format until such time they wish to
relinquish their rights to the program.  It would be in
the rights holder's best interest to preserve their
programs while they can make a profit, and would be
only fitting that some of these profits go to the long-
term preservation of their programs and return for
copyright protection. 

          At that point the third phase of my proposal
would start.  If an owner of rights to a television
program decides that there is no more revenue to be
made from it and wishes to relinquish those rights,
then they may be transferred to any one of dozens of
non-profit archives for permanent retention.  The
release of ownership rights would also carry with it an
appropriate donation of funds from the rights owners to
the receiving archive to support the preservation of
the program.  In other words, part of the profits
received from the ownership of the rights to a program
would serve to assure its long-term preservation.  

          The Library of Congress would be the overseer
of this system.  Nothing would prevent museums by
contract and the Library of Congress by copyright
deposit from accepting copies of television programs to
maintain adequate study collections.  Indeed I hope
that these institutions will collect by deposit those
programs which will not have a profitable future, if
only by saving a few samples.  Programs fitting this
category would probably be the soap operas and talk

          My remarks today have not touched on the
important areas of news and documentary materials, both
programs and out-takes, and local television
production.  This is not because these areas don't
share any of the same problems as nationally
distributed television entertainment programs.  In
particular, national and local news and documentary
production suffers from their sheer size and the
reduced possibility of profiting from the retention of
these materials.  The large networks, both cable and
broadcast, have reached an economic equilibrium with
their news archives, making them pay for themselves by
reusing this material and their own productions and
licensing yet to other production companies.  This
equilibrium might be upset as the cost of preserving
ever-increasing collections becomes unbearable.  But
for now it does not suffer.

          Local television production, however, is
another matter.  It is the most endangered species of
all the forms of television material.  The economic
situation in most local television markets will not
support sophisticated archival handling and
preservation.  But, if these programs and the related
out-takes are not preserved somehow, much of the
nation's history of the past 50 years will be
irretrievably lost.  I have only to mention the series
Eyes on the Prize with its heavy reliance on local
television stations' film collections to make this

          There is no easy answer to the problems of
local television archives, but the local and regional
repositories of television station's material would be
helped by an educational campaign to dissuade local
station owners that the new age of multimedia and
worldwide web will make them millionaires.  The
production value of local television material is
marginal so that the station owners should donate the
rights to their material to local archives for them to
eek out what little potential for money there is in
order to defray costs of preservation.

          Station owners should be more public spirited
and give grants of money for the local archive for
preserving the history of their community.  But far too
often the local station is controlled by a distant
corporation which is concerned more with the
stockholder equity than community memory.

          I wish I had an easy answer to this last
dilemma, but the only one that comes to mind is massive
grants of money to local and regional archives to
support their efforts towards long-term preservation of
local television, and I am not saying about that
happening.  One way of easing some of the pressure on
local archives would be the public subsidization of
regional preservation laboratories where local
television could be transferred to the newest media at
low cost.

          Thank you for listening to my thoughts and
for addressing this very important issue in the
cultural history of our nation.

          MR. MURPHY:  Thank you.


          MR. FRANCIS:  Well Sam, thank you very much. 
I'm glad the last contribution included some
recommendations even though I fear that--

          MR. SURATT:  I understand.

          MR. FRANCIS:  --as the organization required
to implement them--you've given us a pretty difficult

          I've always been surprised that the
International Federation of Television Archives did not
attract more members in North America, particularly the
United States, because although you can't do a lot with
an international organization, I think they do help
people understand why we are preserving television
programs and why this is an important issue.  The other
thing it does very well is provide a training.  The
idea of having the Congress one year and a training
session the other is extremely good.  But I've never
understood why it didn't seem to attract as many 
members here as one would expect, given the amount of
television in the States?

          MR. SURATT:  Well, it has to do with the
nature of commercial television in the United States. 
Number one, most of the European archives not only have
news, but they  have all of their entertainment
programs; whereas the United States, most of the
archives of entertainment are in the Hollywood studios
vaults, that is, anything produced after 1968 or
thereabouts.  So there was less interest in the three
networks at that point, now there are more networks, in
belonging to the international organization, and the
studios I think were essentially excluded by the terms
of membership in FIAT.   

          But this doesn't mean there wasn't any
interest in the United States for the concept of
preserving.  There however was very little interest in
the concept of training.  Which I can't explain.

          MR. FRANCIS:  And you don't think that
perhaps an attempt to encourage more organizations to
join FIAT would actually help, to get an understanding
particularly within the major companies of the
importance of television preservation, and show what
was being done elsewhere in the world?

          MR. SURATT:  I would hope that perhaps AMIA
can move into that area that has left a gap
internationally and I certainly have made approaches to
FIAT to amend their by-laws to make either group
memberships to FIAT available or some lower level,
because it's a very expensive organization to belong

          MS. MEYERSON:  I think they have recently
tried to make it easier for more organizations to join,
or they're in the process of revising the by-laws to
get a larger group, especially in this country.

          MR. MURPHY:  Mona?  

          MS. JIMENEZ:  As people that have been
involved in FIAT and AMIA, and someone who's kind of
new to those forums, I know that as a media arts person
that I feel that our field comes to these issues with
expertise about how the works, at least our particular
works were produced, and what kind of cultural and
historical context, that we know how to use video
cameras and what the steps of production are and what
some of the language is, just commonly used language in
production that can be helpful in for instance
describing the works and cataloging. 

          I think that I do find though that there are
a number of different sort of separate groups that are
involved.  The symposium that's coming up at the Bay
Area Video Coalition is more to do with conservators
and scientists and engineers and it seems like AMIA is
more to do with archivists, and I'm just wondering if
there's a sense that we can bring sort of everyone to
gather to work out some of the problems, particularly
the cataloging--the physical and intellectual access
questions I guess.  If it's possible or desirable to do
that or if we do have to kind of work in a lot of
different forums.

          MS. MEYERSON:  Well, I think and that's what
I said, we do have these larger organizations and we
need those.  But I think that if we had-- either of the
larger organizations can branch off and have local
chapters which I know the Special Libraries Association
is very active local chapters, and that's a
possibility.  Then you would belong to the local, you
would go to the annual meeting and you would do the
same things you're doing, but the local chapters would
address the people locally in your area and all of
their problems, and you would have meetings.  I think
that's really important, because as I felt lonely 20
years ago, I think there are many archives that are
lonely now.  They don't even know about AMIA.  I mean
I've spoken to people, archivists and small groups, who
don't--I send them literature--they don't know.  So I
think we have to try to find a way to get the news out
and to have more local meetings.

          MR. LINDNER:  Both of you have very long
careers working for major networks and I'm kind of
curious, because it seems to me that one of the
situations, one of the reasons we're in the situation
we're in now was because 20 years ago people weren't
taught how to take care of the medium in the first
place.  And I don't frankly see much of a change right
now.  I don't see that there's a major change in terms
of trying to educate people.  

          But I'm wondering whether the networks have
training in terms of teaching people who work there now
on how to deal with media properly so that it does last
longer, and if they do, whether this can be applied to
the industry at whole, particularly film students and
people who are just coming into the industry?

          MR. SURATT:  I don't think there's--at least
I'm not aware of any formal training within the
networks.  There is, however, if you're working within
your individual network, there is a very close reliance
upon producers, editors and archivists.  If you can't
find what the need or if you don't return it properly
or if it is not properly handled, then the next person
down the line--and it's often a very strong, shall we
say rapping of knuckles if something happened. 

          I think one thing, at least at CBS news, it
was very good, was that many of the tape editors of
today started out as film and tape librarians, so they
knew what the problems were and from the ground up. 
They're also a very vocal group and they'll let the
editors know if they're treating something badly.

          But no, there's no formal training that I can
say.  Maybe there was at ABC.

          MS. MEYERSON:  No.  I had always thought we
should have a training videotape to train the people
who worked in the library area on how to handle tape
and give them basic information.  But we never did it.

          MR. SURATT:  There is one videotape available
through FIAT--

          MS. MEYERSON:  Yes.

          MR. SURATT:  --which was produced--well, in
conjunction with Austrian television and BBC.  I could
get you the information on that, I'll send it to Bill,
if you don't have it or--

          MS. MEYERSON:  It was after seeing that that
I wanted to produce one.  I thought it was excellent.

          MR. SURATT:  It was very well done.  I mean
it could be updated, it's a couple, three years old
now, but.

          MR. LINDNER:  Is this sold or readily
available, or just for FIAT members?

          MR. SURATT:  I think it comes at cost from

          MS. MEYERSON:  And there is an English

          MR. SURATT:  Yes, there's an English version,
a French version, probably a Spanish version.  I don't
know, I'll find that out.

          MR. FRANCIS:  One thing, is the FIAT
Preservation Manual still available?  What was it
called, do you remember?

          MR. SURATT:  The Panorama?

          MR. FRANCIS:  Yes.

          MR. SURATT:  You know, I don't know.  Because
they were reconsidering reissuing it.  See, it was the
BBC that published the English version and ENA
published the French version, and ERTV in Spain
published the Spanish version.  So it's hard getting
all that together again.

          MR. MURPHY:  Let me ask one question.  Sam,
based on your experience and activity in FIAT, can you
make some generalizations about the difference between
the treatment and support of television archives in
Europe as compared to the United States?

          MR. SURATT:  They're two main differences. 
One good and one bad.  One, they have a lot of money
because they're mostly government supported.  Or
they're tax supported, in the case of the BBC they have
a tax on television.  The bad part was that they
actually started later with the newer forms and started
later recognizing the problems inherent in video as
opposed to film, and even in many cases they didn't
begin to preserve television film, not cinema film,
until quite late.  So some of the new archives, that is
the ones who realized late but then spent a lot of
money on it are really wonderful places.

          For instance, the Austrian Broadcasting
Archive is beautifully done, their computer system is
wonderful, the storage is great; but they didn't really
start until about ten years ago.  Those who started
early are a little outdated and antiquated.       

          But the main difference is that there's a lot
more money put into the archiving business.  Now this
may change as more things are made available for cable,
I don't know.

          MR. MURPHY:  I think that brings our
discussion  to a conclusion.  I want to thank you all
for your statements.  We've heard some very good
statements today; and thanks to those in the audience
who came to witness the proceedings.  Thanks again.
          (Whereupon, the proceeding was adjourned.)

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