Curated Collection


Since the emergence of television in the 1940s, millions of television programs have aired once never to be seen again.  Early television was often broadcast live, with no film or video recording to reference at a later date.  When film and video were used for program production, they were often discarded, destroyed, or simply forgotten about after their original airing.  Although true of network television, lost programs are an even sadder reality of local television.  Many local stations have no record of their most popular news stories, talk shows, or children's shows because the footage was not recorded or was simply thrown away. 

For Austin, Texas, this is not entirely the case. Many of the city's television personalities and producers took it upon themselves to save and store footage from their productions to share with later generations.  The programs, newscast, b-roll, outtakes, interviews, and commercials retained by these television pioneers provide the unique opportunity to actually watch historic local television.  As a collection, these films provide insight into Austin’s television history while providing a unique case study of how local television was made from 1952 to 1969. Since the emergence of television in the 1940s, millions of television programs have aired once never to be seen again.  Early television was often broadcast live, with no film or video recording to reference at a later date.  When film and video were used for program production, they were often discarded, destroyed, or simply forgotten about after their original airing.  Although true of network television, lost programs are an even sadder reality of local television.  Many local stations have no record of their most popular news stories, talk shows, or children's shows because the footage was not recorded or was simply thrown away. 

Piecing together a history of Austin television are films from the collections of Carolyn Jackson, Neal Spelce, Wally Pryor, and Gordon Wilkison. Although still far from complete, this collection provides a unique look into television’s past.

Sources:

  • Barnouw, Erik. Tube of Plenty. Oxford University Press, USA, 1990. Print.
  • Jackson, Carolyn. We Interrupt this Program.... Eakin Press, 2002. Print.
  • Milam, Whitney, Dir. Sniper '66. 2010, Film.
  • Schroeder, Morton. Texas Signs On. Texas A and M Univ. Press, 1998. Print.
  • Rips, Catherine. Here's Uncle Jay. ''Austin Magazine'' February, 1977: 46 - 49. Print