Television/Video Preservation Study:
Los Angeles Public Hearing, March 1996
TELEVISION AND VIDEO PRESERVATION 1997
A Study of the Current State of
American Television and Video Preservation
Volume 2: Hearing Before the Panel of the
Library of Congress
Hotel Sofitel Ma Maison
Los Angeles, California
March 6, 1996
Report of the Librarian of Congress
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Opening remarks by Winston Tabb, Associate Librarian for Library
Services, Library of Congress
Introductory Remarks by Dr. James Billington, Librarian of
James Loper, Executive Director, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Ken Wlaschin, Vice Chair, National Center for Film and Video Preservation,
American Film Institute
Helene Whitson, Special Collections Librarian/Archivist
Curator, San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive
San Francisco State University
Steven Davidson, Director
Louis Wolfson II Media History Center - Miami, Florida
Grace Lan, Director of Preservation and Special Projects
Bay Area Video Coalition/National Alliance of Media
Arts and Culture
Robert Rosen, Director, UCLA Film and Television Archive
Gregory Lukow, Director, Administration, National Center for Film and Video Preservation,
American Film Institute
Roger Bell, Executive Director of Library Services
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Gray Ainsworth, Director of Technical Operations
Metro Goldwyn Mayer and United Artists
Philip Murphy, Vice President of Operations
Television Group, Paramount Pictures
William Humphrey, Senior Vice President of Operations
and Administration, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Roger Mayer, President and Chief Operating Officer
Turner Entertainment Co
Peter Shade, Director of Video & Technical Services
Turner Entertainment Co
Edward Zeier, Vice President of Post Production
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Harrison Ellenshaw, Vice President, Buena Vista Visual Effects,
Walt Disney Company
Grover Crisp, Director of Asset Management
Sony Pictures Entertainment
James Wheeler, President, Tape Archival and Restoration Services
Fred Layn, Director of Audio Marketing, Quantegy
Dan Sullivan, Manager of Videotape Technical Operations
CBS Television City
Michael Friend, Director of Academy Film Archive
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Lynn Spigel, Associate Professor, School of Cinema and
Television, University of Southern California
John Caldwell, Professor, Film and Electronic Arts
Department, California State University, Long Beach
Janet Bergstrom, Associate Professor, Department of
Film and Television, UCLA, and representing
Society for Cinema Studies
P R O C E E D I N G S
The Library of Congress panel met, pursuant to notice, at
1:07 p.m., at the Hotel Sofitel Ma Maison, Opus Ball Room, 8555
Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA to conduct its first public
hearing on the current state of American television and video
preservation. Winston Tabb, Associate Librarian for Library
Services, Library of Congress, presiding as Panel Moderator.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PANEL
James Billington Librarian of Congress
Fay Kanin Chair, National Film Preservation Board
Raymond Fielding Dean, School of Film and Television,
Florida State University
David Francis Chief, Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded
Sound Division, Library of Congress
Robert Heiber President, Chace Productions, Inc.
Betsy McLane Executive Director, International
Edward Richmond Curator, UCLA Film and Television
Winston Tabb Associate Librarian for Library
Services, Library of Congress
MR. TABB: I would appreciate it if the first panelists
would come to the table. Thank you very much. And would the
other members of the audience please come as far forward as
possible, so that we don't feel like we are lost in this large
Good afternoon. I am Winston Tabb, the Associate
Librarian of Congress, and I am very pleased to welcome all of
you to the Library of Congress's Hearing on "The Current State of
American Television and Video Preservation."
I want to remind everyone to please sign the guest
register, which is just outside the back of the room, so that we
have a record not only of those who are speaking today but of
those who are attending, as well.
The purpose of this hearing is to get specific
suggestions for the Library of Congress to consider in preparing
a comprehensive national program on American television and video
preservation for the United States Congress.
Important issues include: What should be saved? Who
is doing it? And who should do it? What are the technical
preservation standards and problems? How do we ensure that they
are addressed? And most important, perhaps, how do we fund all
of the above? What funding models seem most promising?
This hearing is held in accordance with the law which
directed the Librarian of Congress to establish and maintain in
the Library of Congress a library to be known as "The American
Television and Radio Archives." The purpose of the archives
shall be to preserve a permanent record of the television and
radio 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.
We are pleased to have on our panel today the person
responsible by law for accomplishing this objective, the
Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, whom I now invite to
make an introductory statement.
DR. BILLINGTON: Thank you. We appreciate everyone coming today for this hearing on
"The Current State of American Television and Video Preservation."
I gave testimony just yesterday before the
Congressional Appropriations Committee, and I am very happy to be
on the other side of the room, facing the witnesses and the
audience this time.
Today's hearing may not carry the same legal and fiscal
implications of a Congressional appropriations hearing, but it is
an important event, we feel, for the Library of Congress, for the
archival and educational communities, for the television and
cable industries, and really for everyone who shares our concern
about the preservation of our television and video legacy.
This is the first of three public hearings the Library
of Congress will conduct this month in response to this act of
Congress which Mr. Tabb has just mentioned.
These hearings are intended to help develop a report on
the current state of American television and video preservation
and a plan with specific recommendations. Both the report and
the plan will be published later this year as a single document.
This activity is authorized, as I have indicated, by
the American Television and Radio Act of 1976 and is being
pursued in response to a recommendation from the National Film
Preservation Board, whose distinguished chairperson is sitting at
the end of the table, Fay Kanin, known to us all and much
appreciated for the work which that board does and for the
special leadership she gives to it. So, it is being pursued in
response to their recommendation and from the many groups and
individuals who helped draft "Redefining Film Preservation," a
national plan which the Library published in 1994.
These hearings and the report parallel our earlier film
preservation study in several important ways:
First, we seek the same goals. That is, to preserve
the American television and video heritage and make it more
accessible for educational use.
Second, we wish to obtain a wide range of views and
opinions, representative of the diverse interests that exist in
the creation, preservation and research use of moving images in
all of its aspects, including arts and entertainment, news and
documentary, public affairs, video art, community video, just to
name a few.
Third, we wish to encourage other archives and
libraries to work with the Library of Congress to accomplish the
very difficult task of preserving television and video and making
Fourth, we wish to address the problem of funding
moving image preservation programs, both in public archives and
in industry. It is no easy task at a time when resources are
scarce relative to the preservation workload that is ahead. Some
kind of public/private partnership will be essential; perhaps
some variety of such arrangements. But during the course of
these hearings, we hope to receive your recommendations on how
this work can be advanced, how these kinds of partnerships can be
The Library of Congress, I should say, through the
Copyright Office and through a fairly active program of taping,
as well as gifts, has accumulated a very large archive in this
area, and we need to have a clear rationale for what we collect
in the future, how we preserve and make accessible existing
This is the same process through which the Library of
Congress has gone for 200 years, in essence. A new media or a
new form of preserving the American creative record tends to
appear and to proliferate and to develop before a clear pattern
of preservation is made.
We are a kind of a "throw-away" society in many
respects. We are enormously creative, but much of the
creativity--and most of it, in fact--is on fragile or perishable
base and tends to vanish for a variety of reasons because of the
relentless onrush of our society to ever new things. And we have
a special designated responsibility to preserve, but you can't
preserve everything, so the rationale for what it is you do
usually comes only after we have accumulated a very large amount
of what we are going to then determine policy for. And as it was
in movies earlier, so it is the case with television.
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 people here know, has
already been lost. Broadcasts were live and kinescope or film
recordings were used selectively. Ampex introduced videotape
recording technology in 1956, and since then, the industry has
manufactured or adopted numerous incompatible video formats,
making technological obsolescence a major archival issue. Like
nitro-cellulose, the tape staple of the film industry until 1951,
videotape has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. We have
entrusted our historical and cultural images to videotape, and
yet, it is 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 reward
for safeguarding and preserving our television and video heritage
are immeasurable and, like most such rewards, you could only
anticipate a few of the eventual benefits at the time you begin
to embark on it.
No one can fully understand, I think, who we are as a
people and what we have 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 society at large, and in the
future, such debates will be fruitless if the historical evidence
isn't there on which to base and advance the argument and the
So, there is a moral necessity to preserve our memory
and to share it. We have a program creating a national digital
library at the Library of Congress, cooperatively with 15 other
major repositories, to get the core of our five million digitized
items from our Americana Collection out through the Internet. We
are already processing a million electronic transactions a day.
So, we feel we have a responsibility to share, as well as to
accumulate and to gather in, but in this area, so much of the
memory of the last half century is in this media, so it is a
moral necessity to preserve it.
It is a political necessity for understanding our
system. We are particularly conscious of that because the
constituency to which we report, the Congress of the United
States, is largely--or, to a very considerable extent--dependent
on television for their election or their de-election and
extraordinarily interested in it as a medium with which they
practically all have rather intimate familiarity and a growing
And of course, beyond the moral and political
necessities and the intellectual necessity of preserving this
record, there is the practical need to find some pattern of
funding and support, which is something we haven't altogether
solved for film, and now we have to deal with it in television.
I should say just one final word about the Library of
Congress. We are not going to be intruding on our institutional
concerns. By and large the Library of Congress doesn't get into
anything if anybody else can do it better. We tend to be the
place which does things which only the Library of Congress can
do. But one of the things that we have to do is to preserve the
record which the Congress, in particular, and the Government of
the United States, in general, may need in the future.
So, we have a special responsibility in that regard,
because as the National Library of the United States, we must
preserve the things which the government may ultimately need and
that, to a large extent, we think is what scholars also are going
to want to have. But at the same time, it is going to have to be
a cooperative effort, as we have recognized in the film case.
So, all of this we want to sort out.
And in conclusion, let me just say that the Library of
Congress encourages all of you in the audience to send us your
opinions and recommendations, which we will collect through April
29th. There won't be time to hear everything that everyone has
to say, so we would welcome written comments and opinions.
This afternoon we will hear from a number of
distinguished individuals, some professionals in the field,
others representing important organizations that share our goal
of preserving American television and video, and finally, those
who use this material to educate, in the broadest sense of the
word, because education is not simply in schools, but social
awareness is part of the business that we are all concerned
So, it is a great pleasure to welcome you here, and I
turn things back to Mr. Tabb.
MR. TABB: Thank you, Dr. Billington.
Before we begin, I want to thank David Francis and
Steve Leggett, of the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and
Recorded Sound Division, for their work on this project, and
especially to recognize Bill Murphy, who is sitting in the front
row here, who is on loan to us from the National Archives and
Records Administration and serving as the project coordinator.
I will also now introduce the distinguished group of
panelists. First, Fay Kanin, referred to already as the Chair of
our National Film Preservation Board, since its inception in
1988. Next to her, Raymond Fielding, who is Dean of the School
of Film and Television, at Florida State University. Dr.
Billington, of course, and David Francis.
Then, on my right, Betsy McLane, the Executive Director
of the International Documentary Association, and an alternate
member of the Film Board, representing the University Film and
Video Association. Next to her, Edward Richmond, Curator at the
UCLA Film and Television Archive, who did an excellent job
testifying on film preservation at the Congressional hearing last
June in Pasadena. Finally, at the end, Robert Heiber, President
of Chace Productions, Incorporated.
Now, for some of the ground rules. We are very pleased
that 27 people asked to testify today. But given our time
constraints, we must ask that everyone making remarks do so in 10
minutes or less, and I will focus on the less. Particularly, we
would like you, if possible, to focus on suggestions and specific
recommendations. We will add into the statement of the hearing
any other kind of descriptive and narrative material that you
would like to have added. But it would be especially helpful to
us if we could have more time and focus on the suggestions.
I will have to be ruthless in wielding the gavel, to be
sure that panelists who are scheduled for the end of the day are
We have organized the speakers into panels relating to
different focuses of our study. I will ask each panel to come to
the speaker's table together, as our first has already done, and
then ask each speaker to present testimony in the order listed in
the program that we distributed in the lobby.
We at this table will hold questions until the end of
each panel, unless there is an urgent need for clarification of
some point that is being made as we go along. After all the
speakers on the panel have given their prepared statements, I
will invite colleagues here on the dais to ask follow-up
questions during the balance of time allotted to the group.
All written comments and the transcript of the
proceedings today will be printed and available to the public, as
an appendix, when we publish the report and submit it to Congress
later this year.
We invite the speakers, observers and anyone else who
has a strong interest in this matter to submit written comments
to Steve Leggett, of the Library of Congress's Motion Picture,
Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, by April 29th. The
hearing record will remain open until that time.
More information about how to submit comments is in the
Federal Register Notice, of which we have copies on the table at
the back of the room.
So, now let us begin. We have our first panelists
here. We are very happy to see Edie Adams and James Loper. If
Mr. Stevens joins us, we will ask him to come up to the table, as
well. If he comes later, we will try to fit him in.
So, the table is yours now, Ms. Adams. Thank you.
Presentation by Edie Adams
MS. ADAMS: The first time I was made aware of the
willful destruction of videotapes was in 1962, after the sudden
death of my husband, Ernie Kovacs. He had been working on two
shows for ABC here in Hollywood.
The first was a quiz show called Take a Good Look,
which Ernie decided to make a peg for comedy. He used comedic
blackouts as "clues." And God help you as a panelist if you
inadvertently guessed the right answer, and he had some funny
The second was a series of oddball specials, including
the remake of the Silent Show. I have a short three-minute clip
here. I will keep the seven minutes. It will be up to 10.
(A three-minute video was shown.)
MS. ADAMS: Thank you.
Ernie liked to take his time. You couldn't force him
into doing those quick sound-byte kind of humor and things that
were in Laugh-In later on. However, I can't get off on those
None of these shows would exist today if it hadn't been
for the caring and foresight of his co-workers on both of these
Ernie's bravura genius for putting unusual images on
the small screen did not carry over to the mundane daily
management of money. When he died, he owed a lot of it, to a lot
of people. Mainly, the IRS--we were in the 91% bracket; nine
cents of every dollar belonged to us; but that's another story--a
few gambling buddies and the ABC Television Network.
Three months after his death, several members of his
ABC crew came to see me at home and asked if I couldn't do
something about the fact that ABC was using the wall of Kovacs's
master tapes as used tape to tape over the news, the weather,
public service blurbs, or anything, to recoup some of the moneys
owed to them by Ernie.
So, I called up my lawyer and told him to use the
modest insurance policy to pay them off and buy back the 12-foot
wall of Kovacs's tapes they were "saving money" by using. In
all, about 40 hours was there, and by the time it was transferred
to my storage facility, only 15 hours of it showed up.
When I first started to work on daily TV in the early
'50's, there was no tape and kinescopes were expensive. They
were only made once or twice a month by advertising agencies to
sell commercial spots on the shows. At first, on the daily show
in Philadelphia, I had only my songs recorded by Radio Recorders,
a professional recording studio who would put songs on acetate.
We called them "air checks."
By the time we moved up to CBS, in New York, for our
daily show--that's in 1952-53--I had Radio Recorders record the
whole show. I knew even then that what Ernie was doing was
special, and I wanted a permanent record of it kept for
posterity. Maybe it was my Juilliard training, with its endless
discussions of "What is art?" I just knew I had never seen
anyone on TV or live who did the things that Ernie did.
The next network we were on was Dumont, Channel 5.
That was in 1954 and 1955. I ordered daily "air checks" of the
hour long late night show.
We never had a regular hour on any network for any
length of time, as did Milton Berle or Ed Sullivan, at 8 p.m.
Tuesday and Sunday, but if you were a fan, you could find us
daily on all three networks throughout the '50's. He would
comment on everything that was going on in New York on those
By the time we got to NBC, we graduated to a big time
daily show, full network, with the early NBC staff, Tonight Show
Band. So, this one, I ordered on daily kinescope, something
unheard of in those days. Finally, a daily visual record.
A network spokesman says that it is the only record of
the early '50's TV that remains anywhere, and it is on mostly
audio. About four years of audio only and 18 months of
After I bought and put away, in a controlled
temperature facility, the ABC shows in the early '60's, I started
to search out anything I could find from the other networks. I
bought back whatever was available from NBC and put them in
storage in the late '60's. I also tried to track down the CBS
shows and the Dumont shows. I was told that they were
I don't know what happened to the CBS shows, but have
recently learned what happened to the Dumont shows. That's the
early Jackie Gleason Shows, including the original Honeymooners,
Captain Midnight, and the Kovacs Specials. Well, they were
taken care of in a most unique and swift fashion.
In the earlier '70's, the Dumont network was being
bought by another company, and the lawyers were in heavy
negotiation as to who would be responsible for the library of the
Dumont shows currently being stored at the facility, who would
bear the expense of storing them in a temperature controlled
facility, take care of the copyright renewal, et cetera.
One of the lawyers doing the bargaining said that he
could "take care of it" in a "fair manner," and he did take care
of it. At 2 a.m., the next morning, he had three huge semis back
up to the loading dock at ABC, filled them all with stored
kinescopes and 2" videotapes, drove them to a waiting barge in
New Jersey, took them out on the water, made a right at the
Statue of Liberty and dumped them in the Upper New York Bay.
Very neat. No problem.
The audio discs, many hundreds of them, I did manage to
save, and they have been housed at the UCLA Film and TV Archive,
on Cahuenga, along with some 800 daily TV scripts that match
them, on campus at UCLA's Special Collections Department. A few
were damaged. A few of these--they were 16" radio
transcriptions, very, very fragile--were damaged in the '94
earthquake. However, we would like to have these fragile 16"
transcriptions digitized before the next one, even if it is not
the big one.
After listening to the audiotapes of the earlier TV
shows and seeing the movie Toy Story, I believe that in addition
to using the "V" chip on our TV, we might think about using the
"K" chip, some of the space age, bachelor pad, cocktail music and
odes to silliness that defined the mellow fifties and the Kovacs
mystique. I think of them as representing a kinder, gentler
time, with a new life of their own, done for computer animated
series, with the music and voiceovers already done by Ernie
I have always heard that if we don't spend time on our
own history, we tend to repeat it.
Was that 10 minutes?
MR. TABB: That was exactly on time. Thank you very
much. We appreciate that. Mr. Loper.
Presentation by James Loper, Executive Director
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
MR. LOPER: Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, Dr. Billington and members of the panel,
my name is Jim Loper. I am the Executive Director of the Academy
of Television Arts and Sciences.
The Academy is the largest professional association for
those individuals involved in national television production and
distribution. There are some 8300 members representing 25
different peer groups within the industry. And while the Academy
is best known for producing the prime time Emmy Awards, it has a
great many other activities, primarily for the good and education
of its members. Among these are seminars, workshops, any
magazine and anti-substance abuse programs, including Cartoon All
Stars to the Rescue, which aired simultaneously on four major
networks and reached the largest children's audience in the
history of television.
The Academy also has an extensive educational program,
including student internships, which has been named one of the 10
best internships in the United States. And this weekend we will
honor the winners of our College Television Awards--fortunately,
Mr. Fielding's students have won two of those--from institutions
throughout the United States.
We consider the Academy to be one of the most vital
organizations in the television medium. Two years ago we staged
the "Information Superhighway Summit," and this fall we will
gather major forces and individuals in a top level meeting on
television violence, which is being underwritten by the Pew
The Academy strongly supports current and future
efforts to preserve television programming. This year we
celebrate our 50th anniversary. And for over 25 of those years,
we have had a partnership with the Film and Television Archives
at UCLA. In fact, the Academy has a designated collection within
the larger context of the archives. It helps to support the
activity with a yearly $30,000 grant, under contract with the UC
We have tried to leave no stone unturned in finding
collections of early television shows and seeing them placed
within the safe confines of the archive.
To this end, we believe there is a major difference
between an archive and a museum or library. To us, an archive is
an exhaustive repository of everything connected with a program
or series of programs. Rather than collecting a sample of one or
two programs as representative of a series, the archive should
contain the complete series, if possible, together with the
ancillary visual materials.
Because it is a professional society, the Academy tries
to keep the needs of its members uppermost in its objectives. It
is far more useful for the professionals to have access to the
totality of a series, rather than a few programs. The serious
scholar needs as much as possible to judge the evolution of a
program from beginning to end, to note the subtle changes in
story line and character development, as well as other artistic
For these reasons, the Academy wholeheartedly supports
the funding of archival activities for television. Aside from
studying television as an art form, watching old programs can be
Last year, the Academy, in cooperation with the UCLA
Archives, began a series of historical viewing evenings for
members and the general public. Our first offering, the
television work of Gene Kelly, was fortuitous because of his
untimely passing. We had well over our theater capacity of 600
people show up. So many, in fact, that we added a second
evening. And we have done the same with other programs, from the
United States Steel Hour, to the work of George Burns, and timely
holiday programming. All have been exceptionally well attended.
As a complement to the cooperation with UCLA, the
Academy has maintained a library of printed materials,
photographs and manuscripts with the Film and Television Library
of the University of Southern California.
The ultimate research tools would not be to have only
the original programs available for viewing, but to have the
original scripts, shooting notes, casting sheets and publicity
materials also available. We much do as much as possible to
preserve and maintain our history.
Finally, let me briefly describe a new Academy project
which is just being formulated. This has its inspiration in the
preservation of Holocaust survivor memories, as underwritten by
Steven Spielberg. The President of Walt Disney Network
Television and Animation, Dean Valentine, who is also a member of
our Foundation Board, has had the concept of interviewing on tape
living survivors of early television about the medium's
Because television is 50 years old, it is important
that the project begin as soon as possible. The Academy is
funding a pilot to interview five television pioneers in the hope
of finding funding to extend the recorded record of these people
into the thousands. There then, hopefully, would be cross-
referencing of these interviews, so that complete stories of
individual programs and series can be told through the actual
I thank you for allowing me to testify today. It has
been a pleasure.
MR. TABB: Thank you very much, Mr. Loper. Now, a time
MS. McLANE: I have a question. Mr. Loper, what is the
relationship of the Television Academy to, say, local television
stations and local Emmys in terms of preserving their materials?
MR. LOPER: We have a separate branch within our
Academy, called the "Los Angeles Area Television Group," and we
do, in fact, stage the local area Emmy Awards for the stations in
town. All of the entries into the Emmy Awards, whether they be
national, daytime, local and so forth, are turned over, after
they have been viewed and judged, to the Television Archives at
MS. McLANE: But is there a relationship of the
Television Academy to other local stations?
MR. LOPER: Yes. Oh, yes.
MS. McLANE: They all come here, then?
MR. LOPER: Yes, that's correct.
MS. McLANE: Thank you.
MR. RICHMOND: I have a couple of questions.
Jim, I don't mean to put you on the spot here, but you
know, it is a friendly group. We are very appreciative of the
relationship that ATAS has had with UCLA. I think it works very
well, and we have done a lot of good work together.
One of the things that has always occurred to me is
that in terms of the Emmy collection that is at UCLA, it is an
excellent collection for research and study purposes because the
tapes that are submitted for consideration in the nominating
process are usually 3/4". Now, sometimes 1/2". And I was
wondering whether you saw any possibility of ATAS working with
UCLA, or even a group of archives working together, to start to
try to go back to develop a program within ATAS that could be
used for ensuring the preservation of those Emmy winners on more
than just the reference cassettes that you now get.
I realize that ATAS doesn't own the programming, but
being the Academy of the industry, is there any way that such an
activity could start to take shape?
MR. LOPER: Well, we certainly would be interested in
doing this, because I think the preservation of the materials
really lies ultimately in transferring them to some digitalized
process, rather than leaving them on videotape or even, in the
early programs, on kinescope. So, yes, we would be most
interested in this kind of activity.
MR. RICHMOND: I guess the other question I had is for
both of you. I think what will come out of this hearing, because
it is kind of self-evident, is that any kind of a national
preservation program or plan involves a whole range of
constituents working together, the archives, the industry,
educators and the talent, the artists and the crafts people
within the industry.
Speaking maybe--since I think you both can--as involved
with being the talent people in the industry and representing an
academy of those people, is there anything we can do in this plan
to appeal more directly to the people, the individuals, that make
up the television industry to help preserve their own programs,
to work with archives to ensure that those programs are
preserved? Is there something we are not doing now to reach out
to that important part of the constituency that will make up this
MS. ADAMS: Well, everything that I have ever done for
UCLA has been just wonderful. I haven't had that same experience
in other places, which shall be nameless. Everything that is
there is preserved, and it is there. I have no complaints. And
I am always telling people to save them.
I am trying to get people--in order to transfer those
great big transcriptions, you know, they start from the inside
out. It was hard to even take them out to find a place that had
a 78 to play them, and every time you play them, they are reduced
in quality just a little bit. They should be done and digitized
at the same time. I pulled a few out just to see what the
quality was. And I am trying to talk the fellow up in the Valley
into--he is sort of getting out of the 78's--into donating this
little studio to UCLA, so at least you can pull those off. But
that shouldn't go off onto anything except digital, because every
time it loses a generation.
MR. LOPER: I think that we need to continue a program
which we have carried on for a number of years of cleaning out
people's garages in the industry. There are, I am convinced,
still many, many programs that are filed away under probably the
worst circumstances possible.
And I think that one of the things we can promise is
that the Academy, through its contacts with its members, would
try to continue to enlist support in finding those private
collections, because I just have the feeling that there are
jewels out there that are deteriorating slowly at this point and
that we need to find.
And we would be very happy to work with you, Edie, on
MS. KANIN: In terms of public and industry awareness,
have you ever, on the Emmy Awards Show, given the preservation
message? I mean, these are messages that could be carried to
both the public and the industry of the need for the recognition
of preservation for television. That linkage is very important.
And maybe even--and it is a dramatic thing--a plea for looking in
garages and things like that. But have you ever done it?
Perhaps you have. I don't know.
MR. LOPER: We have mentioned on the Emmy Program the
relationship that we have with UCLA, but there is no reason why
we can't continue to do this on a more regular basis.
MS. KANIN: I think it would be a wonderful spot on the
TV award show to have the preservation message.
MR. LOPER: Thank you.
MS. ADAMS: Is there some way to do something about the
pirating and the copyright stealing? That's a terrible problem.
People just take things and put them on and sell them; then you
track them down. If something could be done with that, you could
rake in a lot of things that are out there that don't belong out
MR. FRANCIS: Mr. Loper, mine is really a follow-up on
what was just said. It seems that the Emmy Awards are so
prestigious that it would be reasonable to ask a winner to
deposit a preservation copy. I would have thought that that
would have been accepted by a winner. It would mean there would
be the submitted copy, which could be an access copy, and
afterwards, the winner could present a preservation copy. Do you
think that sounds reasonable?
MR. LOPER: Yes. And I think that we can go further
than that and ask the production companies and the networks to
donate a complete copy of the series of the program. That's what
really needs to be done, and that was kind of the thrust of my
remarks, that rather than one or two programs, we need the
complete sets if we are really going to study television in an
objective and positive manner.
MR. TABB: Are there any other questions?
DR. BILLINGTON: How about actually giving an award for
preservation? Have you ever considered that?
MR. LOPER: We are up to about 90 Emmy awards now. I
am not sure that the industry or ourselves can stand any more
awards, but we certainly have certificates and can honor people
for this kind of thing. And, Jim, that's a very good idea.
DR. BILLINGTON: And maybe past award winners, as well,
in terms of getting their things.
MR. LOPER: Yes.
DR. BILLINGTON: Could you expand a little bit on what
lessons you might have learned with your relationship with the
UCLA Film and Television Archives, for other organizations that
might possibly consider similar models with various archives?
MR. LOPER: My comments are very much the same as
Edie's. I have no negatives, really. They have been enormously
DR. BILLINGTON: No. I wasn't suggesting there were
negatives. I was wondering if there were some keys to making
such a relationship work or getting it started and so forth, that
could be generalized.
MR. LOPER: I think each organization that is involved
in such a partnership should do what it does well, and that is
that the Academy has the contacts with the people who star in and
produce the programs, and that should be our responsibility to
try and put the leverage on them to get the programs.
On the other hand, I think that the archive has the
responsibility of somehow preserving the material in a form that
can be used by scholars in the long term and an even longer term
of preserving it for posterity in some way.
So, I would say finding the material is our job, and
preserving it and having it there for use is the job of an
MR. RICHMOND: Just one other quick comment. I think
the Academy has to be a major player in this whole plan. The
work that you have done to date is outstanding, and you need to
be a major part of the plan.
I think one of the things that has been really
encouraging to me--you mentioned the TV screenings that we have
initiated together. It has been really thrilling to see packed
houses for those, just much more of a response than I ever would
have anticipated. And it shows that there is a constituency out
there. People in the television industry do have an interest in
the history of their industry, and that's something we need to
find a way to tap into.
MR. LOPER: We have also, as you know, instituted 11
years ago the Television Academy Hall of Fame, to honor people.
And Mr. Kovacs was one of the very early inductees into the Hall
of Fame. And I think by recognizing these pioneers in the
industry, we can continue to develop that kind of bridge with
those people to continue to extract the material wherever we can.
From the garage is another place.
MR. HEIBER: I have a question for Ms. Adams. Do you
think the better awareness now of artists' rights will prevent
similar situations happening as with your late husband's
MS. ADAMS: I don't know what you mean. Artists'
MR. HEIBER: Well, the rights of artists to protect
their material, to have a say in the disposition of their
MS. ADAMS: On TV in the early 50's, there was no
agenda for artists' rights. We were given a radio studio, 4
walls, a camera and a microphone. We were interested in killing
2 hours every morning. Those of us who cared about content
bought back and copyrighted it later. So, somehow--the material
is protected, but the physical product somehow gets out of your
hands, and it goes somewhere else, and somebody else uses it
uncopyrighted. And I find that I don't know what to do about it.
MR. HEIBER: I guess my question is not with the
ownership of the material so much as--you called it--the
"ruthless destruction" of the material.
MS. ADAMS: Yes.
MR. HEIBER: What is your take on whether or not people
are educated at this point where that would be prevented from
MS. ADAMS: Well, I don't know. At that time, I just
had no idea when they told me. Because I thought that they were
just there, and I just didn't know that they would be destroyed
and willfully destroyed. And everybody was doing it in the
'70's, throwing it away, burning it, throwing it in the water,
and just doing it as a money saving measure. And you didn't hear
about it until years later. And if it hadn't been for the crew
coming over, I would have had no idea that they were going to
MR. TABB: I thank you both very much. We will end
this panel at this point.
Especially thank you for bringing such great footage.
It was a very appropriate way to begin the hearing.
MS. ADAMS: Got to lighten it all up. In life, too.
MR. TABB: We will invite the next group to come
forward, please. (Pause.)
All right. We will begin with the National Center for Film and
Video Preservation, AFI. Will both of you be speaking during the
MR. WLASCHIN: I will be speaking.
MR. TABB: Mr. Wlaschin. Okay. Thank you.
Presentation by Ken Wlaschin, Vice Chair
National Center for Film and Video Preservation
American Film Institute & Gregory Lukow
MR. WLASCHIN: My name is Ken Wlaschin. I am the Vice
Chair of the archive arm of the American Film Institute.
The AFI is pleased to testify at these important
hearings and to contribute to the Library of Congress's work to
bring television and video materials into a comprehensive plan to
preserve America's moving image heritage.
For over two decades, especially the work of AFI's
National Center for Film and Video Preservation's effort has been
one of the Institute's primary mandates. During this time, the
National Center has taken a leadership role in coordinating this
effort and has been privileged to work with hundreds of committed
archivists across the country.
Today, at the Library's suggestion, we would like to
share a bit of the AFI's long history in television and video
preservation, describe how the National Center's current
activities are contributing to this course, and offer five basic
recommendations for a national plan to safeguard these materials.
These recommendations were first articulated by the
National Center as part of a nationwide needs assessment that it
carried out in 1990. The report that emerged from this
assessment still stands as one of the most comprehensive
statements on the needs of television preservation, and we are
pleased that the Library has indicated it will be consulting this
document in preparing its study.
AFI's history in television preservation dates back to
1974, when it convened a conference of interested parties, with
follow-up support from the Ford Foundation, to discuss the
coordination of television archival activities.
In 1978, AFI began coordinating the annual meeting of
what was then known as "The Television Archives Advisory
Committee." This group and its film counterpart evolved into
what is now the "Association of Moving Image Archivists," a North
American professional association for which the National Center
continues to serve as institutional secretariat.
In 1983, AFI's television preservation mandate
intensified when it established the National Center for Film and
Video Preservation, in collaboration with the National Endowment
for the Arts.
Throughout the 1980's, the Center completed a number of
projects that placed television on the national preservation
agenda. In 1986, the Center published the "National Film and
Video Storage Survey," containing information on the film,
television and video holdings of over 30 public archives.
Also in 1986, the Center called a two-year national
moratorium on the disposal of television programming, an
initiative that conveyed to the television industry the urgent
need to save our national television heritage. As an outgrowth
of the moratorium, the Center prepared national guidelines for
the selection of television programs for retention and
preservation. The guidelines were distributed in 1988 to the
nation's television networks, producers and broadcast groups.
One of the Center's major accomplishments came in 1989,
when it coordinated the negotiation of an agreement between--
Capital Cities/ABC, the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and
the Museum of Television and Radio, to bring the history of ABC's
entertainment programming into the national collection. The
agreement covered hundreds of ABC aired series, from the 1950's
to the 1970's, an estimated 24,000 kinescopes and film prints.
This national level work was complemented by the
Center's extensive efforts on behalf of regional television
archives across the country. The ground breaking event for this
field came in 1987 when the National Center organized its first
national conference of local television news archives.
These institutions are a rich resource in documenting
our nation's history, and we are pleased to share the table today
with colleagues from two of the nation's leading local television
archives, those in Miami and in San Francisco.
Today, the National Center has a range of programs with
which they address the needs of television preservation. The AFI
collection is known for having brought over 25,000 classic
American feature films and short subjects into the national
collection at the Library of Congress and other archives. But
this national clearinghouse collection has also acquired
thousands of television programs and classic commercials, dating
from 1939 to the 1980's.
The Center's national moving image database has
provided significant support for the television and video
archival communities. Since 1988, the NAMID Data Entry and
Conversion Program has allocated over one million dollars for
data acquisition projects of archives across the country,
including over 20 television and video collections.
In doing so, NAMID provides extensive direct support
for the cataloging and automation work of these archives and
fosters the use of national level standards. Each archive's data
is in turn acquired by NAMID and made available, through a series
of open access agreements negotiated with the archives, to
preservationists, catalogers, researchers and the public.
Using this approach, NAMID has become the largest
collective moving image database in North America. Over 30,000
of its records document the nation's television and video
holdings, including broadcast television collections at the
Library of Congress, UCLA, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater
Research, American Archive of Factual Film, and Museum of
Broadcast Communication, as well as independent video artwork and
documentaries held by the Pacific Film Archive and others.
This year, NAMID will provide additional television
data through new conversion projects involving the Peabody Awards
Archive, at the University of Georgia, the Bay Area Video
Coalition, the Experimental Television Center and the University
of Southern California Cinema and Television Archive.
In addition to physical holdings, NAMID includes all
filmographic data published by the AFI Catalog Project. While
the catalog will continue to focus in the coming years on
researching American theatrical films released between 1893 and
1970, we look forward to the day when AFI will be able to expand
this national filmography into the realm of historical
television. A feasibility study on such a television catalog was
completed by the National Center in 1988.
One of the Institute's priorities this year is to bring
NAMID and AFI catalog data and AFI collection data online through
AFI's new World Wide Web site. NAMID was available online for
the first time in 1995, through a dedicated BBS line, and our
goal now is to provide full Internet access to this valuable
The National Center continues the coordination and
outreach efforts that have helped bring new archives and special
collections into the television archival community. As a
contribution to this effort, the Center will publish shortly The
Administration of Television News Film and Videotape Collections:
A Curatorial Manual, co-edited by Steve Davidson from the Wolfson
Center and Greg Lukow of the AFI. This guidebook is illustrated
with over 200 photographs and designed to assist local and
national archives responsible for safeguarding television news.
Finally, we would like to note that AFI is currently in
the middle of a three-year initiative to raise over one million
dollars in new funds for archival preservation projects through
the AFI Preservation Challenge Grant. Television projects are
eligible for funding, and we encourage their submission.
In 1995, $350,000 was awarded to 13 archives through
the first year of the project, and the Institute hopes to
announce the availability of funds for the second cycle of grants
in the near future.
We would like to conclude our testimony today by
offering five fundamental recommendations for a National
Television and Video Preservation Plan. These suggestions have,
of course, a bottom line: Increased resources to help archivists
preserve and make accessible our nation's television and video
heritage. Indeed, one of the most compelling goals of the
national television study should be to provide potential funding
agencies with the information they will need.
First, determine the scope of the program. There is an
urgent need to measure the size of the staggering volume of
broadcast, cable and video material to be saved. Our experiences
with funding agencies have shown that a statistical assessment of
existing material is essential in developing a comprehensive
approach to television preservation. The material grows
significantly with every passing year.
Second, define "television and video preservation."
The study should provide potential funders with a clear, working
definition of the principles of television and video
preservation. It should determine where consensus exists on
current practices and promote the development of new standards
where needed. It should differentiate between motion picture
preservation and the unique needs of television and video preservation.
Third, strengthen public/private partnerships. If our
nation is to save its television and video heritage, the need for
cooperation between public archives and private sector producers
and broadcasters can not be overemphasized. The study should
promote the crucial concept of the national collection, held in a
diverse range of institutions who collectively share the
responsibility of preserving the heritage. The study should
provide realistic selection guidelines to help evaluate what we
can reasonably expect to save and foster consensus regarding who
will save what.
Fourth, secure the necessary new funding. The study
should bring television and video to the forefront of the
national preservation agenda. It should articulate long-term
funding needs and help develop necessary resources. This is the
bottom line for all of the nation's archives. The techniques to
preserve the heritage are at hand, but the pace must be
Preservation support should be broadened beyond
laboratory transfer work, to include storage, cataloging and
access. The need is compounded by the absence of a tradition of
support like that for film preservation. As a matter of public
policy, we must overcome the impasse of conventional wisdom,
which for too long has maintained that the mountain of television
programs is too enormous to contemplate, or videotape is not a
long-term preservation medium.
Fifth, increase access. As more television and video
materials are preserved, the responsibility of providing access
becomes paramount. The study should encourage rights holders to
support shared open access for a diverse community of users, even
as it provides assurances that legal interests will be protected.
The study should also encourage new agreements between
archives and broadcasters that would enable archival off-air
taping not only of news materials, as allowed under the current
copyright law, but also a broader range programming for education
and research purposes.
Indeed, looking to the future of online digital
research, the study could explore the possibility of extending
the very concept of off-air taping into the realm of online image
Before I conclude, I would like to say simply that I
have a personal interest in this. Thirty years ago, the BBC
television made a documentary about my wife and my then five-year
old son, and when I went back to look at it a few years ago, it
was gone. They had wiped it, along with a number of my brother-
in-law's television plays, which were among the most important of
their time. So, I think preservation affects all of us in
direct ways, as well as indirect.
The National Center would like to thank the Library of
Congress for the opportunity to share these reflections. We look
forward to doing whatever we can to assist the preservation
community in this vital effort. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you, Mr. Wlaschin. Ms. Whitson, from
the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive.
Presentation by Helene Whitson
Special Collections Librarian/Archivist
Curator, San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive
San Francisco State University
MS. WHITSON: My name is Helene Whitson, and I am the
Special Collections Librarian and Archivist at San Francisco
State University Library.
I am here today to ask your help in providing funding
for the preservation of local television productions. I come
with 15 years of experience working to organize and preserve
local television materials and at least 10 years of performing
educational outreach to the public, the field and to related
Steve Davidson and I have jointly spoken before such
organizations, and I am going to give you acronyms, as BEA,
RTNDA, SAA, ALA, AHA, AASLH, AEJMC, plus local and regional
organizations. This year alone, we will speak jointly at the--
Conference, in Miami, BEA, and the annual NATAS President's
Meeting, in San Francisco, as well as speaking separately.
Our presentation here today is part of the continuing
effort that we have undertaken on behalf of collections such as
ours and for the understanding and preservation of locally
And, Steve, would you like to--if we may speak sort of
MR. DAVIDSON: Sure.
MR. TABB: Make a joint presentation.
MR. DAVIDSON: Well, Helene and I normally do these
kinds of presentations around the country.
MR. TABB: Great.
Presentation by Steven Davidson, Director
Louis Wolfson II Media History Center - Miami, Florida
MR. DAVIDSON: What I thought we might do is just give
you a sense of really what we are talking about on the local
level. With the theory that one picture is worth a thousand
words, we have got a couple million words to show you now of what
these collections actually look like and what we are talking
about, and to put it in perspective for small institutions such
as ours. (Mr. Davidson gives slide presentation as he speaks.)
MR. DAVIDSON: Most of us began with very empty
shelving like that, and within one day of getting the
collection--a collection such as this in rusting film cans and so
on--we can move these into our facilities very quickly. It takes
years to get it to that point, clean, preserved and so on.
And what these next slides will show you is just some
of that process of what is involved and what we are dealing with.
Again, just perspective. This happens to be from one of the
stations in Miami, but it is representative of what can be found
at local TV stations around the country.
Here is a look inside some of those cans. The reels of
film unraveling and so on, masking tape inside, if things are on
cores. Most of the time they are coming off the cores. Again
you see masking tape splices throughout. Or you will see this
version. Each one of those cans represent a jigsaw puzzle.
Those are individual news stories, probably not unwound since
they were first shown by the station themselves. And oftentimes,
too, this comes with no documentation at all, and if it does, it
is not very accurate. So, these all have to be sorted out and so
on. Again, this has masking tape and information written on the
In this case, there were some inventory records which a
technician is sorting out. Each one of those reels of films,
each one of those individual stories, has to be cleaned,
repaired, the perforations repaired, so it can be ultimately
transferred to videotape. Each piece of film--each individual
story has to be identified and numbered and so on.
The system and the tools of the trade--obviously, there
is no quick ways of doing it. Everything is manual.
Preservation for the local news archives is really
cleaning and repairing the film to the best ability possible and
then making a video transfer copy. In our case, we are able to
make a VHS reference copy and 3/4" master copy. Although now we
have just gotten some Betacam equipment, so we are moving to
Again, each of those cans we have to log in, story by
story, segment by segment, noting physical characteristics,
whether it was negative or positive, magnetic sound or optical
sound, and the duration. And eventually those log records are
then used by the technician to make the transfer, and then we end
up with the final product like that. Again, all on cores in
archival plastic containers.
Now, just the video process. Again, all the news film
needs to be transferred to videotape, but there are many news
archives that also have video equipment, and those present
similar challenges, as well. Again, the videotape--this is a
storeroom at one of the TV stations in Miami, and that was their
video library, just to give it some scale. It could come in
But again, all of these materials need to be put on the
shelves. If we are going to be collecting videotape, it comes in
all formats, every permutation of videotape. And again, unlike
film, you need the individual video formats to go with all of
At the Wolfson Center, we probably have around 300 2"
videotapes, and unfortunately, we don't have the funding right
now to transfer all those to a more usable format.
These are cut story tapes, and they contain the
equivalent of those little rolls of film. Each one of those 3/4"
videotapes probably has upwards of 30 or 40 individual stories.
And again, these date from the mid-1970's onward. And of course,
the tape quality back then wasn't what it is today, and chances
are, those were originally recycled many times before they
committed the final information onto those videotapes.
That's some of our equipment. But again, we need to
remaster the older formats and even the older 3/4" tapes to more
We also have an off-air recording program, and that's
just some of that in our collection. And then, all of that must
be done, of course, until access is able to be provided.
I will turn it back over to Helene now.
MR. TABB: Okay.
MS. WHITSON: I would like to show you several samples
of what we have in our collection.
I would say that once preserved and made accessible,
local television material can be used in a variety of ways. My
first clip shows what happened at San Francisco State in 1969.
(Video was shown by Ms. Whitson.)
MS. WHITSON: What you see was used as raw footage by
the station, by a researcher working on a Ph.D., and by me in a
scholarly presentation in Miami.
This next piece is a descriptive piece which I created
in 1987, working with a San Francisco State film student, to show
my colleagues in the archival field what one has to do when
working with moving images. I paid for this myself and created
it and do not have a film background, so it is an amateur piece.
(Video was shown by Ms. Whitson.)
MS. WHITSON: That is just a sample. It goes on for a
The third piece is a piece which demonstrates local
television as capturing an era that will not occur again. This
is a local Emmy Award winner. (Video was shown by Ms. Whitson.)
MS. WHITSON: Preservation of local television
collections is a labor intensive, careful, hand-done process.
I just received a $55,000 LSCA Grant for preserving the
KPIX Film Library. That's our San Francisco CBS affiliate. But
I also must provide matching funds. Money pays for staff,
supplies and equipment, but it can not change the initial
laborious process. And that initial process is the most
important. All the new technology does not help that process.
In fact, we will need even more money to transfer our film and
video to other media.
My entire archive is estimated to be approximately 10
million feet of film and video, and includes the following
collection: KQED, which is our PBS affiliate, news film from
1968 to 1980; KPIX, our CBS affiliate, 1955 to 1980; local Emmy
Award winners from the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter,
from 1974 to date; Over Easy, a KQED program on aging; VideoWest,
a pre-MTV rock video; several other locally produced programs.
Plus we are now getting into programs that are not totally news.
As you can see, our programs are not just news anymore.
To preserve this national heritage, the industry must
show the same level of responsibility and commitment to the
preservation of their material that I and my colleagues have
done. I need at least a million dollars to preserve my
And if you can see this headline which came out in the
paper the other day, I will not get it from KQED, because KQED is
on the rocks.
For future local television archives and archivists, we
warn you that this is not a passive activity.
MR. DAVIDSON: Thanks. First, I want to thank the
panel for allowing us the opportunity to speak and also say that
a lot has happened since the Wolfson Center was founded 10 years
ago, in terms of where we have gone with our collection and with
I would also like to acknowledge some people in this
room that were instrumental in the beginning in helping us set
the pace, set the tone, of what we were doing:
Greg Lukow, from the National Center for Film and Video
Preservation, was an early advisor to us, as was Bill Murphy,
from the National Archives, and of course, Helene Whitson. And
we modeled much of what we were doing learning from Helene's
example, in Miami.
I would like to show a video profile of our
institution, and if there is time, there is another video piece,
as well, which shows some of the issues that we face specifically
at the Wolfson Center, but generally for news film and video
collections around the country. (Video was shown by Dr.
(VIDEO: "From the everyday to the extraordinary, the
Louis Wolfson II Media History Center holds a treasury of images.
The Center, designated by the State of Florida as an official
moving image center and archive, documents Florida's history. It
provides the unique opportunity to relive, or see and hear for
the first time, the issues and events that have impacted our
lives and shaped the culture of our region. Also of interest is
how film and television documents these changes.
"The Center's mission, important to the state and local
community, and part of a broader effort, is to collect, preserve
and make accessible film and video materials produced in or about
"The Center's growing collection began with the
archival footage of WTVJ, Channel 4, South Florida's first TV
station, that now includes millions of feet of film and thousands
of hours of videotape, ranging from home movies dating from the
early 1900's to yesterday's newscasts, spanning over eight
"The collection has been donated by a variety of
sources, including television stations, production companies and
individuals. Together, these materials combine to provide a
visual mosaic of our history and cultural.
"Films arriving at the Center in aged or damaged
condition are painstakingly cleaned, repaired and restored.
Ultimately, all the film will be transferred, the videotape to be
used by the general public for education and research. Older
videotape productions on various formats are remastered and
reference copies made for accessibility.
"The Wolfson Center was established in 1986 and is
sponsored by Miami-Dade Community College, the University of
Miami, and the Miami-Dade Public Library. It is one of the
largest archives of its kind in the United States.
"Public access takes many forms, and each year the
Center increases its accessibility to the general public,
researchers, and film and video makers.
"The Center provides a year-round screening and seminar
program, featuring materials from its collection and those of
other archives throughout the nation and abroad. The Wolfson
Center provides footage for use in new productions of all genres.
Significant documentary productions which utilized archival
footage from the collection include: PBS's Eyes on the Prize and
The American Experience Series.
"Locally, the Wolfson Center has worked with Metro-Dade
Television to produce the video series REWIND. Each episode
features actual broadcasts from the early years of television,
restored and brought to video to be seen by new and former
"REWIND and a growing screening, exhibition and seminar
program make the Wolfson Center unique among moving image
archives around the country.
"While the Center is partially funded by local, state
and federal grants, it can not survive without community support.
The next phase in the Center's mission includes preserving
footage from today's newscasts and programs which will be
tomorrow's historical artifacts. "For more information, write
MR. DAVIDSON: I don't know how much more time that we
have, but that gives a sense of the kind of activities that we
are engaged in. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you very much.
Ms. Lan, from the Bay Area Video Coalition.
Presentation by Grace Lan, Director
Preservation and Special Projects - Bay Area Video Coalition
and National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture
MS. LAN: This is the first time I am doing a
My name is Grace Lan. I am here to represent the Bay
Area Video Coalition. Right now, I am the facility manager and,
also, I am in charge of the Preservation Program there. And I
just want to say that I am very honored to be here today.
What BAVAC is--Bay Area Video Coalition--we are a non-
profit organization funded by foundations to work with other non-
profit organizations. And our mission, as a media art center, is
to provide media makers, documentary makers, educators and
artists the best quality product for the lowest price. And as a
part of our service, BAVAC has been called upon to recognize that
these cultural documents on video exist and also to provide an
inexpensive remastering service for the non-profits.
This preservation work has a very important--it is very
important to me personally because I wasn't born here in the
States. I came to this country when I was 10, and I learned how
to speak English watching television. So, I know that it is very
important to preserve TV shows, like Sesame Street and I Love
But just a couple of years ago, when I joined the Bay
Area Video Coalition, I watched Vito Acconci playing with
his own saliva in Waterways. And I saw William Wegman teach
his dog how to spell, and watched Bruce Nauman bouncing around in
his studio for an hour, and I saw video art for the first time.
Without being a part of this preservation project, I would never
have seen these pieces.
Now that we have done the work, along with Video
Databank, in Chicago, these pieces are now accessible for anyone
Just another example of that--what we have done--we
have, through trial and error, started doing preservation work,
first with the Minnesota Historic Society. We transferred a
hundred open reel tapes. And then we transferred 250 reels for
the San Francisco Public Library, their Gay and Lesbian Archive.
And we have worked, like I said before, with the Databank, in
Chicago, and Electronic Arts Intermix. And we are now working
with the Walker Arts Center, and soon, we are hoping to work with
the National Latino Communication Center, here in L.A.
Through these works, we have tried to finesse the
process of preservation, but there are a lot of unanswered
questions, because we know that our process works, but there are
also other processes out there that also work. So, what we want
to know is--all of these processes work, but the conservators
have never had a chance to really test and create a system for
things to be one way, and we know that it works. So, that's a
BAVAC's next step is to not only provide affordable
technical service to preserve video, but also, our interest is to
educate and advocate ways of advancing these preservation
efforts, advancing these technical efforts to preserve these
documentaries of our culture, because I think that's really
Later on this month, at the San Francisco Museum of
Modern Art, with the support of the NEA Challenge Grant, the
Getty Grant Program, and the Andy Warhol Foundation, and in
association with the New York Media Alliance, Bay Area Video
Coalition will present an international symposium on trying to
develop techniques and practices of video preservation.
Unless these practices for videotape preservation begin
to be articulated with a realistic look at skill and resources,
we all know that tapes produced just only 15 years ago will soon
be lost forever. And this urgency exists not just for art on
video but also for future art using all new technologies.
I would just like to thank the Library of Congress for
allowing me to testify today. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Next, we have a charter member
of the National Film Preservation Board. Welcome, Bob.
Presentation by Robert Rosen, Director
UCLA Film and Television Archive
MR. ROSEN: Yes. I would like to thank you very much
for the opportunity to testify in this area.
Before beginning, I would like to say that it seems to
me that if anybody embodied in a real sense both the value of
saving television and the tragedy of what was lost, it was one of
the greatest, if not the greatest, innovators in the evolution of
a language specific to television--Ernie Kovacs. So, I do want
to take the opportunity to thank Edie Adams for being such a
militant and for saving so much of Ernie's work.
First, let me make a few general comments--and very
few--about what we do at UCLA and then to move into six areas
that I think are distinctive to public archives, along with a few
First, about what we do. The television part of the
UCLA Film and Television Archive began in 1965. It was in
partnership with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and
there has been a long standing relationship with that
We have in excess of 60,000 titles, half on various
tape formats, and half on film formats, 127,000 news programs,
and a quite large television technologies collection--including
the first television set in Los Angeles. The collection covers
all subject areas in the period from 1946 to the present.
There are thousands of documentaries including
specialized documentary related collections, such as the DeNove
Collection on the Kennedy campaign and the KTLA Local News
There is particular strength on the entertainment side,
especially in the area of early television, including many one-
of-a-kind kinescopes from the 1950's. Some of the notable
collections include the Jack Benny Collection, the Dumont
Collection, and the Mark Goodson Collection. There are entire
runs of programs in virtually every genre, ranging from the
dramatic anthologies, such as the Hallmark Hall of Fame, to
sitcoms and the soaps.
We keep up to date with current production through the
deposit of the Emmy Awards from the Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences, and we continue an active acquisition program.
Now, what do we do with all this? It is not dead
storage. First, we do restoration, such as the "miraculous
rising from the dead" of seemingly unusable footage that went
into the Fred Astaire Specials. We do preservation, such as the
remastering of materials on obsolete 2" formats and onto
contemporary formats. We do conservation, which really means
good storage of the materials. And as we sit, the entire
collection is on route to new temperature and humidity controlled
vaults on the UCLA campus.
We do public programming, either at our own Festival of
Preservation or through the Academy. We provide access for study
and research. Last year, in our research facility, there were in
excess of 10,000 appointments made for individual viewings of
materials that are in our collection. Finally, much of our
material is used in productions, particularly in the documentary
area. Information on the collection is available through the
Now, that said--in doing all these things, we share
certain concerns in common with all other archives, including
industry archives. There are, however, a number of things that
are specific to the problems confronted by archives that are
located in public institutions. And I would like to suggest,
very quickly, six of these.
The first is that we are inescapably in the middle of
things. You can call it one of the existential facts of life of
a television archive. On the one side, the vast amount of
materials that we hold are under the copyright protection of
someone else. The owners of those materials understandably want
to protect their copyright interests and want to minimize use of
those materials for that reason.
On the other side, we are a public institution that
serves an array of users, and these users want to maximize access
to the material in whatever way is possible.
Our position as a public archive is to make both happy,
to serve both of them, to harmonize, to mediate, and to make the
appropriate principled tradeoffs.
We propose, that as a national plan evolves, it is
essential to keep in mind the need to facilitate the ability of
public institutions to effect those trade-offs.
So, for example, one of the things that would be useful
is to look at archives across the country as, in fact, a network
of archives--a system of archives--so as to provide, on the one
hand, means for the exchange of materials through inter-archival
loan or via means of new telecommunications technology, for
access on a nationwide basis, and, on the other hand, to devise
guidelines and procedures that ensure that the interests of the
copyright proprietors are protected. So, it is essentially, a
two-pronged approach: to increase the ability to serve the
plurality of users on a national basis and at the same time to
protect the interests of those people and companies whose
materials we hold.
Two, the second reality. The second reality is that
public archives deal with television in all of the various ways
that Dr. Billington alluded to before. Television at its best is
a popular art form distinctive to this century. It is also a
document of our history. It is also a political force that
influences our attitudes towards politics in general and, more
specifically, gender politics and politics of ethnicity. It is a
cultural artifact that we pass on to the future. It is a
commodity on the marketplace. And on an individual level, it
provides the pegs on which we very often hang our own
autobiographical memories. People chart their own lives in
relationship, in part, to the television that they have consumed
An archive serving a plurality of users must respond in
different ways to all of those different users.
Now, this affects a number of areas, notably
acquisition. In light of the wide array of users, one has to
acquire a wide array of materials. The soap opera, of no
particular interest to the student of television as an art form,
to the social historian is of enormous import. One may be
tempted to say we only need a sample of a particular series. But
as was pointed out before, very often the heart and soul of what
that series is about for the culture lies in a formula that
evolved over time. Or in the case of, say, a show like The
Waltons, it is the evolution of the program that, in essence,
contains its most important information.
So, in a real sense, you should be saving lots of
things, if not everything. But the problem is there is so much
that no one institution can do it alone.
In the area of acquisition, the single most important
criteria for the archivist in the selection of material is
humility, not precluding the possibilities for future generations
to discover for themselves the value of these materials.
I would propose that we explore the possibility for a
more extended division of labor among the archives in the country
in the area of acquisition. The possibility, for example, that
the Library of Congress itself may have annex collections at a
number of institutions around the country, so that more of the
material can be saved, but in a way that is practical, given the
allocation of resources.
A third issue confronts public archives. We have in
our collections the equivalent of the orphan films that were
discussed in the area of motion pictures. That is to say,
television programming for which there is no clearcut commercial
body to defend the interest. This includes early television,
much of it in kinescope form, where the question of ownership is
very murky. There are many rights involved, including unclear
music rights and underlying literary rights, but ownership is
It includes a vast amount of television that was
produced by companies that no longer exist. It includes
materials in the documentary area, such as the DeNove Collection
on the Kennedy elections, that is not under copyright and is
solely our responsibility.
And potentially, it includes the vast collections of
the master documentary film makers, who over time have collected
raw footage that is as important as the final productions that
were made. And where do they go? They have to go into public
institutions, and there is no obvious copyright owner to stand
behind preserving them.
So, again, a proposal I would make is that in a
national television preservation plan, special attention be given
to those television materials that are, as it were, in an orphan
status. And I think much of the material at more specialized
archives around the country fall into that category.
A fourth issue, in the area of television. We all want
to do preservation, but we are not terribly sure what
preservation means. We know that, minimally, preservation is
putting a program onto the stablest possible format, in as close
as possible to its original condition, for the best possible
storage for the longest period of time, and that involves
minimally the differentiation between a preservation master and a
But what do you do in the area of television when you
are not even sure what the master is? If you have kinescopes of
early television on 16mm acetate film, is it possible that that
is the master, and that the making of a reference copy, a use
copy, so that kinescope can be put away for safekeeping, is what
What happens if you have programming that is shot on
film, very often the case in the industry, transferred to video
for editing, with a video master made? What is the master for
preservation? Is it the video master that exists or is it the
original film material? And what happens if that original film
material had never been constructed into a negative that conforms
to the final product?
What does preservation mean when you are confronting a
dizzying array of formats, 2" tape of various kinds, 1/2" reel to
reel, VHS, beta, and now an increasing number of digital formats?
These are areas that are open.
What I would propose are three elements in relationship
to this, for a national plan:
The first is that a differentiation be made between
retrospective and prospective preservation. Retrospective deals
with the first fifty years. It deals with obsolete formats, such
as 2" tape. It deals with the problem of kinescopes.
Prospective preservation ideally is done at the time of
production and involves a close working relationship between the
archives and the industry in the establishment of standards. But
it is important to differentiate the two or else some of the
issues of the older footage will slip between the cracks.
The second thing I would propose in the area of
defining preservation is that the archiving of television
technology be part of the overall archiving effort. When you
have materials in your vaults that may be in fine shape but can
no longer be seen because the technology no longer exists, you
are in big trouble. Those are the problems we confronted with
the Fred Astaire restoration.
Television technology is not just a sideline activity;
it is not just a complement to preservation; it is integral to
some of the preservation issues themselves.
The third thing I would propose is that we take up the
challenge of examining the implication of new digital
technologies in relationship to preservation. For public
archives, I would add that we take up also the problems of seeing
how those technologies can become applicable in the cash-strapped
context of public institutions.
Two more brief points.
One of the facts for public institutions, such as UCLA,
is we are not alone. We exist as part of community of
institutions involved in television preservation. Some, such as
UCLA, the Museum of Television and Radio, and the University of
Wisconsin are extensive in their collecting. Others are more
specialized, dealing with local television news, political
commercials, advertising or what have you.
What I am suggesting is that--and I am seconding the
comment that was made before in the AFI presentation--the
national collection is at a plurality of institutions,
philosophically diverse and geographically dispersed, who share a
common commitment. The key principle in planning on a national
level is recognizing this plurality of interests, making sure
that everyone has an appropriate place at the table and the
gaining of advantage from seeing the ways in which these various
activities can complement one another.
Finally, not only are we not alone, we can't do it
alone. We are dealing with public institutions that confront
decreasing budgets and where fund-raising is more difficult than
So, the final thing I would underline is that the
concept of the public/private partnership be at the core of the
development of a national plan. The media industry and the
archives really do need one another. The archives were
responsible for saving literally thousands of valuable programs
that would have been tossed away and would have disappeared, at a
time before all of the ancillary markets developed for that
The public institutions are a very economical way for
the industry to serve the public interest by providing risk-free
access to the history of television. And the public
institutions, by foregrounding what is most interesting in the
history of television, helped to sustain and maintain, in the
best sense, that history as part of the collective memory.
Conversely, without the industry, the archives wouldn't
have the holdings; nor would they have the ability to make these
materials accessible to that plurality of users we talked about
Thus, a proposal. I would say that in implementing
this notion of a public/private partnership, that there be
created a National Television Foundation, comparable to the
proposal that came out in the film area; that it involve a
partnership between the private sector, on the one hand, and
government on the other; that it work on behalf of the entire
system of archives across the country; that the entities that
already exist at that interface between the public and private,
such as the Television Academy, be included in a very significant
way in its planning; and that it be under the aegis of the
Library of Congress, in the same way as the planning for the film
This working partnership is essential because, bottom
line, all of the discussion before is abstract unless the
resources are there to carry it out.
In this brief summary, I hope I have outlined what I
think are core issues and a series of realizable proposals. I
look forward to the future discussion that will take place.
MR. TABB: Thank you very much, Bob, and all the other
panelists, as well.
Now, we will turn to colleagues on the dais for questions. We
would like to be first?
MR. FIELDING: A question for any or all of the
speakers. Of all of the devils we deal with in our lives,
compromise is the most demanding. Given the fact that an
astronomic amount of product has been generated on video until
now, and that this will probably increase geometrically in the
future, it follows that no archive, no matter how well endowed,
is going to preserve everything, it follows there will be
compromises. Some products will be selected for preservation and
some will suffer some form of triage.
Would any of you care to illuminate what kinds of
philosophies, methodologies, values, points of view you are
obliged to bring to bear already in making the decisions as to
what is going to be preserved and survived and what will probably
MR. TABB: Go ahead, Bob.
MR. ROSEN: Well, let me say, first of all, there is a
disinclination on my part to answer the question, because that
already puts you into the business, you know, of determining what
will not survive. And I think, in the first instance, you try to
exhaust all the possibilities for maximizing what will survive.
And those ways seem to me to be, in part, this useful division of
labor among a number of institutions across the country in terms
of the acquisition and preservation of materials in a more
coordinated way than exists at the moment. There is great
cordiality that now exists among the institutions, but very
little formal cooperation.
So, I think, in the first instance, I would rather not
do it. Second, I would like to look to the longer haul, to the
advance of technologies, to assume that more materials can be
preserved--or, copied, at least--more quickly and stored in a
smaller space than in the past.
And third, even now, when we confront materials that we
can't handle, we contact other archives in the country. We will
call Greg. We will call up the National Center and say, "Can you
find someone else who will deal with this?"
I think, in the end, if you have to make decisions, you
do. First, you look at the rarity of the material. Is it the
only surviving material and what shape is it in? Then, later on,
after that, you may look at the historical importance; you may
look at its importance in relationship to all criteria--as
document, as artifact, as art form, what have you. And you do
the best you can within those criteria to make reasoned
But I think we are onto a wrong path if bottom line we
start to formalize the basis for deaccessioning materials.
MR. DAVIDSON: I would like to answer that. Sometimes
the decision is made for us. The stations to this day, local
stations around the country, continue to recycle their videotape,
let alone the field tapes and the out-takes and so on.
The other side of it is--and this could be with film
collections or with videotape--you saw from those slides,
sometimes it will take years before we actually know what the
content, the physical images, are of that material. So, the
first for many archives on the local level is to take these
collections in and then see what is on them, because oftentimes,
again, they don't come with an inventory, and then some decisions
can be made as to what we have and what should we do.
MR. TABB: Greg, do you have some points?
MR. LUKOW: Yes. Just to address that question, I
concur with Bob's initial instinct to not have to answer the
question. But we dealt with the issue back in 1988, when we
produced the National Selection Guidelines that Ken referred to
in our remarks.
And we came up with categories--and I will be happy to
share this document with the Library as you proceed with your
study--we came up with several categories in which we found
excuses, rationale, however you want to term it, for basically
selecting everything. Aesthetic, historic and technological
importance to the history of television were the three categories
that we came up with. And you could pretty much put everything
At the same time, we came up with a formula for the
number of series, of certain kinds of shows, soap operas, prime
time things. We ran through the Society of Cinema Studies, which
at the time comprised a committee to help us with that, and they
upped the number of episodes per series, and the formula, they
tweaked it a little bit.
But the bottom line--the point I was trying to make was
we found a rationale to justify the selection and, therefore, the
preservation of everything, even though we knew that the people
would not be able to do that, institutions would not be able to
do that. And I think that is perhaps a bit helpful here in
coming up with selection guidelines, which are going to have to
be fundamental to anything that this study produces, to find that
rationale as a basis for moving forward, even though you know
that it won't happen.
MS. WHITSON: I would like to answer, please. I would
say that my major interest is in documenting the history of my
community, and in a way, the selection has already been made,
because I only have what is left. I don't have everything that
MR. TABB: Yes.
MS. McLANE: This is a question for any of the
panelists. Both Ken and Bob mentioned the notion of a
nationally shared consciousness about television, the art of
television collection. And as public archives, each of you have,
as you said, a particular mission to reach the public.
I would like to know, for the study, what ways have
been most effective and what ways could be most effective--aside
from, say, the establishment of a national foundation--for
raising public awareness about the issues that you face?
MS. WHITSON: I very much would like to see a
production like Slow Fires, which showed the public about
MS. McLANE: The books, yes.
MS. WHITSON: And use the medium of television to teach
the public about the importance of television and what it has
done. So, I would like to see a national production.
MR. WLASCHIN: One of the most effective ways of
raising consciousness about preservation today, I think, has been
AMC's Preservation Festival, through which they have received
large amounts of money which has helped the archive. But it also
has made a lot of people aware of how important it is to preserve
film. I think that could be done on television, about
television, and would certainly get to the people who really
You know, if you love I Love Lucy and you find out
these things are gone forever--you know, we have our
consciousness raised about this. I think television itself
should be used in this way.
MR. DAVIDSON: For us in Miami, that video piece that
we saw is actually the end piece of our program that airs twice
daily in Miami. But it is really access for the public to see
what the results of preservation are.
You can explain what it is and behind the scenes what
goes on and so on, but unless people can actually see the
results, the images themselves, then they realize, "I remember
that. I had no idea where it was. Oftentimes, I just take for
granted and think somehow the TV stations might keep them or they
might be in some warehouse." But having seen the images
themselves really is the best way for that.
I should add to that. To really further that, we
established an awards program several years back, which discloses
the importance of preservation. And we actually did that because
our local NATAS Chapter--for years they destroyed all the
entries. They were celebrating the winners and so on, and then,
after that, the entries were just destroyed. We are not really
competing with that, but we just thought that to establish an
awards program for productions that incorporate our footage and
others, to highlight their interest, was another way of
underscoring the importance of work being produced.
MR. TABB: I think Bob wanted to follow up.
MR. ROSEN: Yes. I just want to second the notion of
looking at the AMC model. I think the notion of seeing on the
screen the tragedy of what might have been lost-- and then having
the pitch--probably is the most effective way of dealing with
I would also point to, I think, the effectiveness of
the National Film Preservation Board with that process of the
naming of a small number of titles that are--and as the Librarian
always points out--not the Academy Awards of film production but
exemplary of all that needs to be preserved. I think on a PR
front, it has been miraculous. And I think the possibility of
extending that into the television area ought to be looked at.
MR. TABB: Does anyone else want to respond to Betsy's
question before we move on? Okay. David, I think was next.
MR. FRANCIS: Well, as one might expect in the public
archives field, funding is a central issue, and I would like to
try and come straight to that issue.
As people may know, the national lottery in the UK has
absolutely changed the art scene. We are hearing reports that
say the National Film and Television Archives have received huge
amounts of money for preservation out of it. I am not suggesting
that this might be the solution here, but some variation of it
might be a solution.
And this comes as a result of talking to Ray Fielding
at lunchtime and finding that in Florida, at least, a state
lottery is substantially supporting some kinds of film
activities. I think his own department and maybe also Steve
Davidson's operation receive such support.
Then, taking that a stage further, we should be talking
about de-centralizing funding, not centralizing it. There are
1400 television stations. We could go beyond a state lottery, to
local lotteries on local television stations, which would support
the saving of local news or local programs.
We want to have something in the report that actually
is a proposal. It doesn't seem a lottery is a method that upsets
anybody. It is not taking from one person particularly for
So, does anybody feel that these ideas, either the
state lottery or even a local lottery at a local television level
makes any sense?
MS. WHITSON: If I could just talk about the use of
lottery funds. When California first started its lottery, I was
able to buy a 3/4" player for my department. Now, we are just
using whatever we get for basic library operations. So, it can't
go for extra necessities, at least in terms of my institution.
MR. TABB: Ken?
MR. WLASCHIN: One of the things that we found through
NAMID at the Center is how important the local archives are in
preserving early documentary film and newsreel material. I think
that this could certainly be expanded into television, not
necessarily with a lottery, but with an educational program that
every city that has a television should look into ways of
preserving material that has been shot locally. And maybe it is
a bake sale that raises the money, rather than a lottery. But
that there should be a kind of local pride that we are going to
save what the record is of our community.
MS. KANIN: May I just expand on that?
MR. TABB: Sure.
MS. KANIN: That was my major thrust. Is there some
hope, those of you who represent local community archives, of
awakening the pride in the local institution, the local station,
to say, "We should raise funds for preservation; that is part of
our mandate, our responsibility." Do you feel there is some hope
in doing that? Besides, a lottery would be wonderful. But in
MR. DAVIDSON: What has been helpful for us is that
with our News Film and Video Collection, a copyright ownership is
certainly helpful for the local archive. We couldn't survive
unless we were able to generate licensing fees to help us
actually go right back into preserving the material. There are
other institutions that just the stations feel that turning over
their collection is enough, perhaps not realizing the cost
involved in just housing these materials, let alone cleaning,
repairing and making a video copy. Or at least, if copyright
ownership isn't there, at least permitting the right to license
the material is certainly a help.
DR. BILLINGTON: How did you succeed in getting people
to give you the copyright along with the materials? Do you have
some secret potion that you slip into the cocktails?
MR. DAVIDSON: It is no secret. I suppose that we were
just fortunate that with our first collection, that set
precedent. And we had an example to go by after that. You know,
once, obviously, you make an agreement, it is hard to
DR. BILLINGTON: Were those agreements with individuals
or with corporate entities or both?
MR. DAVIDSON: It started out with our initial
collection from WTVJ, and that sort of set the tone for other
collections that we have gotten, and not just television, but
corporate entities, as well.
MR. ROSEN: Well, one of the ways that many film
collections were built and some of the donations--particularly of
news materials in the television area-- take place is that
fundamentally the people who have the materials don't want it or
find it too costly to maintain. And here is an example where an
act of philanthropy joins that of self-interest. They will give
you the stuff because they don't think they are going to make any
money off it and they don't want to maintain it themselves. And
you can then provide some services to them, in some contractually
For the most part, I think that happens. It doesn't
tend to happen with entertainment programming.
MR. RICHMOND: Before I ask my question--on the local
TV news front, it is interesting, I think, that some local TV
archives have gotten copyright from the TV stations and are able
to generate income. Some have not gotten copyright but get some
other forms of support, cash support or any kind of support, that
help them sustain and maintain the collection. And other TV
archives get nothing, and often confront a big problem with the
collection that they have no way of dealing with.
And one of the things that might be interesting to do--
and Steve and Helene, I think you are both in the ideal position
to do that, being involved with AMIA, through the local
television documentary collections group--is for the Library and
for its plan to sort of go out and maybe survey that field and
try to get together some of the information on different
arrangements that have been done, different types of contracts
and agreements, different techniques that have been done.
And maybe one of the things we have to look at in the
local TV area is even some kind of a conference that could try to
bring together the curators of local television archives and the
managers of local TV stations, in order to see if something can
be worked out that is a little more equitable. Because getting a
collection like that, as you saw from the slides, without any
support to go with it, is almost impossible to deal with.
MS. WHITSON: If I could say, though, I think awakening
pride is a first step to come and educate the community. Our
local CBS affiliate did a story about me and coming to this
conference, on--I guess it was--Monday or Tuesday, and that was
the first instance that it has actually been mentioned in the
community. I got a call from a lady who wanted to find some
family member's records. So, making that awareness of what's
there and then starting to build. It is just a slow process.
MR. WLASCHIN: Just a slight follow-up on the awareness
thing. David Francis knows about this--making people aware that
what they have locally may be valuable nationally.
There is a very famous television series in England
called Z Cars. It was the first great police series. The early
episodes were all wiped. They did not exist. A few years ago,
somebody was looking in a warehouse in Cypress and found they had
taped them off the air at the time and kept them there, and they
now exist and you can buy them. But only because they were
stored on an island.
Lost programs still may be somewhere in the United
States. They are not lost forever necessarily. And the
awareness helps them to be found again.
MR. RICHMOND: I asked my colleagues to direct any hard
questions to Bob, so I wouldn't have to (Laughter.)
I am not sure this is a hard question, but I will do it
anyway. And also to Ken, because you both mentioned this, the
idea of developing a greater sense of public/ private partnership
in the television area. I think that has happened with great
effectiveness in the film area, and to the benefit of all the
parties involved. There are specific examples of it happening in
TV, but my sense is that we are still feeling our way along as to
how to do that, so that the partnership can work for both
I guess my question--and it is sort of an open-ended
one--is why hasn't it happened in the TV area? Or, if you want
to be positive about it, what specific things can we do to make
it happen? What mechanisms, if any, can you think of that might
help to bring the producers, the broadcasters, the owners of
television material and archives, that very often are holding
copies of these materials, together in a way that can benefit
MS. WHITSON: If I could say--I am not sure; it is just
from my perspective, not being from the industry at all--that the
producers really look at the historical importance of their
material, So, other than making money, it may be an educational
process again of bringing people together, looking at all of this
material as American heritage, and then what can we do from
MR. WLASCHIN: I mean, perhaps part of the answer is
that television preservation is in the state that film
preservation was like maybe in the 1920's. The producers never
felt it was valuable, worth preserving at the time. And those
who did, the MGM's of this world, were very rare indeed. And
that awareness of the value of these documents has risen, so that
the partnerships, I think, are probably a lot more likely now
than they were 10 or 15 years ago.
MR. ROSEN: Yes. Let me agree in an optimistic mode.
For those who are involved on the film side, remember, 10 or 15
years ago there were really two camps, and there was very little
interchange and very little communication that existed between
public archives, and the industry. It evolved dramatically, to
the point where there is truly a sense of partnership now, in
part because the economic changes made it move from being an
issue in the back alley of culture to becoming a front office
And many of the people within the industry who were
involved in the preservation area moved to the foreground. What
they had been dealing with now became very important. And I
would second Ken's notion that that is happening in the area of
The second thing may also be that the holdings in
television, in many ways, are much more fragmented. In the film
area, you tended to be dealing, at least at the get go, with
major studios, who own vast amounts of material. Whereas, in the
television area, what the networks actually own is fairly
limited, so there is much greater fragmentation in terms of
effecting that kind of interchange.
But I think creating the right kind of format, and the
right kind of invite, and the right kind of networking
possibilities, would bring out, I think, the kind of cooperation
in the television area that has come to exist in film as well.
In terms of looking to how to do it, I think one of the
things we can look to are models of relationships that already
exist, relationships that exist with the Academy, where there is
that interface, the relationship with the Museum of Radio and
Television, where there is a relationship that exists with the
industry, the coming together that has been accomplished through
AMIA, where a number of areas in the television archive field are
I think we can look to some of those existing models
and draw some lessons from them.
MR. LUKOW: I was just going to add that in terms of
the reason why it hasn't perhaps in the past, the relationship to
film, is that, as we all know, in the late '70's and early '80's,
the film community discovered a whole range of ancillary markets
in which basically all of their product could be recycled,
repurposed, in a number of venues.
The same is quite true for television, where there is
so much more volume, and the syndication markets, at least at
this point, are fairly limiting in how much of television's past
can be put out there today. But I think that has started to
change somewhat and will continue to change if we end up in the
500 cable channel universe, with more channels like Nick At
Night, which has probably come as close to having some kind of
historical emphasis on television programming as any cable
channel out there.
If an AMC comes along, as Ken was saying, with a
parallel kind of emphasis on television preservation, I think
that that kind of--the asset potential of a lot of television
programming that is not being syndicated right now, I think, may
have to develop a little bit more to bring this more to the
But I actually--Bob was--had an inside tip that he was
actually going to raise an idea today that I didn't hear him
mention, but the idea of a cable channel devoted to television--
Bob, I am passing the ball back to you here, if you actually want
to bring that
up--but a cable channel devoted to the archive dimension of
MR. ROSEN: I was going to bring it up, but for sake of
time, I moved on and was going to include it in the larger
It seems to me that in looking at the public/private
partnership, where interests may complement one another, the
interest that public institutions have in television--in all of
its cultural, historical possibilities, on the one hand--and the
interest of the copyright
holders--that much of the material may not be getting the maximum
use it ought to be--could conceivably come together through the
creation of some kind of co-venture between the nation's archives
and a consortium in the industry to create an archival channel
devoted to historical television. It would respond in
complementary ways to the interests of both.
I realize it is a daunting challenge to put something
like that together, but I think it could be made to work.
MS. KANIN: May I just add--there was a suggestion to
have a corollary to the AMC program for film, an AMC type program
for television, or perhaps AMC itself.
As you all know, they ask for the public to send in
money, and this year they raised $300,000 just from people
sending in money. And I am just wondering, if you did that same
thing for television, and you showed some of the great Jack Benny
programs, some of the beloved programs of television in the past,
on all levels, the news programs, and you did that in a
television festival, as they do, I bet you would get a hell of a
lot of people sending in money. There is a great love for the
television they recognize or they honor. I think it would work
DR. BILLINGTON: I want to ask Ms. Lan: What are the
one or two most pressing problems in the field of media arts, and
is that community sufficiently aware of the archival
opportunities, needs and problems that branch of television
MS. LAN: Slowly--there is a lot more awareness now,
than just a couple of years ago. And I think a lot more
awareness is going to be brought up at the symposium later this
DR. BILLINGTON: That community is helping with the
sorting out of what needs to be archived or what criteria should
be used? I mean, for instance, for the National Film Registry, I
am enjoined, by the act of Congress, to judge it on the basis of
historical, cultural and aesthetic significance.
Now, if we apply the same criteria to television, the
question of aesthetic significance immediately comes up, and I
wonder if your community has internally generated any definition
that would be useful or any kind of ways of sorting out their own
productivity in terms of what is essential to preserve.
MS. LAN: Well, we will take Video Databank, for
instance. We helped them preserve about 50 1/2" open reel works
of video art and also other programs of documentation. So, after
this preservation work was done, they figured out a way to create
a compilation, so the outcome was two volumes. Altogether, it is
17 hours. It is a collection filled with art, and what it is
called is A Survey of the First Decade, and it is Video Art and
Alternative Media in the U.S.
So, a lot of what--like Helene said earlier, it is what
can be preserved. They went through a lot more than the 50 reels
that were successful. I think it was a 50 percent chance for a
lot of this material. And we are just working with whatever we
can do to save whatever we can.
MR. HEIBER: If I could ask a question of all of you
here. And first, you should all be congratulated for the great
work that you do in the public sector.
But a recurring theme always is the access for funds,
and I want to create a little distinction between just the
archival or storage, being a repository for material, and then,
of course, the cost of preserving or restoring or creating the
And actually, Bob, you mentioned this. Right here, you
said "we have to share the commitment as a diverse group of
institutions," and you talk always about a public/private sector.
Well, what about a public/public partnership?
Is there some kind of objection or problem that could
be surmounted so that there might be some kind of cooperative
center among all the public institutions to gain a better economy
of effort in the preservation and restoration areas? The thought
is, if you have a restaurant and you have a kitchen, you might as
well be open for breakfast.
Is there some kind of economy of scale here that could
be gained? We have some very large institutions that are better
funded and then some very small public groups. And there are
hundreds of small public groups that need to have better access
to resources. Could something be established?
MS. WHITSON: Are you thinking in terms of regional
centers where people might store, instead of in their own
institutions, for example?
MR. HEIBER: No. I think the collections should be
held locally, but that there should be regional centers where
they could be restored or gain better access to equipment and
technicians, a central pool. In other words, if you were working
on a 3/4" restoration one day and then it is 1/2" the next day--
but maybe there is one guy who takes care of the 3/4" restoration
and another guy who takes care of the 1/2".
And maybe you are doing this all somewhat already. In
fact, I have a sense that you are. But could it be better
coordinated and gain an economy where you could actually get more
done with less money?
MS. WHITSON: I think for those of us from little
institutions, I very much would like to see that sort of regional
effort made for preservation.
MR. TABB: Greg.
MR. LUKOW: If I may just come back in part to respond
to your question but also to bridge back to Dr. Billington's last
One of the programs, as Ken mentioned in our remarks,
that we have is the National Moving Image Database. And NAMID
has worked extensively with the video art community, the media
arts center community around the country, BAVAC, Video Databank,
The Kitchen, in New York, Experimental Television Center,
Electronic Arts Intermix, Long Beach Museum of Art. These media
arts institutions which supported media arts production at
regional levels had over the years developed really outstanding
important collections, but they were, in many instances, in the
first case, distribution shops, rather than archival shops.
What NAMID, in working with all of them--and we have a
number of other projects in the works right now--has been able to
help do, I think, along the model of what you are talking about,
is provide the kind of support that would allow them to catalog
these materials, automate them, make each other, this community,
aware of what's out there for the first time. NAMID, in turn,
acquires that data, makes it publicly available. BAVAC has been
able to set up a preservation center for the first time, working
in that region.
That's just one model of how through a kind of
grassroots support, with national support through, in this case--
that I just happen to be mentioning--NAMID, you really do see
that kind of development of a constituency. It is regionally
based, but it becomes nationally based.
We are entering an era where at some level those
distinctions are irrelevant as online access develops. All of
this information is going to be out there, and sooner or later
the collections themselves will be exchangeable through some kind
of a virtual archive, not just the information about the
So, I have sort of gone beyond what you asked, but I
hope I have addressed it a bit as well.
MR. ROSEN: Yes. I think it is a provocative question.
I would differentiate, though, the financial issue that you pose
from the other benefits to be gained from collaboration.
On the financial side, you take five underfunded
entities and you combine them, you get one underfunded entity.
If there was in fact a duplication of effort right now that was
uneconomical, there would be an advantage. But there is little
duplication of effort. The problem is really insufficient
resources at every level.
On the other hand, I think the notion of thinking about
ways in which we can work on a collaborative basis, from
acquiring on a more systematic basis, to conceivably establishing
certain kinds of specialized facilities that no one institution
would do on its own, to providing access in a way that protects
the materials at the same time.
I think that collaboration should be the key to our
thinking. But I just wouldn't want us to delude ourselves by
thinking that if we brought it together, the resources would
simply be there. The resources would still be lacking.
MR. TABB: David, we have time for one last question.
MR. FRANCIS: Well, I would like to try and pursue this
a bit further. I think--we discussed this before in the film
study--the idea of some sort of centralized facility is a good
one. How you can utilize a facility in a public organization
beyond the use that it gets with the resources available in that
So, let's say we have a laboratory, but we can only use
it for so much of the time, basically, because we don't have
resources to use it any longer. The interesting thing is to
think if there is any way of working together to utilize the same
basic investment in equipment. Obviously, I don't want to
compete with the commercial laboratories, because they are also
very, very important to us, but within particularly the
specialized areas--it seems to lend itself perhaps more in the
video area than elsewhere--if we could come up with some way
whereby we could utilize existing investments of equipment in
public institutions more efficiently.
And I really can't go beyond that because I am really
asking for suggestions that might benefit us, that we might
enable us to do more. I do agree with Bob that you can't cure
the problem, but certainly, there is a lot of investment tied up
in this equipment. If we could find a way of utilizing it for
longer hours, then it seems to me that must have some benefit.
MR. TABB: Does anyone wish to comment on that?
MR. DAVIDSON: For the specialized, like 2" and so on,
but the model for television news film collections has always
been that basic setup of hand rewind, a splicer and so on.
And there has only been one funder on a national level,
really, that has provided maybe eight to twelve grants, and
that's the NHPRC, the National Historic Publications and Records
Commission. And those grants, by and large, only--they are
probably in the $50,000 to $60,000 range--but it only covers
maybe a fraction of the size of our collections. That's always
been the issue. Just the scale and the amount of news film
materials--these are typically in the two and three million feet
range. But when that funding runs out, there is really no other
federal source to go to.
On the local level, interestingly enough, in Florida,
we have been able to get money from the Florida Humanities
Council and the State Division of Cultural Affairs, but those
have been for public programming and access, not really for
preservation, although some preservation work needs to be done to
make the materials accessible. We have gotten funds, as I say,
to do screenings and seminars, but really not directly for
MR. TABB: We now need to draw this panel to a close.
Thank you very much for your specific suggestions.
We will take a 10-minute recess now and begin
immediately at 3:30. Thank you.
(Whereupon, a brief recess was taken.)
MR. TABB: Why don't we go ahead and get started. If
you will introduce yourselves. Whichever one of you wishes to go
first is fine, and we will have others join us if they come in.
Statement by Roger Bell, Director of Library Services
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
MR. BELL: My name is Roger Bell. I am Director of
Library Services for Twentieth Century Fox. Gary Ehrlich was
supposed to be here today; unfortunately, he couldn't make it,
and he has the statement. But I will be glad to answer any
questions you have.
MR. AINSWORTH: I am Gray Ainsworth, Director of
Technical Operations for Metro Goldwyn Mayer and United Artists.
MR. TABB: Would you like to make a statement?
MR. AINSWORTH: Yes.
MR. TABB: Thank you.
Presentation by Gray Ainsworth
Director of Technical Operations
Metro Goldwyn Mayer and United Artists
MR. AINSWORTH: Thank you. I feel that the previous
panel of archivists did an admirable job in ferreting out a lot
of the issues faced with archiving and preservation, so I think I
am going to limit my comments to basically outlining a little bit
about what we do to at Metro Goldwyn Mayer now, and then I think
we will just go to the Q&A.
I was surfing through the channels of my television set
the other evening, and I came across an older looking television
show, which looked horrible. It was faded, scratched, generally
very unappealing, and I must admit that my chest tightened up a
bit, and I became quite anxious. And I thought to myself, "Oh,
my God, is that one of ours?" Fortunately, though, it was not.
But I do feel that that serves as a good reminder that film
preservation does not stop with feature films. Television
programming and videotape material must also be included.
MGM currently holds over 2600 hours of television
programming, including such titles as The Outer Limits (both old
and new), The Patty Duke Show, Seahunt, In the Heat of the Night,
Fame, Thirty-Something, and The Pink Panther cartoons.
All the nitrate material has been transferred to safety
film and then the safety film has been duplicated. Approximately
80 percent of this has been transferred to videotape, and of that
amount, 30 percent is on digital videotape.
MGM currently is in the process of transferring all the
remainder of this product to component digital videotape. We
expect this to take another year-and-a-half.
It is MGM's policy to conform negative on all new TV
product that is finished on videotape, both episodic and feature
length. If titles and opticals were not created on film, we
evaluate each product on a case-by-case basis to determine if we
assemble negative without these for now and go ahead and create
film negative digitally for cutting into the original negative,
creating a complete film negative.
We have our eye on emerging technologies, as well, and
changing broadcast standards. As an example, for this product,
we output all materials squeezed on component digital videotape
so it can be formatted to four by three, as well as sixteen by
nine, if that should become an issue in the United States. It
already is in Europe.
Also, we hold several shows from between five and ten
years ago, where no negative was conformed. We have recently
approved of a plan for conforming this negative for these
episodes to be over the next two years. These will include
digitally output negative for titles and opticals for integration
into the original negative. These will be complete and ready for
component digital transfer soon after.
For product that was shot on videotape, we create a
component digital master for both NTSC and Powell, and make two
digital protection clones for each format. These are then
geographically separated. MGM, at this point in time, operates
under the assumption that digital videotape stock holds up for
approximately 10 years. We then revisit these tapes every seven
years and evaluate for copying purposes.
Television is a different business than feature films.
The methodology is different and the thinking is different. It
is fast paced, hurried and even more deadline oriented than
features. The conditioning and thinking is "hurry and get the
tape to the network or the satellite up-link; then move on to the
Electronic editing, fibro-optic lines and other digital
tools, allow for the TV producer to do more in a shorter amount
of time. It seems to me that this is the issue that needs to be
addressed. In this described environment, it is easy to not
address the issue of preservation. It is up to the owner and the
distributor to take this jumble of material and sort it out in a
cohesive methodology that promotes preservation. This thinking
needs to be built into the process. It must be thought of as
naturally as mixing. It must be as comfortable as editing.
I sat at this table three years ago discussing film
preservation, where I expressed our commitment and briefly
outlined how we go about that today.
Today, MGM is a very different company. It is bigger,
more diverse and vital. We now have four TV shows in production,
with many, many more in development. In the last year, we have
produced seven films made for television. Three years ago, we
had one episodic show, period. Our commitment to television has
grown with our company. So, too, has our commitment to the
preservation of the moving image, be it feature or television.
I am grateful for the occasion that these hearings
bring to share information with one another and explore issues
for preservation. It is very easy for us to get caught up in our
own worlds of work and feel like we are making decision in
isolation, when we really aren't.
This somehow brings us a bit closer together, and I
thank you for that opportunity.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Mr. Murphy.
Presentation by Philip Murphy, Vice President, Operations
Television Group, Paramount Pictures
MR. MURPHY: Hello. Paramount Television is a Division
of Paramount Pictures, a Division of Viacom, Incorporated.
The Television Division currently produces over 40
hours a week of television product, including first run shows and
product for network television delivery. Our asset protection
for television programs began with Paramount product having life
in syndication. When Viacom bought Paramount two years ago, we
added product produced by, or owned outright by, Viacom to our
Today, we include over 8,000 television products in our
asset protection program. The physical plant for protection of
our television product is identical to our feature film asset
protection program. We physically separate the original material
and a copy of it in vaults, one in Los Angeles and one in
Pennsylvania. We have a 40,000 square foot environmentally
controlled archive building on the studio lot in Hollywood,
opened in August of 1990, plus 15,000 square feet of
environmentally controlled vaults in a converted limestone mine
in Pennsylvania, which we opened in February of 1989. Other
tenants of the mine include the Library of Congress, as well as
many other government organizations and other studios.
The earliest series that we protect, from Paramount, is
The Untouchables, which dates from 1959. Our protection program
covers all series' that we own and do or will syndicate. As soon
as a new show, such as Frazier, is aired on network, we create a
protection and send it to the mine.
The form of protection varies. Many older series were
post-produced on film. And you will notice some of the
differences I go through here, of my approach versus what Gray
Ainsworth from MGM spoke of as their conforming negative policy.
The cut negative is in our environmental vault on the
East Coast, at 40 degrees, 25 percent relative humidity. The
film copy is in our archive on the lot, in identical conditions.
Magnetic audio is likewise in both places, in its original
format, either analog or digital, plus a copy on multi-track 1/2"
analog for the bulk of our products. This season, we are
starting to create DA 88 tapes as protection.
For the past several years, foreign territories are
sending us dialogue only, foreign language tracks, on DAT tapes,
which we are storing in the archive. The film to tape transfer
of these shows, network version, may be on a 1"C videotape in our
on-lot archive, with a 1"C protection in the mine. Shows
transferred in most recent years to D1 component videotape are
protected with a D1 in the mine. Syndication versions of these
shows, when edited on 1"C, are protected with a 1"C or, more
recently, D2 in the mine.
Now, here come some of the differences. Shows that are
shot on film and posted on tape have the edited master, in
whatever format is used by the production company, kept in our
on-lot archive. An electronic protection, usually on D2, is
stored in the mine. In our case, the uncut negative is stored in
the mine. Should we in the future need to reconstruct the show
in an optical medium or retransfer into high definition, all of
the film elements exist in our 40 degree, 25 percent RH
Because so many shows today depend on electronic
opticals created in the 525 or NTSC format, our feeling is that
most product originally produced for television will be up-
converted electronically into HDTV. The cost to recreate the
entire post-production process in HDTV, including new opticals,
would usually be prohibitive compared with the likely available
additional revenue stream in HDTV for most of the library series
To up-convert opticals only and edit them into
retransferred film segments would create a more noticeable change
of texture to the viewer, similar to the look of a 35mm CRI
optical cut into a camera negative.
We are covering our position by not discarding any of
the original uncut negative, however, in case time proves we want
to recreate these shows optically after all, and it covers my
Shows shot on videotape have the original edited
master, in whatever format was used by the production company,
stored environmentally in our on-lot archive, with either 1"C or
a D2 protection in the mine.
Our videotape environment in the archive is 70 degrees,
50 percent relative humidity. The videotapes in the mine are at
50 degrees, 40 percent RH. The air is filtered and the vaults
are protected with halon or FM200 fire suppression systems. All
vaults are alarmed and the archive is also monitored with full-
time surveillance cameras. Generators at both the archive and
the mine provide emergency power for the HVAC systems.
We quality control each protection and fix dropouts or
other problems before sending the tape to the mine. We are
ensured that the image and sound on the protection is an exact
replication of the source.
In anticipation of today's report to you, last month we
specifically evaluated two of the earliest D1 tapes which were
made and shipped to the mine. After the eight years that they
have resided in that very stable environment, since 1988, they
show no signs of deterioration. We have recalled from the mine
hundreds of other format tapes, as well, in the course of doing
business over these years. None of them have revealed any
We do not have a separate schedule to inspect stored
tapes, other than those that we are recalling for use. Since
that level of activity includes several tapes each month and none
have been problematic so far, our confidence remains that by
continuing to conduct business, we will be monitoring our stored
For long-term archival purposes, we never want to be so
cutting-edge with technology that problems with new formats may
not emerge before we have manufactured hundreds of protections.
Digital Betacam appears to be the newest videotape production
standard for Paramount. We, however, will continue to use D2 as
the mine protection for these for probably another year, ensuring
that any new format problems don't render our protections
useless. We delayed starting to use digital audio as a
protection medium until the stability and interchangeability of
the format settled down.
We draw upon a portion of time from a dozen project
managers within our organization to maintain our asset production
program for television. They order protection material from our
in-house videotape facility, quality control the dubs, resolve
repair issues with outside vendors who created the original
edited masters, and maintain computer inventory records.
We have a worldwide computer inventory system called
"OPIS," which records descriptions and tracks the movements for
close to 1.2 million film and tape items, each marked with a
unique bar code. That number that I gave you, the 1.2 million,
includes features and television materials, both elements and
television distribution dubs. The system provides a firm handle
on the quantity and status of all of Paramount's film and tape
Legitimate persons, with valid reasons to seek
information about our materials, will typically find us
cooperative to share information about these resources. Usually,
one of our project managers will be the conduit through which the
information is disseminated. We have been cooperative, in
addition, with the Museum of Radio and Television in New York,
and about to open in Beverly Hills. Tapes of many episodes of
requested series' have been provided to them for their in-house
Regarding copyright issues for product produced for
television, we have not encountered problems locating materials
held by others for which we hold copyright. Unlike feature co-
ventures, which can create myriad ownership paths, television
product tends to be much more straightforward. However,
Paramount would indeed welcome any extension of existing
copyright laws. A longer future revenue stream would indeed
encourage preservation of materials on everyone's behalf.
Paramount will continue to insure its future by
properly maintaining its feature and television library.
Hopefully, our procedures can be an inspiration for others, large
and small, to attentively maintain their assets, as well, for the
future well being of our heritage.
MR. TABB: All right. Thank you. Are we ready for
MR. FIELDING: One of our speakers in the previous
panel, Helene Whitson, in her written statement, addressed
dramatically, even poignantly, the problem of archiving
apparatus, as well as software, apparatus to play back--in her
case, in which she was referring to--analog recordings. But
presumably, the same problem is going to arise with DAT
materials, that one will have to archive a steadily diminishing
number of machines capable of playing these materials back.
From your point of view, in the commercial archiving
business, do you feel that you are on top of this problem? What
is your view about this problem? Do you feel you will be able to
address that problem with the passing of time?
MR. MURPHY: Do you want to go first?
MR. AINSWORTH: Sure. I do feel that, because it is
that kind of activity that I believe is at the core of our
business, we have to be able to do that. We hold
material--if I speak in television terms--back to the early
'50's, in the United Artists' library, on various mediums. And
even though we protect it and separate it geographically for
protection, and so on and so forth, we do not like to get rid of
the original material unless it is absolutely useless. And that
means players still have to be around.
Now, MGM does not have archive buildings like Paramount
does, so we rely on our facilities out there to also keep these
But I feel that as long as large ownership holders like
us, with large amounts of products, are there and hold material
on this, the equipment will still be around.
MR. FIELDING: One of the points that Ms. Whitson
raises is that--let us say, in the instance of the 2" machines,
their numbers are decreasing around the world, and they will
never be manufactured again. Do you still feel that you will be
able to solve that problem? What if the machines disappear and
you are holding 2" materials; what are you going to do?
MR. AINSWORTH: Well, I have no 2" material that is not
protected on a modern medium.
MR. FIELDING: But in time, it will be 1" and it will
MR. AINSWORTH: That's right. And if that begins to
happen, where 2" machines are beginning to leave, then I expect
that I will have the material on a more modern medium at that
time to compensate for that.
I mean, it is never worth it to us to get rid of the
original material, even if there are no players around. I don't
know why, but for some reason, it just bugs me. But I will
always have material on a more modern medium in order to do that.
MR. BELL: We have--except 2", which we are converting
now to DCT.
MR. TABB: We can't hear you. Could you speak into the
MR. BELL: Sorry. And we are converting to DCT, 2",
MR. MURPHY: The point is well taken. In our case, so
far, that's why I am trying to not have a potpourri of different
protection formats in the mine. I figured that 1"--so far, 1"
and D2 are the two that we focused on there. If 1" ever gets to
the point that we are nervous about its equipment availability, I
am hoping--and somehow an idea has come to me while sitting here,
and that is, the price in the marketplace of the 1" machines may
be low enough that I could actually buy one from a vendor going
out of business and put it on an expense account, because nobody
would ever let me capitalize something to put in the limestone
mine in the way of a piece of gear.
But I think the point is very well taken, and as long
as we don't have so many formats that we rely on for our
protection material, something like that is entirely possible.
MR. FRANCIS: What I am hearing is very exciting. I
think the way you are preserving this material makes me envious.
But one question I would like to ask. Is there any
material now that you own, that you would consider not worth
preserving, or have we reached a stage where you would want to
preserve everything for which you own rights?
There is one other issue, obviously, that concerns an
organization like the Library, and that is research access to
this material. And I wondered how you would see one satisfying
the need for research access. Obviously, you, yourselves, would
not want to be involved in dealing with individual researchers.
Is there a way in which you could see a public archive having
copies purely for research purposes of the programs that you
MR. TABB: Let's take the first question first.
MR. MURPHY: No, we do not have anything in our
collection that, in our case, we would say we don't want to
Now we have to define what do you mean by preserve it,
because we are maintaining in the environmental conditions all of
this material. We may, on many products, not elect to make a
copy of it and physically separate it, because we may feel that
it has no value down the road in a commercial sense.
And I will use a very, very successful show such as
Entertainment Tonight, where that is exactly the case. We have
the 1" masters on all--I think they are up to over 5,000 episodes
at this point in time. It is 15 years worth of heritage of the
entertainment industry, condensed into a half hour or 22 minutes
We also have 115,000 spot reels with all of the raw
interview material that they keep going back on, so that you can
see Cher before plastic surgery or something like that, if it
fits in with what is going on in their recent story.
But all of this, the copyright issue--or, rather, the
licensing issues, in terms of a business decision as to what
future does it have, may swirl in doubt because it was all shot
and licensed specifically for Entertainment Tonight's use. So,
when the show goes off the air, what is going to happen to that
material? Well, I can assure you that I certainly do not intend
to have a big scrap tape stock sale, because we are all very
aware that even though we may not today be able to use anything
or do anything with it in a known business sense, I have--pardon
the pun--dirt cheap storage in the mine. And I will simply move
all of that material there and hang onto it, even if I don't have
No, I do not have the funds to copy it or to convert it
down to a smaller storage format. That's where the economics of
the business come to play and say, "What's the breakeven point on
my..." It is the same thing with my camera negatives that I
don't cut and conform. We ran the numbers. To pay an editor to
cut and conform negative today, versus put all of it uncut into
the mine, is a 30 year breakeven point. I will run the risk and
go 30 years, because I will be retired by the time that arrives.
The same thing with Entertainment Tonight or any
program such as that. The cost to down-convert it to a smaller,
more compact storage medium, instead of one-inch pizza boxes,
which a lot of this is on right now, would be far more costly
than the cost of just hanging onto it in an efficient storage
And as I said in the prepared remarks, after eight
years, we see absolutely no deterioration in the videotape that
we have had in the very stable environment. And that's why we
consider that the stability of the environment, both temperature
and relative humidity, to be--no pun intended--paramount to the
ability to maintain the longevity of this magnetic material. So,
we will hang onto that.
Now, that's probably a much longer answer than you
anticipated. And now I don't remember the second question.
MR. TABB: Well, let's call on now Mr. Ainsworth and
Mr. Bell. If you want to respond to the first question.
MR. AINSWORTH: Yeah. We, too, at MGM and UA--all
material that we own we deem as needing to be preserved and
conserved. I mean, I can speak recently, in fact, that we have
sold certain materials that have not been touched in years for
foreign (ph.)--free television, in fact. And we are going back
and doing some restoration on these films.
And I look in awe at the quality of these things and
wonder why are we doing this, but it is very clear why. We sell
them. And as long as we are selling them, we will preserve them.
And that goes for every scrap in our library. It is all deemed
MR. TABB: Mr. Bell.
MR. BELL: It is our intention to preserve everything,
as well, even to the point of trims and outs.
MR. TABB: David, do you want to restate your second
question about research access?
MR. FRANCIS: The question was that in a public
archive, like the Library of Congress, one of our most important
concerns is to make material available for serious research. You
would not want to deal--as I understand it--with the individual
researcher. It is about finding a solution whereby copies of
programs could be available within the public archives group for
research. How would you feel about that? Would you be able to
in any way contribute towards the cost of providing such copies?
MR. AINSWORTH: Well, we rely on groups like the
Library of Congress, and UCLA, and the Academy, and other fine
institutions like that, to act exactly as like what you are
talking about. And if they come to us--like Mr. Murphy was
saying--they find a kind ear. Our donations are active with all
of these facilities, in the past and in the present.
We absolutely need to protect our rentals, as that's
where our revenue comes from. But at the same time, we also see
that it is important for serious study, and if nobody is able to
see these things, their value is somehow diminished. So, we do
see that that is important, also. And the way that we handle
that is by making ourselves available to groups like that.
MR. BELL: No one has ever really approached us with
that kind of a problem, but if they did, I am sure something
would be worked out.
MR. MURPHY: We are aware that there are so many guild
issues and sometimes contractual obligations, that for us to
officially turn over a lot of material to other organizations can
raise more legal--well, it will feed--pardon me, someone--but it
will feed the lawyers much more than it will gain anything
Sometimes I like to go off record and just point out
that there is a record button on people's VCR's when this
material is televised openly in the first place.
So, the research library ability to glean a copy,
usually in a small format--so much of this is now in home video
or will be in home video--is an issue that perhaps is a lot
easier to deal with, compared to a request to get a 1" or a D2 or
some format that the bell goes off to someone, saying, "Wait a
minute. This is a source for distribution."
And where an organization such as ours is particularly
concerned is looking at the extension of copyright, where you
turn over material, be it feature or television, to any
organization that will have the ability to maintain a copy of
element nature, 1", D2, whatever, long enough for the copyright
to expire. And all of a sudden we are seeing a lot of people
that perhaps will say, "Wait, this is in the public domain, and
here is a public institution holding that material." And it
becomes a source for distribution, against us, as the original
creator of it. So, yes, we are very leery to do something in a
formal sense. That's why I go back to say that legitimate
requests--because there are thousands of kids out there that are
trying to do term papers, that would love to spend five hours on
the phone asking all sorts of questions about Trekkies, and we
are prone not to have the time or the inclination to want to
answer all of that, from the studio's level.
But perhaps organizations, such as the Museum of Radio
and Television, that have a database where the public can go in
and put in key word searches and the like, and find actors or
directors or scenes and the like in the product that they have in
their vault, may be the route that something like that could work
Scripts--I am not sure in the future, in terms of
putting word processing files worth of scripts in such a
repository, that people could go in and access that type of
material, because sometimes looking at the program itself I am
not sure would provide as much researchability as being able to
navigate through thousands and thousands of episodes for what
someone may be looking for that is more text based than it is
MR. TABB: Okay. Thank you. Bob.
MR. HEIBER: It seems that everything is very well in
hand right now. And I am just curious. Is this really an easier
problem, television preservation, for the studios because the
preservation costs, the copying costs, are much less enormous
than a full-on film protection cost for major feature films? Or
does it come out of the same budgets and it gets the same kind of
weighting when you make these decisions?
MR. BELL: Well, I think it is easier because it is
newer, for one thing.
MR. AINSWORTH: I think if you are speaking about
programs that were
shot on film, it is pretty much the same. In fact, it could be
more cumbersome because you are talking about multiple episodes.
If you are talking about video-based productions,
something that was shot on video and kept on video all the way
through, and that's really the only medium you are dealing with
from a picture and sound point of view, yes, obviously it is less
expensive to do work on that, unless you jump into the digital
But whether it is treated any differently than the film
stuff, for us I would say, no, it is not. It is all salable. It
all needs attention.
MR. MURPHY: I haven't heard anybody say that they are
making YCM's. Are you doing any YCM's on television products?
MR. AINSWORTH: No. I was afraid that would come up.
MR. MURPHY: There is one of the differences in terms
of an optically based source, where to do YCM's on a feature is
probably $25,000. You don't have that cost in television. I
mean, we all have chosen not to go that route. Budgets are
typically tight. Budgets are usually such that they don't
include in the original production budget this sort of protection
material. In our case, we are charging the protection material
against future syndication revenues, because that is the market
that is going to gain from it.
So, in the relative scope of the future syndication
revenues, what we have to do to protect the material is not all
that large of an amount of money.
DR. BILLINGTON: I am sort of curious why you would be
concerned--I mean, I am sure as a checklist item, you have to be
concerned and should be concerned. But as a practical matter,
the Library of Congress, for instance--the Copyright Office is
part of the Library of Congress. I have a statutory
responsibility, and we have a very large staff that is devoted to
pursuing all these people around, conducting institutes for other
countries to instruct them about copyright. And in the wake of
the--decisions, we are doing all this more aggressively.
Why would you be concerned that if you were to make a
copy--I can understand it might be expensive, and there would be
a straight economic argument, if there is a value not to answer
just casual people who want to look at movies for a while or ask
you a lot of questions about some television series. But for the
serious scholar market that David was mentioning, why would you
be concerned that a public institution like ours or like any of
the others, that has very careful standards of protections--that
your copyright rights wouldn't be enforced?
MR. MURPHY: After the copyright expires is what we are
referring to. In other words, if in fact--of course, we haven't
seen this with television yet. There is, to the best of my
knowledge, no television programs that are 75 years old. But we
have seen it in a couple of feature instances where, as soon as
the feature elapses, either intentionally or through someone's
oversight of failing to renew something that is already on the
books available, the persons that are in business to distribute
public domain material are, of course, very interested in being
able to access the highest quality material that they can.
And it is a concern of Paramount, as a copyright holder
today, that we may just be making it more difficult for ourselves
down the road to position what we call an element style source
material somewhere that someone else would have a very easy time
of coming in and accessing it and saying, "We have rights now to
be able to access this and make a copy and go out and sell it and
exploit it in whatever markets we so desire."
DR. BILLINGTON: Is there some way you would want to
deal with this problem, or do you just want to--do you feel that
there are so many imponderables about it that you would rather
just keep the things and not even consider this option of either
copying or working out some other arrangement whereby scholars
would have some kind of access, on at least a selective basis, to
MR. MURPHY: I think the first thing, when you say the
scholars, the scholars are not necessarily going to need to have
the electronic clarity of a 1" or a D2, compared with a small
format tape. So, we are much less concerned over providing a
VHS, for example, of something. So that, the material may be
there, but it is just not something that--I am not saying you can
not copy a VHS, but in terms of somebody going out and trying to
sell to Showtime or the like a feature film or a television
series, because they happen to have a VHS in their possession, it
is not as likely.
MR. TABB: I think our time is up for this panel. I'm
sorry. We really do need to stop now. Thank you very much. And
we will ask the next group to come forward now. (Pause.) All
right. Let's go ahead and begin. We will go in the order that
is listed in the program, starting with Sony, then Turner,
Universal, and Walt Disney. Starting for Sony.
Presentation by William Humphrey
Senior Vice President of Operations and Administration
Sony Pictures Entertainment
MR. HUMPHREY: Good afternoon. My name is Bill
Humphrey, and I am the Senior Vice President of Operations and
Administration for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sitting to my
right is Grover Crisp, who heads up our archival and asset
Before I start, I would like to take this opportunity
to thank the Library of Congress, especially James Billington and
David Francis, for continuing to take a leadership role in
preservation, with the successful completion of the Film
Preservation Study and by creating these hearings on television
and video preservation.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, through our Columbia and
TriStar Television Divisions, is one of the largest distributors
and producers of television programming in the world.
In 1948, Columbia Pictures established Screen Gems, one
of the first companies to produce and distribute commercials and
programming specifically for television. Since entering into
original production for network television in 1952, Sony
Pictures' library has grown to more than 3,000 titles, comprised
of almost 15,000 individual prime time television productions.
These productions include one-half hour comedies, one hour
dramas, mini-series', and movies of the week. We have also
produced daytime dramas and game shows, numbering over 20,000
For the 1995-96 television season, we are producing
over 1,400 individual programs for network and syndication.
The Sony Pictures division responsible for maintaining
the primary film and tape assets for these programs is called
"Worldwide Product Fulfillment." We store these assets in our
main film and tape operations facility in New York, and for
protection and security, we have separate elements and storage in
locations in California, Kansas and Pennsylvania.
The maintenance and preservation of Sony Pictures
television programming is of primary importance to the company.
With the emergence of pay cable, home video and the demand for
programming for international territories, including our new Sony
Entertainment television networks in Latin America and India, the
ability to service clients is dependent not only on the quality
of the product but also on the care and handling of the assets
used to create the product. Continued accessibility and
exploitation of the SPE library helps us fuel our preservation efforts.
Preservation of television programming is determined to
a large degree by the methods and materials used in production
and the finished product itself. A digital videotape master is
the final finished product for all current television programs,
whether produced on film or videotape.
Production dictates our preservation policies in the
following manner: Film edited products for movies of the week
and mini-series' shot on film, we edit conform the original
negative, produce a full corrected answer print, and manufacture
interpositive film elements for protection and Tele-City (ph.)
mastering. The original negative interpositives are stored in
environmentally controlled and geographically separated vaults.
Film produced videotape products, all one hour and some
one-half hour programs, are shot on film but edited on tape for
reasons of cost control and post-production flexibility in
delivering a final videotape master to the networks in a timely
manner. For all of these programs produced and edited in this
way, the original camera negative reels are permanently
maintained and stored, along with the edit decision list, the
videotape transfers and all pertinent production related data.
This serves the dual purpose of protecting the asset, as well as
providing the material necessary to possibly recreate the final
product for future technological advances in broadcasting, such
as high definition television.
Videotape produced and videotape edited products, which
are mostly one-half hour programs, are shot and edited on
videotape for the final videotape master. As with film
programming, all production related materials are retained and
stored separately from final production masters.
Clones, sub-masters and protection copies are all
videotape masters, regardless of format origination, and are
produced and stored again in geographically separate facilities.
In addition, we have developed a set of preservation
priorities for our television product, including the handling of
obsolete formats and maintenance of older library products.
Since the late 1980's, Sony Pictures' policies toward older,
obsolete formats, primarily 2" analog, has been to make new
digital videotape masters, while maintaining the original master
materials. Masters and copies, again, are stored in
geographically separate, environmentally controlled facilities.
Filmed library titles. Sony Pictures has embarked on a
program in the last year to manufacture new 35mm interpositives
as protection for all Columbia Television titles that
historically do not have adequate protection made at the time of
production. This is a five-year program, with an estimated cost
of $10 million.
Quality Control. Now that we have successfully
completed our library conversion project to identify and bar code
all of our elements, we are in the planning stages of a complete
quality evaluation program scheduled to begin this year for all
of our film and tape elements. This comprehensive plan is
designed to identify the best existing materials for each title,
eliminate unnecessary, inferior duplicate materials, and address
any problematic areas for specific titles so that adequate
protection measures can be taken. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Roger.
Presentation by Roger Mayer
President and Chief Operating Officer
Turner Entertainment Co.
MR. MAYER: I am Roger Mayer, representing Turner
Entertainment, the company of Turner Broadcasting that owns all
the libraries of film.
We, however, also have taken on the responsibility for
all the film libraries that have been bought by Turner subsequent
to his acquisition of MGM, and we also work with Hanna-Barbera,
which is a cartoon company that we own. We work with Castlerock.
We work with New Line. And we work with Turner Original
Productions, that makes documentaries in Atlanta and around the
world. We do not handle the procedures of CNN, but those will be
addressed for you, I think, at other sessions. Certainly, they
would be more than happy to testify, if you would like to have
them, and they certainly have enough news film.
But basically, today I will be here to answer questions
of policy, to give you a feel for our attitudes, which you all
know about from our film preservation, which is basically to
preserve everything. Our policy in regard to television is
exactly the same. Some of the problems are different. What you
have heard here from Sony and from Viacom are the same policies
that we have.
You will note that each of the companies is very strong
in the areas of storage now and temperature control, and they
have all kinds of quality standards now. It seems to me the
answer to that is they got stung in film, and they are not going
to let it happen to television. And I think that that is a very
positive thing. I think your major problems are not going to be
with the libraries of films owned by the major companies. The
major companies either are smart enough or rich enough to know
what to do with all of this now.
What we need to do is be part of a national program
which will help the archives to cooperate with your needs, to
cooperate with the needs of local television and national
television, and to set up the databanks and make available the
information and the technology that we have been able to come up
with over the years.
To my right is--and this is an example of really what a
company should do--we have a film expert and our tape expert to
my right--and these companies now do realize that. They all have
that sort of thing, and they are exchanging the kind of
information you would want them to exchange. So, I think you are
going to hear pretty much the same thing from each of them
concerning storage, preservation, and the materials and how they
How has that happened? Because we have become smarter,
and we also do cooperate with one another. Almost all of the
people at this table regularly cooperate on a day-to-day basis.
With no further ado, and certainly looking forward to
answering whatever questions you have on a policy point of view,
I would like to introduce Peter Schade, who is our head of tape,
who has a statement for you. Go ahead, Peter.
Presentation by Peter Schade, Director
Video & Technical Services
Turner Entertainment Co.
MR. SCHADE: As copyright holder of over 20,000 film
and video productions made specifically for television, Turner
Entertainment Co. is committed to preserving these assets for
Videotape is subject to damage and physical breakdown
during long term storage. In order to maximize their shelf life,
it is necessary to store videotape masters properly. Even if
stored in optimum conditions, physical breakdown is inevitable,
as is the rapid change and evolution of video formats. It is
therefore advisable to periodically re-transfer film originated
material and copy video originated material onto more modern tape
Our policy for all film originated material is to re-
transfer from film to video if the existing master is more than
seven years old, if the existing master is on an analog format,
such as 1" videotape, or if the existing master has severe video
related problems, rendering it unacceptable for air or
Most material in our library that was transferred prior
to 1988 is on analog 1" videotape. And that portion of the
library is rapidly shrinking as we copy and re-transfer onto
newer formats. For instance, between 1988 and 1994, all new
transfers, including features, made for TV movies, television
series', animated series' and shorts, were transferred and
protected on D2 composite digital videotape. Since 1994, all new
transfers for long form material, including features and made for
television movies, have been transferred to D1 component digital
videotape. All new transfers for short form material, including
live action television series', cartoon series' and other short
form material, has been transferred to Digital Betacam component
For the material that our division does not transfer
from film to videotape, which include acquired and delivered
masters, such as masters that we use for servicing from New Line,
TNT originals, Turner Original Productions and others, we have
specific delivery specifications that have followed the same
evolution. In other words, the specs that we ask for material to
be delivered on have been modified as time goes on, and now we
request that everything is delivered on Digital Betacam.
Shows that originate or are post-produced on videotape
are in many ways more difficult to preserve. There is no film to
fall back on if the videotape is lost or damaged. Videotape is
more fragile and susceptible to more problems than film. And
when dealing with "video only" shows, we make efforts to improve
the videotape format whenever possible.
Shows that originated on analog format, such as 1" or
even 2" quad videotape, are bumped up to more modern digital
formats, such as D2 and Digital Betacam. However, we do keep the
original masters for generational purposes.
Video standards conversions, which are necessary for
"video only" material--for instance, from NTSC to PAL for
distribution in Europe and Asia--are now done with more advanced
equipment and conversion processes, resulting in material which
is more readily acceptable for broadcasting distribution in
international territories with ever higher quality standards.
Obsolete videotape formats must also be addressed.
While film has remained virtually unchanged in the more than 100
years of its existence, videotape changes and evolves constantly.
Not only do videotape formats change, but the way that video and
audio information is recorded onto the tape changes as well.
There are videotape formats that have become obsolete. With a
library as large as Turner's, there do exist programs that were
originally recorded onto such obsolete formats. These programs
have been recorded onto more modern videotape formats, as
The intent is to continually transfer the signal to
better and better formats. Before the advent of digital formats,
the program being preserved could be degraded by the very act of
copying it due to generational loss during duplication.
Component digital formats such as we are using today are not as
affected by multi-generational copying.
Videotape master formats are not the only issue when it
comes to preserving television programs. Storage of those
masters and the film elements that make them is also important.
Film elements, if stored improperly, are subject to fading,
warping, physical breakdown and decomposition of the film itself,
known as "vinegar syndrome."
Videotape masters and protection masters are subject to
changes in friction properties, abrasivity and binder-base
adhesion, caused by extreme shifts in temperature and humidity,
airborne pollutants and ultraviolet radiation. The signal
recorded on videotape is also in danger of being damaged or lost
if exposed to electro-magnetic fields, which can be caused by
electric motors or transformers. Due to these potential
problems, storage conditions are of great importance.
Original negatives, color and black & white protection
elements, and duplicate negatives are all stored at separate
facilities with controlled temperature, humidity and
environmental control. Videotape transfer masters and acquired
masters are also separated from protection masters and stored
under controlled conditions.
Preservation of programs also include safeguarding
against the loss of elements. The physical separation of
elements described prevents loss due to catastrophic events such
as fires and earthquakes. Location and shipment of all film and
tape elements is controlled via a computerized inventory that
tracks all original and protection elements worldwide. In 1995,
we designed and incorporated a state of the art warehouse
management system that tracks elements located at, and shipped to
and from, our Los Angeles distribution services facility using
We feel that our efforts to keep up with current
videotape technology, both when mastering from film to tape and
when dealing with "tape only" programs, as well as proper storage
conditions of all our elements, is vital for proper preservation
of television product. Not only are these programs valuable
corporate assets and a source of entertainment for millions of
viewers, they are historical records and offer irreplaceable
insight to our culture and society.
The fact that this product continues to find new life
on an ever expanding array of outlets, including new networks,
direct broadcast satellite systems and home video re-issues,
among others, underscores the need for a conscious effort to
preserve film and videotape. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. I think Ms. McLane had one
clarification question she wanted to ask.
MS. McLANE: Yes. I have a question. And I hope you
all will forgive my ignorance. Maybe you or someone else can
When you talk about digital remastering and digital
transfer, you said that the loss of quality is much less than in
previous formats, but you are still losing quality. How would
you compare those two losses in percentages?
MR. SCHADE: Well, if you make a copy from a component
digital videotape, the generational loss is almost non-existent.
I mean, it is very, very good. There are always things that can
happen when you copy from machine to machine, interchange
problems, something could go wrong with the tape head--the actual
tape interchange, taking the signal from the videotape head to
the videotape medium itself. So, there are always problems that
can occur when you are copying. However, component digital right
now is the best way and the almost lossless way to copy from one
format to another.
MS. McLANE: So you would say that the percentage of
loss is nil, is that correct?
MR. SCHADE: I never want to say "nil" to anything, but
it is almost that way, yes.
MS. McLANE: Okay. Thank you.
MR. MAYER: I would like to make a point just to finish
up our presentation. And that is, we would suggest that all the
various things that we have said from a technological point of
view, and that everyone has said, be compiled as part of a
suggestion for a national program, as to what should be done on a
step-by-step basis with videotape.
We also offer our databank, and I think everybody
else's databank, to be combined together so that at some point
the systems can be used together as some sort of a national
databank. So, those things are available from us.
Finally, we would like to comment that in regard to
making copies available for educational purposes, we are willing
to do that. We are doing it with the archives that ask us to do
it. And we are more comfortable with that now than ever before--
because with a proper legal agreement, which protects us, as well
as the archive, which limits its use for educational and research
purposes, I think that probably most of the companies are fairly
comfortable with cooperating in that manner with whomever asks
for it. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Universal.
Presentation by Edward Zeier, Vice President Post Production
Universal City Studios, Inc.
MR. ZEIER: Mr. Moderator, distinguished Panel, thank
you for the opportunity and the honor to speak before you today.
My name is Ed Zeier, and I represent Universal City Studios.
Universal's library consists of some 18,000 television
titles for which we have current rights. It is primarily
comprised of episodic series', both dramatic and comedic, made
for television movies, mini-series', cartoons, syndicated strips
and various teleplays, all falling into the entertainment
Universal's history in the production of television
began in 1950 with the development of our first series by the MCA
owned Revue Productions. Television titles were created and
produced under this banner until 1959, when MCA purchased
Universal Studios and Revue Productions became Universal
Television. Since that time, television programming has been
produced under various MCA banners.
Currently, we physically hold over 61,400 reels of
original color or black & white negatives. And that is supported
by over 154,800 reels of picture and sound preprint elements,
which include over 27.3 million feet of color interpositives or
finegrains for those television productions. The exception to
this is a 13-year period before the advent of videocassette and
laserdiscs, when other small gauge film formats or intermediates
were considered sensible protection. However, we are currently
in the process of manufacturing interpositives on these titles.
Of the totals specified above, approximately 29 percent of the
elements are in black & white and 71 percent are in color.
The predominant majority of our product has been
produced on 35mm film, after which the negative was conformed,
interpositives or finegrains were created, and then the elements
were geographically separated. However, with the advent of
multi-camera shows and electronic editing, we often edit and
assemble some of our shows electronically, creating a videotape
master. The original negative is then archived, along with the
edit decision list and original production paperwork, for future
use. The videotape masters are duplicated and geographically
With these items still available, we will be able to
address any new medium or technology that presents itself for
future ancillary markets. The predominant video formats used by
Universal are 1"C, D1, D2, D3, DCT and, to a lesser extent, D5.
Since 1976, Universal has spent approximately $30
million building and maintaining vaults, creating a computer
database, relocating material to provide for geographical
separation, and maintaining knowledgeable staff personnel. In
1995 alone, we spent over $4,450,000 on television preservation,
copying and archiving.
Our main archive facility is located in Universal City.
There are five buildings, totaling 49,000 square feet, with a
capacity of 1.7 million containers. In 1976, Universal built its
first modern vault building. This structure is a state-of-the-
art facility in which we are able to meet the vendor-recommended
storage conditions of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent
relative humidity. In addition, mobile storage racks were
installed, providing for maximum utilization of space.
In 1987, Universal converted one of its older vaults to
an environment of 46 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity
of 35 percent. We realized at that time the correlation between
humidity and the deterioration of color negative and chose to
improve the storage conditions beyond Eastman Kodak's recommended
standard of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent relative
In making this change, we extended the life of our
color elements before they succumbed to color fading. In both
instances, Universal was well ahead of the industry in the area
of archival film storage. In 1986, Universal established an
additional storage location in Boyers, Pennsylvania, owned by
National Underground Storage.
These vaults are situated in underground limestone
mines and are guarded by 24-hour security. Currently, our
storage environment at NUS is 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 25
percent relative humidity. Universal was the first major studio
to enter into an agreement with this facility. It was then later
followed by Paramount, Columbia and Disney, in 1992 and 1993.
This operation is the cornerstone of our geographical
separation philosophy, wherein we are able to store separate
preprint, picture and sound elements 3,000 miles apart. Los
Angeles being what it is, it is subject to natural disaster.
Consequently, we feel our assets are better protected being
In 1988, Universal expanded its total storage area by
adding a state-of-the-art videotape, audio tape and viewing print
vault. This area comprises a total of 7,000 square feet, with a
capacity of 510,000 containers. Incorporated into this vault is
a high-tech mobile shelving system that allows 60 percent more
usable space than that of conventional stationary storage
systems. This facility operates in an environment of 65 degrees
Fahrenheit and 50 percent relative humidity.
Universal is also currently reviewing the new ANSI
standards and SMPTE recommendations for the storage of motion
picture film and videotape and will be addressing them in the
In 1986, Universal undertook the arduous task of
creating a computerized tracking system for picture, sound and
videotape elements. The task of implementing this system
included the creation of a vault inventory software program, the
establishment of a standardized nomenclature, the inventorying,
cataloging and bar coding of over a million elements. This
provided an interface throughout the studio post production
departments, our home video and MCA TV syndication areas.
This system allows us to track elements in our vaults
in New Jersey, in Pennsylvania, and also in our location at
In the mid-1970's, Universal's Sound Department began
protecting soundtrack masters. The program was then called
"STUMPF copying." This process involves the copying of track
masters to 1/2" non-sprocketed tape with sync pulse. The phrase
"STUMPF" was also defined as "Studio Track Universal Multi-
Channel Print Facility" and, coincidentally, was also the name of
the director of sound for Universal at that time.
The STUMPF copy process of protecting our feature and
TV sound masters continued into the 1980's. We concluded that as
stereo tracks became more complex, the three tracks available on
the 1/2" tape were not sufficient for our needs.
Under the guidance of Bill Varney, our Vice President
of Sound Services, Universal instituted the following procedures
for preservation of sound elements: Physical cleaning and/or
repairing of original master elements, whether magnetic or
optical, relabeling and bar coding of those masters, simultaneous
transferring of these tracks to both 32-track digital and analog
24-track protection masters, and the shipping and protection of
masters off the lot to storage facilities.
We are also actively inspecting our magnetic sound
elements for "vinegar syndrome." As material showing evidence of
this problem is identified, it is cleaned, recanned and
duplicated on two separate 2" 24-track audio tapes and stored in
geographically separated locations.
Older sound masters with unique inconsistencies are
processed through the Sonic Solution system, which is a digital
noise removal system. Sonic Solution equipment removes
distracting noise from the valuable titles without damaging the
integrity of the original mix of track. This affords the
preservationist the ability to choose many different degrees of
noise reduction, with minimal adverse effect upon the original
Most importantly, this process allows all this
flexibility and improved quality through the digital medium,
eliminating any additional analog generational loss.
Universal continues to evaluate emerging technology
which could assist our sound preservation goals.
A limited number of titles are also stored at various
archives. Under our existing agreement, scholars may access
titles for research free of charge in a library or classroom
environment. With prior authorization and under certain
circumstances, screenings or cassette loans are permitted,
providing no fee is charged for admission.
Universal actively works with institutions such as the
UCLA Film Archives in the restoration of some of our classic
television titles. This concludes our statement. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Mr. Ellenshaw.
Presentation by Harrison Ellenshaw, Vice President
Buena Vista Visual Effects
Walt Disney Company
MR. ELLENSHAW: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. My name is
Harrison Ellenshaw. I am Vice President of Visual Effects for
Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Visual Effects. I am also
in charge of the library restoration program for the Walt Disney
I think you will find that the Walt Disney Company has
the belief that, although it has one of the smaller libraries in
the industry, it has perhaps one of the most valuable libraries
and has been very aggressive in preserving and restoring its
library titles, especially since 1989, when a program was
instituted to aggressively try to upgrade any restoration efforts
that might be needed to take place for some of the titles.
Archiving, restoration and preservation goes back as
far as 1955 with the Walt Disney Company, when they began to make
copies of optical soundtracks onto magnetic transfers. In 1961,
nitrate was also addressed, as it became evident that this was
something that needed to be copied and taken care of in a very
timely manner. And at this time, all our nitrate conversion has
So, we have been very aggressive and very much
concerned with certainly our film aspects of our library, as we
are also with television. And with the collective wisdom of
those people on the panel and the panel previous to us, we also
engaged in the same type of activities; that is, geographic
location separation of elements, storage conditions that are very
well maintained and also a continuing monitoring of quality
control, of what we have and what we are copying.
The ability to clone D2, for example, is very, very
beneficial in this day and age, and has allowed us to certainly
reduce to some degree the anxiety level with which one views the
fact that--let's face it, when you are talking about television
on videotape, there is not as much--how shall I put it--
confidence that you always have the material there, because you
have got a brown thing on a piece of tape.
Whereas, when you have film, you always have that
image, and you can see what that image is like without a
projector. You just take it out, roll it down and you look at
it. And there is a tremendous advantage to that.
That's one of the reasons, by the way, that we feel so
strongly that film is such a great storage medium and will remain
an archiving medium for many years to come. Although we are very
much open to the idea of digital storage and digital archiving,
it will--at least probably in our lifetime--never take the place
of film archiving. And that's something that we want to make
sure that everybody understands because there sometimes seems to
be a rush towards the latest technology, and one must take care,
when it comes to preservation, that it is done in a timely and
We have approximately 6500 titles that are in our
library, all of which--every single one of which--has been
addressed and has either been restored or preserved and is
The rest of our efforts in this area pretty well mimic
what you have heard on this panel, and I won't go over that in
detail because basically I will be repeating what most of these
people have said. Thank you very much.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Anything?
MR. RICHMOND: Just a comment on the two panels, the
previous one and this one.
I think it is encouraging that the institutions
represented on those two panels, as well as the public archives
that have been presented on panels here--I mean, it is kind of
like "old home" week, because it is this group that got together
to create the National Film Preservation Plan that I think was a
big step forward in that area. So, the fact that we did that
leads me to believe we can do it in television. And I think it
should be acknowledged how much all of the companies represented
on the past two panels have been active in those areas and in
working to support the public archive community as well.
I guess my question kind of goes back to the earlier
panel. I just want to follow up. Being from an educational
institution, one of the big needs--we are going to hear this, I
am sure, on the last panel of the day, when we deal specifically
with education and research access to television--one of the big
concerns among educational institutions is access to television.
It is so vitally important to understanding so much about
American culture, American politics, everything.
What I am hearing is--I think it was sort of addressed
by Roger Mayer--if a way could be found to alleviate any
copyright concerns, and it was economical, we could find a way to
do it economically, would there be any problems that you can
foresee in working to help establish regional centers or some--
let's not even talk that specific--some way in which more of the
television holdings that you have could be made available on a
convenient format for purely research and educational use?
Because that is a big need within educational communities. And I
know a lot is out there in the marketplace; a lot shows up on TV
through cable. But there are vast resources that are real
important to scholarship that are hard to tap for most scholars
and most students.
Maybe I am not being clear enough. And I am addressing
this to all of you on the panel, because you all have material
that is vital to the study of American culture, communications,
political science, anything you could think of.
MR. TABB: Go ahead, Roger.
MR. MAYER: Well, you got it right. And that is that
there are legal documents that I think would be satisfactory to
both sides, that would protect our interests, as well as the
interests of the archives.
I think the key to the problem is how many and how many
places. And I think, as an example, all of us are regularly
supplying--I think it is called--the Museum of Television and
Radio, in New York, with anything they ask for. Well, there is
going to be a branch of it out here. Well, why shouldn't UCLA
and all the other archives and educational institutions get
together and make a deal with the Museum of Television and Radio,
or vice versa, so there would be one source where you could have
a lending library for all of these things? And all of us could
supply what is needed, as long as we are guaranteed the legal
protection we are asking for. And I don't think anyone has a
problem with that.
MR. HUMPHREY: I agree with Roger that if there was a
way to get access, to make a set of copies, that it would be just
duplication, which is not as expensive as dealing with film
elements. I don't see it to be that big of a problem.
MR. MAYER: And by the way, the point that Phil Murphy
brought up earlier--and that is, once something goes into the
public domain you are not controlling the elements and so forth--
that can be part of the contract we are talking about.
In other words, that at such time as something flows
into the public domain, the archive still has either agreed to
properly guard it or will return it. And I think perhaps that
would make people feel better about it.
MR. TABB: Would anyone else like to respond to this
question before we go to the next one?
MR. ZEIER: Yes. There has also been a vision of the
future, if you will, with video or near video on demand. And
with digitization and compression techniques on the horizon, the
access to a lot of this entertainment product, at least, might
become more readily available, if in fact we find an economic
base by which to supply this product. And people can access it
from their homes, from their research institutions, at a very
nominal cost, hopefully, with a set top box.
That's the vision of the future that we have seen and
talked about. Whether it will become a realization is another
thing. We would like to see it and repurpose (ph.) our libraries
again, of course. But that's another option.
MR. ELLENSHAW: There is a pragmatic concern, and that
is that with such a broad amount of material, when people come
and ask for something, they obviously can be serviced quite
easily if they are very specific. But oftentimes, the request is
very broad, and that takes somebody's time and effort, and
basically, you become a search unit to go out and find what they
are looking for. And obviously, that is an economic concern.
I think what Roger Mayer said about sharing of
databases is very applicable, and it should become more like a
library, if you will, where you can go and you can find the list
of what's available. And hopefully, there are some specifics to
it so that you can access it far more easily and quickly and
efficiently. That's what is holding it up right now.
We are more than happy to help out educational
institutions, archives, the scholarly people who want to come and
take a look at anything in the library, on a case-by-case basis.
We don't get as much of it. Quite frankly, I think you would be
surprised how few requests we get. But occasionally, we do get a
very broad-based request, and that just simply, quite frankly,
can't be fulfilled. There are not enough hours.
MR. TABB: David.
MR. FRANCIS: I hope you will excuse me if I push
Eddie's point a little further.
One possibility for dealing with the future would be
for a public institutions to record off air with time code in
vision--the time code would be an identifier and would also
prevent misuse. This would alleviate the problem of actually
having to supply material. This right is not granted in the
existing copyright legislation, except for news.
I would like to ask how the members of the panel here
would feel about something like that. The added advantage--if it
could cover not only television but also film materials on
television--is that one could record everything, including the
links and the introductions. I know scholars today are very
interested in not only the programs themselves but also seeing
the way in which programs are related to one another and the way
in which they are juxtaposed on different networks.
Is this beyond the realms of possibility? Do you think
the idea of actually modifying the Copyright Act to allow at
least one institution or one group of institutions to copy off
air on a VHS format, so programs could be available for scholars,
MR. MAYER: Well, if you would like me to address that-
-for me to answer that directly I will get killed by all my
lawyers, so I really don't want to negotiate the Copyright Act
MR. FRANCIS: No.
MR. MAYER: As a concept, it sounds okay to me, but I
don't think what you are describing is necessary. I think that
accessibility of this material is extremely feasible, and I don't
think you have to go to that extent. I think there will be ways
to handle it, and I think one of the keys is for the academic and
educational community--if I am describing it correctly--to tell
us what they need and what they want, and get together and come
up with some feasible plan as to what their requirements are.
I get the feeling that if that is reasonable, with
reasonable protection, that we can meet it.
MR. HUMPHREY: We agree. I think it is more of a--the
first hurdle is really the concept and the plan, more than it is
the methodology. I think that by the time the plan is put
together, there will be several methodologies of delivery. So, I
would focus more on the plan first, also.
MR. TABB: Any other comments?
MR. HEIBER: I have a question for Bill and Grover.
Everyone admits it is a mountain--an ocean of material
in the television arena. Sony has developed a very nice kind of
film preservation committee that meets. And I am just curious if
maybe you could explain a little bit of what the philosophy of
the film/tape preservation committee is and if there may be some
guidelines that could be used--in what you have created to
determine what is important--that could be shared among the other
MR. CRISP: Well, it is very much a public/ private
partnership that we have developed with the major archives in
North America, and some smaller archives as well, to support film
preservation, feature film preservation. We also work with some
archives on television programs. I know this last two years with
Wisconsin we have been working with them on the David Suskind
collection. It is primarily 2" videotape.
But it could be used as a model in terms of generating
public support, I think, for preservation of video materials, and
could be used also as a model for the foundation, which I think
is somewhat the model that David is working on for the film side.
Basically, that's how it works.
MR. HEIBER: Well, did you create any kind of like
paper or guidelines on what material you would consider or who
could approach you?
MR. CRISP: Well, a lot of the work, of course, is
based to a large degree on the need and the degree of problems we
may have with the materials. I would assume that it would work
the same way with video materials.
MR. TABB: Are there other questions? (No response.)
If not, I will thank this panel very much, and we will adjourn
again for another short break of about 10 minutes and resume with
the people addressing video technology at 5:00. Thank you.
(Whereupon, a short recess was taken.)
MR. TABB: We need to resume, please. If the next
panel would proceed to the table, I would appreciate it.
All right. Let us begin now with the panel of video
technologists, starting with Mr. Wheeler, President of the Tape
Archival and Restoration Services.
Presentation by James Wheeler, President
Tape Archival and Restoration Services
MR. WHEELER: Dr. Billington, Members of the Panel, I
have two recommendations to help preserve America's television
and video heritage. One of them is intended to mitigate the
effect of rapidly changing equipment technology, which we have
been talking about, and the other is intended to help archivists
select tape with long life expectancy.
But first, I will give you a very brief history of
videotape recording to illustrate how fast this technology has
changed in just 40 years. I have firsthand experience with the
development of videotape recorders because I joined Ampex just
five years after the first Ampex videotape recorder was
introduced. For 32 years, I specialized in two fields: I was
both a tape recorder design engineer and a tape engineer. Very
unusual. I was the only one at Ampex that ever did both of those
Also, I was an engineer on the teams responsible for
three of the videotape formats. So, I know the problem of
formats, and I know why there is a problem with formats.
On the history of videotape recording--as I say, I will
just do a brief one here-- several companies tried to develop a
videotape recorder in the early 1950's, but Ampex was the first
one to really succeed and make a successful one. The Ampex VR-
1000 was introduced in Chicago at the National Association of
Radio and Television Broadcasters Conference on April 14, 1956.
It was just 40 years ago next month.
If fact, we are celebrating that at the NAB show in Las
Vegas next month; what we call Ampex University. A group of us,
about 300 people, I think are going to be there.
At the NAB Conference, Ampex sold 90 machines at a cost
of $50,000 each, for a total of $4.5 million, which wasn't bad
for a small company in those days. But Ampex marketing had only
forecast 30 machines over a four-year period. They didn't have
The first on-air broadcast of videotaped material
occurred on November 30, 1956, with the CBS Douglas Edwards
evening news broadcast. The show was time-delayed by using
videotape recorders in each time zone. And that's why the Ampex
marketing people had a limited vision of how many tape recorders
would be sold. They thought it would only be used for time
delay, not for anything else.
The large reels of 2" tape were very expensive in those
days, so each--and still are expensive, I should say--so each
tape was rerecorded over and over again, so you don't have the
originals anymore. Another problem with the early videotape
recorders is that a tape could be played only on the machine that
it was recorded on. You could not interchange tape between two
different tape recorders. That didn't occur until into the
Until 1964, the use of videotape was limited because
editing of videotape was done by the extremely labor-intensive
process of physically cutting and splicing. In 1964, Ampex
introduced an electronic editor and also introduced color
videotape recording in the same year. These innovations expanded
the use of the videotape recorder to new areas, such as TV
commercials. So, TV commercials before 1964 were shot solely on
film. From 1964, since then, they have been film and videotape.
Also in 1964, Ampex introduced a portable videotape
recorder which had a slow motion/stop action feature, later
referred to as "Instant Replay." ABC bought six of these units
and Wide World of Sports then became a big success.
In 1968, Sony introduced the first videotape recorder
that was small enough and cheap enough for use in the field of
education. This was a 1/2" reel-to-reel machine. It was
replaced by the Sony U-Matic cassette recorder in 1971. This
3/4" U-Matic became very popular for use in education and also
for industrial applications. It is still used 25 years later.
One of these days it is going to die out, I'm sure, but it is
The videotape recorder was not cheap enough for the
consumer until Sony introduced the BetaMax in 1975. The
following year, JVC introduced the VHS VCR, and the battle of the
formats began. By 1985, Japan was producing over a million VCR's
In 1989, Sony introduced the Hi8 camcorder. This
recorder, with its 450 line resolution, was cheap enough for
consumers, yet the high quality made it usable as a field
camcorder for news gathering.
Digital videotape recording was born when SMPTE
established the D1 standard in 1987. Digital has a major
advantage over the previous analog based recorders because there
is no degradation when tapes are copied. It is difficult to
differentiate a camera original from a multi-generation digital
copy. I have done 40 generations, and I couldn't really tell the
difference between the original and the 40th.
Now, to discuss the problem of equipment obsolescence.
All in all, there have probably been about a hundred videotape
formats introduced over the 40-year history of the videotape
The main problem with using rapidly developing
technology, like videotape recording, is that new developments
quickly make equipment obsolete. Eventually, your favorite tape
recorder will no longer be produced, and in a few years, it will
be difficult to find someone who can maintain it.
For this reason, I am recommending the creation of a
repository for old videotape recorders, like a retirement home.
Such a national video center could also be a repository for
literature and technical manuals for the equipment, which is also
very necessary. This center could maintain a database of the
location of other equipment around the world and also have a list
of the technicians who know how to repair the equipment. So, it
is not just the equipment; it is the parts and the people to
repair them. In the videotape recorder, the most difficult part
to make was the video head itself, the rotary head mechanism.
That is, without a doubt--that's one of my specialties at Ampex,
or was, was in that head/tape interface area. It is extremely
difficult to produce that without--I don't think you can without
the original drawings.
The second problem we have with videotape is the
problem of degradation of the binder. This problem makes it
necessary to store tape in a cool and dry environment to maximize
its longevity. In a high humidity and/or high temperature
environment, the tape binder hydrolyzes and breaks down.
In recent years, most tape manufacturers have changed
to a much more stable binder, but who knows which of the many
tapes have the stable binders? Tape manufacturers will not
publicize what type of binder is used in each product or how
stable the binder is.
So, what I suggest here is that we have a national test
laboratory that will publish test results annually, sort of like
a Consumer Reports' Annual Auto Guide. This lab would develop
tests that are indicators of the durability and longevity of each
type of tape on the market. With this information, archivists
would know which tapes to purchase and which recordings in their
collection need to be copied to tape with a more stable binder.
This test lab could be the National Media Lab, the NML, in St.
Paul, or the NIST, in Washington, D.C. I think either one of
those labs would be ideal for this.
In my opinion, we need both a videotape recorder
repository and a videotape test laboratory to insure the
longevity of our television and video heritage. As far as a
repository, there was a Museum of Magnetic Recording, in Redwood
City, that is owned by Ampex, and it was closed down three years
ago, but the equipment is still there. So, we do have sort of a
start of equipment, and it is just a matter of getting the owner
of Ampex to agree to part with it. I have talked with Ray Dolby,
of Dolby--you are quite familiar with Mr. Dolby--and he is very
interested in getting involved in that.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Mr. Layn.
Presentation by Fred Layn
Director of Audio Marketing for Quantegy
MR. LAYN: Hello. My name is Fred Layn. I am Director
of Audio Marketing for Quantegy, a company I am sure that no one
here has heard of. We are actually the manufacturer of Ampex
recording tapes. We used to be known as "Ampex Recording Media,"
but we were spun off from Ampex three months ago and now have our
own name, called "Quantegy."
Sorry that I am a director of audio and not a director
of video. Our video person is in Europe right now, but as an
equipment manufacturing friend of mine once said, "Videotape
without video is radio; videotape without audio is security."
So, we think that audio plays a significant part in this game,
Anyway, I would like to give you a little view of what
manufacturers think about preservation.
Magnetic tape is a complex series of compromises, not
all of which impact the media's archivability favorably.
Economic, scientific and process considerations give all
manufacturers a matrix of decision points that must be considered
before bringing a product
to the marketplace.
Of course, the majority of the technical design
characteristics a manufacturer must consider are determined by
the format for which the tape is specified. Thus, many of the
factors that will determine the life of the information recorded
on a particular format are dictated by the standards that
comprise that format.
Key components for determining the long-term robustness
of a format, such as the physical dimensions of the tape and the
design and function of the cassette, are all pre-determined by
format standards. The magnetic media manufacturer can have an
impact on the suitability of the media for archiving only within
the constraints of the format. This caveat means, "Choose your
format carefully if you intend to archive to it." We are not
here to support all formats equally. We can not speak too
publicly about which are better or worse, but it does need to be
addressed by the people who are in the archive community that
there are certainly some formats that are not appropriate for
Let me give you a brief description of the components
of magnetic tape. This will either bore you to death, because it
is so obvious, or it will be so hard that it is not interesting,
so take your pick on this one.
Magnetic tape can be considered to be comprised of five
major components: basefilm, backcoat, binders, lubricants and
magnetic material. All of these components have been
dramatically improved upon since the first introduction of paper
tape coated with iron oxide.
Basefilm has evolved from paper to acetate to PET and
further. PET is polyester film or Mylar is a tradename for it.
The change from acetate to PET has been one of the most important
from an archival point of view. With the introduction of PET,
basefilm became the least significant concern in the archival
chain. While some of the newer basefilm materials offer even
greater strength and dimensional stability than PET, their
archival improvements pale when compared to that of PET over
The dimensional constraints of some of the newer
formats, and some extended length versions of more established
formats, require the strengths of these more advanced basefilms
in order to function properly. The improvements gained by the
utilization of newer generation, ruggedized basefilms allow more
densely packed media and have not usually been devoted to making
a more archivably stable magnetic tape.
These improvements can also be incorporated into making
existing products archivably superior, but they will add
significant cost for the end user.
Backcoats continue to be improved in order to ensure
optimal runnability of the tape in any particular format.
Magnetic tapes have not always incorporated backcoats, and some
less expensive tapes still do not.
Providentially for the archive community, the benefit
of improved wind characteristics in professional applications
have caused manufacturers to utilize backcoating in almost all
professional magnetic tape products.
Further changes in backcoat design will continue to
facilitate improvements in the quality of the tape pack. The
tape pack is a simple, but extremely critical, component in
determining the quality of signal reproduction possible after
long term storage of media. As we will hear from Jim's partner
in New York later on, the most damage that they have seen has
been caused by edge damage when tapes were stored with a poor
Lubricant packages are designed to allow the tape to
travel smoothly through the tape path and over the heads.
Improper or too little lubricant will cause the tape to exhibit
stiction and squeal, impeding proper playback. Excess lubricants
can deposit on heads and in the tape path, attracting debris and
Our goal in lubricant package design is to not only
ensure good runnability in a wide variety of disparate
environmental conditions, but also to ensure that the lubricants
will be available at the surface of the tape throughout the life
of the tape.
Magnetic materials have evolved from simple iron oxide-
-rust--to cobalt treated iron oxide and chrome, to pure iron
particles coated with a passivating material. As we have all
seen firsthand, iron oxide is physically a very stable material.
In addition, iron oxide's magnetic properties change
exceptionally little with exposure to reasonable heat over long
periods of time.
Ever increasing demands for higher signal packing
densities have led to the use of metal particle and metal
evaporated magnetic materials in more recently developed tape
formats. These materials are slightly more subject to magnetic
deterioration in elevated temperature environments than the iron
oxide family of particles.
Fortunately for the archival community, particle
science and improvements in the passivation techniques have
produced metal particles that are far more magnetically robust
than their earlier counterparts. The thinness of the magnetic
coating of metal evaporated tapes can make them very vulnerable
to physical damage and subsequent loss of magnetic information.
Binder systems continue to remain a principal point of
archival design focus for magnetic tape manufacturers. Increases
in signal density requirements have led to higher magnetic
particle loading percentages and thus dictated less percentage of
binder in the magnetic coating of tape. In other words, we have
more particles to be held by less glue.
New binders need to be more effective in bonding
particles to themselves and to the basefilm than previous
generation binders. The quality of the other components of the
magnetic tape are of little value if the magnetic particles do
not remain attached to the tape. The binder must remain
functional for the magnetic tape to continue to be viable. If
the oxide is lying in the box, it is not going to do you much
In summation, I would like to say that we at Quantegy
continue to search for the right balance in designing a magnetic
tape that performs to the desires of our customers today and
tomorrow. Archival stability of our product is a continuing goal
Research into extending the effective life of our tapes
continues long after the initial product introduction. In fact,
we recently changed the formulation of a product that has been
manufactured for 20 years solely to improve its archival
We understand the value of the material recorded on our
tape, and we strive to make each product as reliable as the
format will permit. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Mr. Sullivan.
Presentation by Dan Sullivan, Manager
Videotape Technical Operations
CBS Television City
MR. SULLIVAN: Dr. Billington, ladies and gentlemen,
thank you for the opportunity to be here today. Let me apologize
in advance for my voice. I have apparently come down with a
California cold, but in order not to be arrested by the Chamber
of Commerce police, I must report that this is very unusual for
California and almost never happens, and I am sure I will be over
I am the Manager of Videotape Technical Operations at
CBS Television City, here in Los Angeles, and the testimony that
I would like to offer today centers around the preserving of
television images on videotape. But first I would like to tell
you a little bit about CBS Television City, and then I have a
couple of specific points I would like to make about preserving
CBS Television City is designed as a production
facility for television programming. We have eight television
studios, a scenery and graphics department, costume department,
audio sweetening facilities, suitable not only for television but
also motion picture sweetening, and a large videotape department
that has 12 on-line edit rooms, off-line editing facilities,
videotape duplication and various other facilities.
One of those various other facilities is a department
that is set up specifically to transfer 2" and 1" videotape to
digital formats for preservation, syndication or any other
purpose. This transfer facility is used to transfer CBS's own
tapes and also is available to contract with other companies and
institutions for the transfer of anyone else's material as well.
This 2" videotape facility will be the focus of my remarks here
Approximately two years ago, CBS entered into a
contract with Mark Goodson Productions to transfer their entire
library of approximately 34,000 programs from their current
formats, which consisted of 16mm kinescopes, 2" and 1" videotape,
to serial digital betacam format. Over the next 15 months,
34,637 shows were transferred. Approximately 2700 of these
programs originated on kinescope. The rest were transfers all
from videotape originals.
None of the tapes in the Goodson collection had been
stored in what anyone would call "proper" videotape storage
environments. They were basically stored in "furniture"
warehouses where the temperature and humidity changed along with
the weather. There was even a rumor that about 8,000 of the
tapes were stored on pallets covered in black plastic, on the
back lot of one of the other studios in town, for several years.
How to store videotape properly has been an interesting
subject since about the time videotape was invented. The
conventional wisdom had always been that if you did not store
videotape carefully, in a controlled environment, that after
about 10 years, you would open the container and you would have
nothing left but clear plastic and a little brown dust in the
bottom of the container.
Our experience with transferring over 32,000 shows in
the Goodson collection, Carsey-Warner, some for the Library of
Congress, in fact, and others, showed that the conventional
wisdom was really not so wise after all. Our experience with
this large transfer project showed that out of approximately
32,000 videotape shows, some dating back to 1956, there were only
two that we were not able to transfer, and the difficulty with
those two was not due to the chemical decomposition of the tape.
It had to do with physical edge damage or physical damage to the
tape or, in some cases, problems with the machines that it was
This is not to say that it was easy to get all these
tapes to transfer. We had to find and acquire various types of
tape machines. We had to resurrect tape cleaning equipment.
There were certain batches of videotape, from various
manufacturers, that had special problems. For example, Ampex had
one batch of tape where the binder would hydrolyze, as Jim
mentioned before, come up through the emulsion and in effect
would coat the tape with a glue-like substance that made it
impossible for the machines to transfer them.
Ampex engineers who remembered this problem from the
"good old days," told us that if the tape were baked in a
convection oven, at a given low temperature, for a given amount
of time, that the binder would then reseal with the backing
material and the tape could be played. It sounded crazy to me,
too, but in fact it works and the tapes did in fact play. The
beneficial effects of this baking process, however, only last for
a few weeks. So, the tapes had to be transferred quickly,
because once the binder has hydrolyzed, even though you bake it
back into the backing, it will come back out again in a few
Then there was the famous 3M idea to put a foam pad to
cushion the tape to prevent edge damage when the tape was
shipped. A commendable idea, except that the glue they used to
glue the pad in place came through the pad and got onto the tape,
coating the tape with glue. We worked with 3M engineers and
eventually recreated a method they used years ago of cleaning the
tape by hand with solvents that take the glue off without harming
the videotape. Once again we were able to salvage several
hundred tapes that otherwise would have been impossible to
Yes, there were problems. But at each turn, we were
able to overcome the difficulty. And for the most part, the vast
majority of the tapes transferred fairly well, with only a
nominal amount of head clogs and dropouts that would be expected
for a tape of that vintage.
Our conclusion is that videotape is a whole lot tougher
than anybody really thinks it is. These are tapes that were not
in ideal conditions, but they played anyway.
And this brings me to the first point that I would
really like to make. And that is that videotape is still the
most economical and safest long-range storage medium available to
us today for the storage of television pictures and sound. Even
when stored in less than ideal conditions, the videotape is still
a robust storage medium and can store more information at less
cost than any other system available to us. The weak link in
storing television images on videotape is not the tape; it is the
machinery. This goes back to what Jim was saying.
At Television City, we currently have ten 2" videotape
recorders. And I believe I can say, without fear of
contradiction, that that is probably more than anybody in the
world has right now. We also have six other machines that are
used for parts to keep the ten on-line machines running.
Two years ago, when we started the transfer project of
the Mark Goodson Productions library, we had only one 2" machine
on the premises. It was believed that by just calling a few
chief engineers at stations around the country, that we would be
able to acquire all the 2" machines we needed, because the
conventional wisdom was that everybody had two or three old 2"
machines in the back room that they were just waiting to get rid
Once again, the conventional wisdom proved not to be
quite so wise. In calling around the country trying to acquire
these machines, most of the time the answers we got went
something like this, "Gee, I wish you had called about five years
ago because we just sent those things to the dump because we
needed the room."
Eventually, however, we were able to acquire machines
here and there, all over the country. We had two from Alaska,
one from New York, one from Rhode Island, and so on. We gathered
the machines from everywhere, refurbished them, rebuilt them, and
eventually we assembled the group that we are currently using,
which consists of two Ampex AVR 1's, six Ampex AVR 2's, and two
Ampex AVR 3's.
We also have, as I said, six additional machines--and
this is very important--that are cannibalized for parts to keep
the others running. The parts acquisition for these older
machines is an ever increasing problem.
Several years ago, when Ampex stopped supporting the 2"
format with parts, a man by the name of Roger Clemmens retired
and made a deal with Ampex to buy up all their remaining
inventory of new parts for Ampex 2" videotape machines. He moved
them to Gunnerson, Colorado, and for several years was supplying
owners with 2" machines around the world with hard to find parts.
Late in 1995, Roger Clemmens contacted me and asked if
I wanted to buy his entire remaining stock of parts because he
wanted to get out of the business. I said of course I wanted to
buy them and arranged to buy them immediately. This, however, is
like the good news/bad news joke. The good news is I was able to
buy all of the remaining parts, new parts, for Ampex videotape
machines. The bad news is they all arrived in one very small
truck. Mr. Clemmens's remaining stock, though valuable, was not
The problem here is that as these machines get older,
the cost of keeping them running and the increasing scarcity of
parts will eventually make it impossible for even CBS to keep the
machines running. And I am afraid that eventually is only about
three to five years away.
All of the above is mentioned only to underscore my
second point, which is there is great urgency in getting 2" tape
collections transferred to a digital medium; not because the tape
won't last, but because the machines to play them are dying.
CBS Television City is the only facility I know of with
the resources to do large collection transfers in any kind of
workable time frame. I don't mean just the machines. We have
the human resources as well, skilled craftsmen who make the
machines work just right. When we started the project, we
brought back several CBS technicians out of retirement. These
were craftsmen of enormous experience, and they were willing to
work alongside our younger technicians and apprentice them in
what has become almost a lost art. We now have a large
contingent of not only well trained but very experienced 2" tape
operators. To transfer 34,000 shows from Mark Goodson
Productions, we worked around the clock, seven days a week, for
Eventually, when you have to have mechanical parts
machined from scratch by a machine shop, it will not be
financially feasible to keep these machines running. And when
that point is reached, large scale transfer projects will no
longer be possible, simply because there will not be enough
machines to do them. Yes, you will be able to find a person or
two with a machine or two who can make you a few copies. But if
you have a large collection of several thousand tapes to
transfer, you will have a real problem finding someone with the
capacity to do them.
There are some people with large collections who,
unfortunately, quote, "just don't get it." I have a short story
I would like to tell you. One company with a very large
collection of 2" tapes was very proud of the fact that they still
had two 2" videotape machines, and they weren't worried about
transferring their whole collection because any time anybody
wanted a copy of one of the 2" tapes they just brought it up from
the basement, put it on the 2" machine and played it.
They went on to tell me that, actually, only one of the
two machines was working because their engineer had to take parts
out of one machine to keep the other one running. They then went
on to tell me that they used to have seven machines, but now they
only have these two left. But they weren't worried because they
had an excellent maintenance staff who they were sure could keep
the remaining machine running.
These people should be getting a wake-up call. They
used to have seven machines; now they have two, one of which
doesn't work because it has been cannibalized for parts. There
is a message here. That one machine that they have left may
support their needs for the next few years, but in five years,
they may not be able to get parts for it at all, and what are
they going to do then.
This, unfortunately, is a true story and a prime
example of those who "just don't get it." And there are a lot
of people around the country who have collections who need to get
And, yes, I know that there are those that say that the
conventional wisdom--fortunately, fewer and fewer every day--is
not to spend money on transferring tapes now but to build climate
controlled storage facilities to preserve them and wait until the
perfect transfer medium is invented and then transfer them.
That situation is really true for film, and it is being
done for film right now. But videotape is a very different
animal. The old tapes are surviving just fine in the current
storage facilities. Yes, of course, proper storage facilities
would be much better, but the tape that is out there now, as far
as chemical deterioration, is going to outlive the machines that
there are to play them. Besides, we all know that these same
self-proclaimed experts will never agree on what the perfect
transfer medium is anyway.
This brings me to my final point. Time is of the
essence. The clock is ticking on these old machines. And when
they are no longer functional, people with large collections of
2" videotape, who do not get them transferred to a modern digital
tape medium, will wind up with warehouses full of perfectly good
2" tape and no machines to play them on. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you very much. Michael.
Presentation by Michael Friend, Director
Academy Film Archive
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
MR. FRIEND: I am Michael Friend, from the Academy Film
Archive, where we have approximately 7500 items on video, and
amongst those items is something called the annual Academy Award
Show, which we consider to be fairly integral to our history and
which is by and large a video product.
Therefore, it is part of my responsibility at the
Academy Film Archive to protect the annual Academy Award Shows
for as long as humanly possible. And I have those shows on 11
different formats, nine of which are video, and only two of which
are completely and totally obsolete at this point. So, I am in a
pretty lucky situation there.
And I can also say that we haven't lost any material
due to video obsolescence because the Academy has been at least
moderately prescient in duplicating materials before the end of a
certain line of technology comes about. So, we are lucky in that
sense, and since the Academy Award Shows are very successful and
a very popular cultural icon, we have been able to support the
preservation of that show.
But we also have quite a lot of other material in our
archive, 7500 tapes or so, many of which are unique interviews
with members of our industry who have passed on or who are now
quite aged, many of which are interviews with people who are very
productive today, but all of which are very important to us for
documenting the industry.
We have other things, such as tests and special
addresses, and a variety of--dealing with the motion picture
industry or the media industry, as it is starting to be known.
And all of that is part of our charge to preserve.
And we are not unlike a lot of other organizations in
the arts and humanities, because many, many of these
organizations have documented their own activities or important
activities for their cultural heritage on videotape. In fact,
since 1975, I would say that the amount of videotape to film used
in documentation of these events has got to be well over a
thousand to one.
So, the preservation of video is not an incidental
thing, even in institutions which don't appear to be video
archives per se. And I think that when we think about this
National Preservation Program, we have to address ourselves to a
very vast diversity of organizations out there, not all of which
are immediately identifiable as, quote/unquote, "media
organizations," but which have this problem.
I would also like to suggest that we don't have very
large runs of 2" tape. We are stuck with things like open reel,
EIAJ (ph.) format tape, or Norelco 1" tape, or a lot of other
almost one off items. And I would certainly love to try to take
them over to CBS and give them a run for their money and see what
kind of percentage of copies we can get out of that. And I think
I already know what kind of answers I would get.
We often, in the non-professional world, if I can call
it that, have to deal with tape formats which are, as has been
noted here, probably far less desirable as a preservation medium
than 2" tape, 1" tape or any of the major digital formats.
So, as happy as it is CBS and some of the major
producers are able to get images off of their older tapes, I
think if you look at the diversity of cultural institutions in
the country, you are going to find a rather dire situation which
does not really correspond to that experience.
We use videotape in virtually every aspect of our work,
including film preservation, but one of the major aspects of our
work is access for scholars. And when you have invested your
public money in a videotape collection, or a video disc
collection, or DVD collection, or whatever happens to come down
the pike next, you want to be able to use that collection for the
longest possible time.
One of the things that I do in this town is to make
things accessible on videotape because I don't have to worry
about the 35mm nitrate prints. They are at UCLA. So, when
somebody walks in my door, I can cheaply and efficiently use a
video collection for access. And I think I am in the same
situation as a lot of universities and a lot of other study
centers in that respect.
I don't believe that we need to have a UCLA film and
television archive at every campus, in every major city or
whatever. But we do rely on video, and I would like to suggest
that those video resources happen to play a major part in what we
do. Certainly, we can always replace a seven dollar
videocassette of The Most Dangerous Game if one of our users
wants to do that and assuming it is still available in some
access format. But we don't want to continue to pour money into
the acquisition of videotape when it is going to have a short-
term return for us.
So, I would like to suggest that finding a medium for
video which is more robust and which will last longer than the
existing media is an important thing for arts organizations and
humanities organizations across the country.
We are very aware of the questions of videotape
instability, and we have to deal with it much more than if we
simply had professional videotape. We are also very aware of the
problems of equipment obsolescence, since the equipment that we
use to record our activities on very often has a much shorter
life as a product than say 2", 1" or D1 or D2.
So, the problems of equipment obsolescence are
multiplied in these smaller cultural organizations, and that is
something we need to look after in terms of a national plan.
I don't want to repeat what other people have said
about these kinds of
problems, but there are two modes of preserving video right now.
One of them has to do with the conservation of old video
equipment at the highest level of operability, and that means
gathering 10, 20, as many of these machines together as you can
get. And if anybody has got open reel 1/2" machines out there,
we would be happy to have them at the Academy.
The other way to go is to start to transfer your tape,
which is also an intelligent thing to do. And that involves
constant inspection and rewinding and transfer at facilities that
can do a decent job of that. It requires quality control and a
certain amount of expertise on the staff.
But both of these paths are dead-ends for us because
there is no medium which approaches permanence, even when we
start to get into the digital domain. I think that in the
professional world, people are a little bit closer to having some
stability, and they also have the funding to be able to transfer
these things on a regular basis.
But if you look at what has been collected and what is
significant to state and local arts organizations and humanities
organizations, what is important to universities and local
governments, as far as the material that they have documented, we
are not nearly as lucky. And I think that we can't be complacent
in thinking about the need for a true preservation medium for
So, the first thing that I need to suggest here is that
the national preservation group has got to somehow spearhead a
movement to find better media than videotape--or the existing
videotape, because there may be a future form that is better than
what we have--but better media for the long-term keeping of
Fortunately, we are not alone. There are billions and
billions and billions of terrabytes of digital data out there
which are similarly endangered. There are lots of optical media
out there which is in trouble. And anyone who happens to think
that videodisc or CD-ROM is a panacea should come down to our
archive and look at some of our discs that are unplayable
technically and some of our discs that are unplayable because of
There is no real way of judging right now the lifespan
of a videodisc. I don't think that kind of analytical work has
been done yet. We may need to get the Image Permanence Institute
involved in that. But there is no panacea and there is no
permanent medium, and we need research to go in that direction.
The second thing I would like to suggest is that unlike
film preservation, which is a--dare I say it--relatively simple
matter of copying film onto the same gauge film with as high a
degree of accuracy as possible technically, the preservation of
video presents a whole series of problems that are very hard to
judge and very hard to assess in terms of their future impact.
What was television in 1950 or 1960 or 1970 doesn't
exist anymore. The entire context of television has changed so
much that what I turn on when I get home is attached to a Pentium
chip; what I watch when I want to watch television happens to be
projected and comes from a videodisc player. And increasingly
all around us, there is a proliferation of screens and
affiliation of the idea of what television is and how we watch it
and how we use it.
And therefore, if we think that our target medium for
television preservation is another videotape--that is to say,
let's copy a 2" tape to a 1" tape or whatever--I think we are not
taking account of the complexity of the situation today.
And what I am asking is that this panel consider
radical alternatives to the notions of preservation that may be
available now or may become available. And I am not simply
suggesting something as crude as, "Let's just wait until the
proper medium comes around," because we will all be long gone
when that happens.
But for example--and this is an extremely mundane way
of thinking about it--we have the idea of geographic separation
of preprint and duplication of elements in film, so that we have
say an original negative and a finegrain we store in two
different places. Well, storage in two different places is a
good idea, but what about storing in two different media? What
about, for example, a D1 tape and some form of advanced optical
media? So that at least we have perhaps twice the number of
chances of having a surviving media when we go to play back that
And I think we need to begin to think more radically in
every area about what television or video preservation is.
Now, having said that, I want to go back in the
opposite direction and make a more or less reactionary statement
about television preservation. And this comes out of my work
with film preservation, in the first part. But television itself
is a medium which has a lifespan. Forms of television, like 2"
tape, are media which have lifespans. 2" tape is not digital
tape; it is not D1. It is made in different ways; it has
And even though the closest thing to a standard we have
for all of this is a 525 line signal, there are still differences
in the way things were recorded, the way things can be played
back. If you take an NBC color show from 1959 and compare that
to what is being done today in terms of color, you are going to
find differences that are as great as the difference between an--
technicolor print and a modern Eastman color print.
If you look at the kinds of work and the kinds of
effects that artists were getting with 1/2" open reel tape in the
'70's, when they documented performances or when Andy Warhol made
tapes in his studio, you will find a medium which is very
specific. And we can go to those media today with our digital
equipment and our paint boxes and make them look like it was
produced this afternoon, if we want to, but that is not the point
So, the last point that I would like to make here is
that we undertake to convene a panel of video technical and
aesthetic experts who can talk about the actual media which
comprise our television history and who can come up with some
kind of guidelines and standards to guide us in terms of the
television preservation that we do, so that we produce television
preservation which looks like the originals and not like Melrose
Place or Beverly Hills 90211, but which looks like An Evening
with Fred Astaire or Edward R. Murrow (ph.) or whatever the
original medium happens to be.
This isn't to say that the studios might not want to
enhance their video for their further distribution purposes or
for modern audiences, but as archivists, as historians, as
preservationists, our first obligation is to find a way to
capture that original experience technically speaking.
And therefore, I suggest that as a part of our National
Preservation Plan, we convene a body of experts who can start to
talk about and lay out these guidelines for a true understanding
of what television preservation is, above and beyond the idea of
transferring it to another medium which is a modern medium.
That's all I have to say as far as the Academy goes.
And I would like to take one brief moment to suggest that there
is another resource out there that this panel might draw upon,
which is the Technology Council of the Motion Picture Industry.
This is a group of individuals in the technology areas of film
and video production, and distribution and archiving, which are
working on a series of projects within the industry having to do
with all kinds of different technical issues.
And if this panel was interested in contacting the
Technology Council, the depth of expertise--those engineers that
you are going to need--can be found through the Technology
And unlike SMPTE, which is basically a standard setting
body, the Technology Council is actually a project-driven body,
and I am sure that they would welcome a contact from a national
preservation group and be able to provide a great deal in terms
of human resources, as well as ideas and contacts into the area
where you can really get to the foul rag and bone shop (ph.), as
it is, of video preservation and video resources.
So, I would like to thank the panel for listening to us
today. I hope that things go well. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Questions?
MR. HEIBER: Actually, I have a question for Fred and
Jim that has to do with the experience Dan had. This is a little
The manufacturer of the original 2" analog, the
videotape, how does that compare to what people are using now for
the D1 and D2 and Digital Betacam stocks? I mean, just the
actual emulsion and the backing, it is pretty thin material
compared to what that 2" tape was like.
MR. LAYN: Right. The 2" videotape is very similar to
what has continued to be manufactured as 2" audio tape,
essentially the same sort of oxide corrosivities and things.
Current tapes are much more robust. The binder systems have been
improved considerably. We currently have binder systems that we
have been introducing in the last two to three years that we
project will last at least four to five times as long as previous
generation binder systems.
So, we fully expect that all of that will--
MR. HEIBER: Could you put a number on four to five
MR. LAYN: Yeah. We expect now, with the current
generation--I am speaking of audio tapes, which are worse case
than videotapes, because audio tape is much thicker coats, so
therefore you have much more binder to break down. And in this
particular situation, we project a 40 to 50 year life for these
tapes, if they are just adequately stored.
MR. HEIBER: That's analog tape?
MR. LAYN: Analog tape.
MR. HEIBER: What about the digital tape?
MR. LAYN: Digital tape, I fully believe that the
formats will be long gone before you have any concern whatsoever
about the integrity of the tape.
We have a very interesting story from KNES (ph.), the
French Space Agency, who has data gathering operations all around
the world, in the South Pacific, for example, and other very
challenging environments. They presented a paper at an archival
conference in London last year where they stated that they have
yet to lose a tape because of the tape failing, but they have
lost many tapes, not only because they lost the machines, but
also because they lost the software to interpret the digital
This is something that most people do not consider when
new generation software comes out; it is not often retro. So, we
have a lot of problems with getting new generation digital--
people think that automatically, "If it is digital, I am going to
be able to find the files and interpret them." This has not
proven to be the case. And I think it is a very grave concern
for the all be digital world. It is not a panacea.
MR. RICHMOND: I would like to pick up on something
that Michael was talking about. I am speaking here as a curator
for a public archive.
One of the things, obviously, that I think that the
plan that the Library is putting together will have to address,
even if the answer becomes "there is no answer," is for archives
that don't have the kinds of resources that a lot of studios have
or other companies have, what does it mean to say you have
preserved video tape? What does it mean to say you have
preserved a television collection?
I believe very sincerely in preservation as a process,
but in the video area, it feels more like a treadmill, because we
are constantly flooded with new formats, as you have all spoken
to. And it is really unclear what a small archive should do--a
public archive, with limited resources--you have got some
valuable videotape materials on whatever the format is, 2", 1",
whatever; you have got the equipment, let's assume.
Obviously, equipment obsolescence is emerging as a
major problem that has to be dealt with. But let's assume you
have got some means of playing the tape. What do you transfer
to? Because as Michael, I think, was pointing out, there are
very few public archives out there that could afford to go back
every seven years or every ten years and reinspect all of their
video materials and retransfer them to whatever the next current
Is there any advice you can give or any suggestions you
can give on how this group could begin to try to approach that
problem in terms of coming up with recommendations or guidelines
for those many, many archives out there that face this on a daily
MR. WHEELER: I was going to say, my favorite format,
and relatively inexpensive, is the Betacam SP format, which there
is tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of machines
out there. And that's part of the thing about equipment
obsolescence; the more equipment you have out there, the less
likely it is going to be obsolete. I like the D3 format also,
because it is relatively inexpensive, but there is not as much
equipment out there. The D3 is digital, so that's the big
advantage from an archival viewpoint. Betacam SP is analog, so
you lose a generation.
So, it is a trade-off. But the Betacam SP is much
cheaper. You can get one for about $10,000, a machine; whereas,
a D3 is about $30,000. So, that's a big problem. And any copy
anyone would do, I would make sure you check with the tape
manufacturer and make sure that that is an archival tape, that
that is a tape with a good binder, that the company will back it
up, will say, yes, this is an archival quality tape.
MR. RICHMOND: With a format like Betacam SP, what
would you estimate its life expectancy is, in terms of it
continuing to be a major format that is manufactured with
equipment to back it up?
MR. WHEELER: I have no way of--
MR. LAYN: It is already shrinking. Digital Betacam is
definitely coming much more to the fore. It is tough to hang
your hat on any format. If we are to pick, it is a moving
target; it is going to change. It is not the best of all
possible worlds; we recognize that.
Unfortunately, formats tend to go to cheaper, smaller
formats. Cheaper formats drive out more expensive. Plain and
simple. That's the rule of economics in this business. These
cheaper formats also are generally more compact. Well,
unfortunately, more compact means that any physical damage that
you do to a piece of tape means that you have lost much more
information than something that is spread out.
We used to have a wonderful visual that we do for audio
archiving, where the tendency now is a lot of people like to
archive to DAT. We don't consider that a very prudent move in
the long run. One of the favorite visuals is we hold up a 1/2"
by 30" piece of analog audio tape, and then we hold up a 1/3" by
1/8". And that is the same information. A DAT tape is 1/3 of an
inch by 1/8 of an inch, versus 1/2 inch by 30 inches.
So, you can see that there is no free lunch in this
particular thing. You can, of course, trade size, which is very
important for any archive. It is expensive to keep archival
conditions, so size is a consideration. But it also goes against
the grain of what makes it more long-lasting overall.
MR. SULLIVAN: One of the things that most of the
customers that we have dealt with--not only in our own archive
but outside organizations that have come to us to transfer their
libraries--most of them have gone to serial Digital Betacam
because they want to get into a serial digital component medium,
because they know that whatever they have to transfer to next
there is going to be a minimum loss. And they are all--in fact,
I can't think of one yet that has asked us to process or improve
Yes, they don't want banding, and they want the
dropouts repaired, which you would have done in 2" tape before,
but they really want it transferred as it is. In fact, a lot of
this material from Goodson went to the Sony Game Show Channel,
and when we first started there, we were getting a lot of tapes
rejected, saying, "Oh, the picture isn't very good." The problem
is that the young kids that were looking at it over there have
been QCing, quality control checking, tapes that were made with
digital chip cameras and recorded on D1 machines, and now they
are looking at--the pictures didn't look like that 40 years ago.
And this is 40-year-old tape.
I wish we had a better solution than recording it onto
the best digital format that you can get your hands on right now.
I know that is not a panacea. Yes, you are probably going to
have to transfer it again somewhere later down the line. I wish
we could come up with some archival process that would last
forever, but until they repeal the laws of physics, I don't think
that is going to happen.
MR. TABB: Betsy.
MS. McLANE: Yes. I have a question for Mr. Sullivan.
You answered part of it now in your last statement, by saying why
Mark Goodson was paying you to transfer all of this material.
I am interested in if someone comes to you with this
kind of project to transfer, what does it cost to do this?
MR. SULLIVAN: It depends on how many copies they want
made and whether or not they want every tape to be 100 percent
viewed and QC'd--
MS. McLANE: Well, approximately, to do these 34,637
MR. SULLIVAN: It seems to me like that was about--I
don't remember the total number--it was a million-and-a-half
dollars, something like that.
MS. McLANE: So, it is a huge amount of money.
MR. SULLIVAN: To do that many programs. But I mean,
MS. McLANE: To do that much.
MR. SULLIVAN: --34,000 half-hour or hour shows. They
also had--they had a number of goals in mind. One was to produce
some shows to go to the Sony Game Show Channel; the other was to
consolidate and preserve their own library, which was of great
value to them, and also to reduce their storage costs. So, where
half-hour shows were concerned, we put three half-hour shows on
90-minute Digital Beta tapes. So, not only did you shrink it
physically from the 2" tape, to go to 1/2" tape, but you put
three programs on each 1/2" tape.
And over at Producer Services, where they had their
stuff stored last--
MS. McLANE: They cut their cost.
MR. SULLIVAN: --they went literally from a space that
was as wide as this room and as deep as I am to that wall, where
they had their 2" tapes stored, to now they have one aisle where
their digital tapes are stored.
MS. McLANE: Okay. So, for an organization like
Goodson Productions, they obviously made a decision that they
want to preserve this and they are going to hire you to go out
and to do this. Within CBS, what kind of decisions are--how do
they make decisions about what is preserved and what is not?
MR. SULLIVAN: In CBS, we have set out on a program to
preserve as much as we can, to go back to the older shows. We
have just shipped out 100,000 reels of film and some tape from
our warehouse in New Jersey. And we are in the process of
cataloging that and will be transferring that to Digital Beta
tape over the next couple of years, to get that into--at least we
want to get everything into one format, so that when you begin to
copy it, at least you can set up a fairly efficient process of
recopying it when that becomes necessary.
So, our goal now is to get all of our holdings from the
Entertainment Division copied onto serial Digital Beta tape.
Where film is concerned, they are still going to archive and hang
onto the negatives. Where videotape is concerned, where you are
moving up and the machinery is going to go away, it is a
different situation. So, there they are looking to get the tapes
transferred to a digital
MS. McLANE: And this is a corporate policy?
MR. SULLIVAN: This was a corporate decision that was
made for the Entertainment Division. I know that the News
Division, who you will be hearing from in New York, and also our
Sports Division, they have similar projects to preserve their
archives, because they are of value.
We see our shows have value not only to what is airing;
we see value in it for the home video market and other
distribution plans that we may not even know they exist yet. So,
it is a future.
MR. FRANCIS: I have two questions. One, does it make
any sense at all for all organizations holding large video
collections to get together with a manufacturer to decide on as
an archival format, with the hope that one can keep that format
in production longer than a format would normally be?
MR. SULLIVAN: I think that one of the things that I
have seen is if you are talking about older material that has
already been recorded, and you can have an archival format to
record it on that's as good or better than what came before,
that's satisfactory. But as technology increases and you get
better recording mediums with better pictures than your archival
medium, to now get companies to take their material and drop it
down in quality to go back to an archival medium, I think that
might be tough to do.
MR. WHEELER: I think you would have to have an
incentive for the manufacturer, and you would have to have some
kind of a trust fund or something set up for the manufacturer for
having spare parts, like 50 years from now or something. It
could be done.
MR. FRANCIS: That's what I was thinking. When you
think about the huge amount of material that exists in
collections, it must make sense to investigate and to see if we
can slow down a little the impact of obsolescence.
MR. LAYN: We actually made a last call production of
2" videotape about 18 months ago. So, as primitive as it is,
there are still a lot of places throughout the world that it
really is--mainly in Third World countries now, and also,
Australia had a fair number of machines--you would be surprised
at the number of machines out there, Dan.
MR. FRANCIS: The other question is totally different.
I see that SMPTE, ANSI and AAS are considering an archival
storage recommendation for videotape, which would be about 40_
Fahrenheit, 25% RH. One of the things I noticed in the
discussions was that this humidity level would need a longer
climatization period, particularly if we were talking about 1"
tape. Something like 20 days, I saw mentioned somewhere.
Obviously, that makes it very unattractive.
It seemed to be a very attractive proposal, because
there hasn't been an archival standard, in terms of storage, in
the past. But it is very unattractive if you do need to get
access to the material, and have to put it in the climatization
room for 20 days.
Is that an accurate picture of the situation?
MR. LAYN: There is actually a very large war going on
between ANSI and SMPTE on that particular issue. The ANSI
document leads toward the condition that you describe. The SMPTE
document, RP103, recommended practices actually, comes right out
and says, "We expect that you will have to migrate formats
anyway; therefore, you are throwing your money away to have these
In the ANSI document, we have strong representation
from the Library of Congress, among others, who are saying, "I am
stuck with what I have got; I have got to preserve it." It is
difficult. There is no way that you could migrate all the
material that the Library of Congress has to new formats in any
sort of time frame whatsoever. But it is a problem.
MR. FRANCIS: Is the premise right, though? The
question I was trying to get at was if you go down to a 25% RH,
do you really require a lot of time in a climatization room.
MR. WHEELER: I have never done it.
MR. LAYN: Temperatures--you are worried about the
temperature more than you are about the relative humidity. You
do need to stage for temperature, but you do not need to stage
MR. WHEELER: You don't want condensation.
MR. LAYN: Yeah.
MR. WHEELER: That's the main factor.
MR. FRANCIS: I see.
MR. SULLIVAN: I just read a 1962 document that was put
out by 3M, that had recommended long-term storage requirements
for videotape. And it said that they should be stored at 60
degrees, plus or minus 10 degrees, and 50 percent humidity, plus
or minus 10 percent humidity. Not a bad deal, because what you
are really talking about is an environment that machines and
humans would operate in if you are really in that range.
And the fact of the matter is, I think--I am probably
the only guy that has dealt with this much 40-year-old videotape,
and the fact of the matter is the tape really survives quite well
in those kinds of environment. So, spending huge amounts of
money to concoct these great storage archives, with very tightly
controlled humidity and temperature--the thing you really should
turn your attention to is whatever your humidity and temperature
is at you keep it constant. It is the up and down in humidity
and the up and down in--particularly the up and down in
temperature--that causes videotape problems.
If it is at 63_F and 49% humidity, and it stays that
way for years and years and years and years--it doesn't go up and
down--you are going to have a satisfactory storage environment.
Spending a lot of money on trying to get it down to where film
is, you don't have that kind of--to keep it there for 800 years,
I don't think that that is worth the effort. Because in 800
years, I don't care if you put the machines in there with it, the
machines are going to die, just from metal fatigue in 800 years.
MR. TABB: Just one last short question and then we
will move on.
MR. HEIBER: Michael, you mentioned that from a
preservationist standpoint, that all TV should look like old TV.
Do you have any thoughts as to where those old technicians will
be to come up with that aesthetic criteria to create that kind of
document? I think it is a good idea.
MR. FRIEND: Well, you can see some of it when you do a
transfer from the tape, because there are a lot of artifacts in
the tape and there is a look of the tape. When you play back a
1958 2" tape, assuming you can do that, it is going to look a lot
For example, when I played--I haven't gone back to '58
tapes in terms of this specific experience, but with the Academy
Award Shows, we have a lot of shots of Johnny Green, and his head
may be green, purple or yellow, depending on what camera was
shooting him at the time. And I am not sure whether or not the
NTSC Broadcasting System at that time was able to render those
colors, so I don't now whether or not people at home saw him in
three different colors, depending on what angle.
But for modern audiences, when I show my Board of
Governors that tape, I am going to show them Johnny Green with a
single colored head, which will look like yours and mine. But
nevertheless, there is more variation in terms of the way that
something looks, than perhaps we may remember, and that's on the
There are other problems with the tape. And when I
talk about this problem of making it look the way that it used to
look--when we have digital micro-mirror devices and super high
definition projection video and a lot of other things, we are
starting to get into display domains where we can no longer
automatically reconstitute what something looked like. I mean,
the phosphors of a cathode ray tube, for example, may not be
ultimately what it is that is going to be used to produce the
color, and we may be looking at having to make adjustments in
order to make something look the way that it used to.
I am not suggesting that we are looking for artifacts
and trying to make things look bad, but I do think that there are
paradigms, aesthetic paradigms, and also technical paradigms, and
they are interlinked. And we have to be very careful not to
destroy those in the process of reproduction of these things. I
don't think that anyone, of necessity, does that. But I mean,
when I do a tape transfer, once I have got my basic transfer,
then I have to do a digital noise reduction on it, because people
looking at it today want to know what all that fuzz is in there.
It is just, as was said before here, these younger
people--and in fact, a lot of older people who don't remember
quite that far and have big, expensive TV's and look at
videodiscs now--they don't remember what NTSC television looked
like in 1970, much less in 1954 or '55, when I started tuning
in. So, there are things that we can do to protect that record
that is there in the tape.
I am not saying that that is the final stage of what we
are going to do with the tape, even in an archival or historical
situation, but I think it is a consideration.
One of the important things that was touched on here
was the software which is used to recover data. And any of the
programs that we use for any kind of noise reduction is imposing,
essentially, a filter or an artifact which permanently changes
the nature of the signal that you have. It is not recoverable.
You can't go back from a DVNR tape and get what you had before.
It doesn't keep a record of the so-called artifacts that it has
removed. Therefore, it is an irreversible and permanent process.
And we have to start to think about this as we go into historical
reproduction and figure out what we want to carry forward as part
of the historical record and what really doesn't necessarily have
to be there. I mean, I don't think that dropouts, for example,
are things that we have to duplicate when we duplicate these
things. But even the error corrections or error concealments
that are imposed on tapes and transfers can be problematic.
So, I mean, we haven't thought through the issues. I
don't have the answers here. I am raising a question. And I
think we have got to be careful about it if we want to protect
the historical nature of this material. I am not saying that
everybody wants to watch it that way or should watch it that way.
I am not saying that's the way to attract an audience for older
television. But I am saying, as historians and archivists, we
need to be wary of it.
MR. TABB: Thank you. We need to wrap up now. Thank
you very much for this very interesting testimony. We now have
time for the last panel. If you will please come forward, the
educators group. (Pause.)
All right. Let's move into the last panel. Thank you
very much for coming. We will start with you, Ms. Spigel.
Presentation by Lynn Spigel, Associate Professor
School of Cinema and Television
University of Southern California
MS. SPIGEL: Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. I
am Lynn Spigel. I am an Associate Professor at USC, in the
School of Cinema and Television.
And what I am going to read is some sentiments about
why educators are interested in television and would be happy to
answer more nuts and bolts questions about some of the
difficulties in researching it.
In 1948, when the networks first offered full-time
schedules, television was installed in American homes at a rate
far exceeding any prior domestic technology in U.S. history.
Television went from being a rich man's toy to a basic household
fixture. It rapidly became the primary form of information and
entertainment for most Americans. By 1960, almost 90 percent of
the public had a television set and watched about five hours of
TV a day.
Today, virtually all households include at least one
receiver. Cable penetration is approximately 65 percent, and the
average American watches about five to seven hours of television
These circumstances alone should convince anyone that
television is a prime force in the everyday life of our nation,
serving as well as a key instrument for global trade and cultural
Over the past four decades, educators, artists, policy-
makers, social psychologists, politicians, and numerous other
groups have been acutely interested in the role television plays
in defining our relationship to ourselves, our children, our
local communities, our national leaders, and the world around us.
These interests clearly necessitate the preservation of
our televisual past as a source for understanding a major
component of the nation's history and life. As a media
historian, I want to describe specifically the need for
preservation for educators in the humanities.
Perhaps it seems odd for educators to be interested in
the preservation of a medium that has been categorized as a "vast
wasteland," a "plug in drug," or blamed for the loss of family
values, for violence, dangerous sexuality, as well as a host of
other social evils. However, research in the humanities has been
less biased about the medium, attempting to find more objective
criteria by which to evaluate television and the reasons why so
many people in this country watch TV.
While aims vary, it generally is assumed that the study
of television includes the study of the programs themselves.
That is to say, scholars place significant emphasis on the close
analysis of television series' and genres as a way to understand
how these series' have both shaped and been shaped by larger
social, economic, cultural and artistic trends.
As an educator, my goal in this pursuit is to
demonstrate to my students and my readers that television is more
than a toaster or electronic wallpaper. I am also concerned to
show that its relevance in our social world can not be boiled
down to simplistic and overly melodramatic assumptions which
depict it as a modern day Pandora's box that can be blamed for
evils such as violence or impoverished families, evils that are
clearly wrought by men and not by machines.
Instead, television should be understood as a central
tool for the communication of ideas, whether they be ideas about
race and criminal justice--as in the case of Rodney King or Anita
Hill--or whether they be more everyday "common sense" ideas about
how to live in a family, ideas that are regularly represented on
programs like Full House or Murphy Brown.
Moreover, television's power to communicate ideas and
silence others necessitates that we better understand its
rhetorical structures and aesthetics forms. In other words, the
study of television programming allows us to teach young people
to stop merely "watching" TV and start "reading" it analytically
in order to become more critical about when it serves as a source
of enlightenment and emotional uplift or when, conversely, its
messages create incomplete, reductive, and biased ideas about the
The historical analysis of why certain genres have been
produced, why they dealt with certain themes rather than others,
or why they represented women and minority groups in demeaning
ways, sheds light on the whole fabric of social values and ethics
in our nation's recent past.
Looked at in this way, television programs are not
merely trivial commercial forms that can be dismissed by
historians and politicians as bad evidence or false data.
Instead, television programs shed light on our nation's belief
systems and changes in those belief systems over time.
As we enter the 21st Century, media literacy is a
survival tool in an electronic wilderness of endless, unprocessed
data and confusing world events that are beamed in from all
corners of the globe. An understanding of how television
programs have historically shaped ideas about the world, and how
they continue to do so, should be part of the "tool kit" of every
person in this nation.
As many of the people today revealed in this study, the
job of preserving television is quite complex. Much of the early
live programming no longer exists, at least in one place or in
its original form. As a historian of this early period, I found
myself on endless hunts through public and private collections,
looking for materials that might comprise a sample beyond mere
artifact. Because the "text" of television is itself expansive,
the analysis of the entire series, rather than a single episode,
is often mandatory. And because the text itself includes not
only the program, but also the commercials and promotionals
inserted in it, historians are typically eager to get original
off-air programs rather than looking at the edited syndicated
Although there are several prominent archival
collections, any researcher knows that the present state of
affairs makes serious scholarship difficult at best. While
nostalgia networks like "Nick At Nite" rerun classic sitcoms for
"campy" pleasure and show us a few popular hits from the past
with commercial value today, this does not comprise an objective
A historical understanding of television, its
relationship to the American past, present and future, will
necessitate the careful collection of all kinds of programs, hits
and misses, long-lasting series', and ones that went off the air
And also, although it wasn't addressed today, I believe
that we should place some thought into the preservation of local,
as well as national, network programming, which creates a
different set of problems. But certainly, television
historically has not just been national network programming, but
also local production.
In short, then, from the point of view of media history
and its ramifications for media literacy today, the preservation
of television is critical. As so many historians know, it is the
everyday, incidental and seemingly trivial aspects of a
civilization that often tell us most about it.
Finally, preservation of television's past will be a
step toward the important job of educating our children in media
literacy, as they embark on a future that will no doubt be even
more saturated with electronic imagery than we can imagine.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Mr. Caldwell.
Presentation by John Caldwell, Professor
Film and Electronic Arts Department
California State University at Long Beach
MR. CALDWELL: Yes. I am John Caldwell. I teach
television history and video production at California State
University at Long Beach. And I am sharing some sentiments I
have about this issue, as well; not just preservation but access
and teaching about archival materials.
Two stories may help explain my concern with the
current state of video television program preservation.
A few years back, I was transferring and editing a
program master of mine produced in the 1970's. As the tape
played in the on-line suite, what was at first mere dropout
morphed into a diagonal band of video noise that slowly crawled
to the top of, and soon engulfed, the screen. The tape
destructed, its iron oxide sloughed off, and the operator hit
abort, even as that part of my history enacted the law of entropy
and fast forward.
The sickening realization that my original had vanished
before my eyes only got worse as the operator warned me that
substandard tape and sluffing oxide may damage their costly video
heads in ways that I would soon regret.
A few years later while teaching television history at
the graduate level, a classic television program from my personal
collection seemed to start sliding out of frame. Tape tension
problems pulled the tape out of alignment even as the high speed
rotary head shaved off important sync information at the edge.
Stretched and routed, the scene is now also vanished into the
In one case, aging tape damaged equipment even as it
self-destructed. In the other, a poorly maintained VCR in the
educational arena ensured that I could never teach with that
irreplaceable clip again.
Because I wear several professional hats, I teach
television history to graduate students, video production to
undergrads, and am an independent producer, I accept the kind of
hopeless impermanence and entropy described above as part of the
unfortunate parameters of the field.
As an educator, however, I think there are many things
that we can do to improve the situation and to ensure that
perhaps the single most important defining artifact of our age,
television, is preserved and made accessible for research and
instruction on a wide basis.
For years, I bemoaned the fact that important
historical programs were only available to those fortunate enough
to be on site at television archives. Everyone else teaching
television history in the country--and there are now many--must
be scrambling with unrepresentative or skewed samples to bolster
courses that depended more on contextual or background
information than they did on the single most important piece of
historical evidence, the television program itself.
If one looks at the way that many histories of the
medium were written, one finds evidence of this strategic lack.
Historical accounts focused on regulatory precedents, industrial
practices and legal milestones; whereas, aesthetic histories were
driven by biographical anecdotes, personal memory and critical
History is not obviously one single thing to be
referred to, but unfortunately, of the many discourses that make
up television history, the program artifact itself is frequently
written out of the equation. The program is perhaps the most
important piece of evidence to consider, and even communication
scholars that focus on effects, do bad science when they leap
from producer to audience without exhaustively understanding the
complexities of the program artifact itself.
But who is to blame them? The program videotapes have
not been available to them in ways that science demands.
Programs can not be used in systematic, controlled, repeatable
and verifiable ways across the discipline. The kind of histories
and science that we get, then, is also a logical outgrowth of the
archival straightjacket and meager samples that we have been
forced to work with.
But this is changing. For example, the early
impressionistic histories have falsely totalized the early 1950's
as a "golden age" of live anthology dramas. Most recent
scholars, like Christopher Anderson, with access to studio
archives, have demonstrated quite the opposite, that Hollywood
telefilm production played a tremendous role in television from
the very start. Other historians have dramatized the need to
utilize exhaustive archival research in the way histories are
Lynn Spigel, by tying archival programs to the
formation of the post-War home and consumerism; the late Nino--by
exhaustively mapping domestic ideology through hundreds of
While these stand as precedence for how television
research might be done, they also raise thorny issues for the
non-research part of the academic equations, teaching and
pedagogy. If a teacher does not have access to the Warner
Brothers Studio Archive or to the UCLA Film and Television
Archive in the classroom, he or she is left with an outdated
historical notion of pedagogy.
Industrial and technological changes may, however, be
altering the picture. This past week, in a graduate television
studies seminar, several of my students utilized clips from the
complete episodes of The Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar
Man to understand the social context of television in the 1970's.
They could do this because both series' are now in sequential
nightly syndication on the Sci-Fi channel.
For various reasons, even the established archives do
not come close to having this kind of complete collection. Nor
could they ever make it available to every cable subscriber in
Cable's "Nick At Nite," of course, establishes
precedent with its network celebration of classic television.
Viacom's nitch in the multi-channel universe, then, promised to
do what non-profit archives could never do, make enormous hours
of historical programming available to one and all. And this
research has in fact been useful in accessing historical program
text, '60's and '70's sitcoms, in particular.
But the commercial 500 channel universe can not in any
useful sense take over the historic role of the archive and
museum. Bewitched or Dragnet on "Nick At Nite" are not the same
as Bewitched or Dragnet on the nights that they originally aired,
are not, in fact, the same as the Bewitched and Dragnet episodes
stored in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, with ads and
Cable networks work over these artifacts in marked
ways. They are visually branded with network ID's throughout the
episodes. They break differently, are set up and introduced
differently, and have different ads inserted in the breaks.
If one important goal of television history is to
consider the logic of ads and the relationship to programs, then
any kind of original context here has evaporated. All these
factors work to make and stylistically transform older programs,
in the 1990's, into a kind of de-historified, post-modern, retro
programming soup. These are not, then, the artifacts I referred
to earlier that have been written out of the histories of the
1960's, but are hybrids that will permutate forever in an
ancillary afterlife of 500 channel syndication. They are
certainly less useful for understanding the '60's than they are
for understanding the '90's.
I am, therefore, still concerned about the ultimate
impact that will come with the new technologies and delivery
systems. The nitch mythos (ph.) of the 500 channel world
promises that every piece of historical programming will have
some future life--read "economic value"--in the multi-channel
future. One network's strong-arming of the university archives
for advertising its television collection on the Internet, in
1993, shows that the ancillary afterlife actually works against
legitimate educational access.
Whereas news and public affairs were once considered
non-commercial venues produced in the public interest, they have
now been re-commercialized, given the many emerging markets that
have opened up for the networks as a result of new electronic
It is not certain, then, that the commercial imperative
that drives this world will also solve the legitimate, non-
commercial needs of educators for access, research and teaching.
For example, rather than resisting appropriations and
piracy by fans of the X Files, Fox has aggressively entered the
Internet to provide web site materials, both textual and visual,
that appear to meet, and in fact fuel, the needs of their
viewers' customers. Photographic production stills from the
series, available here, are infinitely more accessible than those
available from the studio via traditional hardcopy marketing
channels, via telephone or written request.
But Los Angeles is still, after all, a city and
industry governed by the commercial imperative, where all forms
of knowledge are proprietary. In an industry where everything
can and will be licensed, the concept of fair use might as well
come from outerspace.
As an academic, rather than complain about being cut
out of the action by the industry, as I might have done earlier
in my career, I am interested in considering win/win
propositions, whereby the industry comes to consider academic
insights as valuable contributions to the future of the field.
In many ways, the industry has already begun to place a premium
on the kinds of knowledge that academia produces.
Roseanne does a knowing retro critique of 1950 sitcoms
and regressive gender norms that easily stands in for a
television history 101 lecture. Nickelodeon does an
interdisciplinary cultural analysis of the Ken Burnsey (ph.) and
documentary aesthetic on PBS.
The audience at home laughs, but the programs and
screenplays themselves utilize social and psychological insights
that came from academic histories and cultural studies in the
In the brutally competitive, multi-channel world, then,
historical insights and academic models are now regularly used
for economic gain and programming leverage by producers. A
generation of practitioners are now entering the industry, having
seriously studied television and film history in the university.
This convergence of interests, in a world that once completely
segregated the dominant industry on the inside and the critical
academy on the outside, makes possible a kind of common ground
where both industry and academia can work.
Good television histories, enabled by archival access
and preservation, are also, then, very much in the interest of
the industry. The cache of knowledge that such works provide is
an important public resource in an electronic world that looks
more and more like a volatile updating of the Oklahoma landrush.
Unless we bolster and reaffirm the doctrine of fair
use, the faint pleas of historians and cultural studies scholars
will simply vanish in the same ancillary afterlife that has
Once again, however, we educators need to be pragmatic
about the legitimate needs of the parties involved in an archival
access. How can we protect the needs of producers who need to
prevent piracy, for example, even as archives and museums should
begin to initiate traveling exhibitions and educational series'
on television history for broader populations?
One answer may lie in the availability of the CD-ROM as
a distribution access format. And this may be a real fantasy on
my part, or a hope perhaps, in terms of access and research, not
as a preservation or storage format. There are economies of
scale that make the format affordable. There are CD-ROM
mastering machines now within the economic and acquisitions reach
of archives, museums and universities. And the hardened form of
the CD makes possible a kind of quality control and uniformity
sorely absent on any current tape based systems.
Deposit agreements and negotiations with archive donors
should also stress the safeguards that come with the system and
with limited educational distribution. First, unlike videotape,
the CD-ROM is typically PC based and not easily pirated. Second,
the format does not make recording a wide-scale option for
consumers' viewers. And finally, to ensure both identification
and severely limited use, a standard time code source window
could be inserted lower third frame to protect and limit the use
of the television program on the CD.
While it pains me to make this latter suggestion, given
my interest in stylistic and visual analysis, this feature would
have several chief benefits. Communication scholars and
television historians would have access to the same episodes on a
repeatable and verifiable basis. Second, each video frame would
be assigned a visual time code number for accurate and universal
reference. Third, the archive's source would also be keyed in to
eliminate any confusion about its origins. And four, the illicit
commercial potential of a program circulating in this form would
vanish given this overt visual on-screen identification of time
frame and archival source.
It is difficult to image anything in this form being
broadcast or cable cast, given its altered on-screen form, but
the format would be a true resource for educators.
Unless we as a culture begin to take television as
seriously as our moral condemnations typically make of it, unless
we take proactive measures to engage the issues of fair use and
distribution in the educational context, we will simply let the
electronic landrush configure culture and knowledge for us.
While privatizing may be a tantalizing prospect for
those with financial resources, it will not be the same for those
without resources. After years of teaching undergraduate
television production students in the chronically underfunded
world of affordable public higher education, it is clearer to me
than ever before that this kind of education has a unique
We can, if we choose this direction, continue to enable
the people of California, especially those without economic
means, to engage the new electronic media with terms that will
help them make the media responsive to the people and not vice
Of course, the modest proposals I have made above cost
money, and it always hurts to talk about money. But these
resources can come if one considers the kind of technological and
economic logic I have sketched out above and if one initiates and
continues formal dialogue between the industry, the archives and
the academy. Certainly, facilitating this dialogue should and
could be a public function of government and the Library of
The key once again in seeking common ground and
developing win/win scenarios for both academics and the industry,
and in developing technical safeguards for access distribution,
rests in considering how the vigorous, scholarly study of
television also benefits the industry and the American people.
Archival based historical research of television, then,
provides the kind of intellectual capital that the industry can
take to the bank. An educated television work force is our
MR. TABB: Thank you. Ms. Bergstrom.
Presentation by Janet Bergstrom, Associate Professor
Department of Film and Television, UCLA
And Representing the Society for Cinema Studies
MS. BERGSTROM: Thank you. My name is Janet
Bergstrom. I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Film
and Television at UCLA. I am here as the official delegate of
the Society for Cinema Studies.
The Society for Cinema Studies is the professional
society for the study of film and television in the United
States. The SCS has over 1,000 members, most of whom are
professors and graduate students who teach and write about film
and television in academic institutions. Members also include
independent media scholars and film/ television study
professionals, many of whom are also scholars, such as archivists
and research librarians.
First of all, it is wonderful that the hearings on
television and video are happening now, right on the heels of the
efforts to develop a policy for film preservation. Increasingly,
film and television are interrelated in our field of study.
A national group for the oversight of film and TV/video
preservation and access is a positive step. The value of
television and video materials as a resource for research and
teaching is simply fundamental to the field of film and
television studies. Without television and video materials, we
would be prevented from carrying out our primary mission as
educators and researchers. Our academic field, which is central
to charting the history and culture of the United States, would
cease to exist.
The Library of Congress summary of The American
Television and Radio Archives Act of 1976 states that the
Librarian of Congress is authorized to, quote, "preserve a
permanent record of the television and radio 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."
I would like to bring to your attention the concerns of
the SCS regarding three interdependent parts of this charge;
namely, preservation, access and copyright.
First, preservation. We understand that without
preservation, access is impossible. Ideally, everything should
be saved. But we also understand that we cannot preserve all the
video that has been produced. Therefore, the scholarly community
should be actively involved in prioritizing television and video
materials for preservation and access. Hearings, meetings and
the establishment of some formal mechanism for scholarly input
into the design and implementation of the television preservation
plan are necessary to the process. We urge that this dialogue
should not begin and end with the current study.
As in film preservation, the first steps involve
collecting, documenting and protecting the original videotape.
But there is no stable support for video images, and therefore
the tasks of inspection and duplication are much more urgent than
in the film world. Funding and incentives should be made
available to support the creation of better storage facilities,
but at the same time, we need to transfer important and unique
video programming to the best available digital format so that
its further duplication will be possible without the loss of
image quality that occurs in tape-to-tape analog transfers.
In video, the problem of equipment obsolescence is
almost as big as the lack of a stable medium. Funding is needed
to preserve equipment to play back obsolete tapes, so that they
can be transferred to contemporary formats.
UCLA and the Smithsonian both have large collections of
historical television equipment, but that does not mean that this
equipment is in functional condition, either for playback of rare
formats to researchers (it is said that large numbers of tapes
that are now considered antiques simply could not survive
repeated viewings, as John just indicated; they need to be
transferred in order to be viewable by scholars, teachers and the
public) or for transfer purposes. A public/private partnership
combining the knowledge, expertise and facilities of archives and
television companies might be a good solution, as it has been in
the case of film.
The Importance of Preserving Video Resources:
Television has become the most pervasive form of communication in
American life. The study of television is an important and
rapidly developing field of academic inquiry and teaching. I am
referring to courses in research on the history and aesthetics of
television and video, as well as courses that depend on documents
that originated on TV or video to teach history, sociology,
political science and nearly all other areas of the humanities.
Video preservation also directly impacts teaching and
research on the cinema. The unfortunate reality is that most
teachers now have to teach film history and aesthetics using
videotapes of films. This has become the case at every level,
not only in elementary and high schools but also in many colleges
The many factors which led to this state of affairs are
well known, but cost factors aside, it is no longer unusual for a
title to be available on tape that can no longer be found on film
because the film has been pulled from distribution or because no
projectable print exists and it is deemed too expensive by the
distributor to strike a new print.
This is not just a question that affects American
films. Because we teach and study the history and aesthetics of
the cinema in a global context, video masters of important
foreign films, which are subject to the same harsh laws of the
marketplace, should be held in U.S. archives so that copies can
be made for the non-commercial use of researchers and teachers.
Video Documents on the Verge of Extinction: One could
cite many kinds of important video documents that have been
rendered unviewable because of deterioration or are imminently
threatened with extinction.
The first category I have cited is "News and Public
Affairs Television Programming."
Although a lot of significant news has been captured on
videotape since the 1950's, from about 1975 on, news and public
events have been recorded almost exclusively on videotape. The
three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) and CNN currently hold the
vast majority of national news footage produced in the last two
While we recognize the right of these corporate
entities to own and license or sell this footage for commercial
purposes, we would like to propose that there is a larger
national interest in both the preservation of this material and
scholarly access to it. As educators and citizens, we need a
system whereby this material can be accessed and acquired for
non-commercial purposes. As the multi-channel environment
develops, we should consider adding additional entities to the
current big four.
Partnerships between private companies and public
archives in film preservation have been very successful. We
would like to propose that any television preservation plan
contain three basic components that would constitute the
foundation of a partnership between the sources of news and
public affairs television, the American archives, and the
academic and research institutions throughout the country. And
these components are:
First, the producing and distributing entities should
make a public commitment to preserving the news and public
affairs programming in their archives. This commitment may
involve a partnership with public archives for preservation and
Second, the databases of the network holdings should be
made available on the Internet so that scholars can have
individual and accurate access to them.
And third, a very low cost system of access to this
news and public affairs material should be established for non-
commercial teaching and research purposes.
The second category of things about to be extinct is
called "Video Art."
Video art and artists' videos from the 1970's and
'80's, which documented performances of dance, music and multi-
media art, constitute a significant body of work that needs to be
preserved and made available to scholars and teachers. Many of
these works were funded by federal or state arts agencies, such
as the NEA, NEH, New York State Council on the Arts, California
Arts Council and PBS, a clear indication of their importance to
the arts and humanities in the United States. Commitment to this
work needs to be sustained through preservation.
A recent visit that I took to the Long Beach Museum of
Art, which has a large archive of artists' video work, brought
home the seriousness of the situation. Artists were coming there
to view their own work, which they had placed on deposit, only to
find that their tapes had deteriorated to the point where large
sections or even entire tapes were no longer visible.
Funding had never been secured to catalog or house the
tapes in a properly cooled and dry space, much less to support a
sustained conservation program which would inspect and duplicate
important works before they were irretrievably lost. The 1/2"
video reels which were a mainstay of both the art world and many
community documentation projects are now mostly unplayable, even
if one can find the rare functional player.
One goal of the National Preservation Plan should be to
stimulate the collection, prioritization and transfer of these
The next category in line for extinction is
MR. TABB: Excuse me. Ms. Bergstrom, could I ask you
to summarize the rest of your paper? We are out of time. If you
can just hit the highlights of the remaining points, I would
MS. BERGSTROM: Okay. The highlights are--since I have
already submitted this in written form--the next category is very
important and is "Documentaries," especially since now
documentaries are largely shot on video. The last category about
to become extinct is "Education and Industrial Videos," things
that people don't think necessarily have value, but indeed, if we
look at film, in film history, obviously have great value.
The second part, though, "Access," and the third part
"Copyright," are absolutely crucial to us. So, I really want to
read this part on access, which is only one paragraph.
We urgently need a national plan for preservation that
includes access as a key component. Preservation without access
is pointless, but far too often the raison d'etre of preservation
is lost. Archive budgets usually do not include provisions for
access for scholars. Cataloging and databases are virtually
It stands to reason that if there isn't any access to
materials that have been preserved, then those materials are not
seen. Those materials are held incognito, and they might as well
not be preserved; they might as well not exist. We have to know
that they are there.
I cite the UCLA Archive as an example because
cataloging and access was made a priority there. On the same
database by which we access our library holdings, we can find out
everything that is in the archive. Limited database cataloging
was made the first priority, but at the same time, there was a
full database description project set up. And that really works
and it is really excellent, but it is the only one that I know
And we really need that for all kinds of areas, not
just university holdings. But I am suggesting that we also need
that for news and public affairs, the networks.
This is available on the Internet, the UCLA materials.
Copyright and fair use: this is urgent for us. We
urgently need a strong, unambiguous redefinition of the concept
of "fair use" for research and teaching. We are scholars; we
don't want to infringe on copyright laws. The current sense of
"fair use" is timid, restrictive and very confusing. Today,
copyright laws threaten to inhibit teaching and research and
undermine the free circulation of information and ideas on which
our society depends.
From the existing copyright statutes to the recent
proposals for copyright, with respect to the National Information
Infrastructure, one can chart a massive appropriation of the
space of public discussion by private corporations.
The issue of "fair use" is a particular problem for
"distant access" of media materials via the Internet. Distant
access can enable scholars to do a great deal of foundational
research without traveling to the many sites that would be
necessary to go to in person. However, according to some
interpretations, even sending a digitized image over the Internet
to another scholar, to help identify it, would be considered an
infringement of copyright.
A highly restrictive interpretation inhibits scholarly
exchange at the very moment that the Internet offers the
possibility of global scholarship and sharing resources in ways
that were previously unimaginable.
It is also important to recognize that American media
materials are held in archives and collections all over the
world. The Internet makes it possible to consult a large part of
SCS is interested in facilitating scholarly exchange
across geographical boundaries, and now we actually are able to
collaborate with scholars all over the world, and we need to be
able to do this with documents, as well as with scholarly voices.
There are other factors that impinge upon our scholarly
work. The conditions of deposit agreements sometimes limit
access to materials. Because depositors may not realize the
negative consequences of certain clauses for teaching and
research, it is important for archives to understand that this
presents problems for scholars. We would like to encourage the
collection of materials, which inevitably means the expenditure
of resources, in a way that supports, rather than inhibits,
access and the use of media materials in a scholarly context.
Guidelines could be drafted for deposit agreements that
spoke directly to access and fair use, and that encouraged
depositors to think positively about the research and educational
value of the materials they deposit.
About facilitating copyright clearances: this is a
crucial issue for us. When scholars and others, like filmmakers,
need to obtain copyright clearances--for instance, if you want to
publish a photograph--there should be a specific and clearly
designated place they can go to request it. A mechanism is
needed to facilitate this currently Byzantine task. One
frequently hears that something can not be reproduced because no
one knows who currently holds copyright, and publication or
distribution hinges on explicit permission because of the fear of
possible infringement of copyright law.
We urge that a part of a national preservation plan for
media should include a strong, broad and unambiguous statement
that educational use constitutes fair use, and a cognate
commitment to establishing a broad exemption in the copyright
laws for such use, particularly in the new media and technologies
If archivists and administrators are faced with
interpreting complicated and highly restrictive copyright laws,
they will choose a safe route and deny permission. This
practice, currently prevalent, has been seriously detrimental to
American media scholarship.
In conclusion, obviously, we don't have the space and I
don't have the time to clearly elucidate more here, but I want to
express to this committee the permanent and vital interest of the
Society for Cinema Studies and many other parts of the academic
community in national preservation issues. We generally feel
that we have very little influence over the media resources that
mean so much to us.
As I suggested above, rather than closing these issues,
these hearings should be a genuine introduction to a sustained
and broad-based national discussion about the preservation of
that part of our heritage that is now in such an inaccessible
perilous state. Thank you.
MR. TABB: Thank you. Time for a few questions. Are
there any from the panel? Are we all questioned out today?
MR. RICHMOND: Well, this isn't so much a question, but
just sort of to try to sum up so we know where we are going here.
Obviously, it sounds to me like in terms of educational
access and research access, there are two issues we have to look
at. One is how to--well, maybe three issues. One is how to
simplify and try to facilitate access. The second is how to
expand the amount of material that is available for research and
educational use. And I would think the third, which maybe is
part of the simplifying and facilitating, is to, with the modern
means that are available, start to make it more possible, find
ways that the materials can be brought to the researcher, rather
than the researcher having to travel to get to the materials.
And there have been a lot of different proposals that I
have heard, coming out of different panels, that all kind of
relate to those topics, that are going to have to be thought
If anyone has any specific questions for what was said,
maybe you should go first, because for me, I come from a
university, so I am sold on the importance of education and
research access at that level. And you may not be able to help
me here, but it seems to me that television is also becoming more
and more important at high school and the primary school levels.
And I am wondering if you have any knowledge of that or any
thoughts about how materials should be made available for uses at
those levels, not just at the college level. And I apologize,
because I know I am putting you on the spot here.
MS. McLANE: I can speak to that.
MR. RICHMOND: Could you?
MS. McLANE: Media literacy education in elementary and
secondary schools is of great concern of many people, but it is
very often the very first thing to go in times of hard budgets in
education. So, teaching of television per se or media literacy,
as it is called in elementary and secondary, is really something
that is very, very difficult these days. Which isn't to say that
the material shouldn't be made available to those people that
want to do it.
If I may kind of ask something about what you touched
on earlier, that I think provides a bit of a summation about a
lot of the things we have talked about here today and the
relationship between the industry, the archives and the
educational community. And that is that, as Janet pointed out
particularly, the film and the television and the video, it is
all smushed together in a lot of ways. That doesn't mean that
you don't have an area of expertise in video production or
Hollywood feature film history.
But I think Ray could probably speak to the same thing,
that you teach students video and film, and students study
television and film in most institutions. It is not separated
out. And with the proliferation of new media, which is really
where media education on the elementary and secondary level is
going, this is just going to become more and more and more the
And I would suggest that in thinking about film and
video preservation, although technically they are vastly
different, ultimately their meaning for our culture is very much
MR. TABB: Did you want to pick up on it?
MR. FIELDING: Yes. But I would like to enlarge--if we
have the time--like to enlarge the issue of fair use--the
copyright protection--which Professor Bergstrom has touched upon.
God knows, it is difficult enough to change the Copyright Act,
and the last time it was done in a major kind of way was about 20
Nonetheless, be that as it may, do you feel that
current copyright protection is sufficient, both to protect the
legitimate interests of the copyright owners, but also to provide
access, or if not, then do you have specific recommendations
regarding the revision of that act? I can not imagine, for
example, that the Congress would accept the premise that
educational use per se represents fair use. Do you have any
specific recommendations you might want to make? It is a very
MS. BERGSTROM: I would like them to accept that
premise that educational use represents fair use. I would like
them to accept that premise, because what I run into, and my
colleagues, all the time, is--you see, we don't run into the
question of, well, is somebody being protected enough. We run
into the big "no." You can't see this; you can't reproduce this;
you can't--you know, it is no, no, no, because of copyright. And
it is all very vague whose interest would actually be hurt if you
did publish a photograph or whatever. You see what I mean?
And the other problem is that half the time you don't
even know who to go to. And maybe you should be allowed to see
something but nobody really knows that. It is just very
MR. FIELDING: Many years ago, when I ran a small
educational film production company, I lost substantial revenues
because as videotaping progressed in its technical
sophistication, the school systems around the country were
capable of duping off the preview prints we sent through my
distributor. That's a legitimate form of revenue--a legitimate
interest of commercial enterprises.
In other words, many, many organizations derive
substantial revenue from educational consumption of their
products. And I am wondering whether we can draw a finer
distinction between what is legitimate and what is not.
MS. BERGSTROM: Oh, you are saying, for instance, we
rent films to show; we rent--
MR. FIELDING: Yes. Access is one thing, but revising
the Copyright Act is another.
MS. BERGSTROM: Right. I am not sure that we are
really ready to do that in the next five minutes but--
MR. FIELDING: Right.
MS. BERGSTROM: But that's why--I mean, one of the big
pleas here is that we have further dialogue on--I mean, there are
just a host of questions, prioritizing preservation. I mean, all
kinds of things, prioritizing access, how you are going to go
about this. And how you can get these databases together is so
important. I think we just need to have more meetings and more
input and consider the pros and cons, so that people can speak
for their own interests.
But from my own interest, you know, I am happy to pay
rental for the kinds of things that we would normally pay rental
for. It is not a question of that. It more has to do with
situations like this: you are publishing an article and you want
to enclose a picture in it, but the publisher will say you can't
unless you have a letter saying that this has been cleared, but
you don't know who it goes to, because--you know. Or you can't
get access to a program because you sort of think you know where
it is--you may not know where it is--but I mean, you sort of
think you know where it is, but people will tell you, "Well, no,
that's restricted." And it is all just very nebulous.
MR. FRANCIS: Well, obviously, SCS has a pretty large
member base, and I was wondering whether the discussion could
continue in SCS a little, so that there was a more refined
document that could be part of any report that was prepared. It
does seem to be a big issue in its own right. If the discussions
could continue there, this would be very valuable.
MS. BERGSTROM: Well, I hope that there will be some
framework to which we could contribute such a document, and I am
sure that people within SCS would be very eager to do this.
DR. BILLINGTON: Well, I think you could contribute it
not only to this study, but also to the discussions on the NII
that are going on in Washington. We are in the Legislative
Branch. Those go on, essentially, in the Executive Branch. But
my impression is--I haven't sat in on those, but our people that
have--is that there hasn't been as vigorous a statement of the
position you have just made as might have been entered into that
discussion, and that such statements as there are are not usually
fortified by anybody hiring a lawyer to phrase them in language
which would counter other positions.
So, there are various levels on which that dialogue has
to be joined. And all these questions are being much discussed
and in different fora. But I think I agree with the thrust of
what David is saying, that with a large organization like that--I
don't know firsthand how much you are in the dialogue, but these
are issues that are very live.
As many of you know, the Telecommunications Act that
was signed a couple of weeks ago, it was signed in the Main
Reading Room at the Library of Congress. That's the first time
in 30 years that a presidential signing has occurred there, and
there was a lot of people there. There was a lot of discussion,
a lot of animated discussion.
So, these subjects keep intruding in the public
dialogue. The first time ever a bill has been signed in the
Library of Congress as far as our historians new.
So, I think there is a kind of implicit recognition in
all this that the scholarly--the educational and the archival--
because our whole digital library is an entirely educational
project. That's something profoundly new for the Library of
Congress. We are fundamentally an archival deposit, 110 million
items in all formats. But the digital library represents an
So, there is a lot going on, and I think it is
important that an issue like this, that's important to the
educational community, that perhaps not only your group but other
educational groups formulate rather more clearly what they want
and come up--and in the Washington dialogue, you have to come up
with concrete suggestions. If you feel it is vague and you have
vague objections to it, no amount of dialogue is going to be
advanced very far, in terms of practical steps, unless one has
concrete alternatives and tries to define that.
So, as I say, I don't think we can do it in five
minutes here, but I--
MS. BERGSTROM: If I could just be informed of the
various venues where we might formulate something, because I
imagine you would need to address things differently to different
DR. BILLINGTON: Well, you can call the Copyright
Office, would be a good place to begin. I can give you some
MS. BERGSTROM: Okay. Thanks.
MR. TABB: We are at the end of our time. I want to
close by thanking this panel and all those who preceded you, as
well as my colleagues here, and the many of you in the audience
who stayed throughout a very long afternoon.
I will remind you, yet again, that if you do have
concrete suggestions, recommendations, to make to us, we very
much welcome those. They will be welcomed up through April the
29th, if you would like to send them to Steve Leggett, of the
Library's Motion Picture Division.
Thank you very much for participating today in this
hearing. Comments are welcome from everyone who is here, not
just those who participated in a formal way.
(Whereupon, at 7:05 p.m., the hearing in the above-
entitled matter was adjourned.)