January 23, 2022

New From the Internet Archive: "Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive"

Direct to “Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive”

From the IA Blog:

We are proud to announce the launch of Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive, a library of news coverage of the events of 9/11/2001 and their aftermath as presented by U.S. and international broadcasters. A resource for scholars, journalists and the public, the library presents one week (3,000 hours from 20 channels over 7 days) of news broadcasts for study, research and analysis, with select analysis by scholars.


Talking with the Library of Congress in 2000 we found that they were not systematically recording TV. Talking with the Federal Broadcast Information Service which was collecting TV for the US intelligence community, we found it would probably be difficult to get the recordings from them for library use. The notable Vanderbilt TV News archive at that time was struggling financially and only captured several hours of television news each night. As a result, we decided to create the Television Archive to help preserve this culturally important medium.

Starting in late 2000, we began collecting Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Iraqi, French, Mexican, British, American, and other stations…20 channels of TV in DVD quality.

When the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, we, like most Americans, urgently wanted international perspectives on the United States. Stunned by the attacks, we tried to figure out what we could do to help.  Seventy-one people and organizations worked together to get one week of TV News up on the Internet to be launched on October 11, 2001. (Bear in mind this is 3 years before YouTube started.) Launched at the Newseum in Washington DC, we made a website that allowed anyone to research the collection of 20 channels for the week of September 11th.

Today, we are relaunching this collection with an updated interface with a conference at NYU.

See Also: “A decade later, the Internet Archive chronicles 9/11” (by Bobbie Johnson, GigaOm)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.