From the University of Arkansas:
The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences has received a $1.5 million contribution from Barbara A. Tyson and the Tyson Foods Foundation Inc. to create the KATV Preservation Project.
KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, accumulated news footage for more than 50 years and created one of the largest local television news archives in the country. The collection, which contains approximately 26,000 hours of video and film, is currently stored at the Arkansas State Library in Little Rock and includes all aspects of Arkansas television coverage, including major news and weather events, Arkansas sports, politics and features on many Arkansans who have represented the state in the national or worldwide spotlight.
The bulk of the footage has not been seen by the public since it was first broadcast, so creating access to the collection will provide a unique opportunity for researchers, students, educators and the public to gain new perspectives about Arkansas history.
Funding from the KATV Preservation Project will support footage digitization, metadata construction, equipment purchases, staff and consultation service hires, storage of original and digitized media, and facility upgrades to accommodate the project.
“Digitizing the KATV collection has been a priority of ours for years,” said Randy Dixon, director of the Pryor Center. “Many of the videotapes are fragile and the collection has been deteriorating with each passing year, so we felt a sense of urgency to complete this project as quickly as possible. Thanks to this gift, we’ll be able to move forward with preserving these important parts of our state’s history.”
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