WSFA 12 News and the Alabama Department of Archives and History [ADAH] are proud to announce a partnership that will help preserve and make accessible to the public much of the station’s historic footage, which spans the decades from the 1950s to the early 2000s.
WSFA’s newsroom cabinets were filled from floor to ceiling with everything from pivotal moments like those from the Civil Rights era of the 1960s to scenes of daily life in the downtown area through the years. There were local sports and children’s programs, even speeches by legislators and governors of decades past.
“It was one of those kind of chilling moments…where the hair stands up on the back of your neck when you see these closets after closets of tapes and films,” [Steve] Murray [ADAH director] explained. “Just the opportunity to take something off the shelf and see a label…related to the Civil Rights movement or to other major public events and Alabama’s life and history really made you, made me appreciate the value of what was there.”
When they were finished, ADAH employees had filled nearly 500 boxes. Murray considers it “a goldmine” for researchers and K-12 teachers who want to tell stories of the state and the South, as well as the general public “who are now the owners of this material.”