A FORD Foundation contribution of $95,000 to the Vanderbilt University Television News Archive will be used to develop an electronic database for the archive's Index and Abstracts. The database will provide summaries of thousands of evening newscasts to millions with access to Internet - the worldwide computer network that connects universities, government agencies, increasing numbers of corporate users - and perhaps to other electronic networks. The Archive-Internet link is expected to be in place in ea rly 1994.
"With the use of a national computer network, the Television News Archive and its Index and Abstracts will, within a few months, become directly accessible to the estimated 10 million Internet subscribers throughout the the world," said Vanderbilt Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt. "As a high bandwidth digital network emerges in the none-too-distant future, I expect a network user to search the Index and Abstracts remotely, then electronically select and receive news sequences from the archive, all within a matter
Established at Vanderbilt in 1968, the Television News Archive has the oldest and most extensive collection of television newscasts and specials from United States TV networks. The archive's staff abstracts the contents of each broadcast and publishes the abstracts monthly in the Television News Index and Abstracts.
Although the major television networks now keep tapes of their broadcasts, they are primarily for internal use.
The Vanderbilt archive is accessible to the general public, as well as the scholars, artists, and members of the media. Acting Director John Lynch said a telephone call is all that is needed to initiate the process of borrowing a tape.
Since its beginning in 1968, with the recording of the network news broadcasts during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the archive has grown to a collection of more than 28,000 videotapes of regular newscasts and special broadcasts. To watch the entire collection would require viewing nonstop 24 hours a day for more than three years. The archive includes the national evening news broadcasts of ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN.