Creating an Online Television Archive, 1987–2013

  • Robert Browning


The growth of television, and in particular television news, has created a challenge in preserving and providing access to the resulting material. At the same time, technology has opened many opportunities to capture this information and make it more widely available. In some ways, it is a race of technology against the speed of content creation. In this paper, we describe a very successful archival project that records, indexes, archives and makes available the totality of the programming of the U.S. based C-SPAN television network, a nonprofit network that telecasts the entirety of the U.S. congressional proceedings, hearings, presidential speeches and other public policy events. As such, it is an archive of unedited primary source events. The use of evolving technology over 25 years has made this archive possible and it exists free on the Internet for world-wide access.

Research Papers