Update from the Collection
By Ruta Abolins
The Media Archives recently became the new home for the Athletic Department’s film and videotape collection which documents football games back to 1937! We will be re housing and preparing these films and videotapes for long-term storage. This collection is complemented by the UGA Redcoat Band halftime films and videotapes we took in a few years ago which date from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. Take a look at the 1947 Sugar Bowl currently streaming on our web site.
The Media Archives also received another UGA campus collection -- the approximately 2000 ¼” open reels and cartridges from the student run radio station WUOG. Located inside Memorial Hall, the station began broadcasting on October 16, 1972 with a 3,200 watt signal and grew to 10,000 watts by 1977. As of 1994 the station has 26,000 watts making one of the strongest signals for a student run station in the country. The station is run completely by students with assistance from an executive committee.
The station hosts a regular broadcast of local bands called Live in the Lobby. Many bands that became famous beyond Athens have performed on this biweekly concert series. The bands perform live in the Memorial Hall lobby and that performance is broadcast in real time over the air. Some of these programs are in the recently donated collection which features performances by REM, the B52s, Pylon, and Love Tractor. We’re currently inventorying the collection and we will have more information about it as we continue.Margie Compton and Mary Miller, the Archivist and Cataloger for our materials, and their respective student assistants recently spent four days making a general inventory of our collections. You might be surprised to know that, in addition to the gem of our holdings, the Peabody Awards Archives, we hold something around 52,000 items of film, videotape, audiotape, and radio transcription discs in the following categories:
- 16 radio and music-related collections
- 19 television or broadcast collections
- 6 UGA related collections
- 5 collections of educational and industrial films
- Over 20 home movie collections totaling about 350 films
- 4 interview collections
- 2 broadcasting awards collections
- in addition to the 5 million feet of WSB-TV newsfilm
Footage from Georgia "town films."
This is just a preliminary count before doing a very detailed inventory of our archival holdings. In light of the new Special Collections Libraries Building moving ahead in the Regents list, we want to know as much detail as we can about our materials—how they are aging, how many of the different types of formats we have which require special storage, and what we have rights to sell to documentary producers, as well as a host of other concerns.
We are also updating our web pages! We think you’ll find them easier to navigate. They’re still a work in progress, but point your browser to http://www.libs.uga.edu/media/index.html. If you click on “Our Collections” and then “Georgia Related,”you’ll be able to see streaming footage of “town films” of Swainsboro (1947), Cordele (1936) and Athens (1947). We are always on the lookout for films about Georgia towns, so if you hear of any, please let us know!
In addition the UGA related section has the films “Big Campus” which is about UGA in 1951 and a film made on campus in 1939 called “The Green Hand” about the importance of the Future Farmers of America to the youth of America. Local talent starred in this production sponsored by the Sears & Roebuck Company.
You may not know, but footage sales account for part of our preservation budget, so the more films and tapes we can transfer to new (especially digital) media, the more subjects we can identify, and the more footage requests we can fulfill. For example, our recent footage sales for documentaries include:
- Okefenokee Swamp footage shot by the late UGA Extension Service filmmaker J. Aubrey Smith for a National Geographic film about land preservation and the search for the ivory-billed woodpecker
- Footage of Charlayne Hunter-Gault for a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit on women called “Freedom’s Sisters”
- Footage of Miss Georgia and Miss Coffee County pageants from the 1960s
- Home movie footage of camping and national parks for an upcoming WETA/PBS program “The National Parks”
- An audio program featuring the late Senator Thomas Eagleton for his St. Louis law firm’s library