'Vanderbilt Television News Archive' Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Posted at 8:09 AM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 09:10:36-04

When we look back at major events and moments that changed history, often times, we think of television. But is anyone saving all that footage? Turns out, Vanderbilt University has been doing that for decades.  

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Created in 1968 by co-founder Paul Simpson, Simpson realized that no one was consistently saving the national network newscasts.

What started as an experiment of sorts is now considered one of the world's most accessible collections of television news.

Editor and abstractor, Andrew Pfiffer, has been working in the archive since the early days.

"I was hired in 1973," he said. 

Pfiffer catalogs the newscasts so the content can be retrieved even years later. The visual library has more than 30,000 individual broadcasts for researchers and academics or maybe family members.

Pfiffer says the format has changed from tapes to disks and now "the cloud." But he says no matter the format or the topic, he'll just keep on recording, so we can all better understand our world. 

To search the Vanderbilt TV archives click here