NBC 5 Donates Historical Film Library to University of North Texas

Texas' First Television Station Offers Look at Newscasts of the 1950s, 60s & 70s

NBC 5 / KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth announced on Monday the donation of three decades of historical news film to The University of North Texas Libraries, Denton, Texas.

Thousands of donated film reels from the 1950s, 60s and 70s offer a moving picture history of newsworthy events to North Texas audiences through the years. NBC 5, then WBAP-TV, signed on as Texas’ first television station in 1948 and soon after began broadcasting news by splicing together film shot daily by station photographers.

“’The Texas News’ was a pioneering newscast format developed by a few WBAP staffers in the late 1940s and early 50s,” said Brian Hocker, NBC 5 vice president of programming. “The film in this collection was at the heart of the original television news programs of the day created specifically for North Texans.”

Visiting celebrities, weather news from tornadoes to floods, and scenes of everyday life from drive-ins to traffic tie-ups were all caught on film. Scripts providing context to the images still accompany many of the reels and will be valuable to researchers digitizing and cataloging the archive.

The University of North Texas (UNT) will permanently preserve the film and script images in digital files through their library’s digital preservation network as funds specifically designated for the archive preservation become available.

“UNT through The Portal to Texas History project is doing remarkable work making the past available to university researchers and the public,” said Tom Ehlmann, NBC 5 president and general manager. “We’re hoping our film collection becomes a valuable part of that project and accessible to all.”

“The special collections staff at UNT is excited to work with such an historic collection of television news footage, said Morgan Davis Gieringer, UNT Libraries head of special collections. “The NBC 5 collection at UNT is an exciting resource for researchers and community members. We are happy to help preserve it for the future.”

The NBC 5 film library is being donated to the University of North Texas in conjunction with NBC 5’s move to its newly constructed, state-of-the-art broadcasting and media center located near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Fort Worth. NBC 5 began broadcasting from the new facility earlier this month.

About NBC 5 / KXAS-TV
NBC 5 / KXAS-TV is the NBC-owned television station serving the communities of North Texas with quality news and entertainment programming on NBC 5, COZI TV (Digital 5.2) and online at NBCDFW.com.

About the UNT Libraries
The UNT Libraries has been nationally and internationally recognized for its emphasis on digital preservation. The Portal to Texas History, created by the Libraries in 2002, received the 2013 Project of the Year award from the Texas Library Association and was also chosen as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2012, the UNT Libraries was ranked among the top 20 institutional digital repositories in the world in the latest Ranking Web of World Depositories measurement by the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group of the Spanish National Research Council.

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