October is Archives Month
You may know History Nebraska for its outstanding collections of photographs, manuscripts and public records, library materials or museum artifacts. But did you know that we also house a large collection of audiovisual materials? Moving images and sound recordings of various formats take up a big chunk of our storage stacks, and their numbers are impressive; For example, we have over 22,000 reels of motion picture film, 10,000 videotapes, 6000 audio tapes and 500 audio discs – all about, or products of, Nebraska! That’s over 4000 viewing hours of film alone!
What makes audiovisuals special is that they can only be accessed by the machines that play them. So HN keeps a stock of now-obsolete playback machines. And audiovisuals can be delicate, so in order to protect them we digitize them for public use. This is a big job – one that may never be complete. But little by little, we are creating a digital repository from our original audiovisuals.
How can you find out what treasures our audiovisual collections hold? Some information is now on-line, through our Digital Collections portal. And we’re adding more data all the time. Excerpts from a number of our audiovisual collections are available for viewing on History Nebraska’s YouTube channel.
Audiovisual Curator Paul Eisloeffel cares for History Nebraska’s impressive collection of reels of motion picture film.