TV News & Documentary Archives

TV News & Documentary Archive

Did you know the Wayback Machine has a searchable TV News Archive with 1.7 million TV shows? In case you didn’t know, the Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the web. It was launched in 2001 by the Internet Archive. While exploring the TV News Archive I discovered everything from news clips, Bugs Bunny cartoons, a PSA touting Home Movie Day to name a few. So what? The last thing we need is another internet time waster, but this is quite a resource for researchers and it is commercial free. Search the TV News Archives.

Documentary Streaming Site

Another site called is the oldest streaming site in the US. It’s mission is to preserve hard to find documentaries about ordinary Americans and folk culture. Many of the films are long form docs made by independent filmmakers working in 16 mm film from the 1960s through the 1990s. This non-profit is supported by grants. A film I discovered is called “Good Mornin’ Blues (1978)” which showcases Delta blues. Great music and story.

Another film is called “The Cameraman Has Visited Our Town.” See the film. In the 1930s and 40s there was a man who would go town to various small towns with a 16mm camera and a projector and make neighborhood films for neighborhood people. He would rent a local theater to show his films. To finance the operation he made commercials for local businesses which were included in the films. He experimented with camera tricks of all kinds like time lapse and reverse motion. H. Lee Waters was the consummate independent filmmaker – handling production, distribution, and exhibition.

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