Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Paley Center for Media, founded by William S. Paley in 1975, is an organization dedicated to the collection and preservation of television and radio media (from news to comedy shows to commercial advertising) for the sake of discussion and posterity. Throughout the year they hold special events and programs (for the public as well as for industry professionals) in an effort to spearhead an international endeavor to tackle media and technology issues.(1) Fittingly, due to it's concentration on TV and radio, the center's collection comprises more digital information than physical artifacts and memorabilia. Visitors to the center can access these 150,000 programs and advertisements via the center's screening rooms which include 2 full-size theaters.(2)

One outstanding initiative of the Paley Center is "Lost" Programs, their effort to recover broadcasts that seemingly no one took the time to record and/or save. The "Lost" Programs website states that many very important programs are not known to survive, including the first televised Presidential address from the White House. The Center advertises for anyone who has old videotapes, film canisters, or audio reels of unknown origin to contact them, in order to locate more of these lost programs.(3) The website even has a list of specific radio and television programs that the Center is looking for, including The Tonight Show on October 1, 1962, Alan Freed's 1942 radio program, and Elvis Presley's interview on WHBQ, Memphis on July 5, 1954.

The Paley Center for Media houses an essential collection of media. With locations in NYC and LA, that collection will continue to grow exponentially, due to the quickly developing nature of it's contents.

(Image, courtesy of The Paley Center for Media)

1. "Mission & History." http://www.paleycenter.org/about-mission-history/ (accessed Aug 16, 2011).

2. "Paley Center for Media." Aug 24, 2011.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paley_Center_for_Media (accessed Aug 16, 2011).

3. ""Lost" Programs." http://www.paleycenter.org/lost-programs (accessed Aug 16, 2011).

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