KXAS Donates Historical Film Library To University

NBC O&O KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth (DMA 5) is donating 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. KXAS, then WBAP-TV, signed on as Texas’ first television station in 1948.

The Texas News was a pioneering newscast format developed by a few WBAP staffers in the late 1940s and early ’50s,” said Brian Hocker, KXAS VP 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 available 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, KXAS president-GM. “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 KXAS film library is being donated to the University of North Texas in conjunction with the station’s move to its newly constructed, state-of-the-art broadcasting and media center located near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Fort Worth. KXAS began broadcasting from the new facility earlier this month.

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Adam Causey says:

November 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Wonderful project! Who knew back then that TV was to become a visual history of news and events of our country!

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