WGBH makes historic videos available online
December 6, 2007 8:03 AM   Subscribe

"Open Vault provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by public television station WGBH for individual and classroom learning. The ever-expanding site contains video excerpts, searchable transcripts, a select number of complete interviews for purchase, and resource management tools." (Requires QuickTime)

Worth it just for the excerpts from Say Brother, like this performance by Cannonball Adderley.
posted by OmieWise (13 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Hey! I like learning! Hooray!
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:13 AM on December 6, 2007

Along the same lines: The State Archives of Florida’s Film and Video Collection.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:30 AM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yay - thanks, OmieWise!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:27 AM on December 6, 2007

"Open Vault..." (Requires QuickTime)

Would have been a lot more open if they'd used some open format, and if I didn't have to go groveling through the source to find the actual links to the movie file.

/linux user, not bitter
posted by oats at 9:37 AM on December 6, 2007

Still a lot of neat stuff, tho.
posted by oats at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2007

One of the best things about living in Northern New England is getting WGBH as my local PBS. They do a great job. Thanks for the link.
posted by Miko at 10:02 AM on December 6, 2007

I got all excited thinking that some of the classic American Experience episodes produced by WGBH might be available. It doesn't seem like they are, though I will keep poking around.
posted by LarryC at 10:57 AM on December 6, 2007

This is cool and all, but am I the only one who sees GBH and immediately thinks it should stand for 'Grievous Bodily Harm'?
posted by quin at 11:21 AM on December 6, 2007

Nice find! Now I have the WGBH logo sound stuck in my head. Does anyone know what kind of synth that is?
posted by exogenous at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2007

"We're gonna zoom-zoom-zoom-a-zoom ..."
posted by ericb at 11:58 AM on December 6, 2007

Now I have the WGBH logo sound stuck in my head. Does anyone know what kind of synth that is?

No, but more on the logo:
“WGBH's distinctive audio sounder has been aired for more than 30 years, accompanied by different animating graphics. The first such logo appeared in 1972 and can be found on the first episode of ZOOM. The seven-second jingle begins with a bluish green background, with the letters ‘WGBH’ in a yellow Helvetica font zooming away from the viewer. Then, the word ‘Boston’ zooms forward (similar to the V symbol in Viacom's 1976 to 1986 identification), engulfing the whole screen and creating a yellow background, after which the word ‘Presents’ slowly zooms forward in bluish green. This ident is generally believed to be extinct, but it has surfaced on tapes of old WGBH programming (such as the 1970s version of ZOOM, The French Chef, and pre-1978 NOVA episodes) and in video clips. A black-and-white version from 1974 has also surfaced.

The same music is also used in the current ID. The ‘circle outline’ ident, featuring two little lights forming the WGBH logo in orange (once finished, an orange ‘flash’ began behind the outline and changed to reveal ‘Boston Presents’ in its place) began in late 1978 at the beginning of WGBH's national shows and is among the most famous idents such as WNET's ‘Radar’ signature. Sometime in the mid- or late 1980s, this ident, with its jagged electronic tune and dark neon lighting, had been reported to have frightened younger viewers, and in wake of this, was shortened to just the latter half and moved to the end of shows in 1993, when the sound effect was shortened to conform to PBS's desire for shorter station ID's. It is also edited out on some shows with a program's closing credits music playing over the WGBH Boston production card.

The full seven-second music appears in the ‘neon’ station IDs on WGBH itself, along with different animation for the outline logo; one version features the 1993-style version flashing out to reveal the PBS logo, while the other features the outline done at first from the point of view of the tracing line, then zooming out to reveal the 'WGBH' logo.”*
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on December 6, 2007

I love the new WGBH building and the giant LED panels*, a changing Digital Mural that hovers over the Mass Pike.

*- Not all LEDs in Boston cause alarm and panic.
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2007

This is a great archive and it's received a site overhaul and more footage in the past year or so. That makes me happy.

Some of the most interesting -- and chilling -- footage I found involves the South Boston busing conflicts in the 1970s. There's footage of the first day of school at Charlestown High as the first integrated buses pull up and police presence at an anti-busing protest that's full of tension.

The most amazing clip to me is one showing Hyde Park residents voicing their opposition to busing. One man, in an amazing leap of logic, invokes Martin Luther King, Jr and the Civil Rights campaign of civil disobedience in his argument against integration.

And to think this was only thirty years ago.
posted by Spatch at 1:12 PM on December 6, 2007

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