University of Houston Libraries is one of 18 institutions that have been awarded a highly competitive Recordings at Risk grant by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).
Recordings at Risk is a national regranting program funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by CLIR, supporting the preservation of rare and unique audio and audiovisual content of high scholarly value. The program will award a total of $2.3 million between January 2017 and April 2019.
UH Libraries was awarded $23,500 to support the project titled “Preserving KUHT Early Educational Films.” The 6-month project includes digitization of 118 16mm films from the KUHT Collection. KUHT-TV began broadcasting from the University of Houston in 1953 under one of the country’s first educational non-profit licenses, airing both for-credit “telecourses” and enriching programs aimed at a general audience. The films proposed for digitization represent some of KUHT’s earliest productions and are examples of nascent educational and public television. Films include programs made exclusively for local audiences, those intended for distribution to other educational stations across the country, and unproduced footage of the region. The materials capture a unique moment in the history of distance education in the United States and in the history of Houston.
“These KUHT films were leading edge educational media innovations in their day,” said Christian Kelleher, head of UH Special Collections. “The CLIR grant enables us to make them a part of today’s new digital media as well, and with a global reach.”