The Ilah Dunlap Little Memorial Library on the north campus of the University of Georgia in Athens houses the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Named for broadcasting pioneer Walter J. Brown, this collection of film, video, audiotape, transcription disks, and other recording formats comprises approximately 100,000 titles. The mission of the archive is to preserve, protect, and provide access to the moving-image and sound materials that reflect the collective memory of broadcasting and the history of the state of Georgia and its people.
The Peabody Awards Collection is the flagship collection and contains most of the entries for the first major broadcast award given in the United States. Entries begin in 1940 for radio and 1948 for television. The collection grows by at least 1,000 new entries every year and features programs by local, national, cable, and international producers. These programs are entered into the Peabody Awards competition for consideration as “the best in broadcasting.” The awards process is conducted by a panel of distinguished television scholars, critics, and media professionals. The Peabody collection, featuring news, documentary, entertainment, and children’s programming, provides a cultural cross-section of television programming from its infancy to the present day.
Georgia history is highlighted in two newsfilm collections housed in the archive. The WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection features film that was shot for news broadcast in Atlanta from 1949 to 1981. This collection of more than 5 million feet of film clips covers the history of Atlanta and the Southeast, spans the entire civil rights movement, and includes such social and cultural events as the desegregation of the University of Georgia. Major leaders and political figures, including Julian Bond, Jimmy Carter, Maynard Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Lester Maddox, Richard Russell Jr., Carl Sanders, Herman Talmadge, George Wallace, and Andrew Young, are featured in the collection.
The WALB Newsfilm Collection contains news clips from Albany and surrounding areas from circa 1961 to 1978. This collection covers the Albany Movement of 1961 to 1962, which is considered the first mass movement to desegregate an entire community in the modern era, and it also documents the people and events that affected south Georgia.
Amateur film, video, and audiotape highlighting Georgia people, places, and musicians during the 1940s and 1950s can be found in the Andrew Avery Home Movie Collection. The Kaliska-Greenblatt Home Movie Collection contains footage of prominent Jewish families in Atlanta in the late 1920s to early 1930s. With field recordings of Georgia folk musicians made by Art Rosenbaum and the Georgia Folklore Society, the Georgia Folklore Collection contains more than 1,000 hours of music, interviews, and storytelling and includes rare and lively performances by the Tanners, Howard Finster, and the McIntosh County Shouters. The Foxfire Collection contains the videotaped interviews, performance, and music of the Foxfire learning initiative, based in Mountain City, from 1970 to 1990. Other large collections include the Atlanta Gas Light Company Collection, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Himan Brown Collection, Home Movie Collections, Nixon/Gannon Interviews, Protestant Radio and Television Collection, and the Southeastern Regional Emmys.