WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection

The WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection is part of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (UGA). Located in the Richard B. Russell Building for Special Collections Libraries, the collection is a remarkable treasure of moving-image history focusing on Atlanta and the surrounding region. It contains more than 5 million feet of original newsfilm, both edited and unedited footage, from 1948 to 1981.
On September 29, 1948, WSB-TV became the first television station in the South. Its partner was WSB radio, which began broadcasting in 1922, and its parent was Cox Broadcasting. As the largest television station in Atlanta and the region, WSB routinely was able to send out more reporters to take newsfilm than the other television stations. No other Atlanta-area station saved its newsfilm from this period, making the WSB collection a unique historical resource.
The rich collection covers the civil rights movement, the work and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., and the political careers of Julian Bond, Jimmy Carter, William B. Hartsfield, Maynard Jackson, Lester Maddox, Richard B. Russell Jr., Carl Sanders, Herman Talmadge, George Wallace, Andrew Young, and many others. Information about the arts, business, land, people, politics, sports, and transportation is preserved in its images. Other major events covered include the 1961 desegregation of UGA; the Albany Movement, an effort to desegregate the city of Albany; local coverage of the Orly air crash in Paris, France, which killed 106 Atlanta arts patrons; and Hank Aaron's 715th home run.
An online database describing distinct segments of the original 16mm film is available to researchers. VHS reference copies are available for viewing by researchers and producers on-site in the media archives, and for a fee, research copies can be made for those unable to visit the archives. Licensing rights to the collection are held by the university, and all monies made from the sale of footage support the preservation of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.
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Cite This Article
Abolins, Ruta M. "WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 09 August 2013. Web. 18 June 2019.
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Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries