Boston TV Collaborative

Submitted by Karen

Northeast Historic Film is pleased to be a partner in the Boston Local TV News project, a collaboration of four institutions and their local television news collections— the Boston Public Library (BPL), Northeast Historic Film (NHF), WGBH, and Cambridge Community Television (CCTV). The project will create a shared catalog of nearly 40 years of Boston television news from the collections of the 4 partners, covering 1960 to 2000 — a total of 70,000 news records. The collections include:

  • Northeast Historic Film: WCVB-TV News Collection, ABC affiliate (1960-1979)
  • Boston Public Library: WHDH News Collection, ABC and then CBS (1966-1974)
  • Cambridge Community Television: CCTV Collection, (1988-1999)
  • WGBH Educational Foundation: The Ten O’Clock News, PBS (1970-1991)

Northeast Historic Film's WCVB-TV collection contains more than 4 million feet of 16mm newsfilm in more than 4000 cans, as well as more than 500 original videotapes. Over the next 18 months, the staff will be organizing, processing, and cataloging this material in a collaborative database shared by all the partners.

The Boston TV News Digital Library is the first community effort to build a collaborative digital news library, open to the public. Funding has been provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections grant program funded by the Mellon Foundation.

20th-century television news collections have often been overlooked as records of contemporary culture. The Boston TV News Digital Library will be available free of charge to everyone having an interest in Boston’s urban, political, and social history—educators, students, scholars, community groups, and the general public.

To encourage broad classroom use, Teachers’ Domain ( will develop standards-based curriculum resources for teachers and students using these materials; Teachers’ Domain currently serves over 400,000 registered users in 145 countries.