Scholarly use of the Boston TV News Digital Library

The Boston TV News Digital Library is a true landmark, one of the most innovative and progressive archival undertakings of the young 21st Century. By bringing together news cast segments, special reports, news film, and other televised news coverage materials from the period when television was the media heartbeat of the region and nation, this project recognizes and makes accessible for multiple research purposes a socio-cultural commitment and legacy of news coverage that will help make history come alive and be renewed. more >

New England Aquarium Saves Baby Seals

Baby seals! They’re so cute! I was going to write an entire post mainly gushing about how cute they are and encouraging you to watch this great news story that features several baby seals doing super adorable things. And, I guess, I’m still doing that; however, after a little research, I realized there was more to this story than just how cute these marine mammals can be. The 1975-76 winter was a harsh one. In the late spring of 1976 several seal pups were found along the Massachusetts and Maine coasts, separated from their mothers. A seal pup normally stays with its mother until it is six months old and can live on its own. These baby seals couldn’t survive on their own, so the New England Aquarium took them in and fed them a substitute for seal milk (mainly heavy cream and cottage cheese). The Aquarium didn’t have a team dedicated to animal rescue, so the regular staff cared for the seals in addition to their normal duties. Caring for the seals ended up being an around the clock job. They had to be fed 5 times a day at equal intervals, which meant overnight. Rather than having staff drive in to work in the middle of the night after only a few hours of sleep, several staff members took seals home, and fed and cared for them there. more >

Legal Guide for Archives with News Collections

When local TV stations switched from shooting on film to mostly and then entirely shooting on videotape, most didn't want to maintain their film libraries. Luckily, instead of throwing all of this wonderful historical footage away, many chose to donate it to a local libraries and archives. The problem we face now is that we have these rich collections with their unique local content, and we just don't know what we're allowed to do with them. In most cases, even if the stations kept paperwork, like contracts and materials releases (which many didn't), there's little chance that made it to the archive. So with little to no paperwork and often no stations to turn to for answers (many have gone out of business or change ownership since the 1970s, when this shift occurred), what's an archive to do? Just let the film sit there, rather than sharing it with a public that is most likely curious, interested, and nostalgic? more >

Bruce Bolling, Boston City Councilor

Bruce Bolling was the first black Boston City Council President. He came from a prominent political family; his father Royal Bolling, Sr. was a state senator, and his older brother Royal Bolling, Jr. was a state representative. He was elected to the Council in 1981 and was elected its president in 1986. By the late 1980s, people started predicting Bolling would be Boston’s first black mayor. He ran for the office in 1993, when he lost to Thomas Menino (a race in which our very own Ten O’Clock News anchor, Christopher Lydon, also ran). In his time on the City Council, Bolling was an advocate for the African American community working together and fighting to have its voice heard in Boston politics. In the late 1980s members of the African American community living in Roxbury challenged that position. Community leaders proposed a plan where Roxbury would divest from Boston, and set up its own municipality called Mandela. more >