Bentley Library Film and Video Preservation Project

The Bentley Library has undertaken a project to preserve and provide access to historical film and video footage in the library's collections. Over 1000 individual films and videotapes (ranging from 30 seconds to over an hour in length) were selected for digitization. The films included newsreel type footage, home movies, professionally produced political ads, television programs produced by the University of Michigan Television Center (Michigan Media) and a wide range of documentary footage.


Michigan On The March
Digitizing was done by SceneSavers of Covington, KY. Preservation master tapes (Digital Beta), digital masters of selected film and DVD and streaming files (flash) of all films were produced. The DVDs are available for use in the library. Some titles will be available on the internet as streaming files. Others can be mounted on request. The films and videotapes are described in MIRLYN, the University of Michigan library's online catalog and in the Bentley Library's online archival finding aids.


U-M Television
Center logo, 1980
Selection for digitizing was based both on preservation needs and the content of the film or video. The material came from over thirty archival collections of individual or organizations. About half of the online videos are television programs and films produced by the U-M Television Center and the Audio-Visual Education Center. The Television Center, founded in 1950, was not a broadcast station, but a producer of educational programming that was broadcast by commercial stations across the country. The TV Center also filmed events on campus that became part of its "archives film" collection.