Preserving Video History: WTOC’s archives moved to UGA

Published: Jul. 11, 2016 at 11:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2016 at 12:03 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hundreds of video tapes, loaded with stories that have aired on WTOC over the years, are headed to the UGA libraries.

The video tapes may not look like anything special - in fact, finding a machine that would even play them now days would be difficult - but film archivist Margaret Compton calls them a treasure trove of our area's history.

"For years news stations got rid of their tape libraries and film libraries.  A lot of it ended up in landfills.  So when stations have kept their material for so long, it is really important to keep it together and keep it in a place that is accessible to the public," says Compton.

WTOC's collection— with stories and footage from southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry going back for decades—is now on its way to the University of Georgia libraries.

"This tells the story of Savannah in so many ways.  You have got historic preservation, you have got the midnight story, you have got the growth of the shipping industry, really the growth of Georgia," says Compton.

The video tapes will be digitized and preserved for future generations.

"The time clock is ticking on its viability because these materials they don't have a shelf life of forever and once it's gone, it's gone," says Jeanette Morgan, UGA Libraries Gifts Coordinator.

Once digitized, many of the news stories will eventually be available for scholars—and for the public as well.

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