Museum of Broadcast Communications Archives Offline Again

If you’ve visited the website of The Museum of Broadcast Communications lately you will have noticed it has a new layout. You may have also noticed that nowhere on the new website is a link to search the museum’s archives or view the thousands of hours of digitized content. Also missing is the online version of the Encyclopedia of Television (1st Ed.) that used to be available.

I e-mailed John Gieger, the Museum’s librarian/archivist, to ask whether online access to the archives would be restored. Here’s his response:

Unfortunately we have been having server issues for some time now and are working to correct the problem (hence the new site layout). The archives and other resources will be available as soon as we can get them working, but it will still be some time.

So that’s good news even if it may take some time to get everything up and running again. This isn’t the first time the Museum has had trouble with its website. Online access to the archives was unavailable for four or fives months back in 2011 before being restored. The ability to search the Museum’s archives online has been an invaluable resource for me, as I am sure it has for countless other researchers and historians. Hopefully access will be back sooner rather than later.

3 Replies to “Museum of Broadcast Communications Archives Offline Again”

  1. Rumor has it that the 8500 hours of video that were digitized a decade ago are gone. When Bruce DuMont says in the December 2014 newsletter linked below that “we will once again be able to provide public access to over 8,500 digital assets,” what he means is that the original 8500 assets from 2005 have to be digitized all over again, so don’t expect to see the other 90+ percent of the collection any time soon. And since the MBC’s entire collection rests in the basement of a former parking garage — a basement that has a leaky ceiling and isn’t climate controlled — the videotapes containing those original 8500 hours may not play anymore in the old machines like they did in 2005.

  2. I am searching for complete files on the WGN series The Big Bands originally broadcast in the mid 60s. Do you have any of 1/2 hour or full hour episodes.

  3. The archives are back! Ok not really –

    There’s a tab on the museum home page again that says Archives, with sub tabs that lead to

    and, because Bruce Dumont is a legend in his own mind –

    And on the home page there’s a space that says RECOVERY & RESTORATION PROJECT with a DONATE NOW button next to it. Click on the button and you’re taken to

    But all you see is “Sorry, we couldn’t find that item.
    Try searching for another business or item.”

    That page used to contain a plea from Dumont to donate $40K so the online archives – with actual shows to watch, like 6 years ago – could be restored. What a mess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.