KATV Collection

KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, accumulated news footage for more than 50 years, creating one of the largest local TV news archives in the country. It is a priceless visual representation of Arkansas history. In 2009, KATV donated the collection of approximately 26,000 videotapes to the Pryor Center. The collection is currently stored at the Arkansas State Library in Little Rock and includes all aspects of Arkansas television coverage such as major news and weather events, Arkansas sports, politics and the many Arkansans who have represented the state in the national or world spotlight. The bulk of this footage has not been seen by the public since it was first broadcast.

Because many of the videotapes are fragile and the collection is deteriorating with each passing year, there is an urgency to digitize them as quickly as possible. The Center is currently assessing the condition and content of each tape and determining priorities for digital transfer. The goal is to eventually catalogue, index, digitize and archive the entire collection into a database. It is a costly and time-consuming process.

Once the process has been completed, the KATV News Collection will be made available on the Center’s Web site. Access to this exceptional collection will provide a unique opportunity for researchers, students, educators and the public to gain many new perspectives about Arkansas history.

Before and after restoration.