The Walter J. Brown Media Archive & Peabody Awards Collection was started in 1995 and currently preserves over 250,000 titles in film, video, audiotape, transcription disks, and other recording formats dating from the 1920s to the present. The archives are housed in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries on the northwest part of the University of Georgia campus. Our mission is to preserve, protect, and provide access to the moving image and sound materials that reflect the collective memory of broadcasting and the history of the state of Georgia and its people.
The Peabody Awards Collection is the flagship of the archives, and contains nearly every entry for the first major broadcast award given in the United States. Entries begin in 1940 for radio and 1948 for television, and we receive at least 1,000 new entries every year --programs by local, national, cable, and international producers. The collection provides a cultural cross-section of television from its infancy to the present day, featuring news, documentary, entertainment, educational, and children's programming. The judging for the Peabody Awards is conducted by the Peabody Awards Office in the Grady School of Journalism from panel of distinguished television scholars, critics, and media professionals. The award ceremony is held every year in New York in late spring.
Georgia history is highlighted in three newsfilm collections. The WSB Newsfilm Collection contains raw news footage from 1949 to 1981. More than 5 million feet of film clips shows the history of Atlanta and the Southeast, spans the entire civil rights movement, and covers such social and cultural events as the desegregation of the University of Georgia. Major leaders and political figures, including Julian Bond, Jimmy Carter, Maynard Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Lester Maddox, Richard Russell, Carl Sanders, Herman Talmadge, George Wallace, and Andrew Young, are featured in the collection.
The WALB Newsfilm Collection contains raw news footage from Albany and surrounding areas from 1961 to 1978. This newsfilm collection covers the Albany Movement of 1961-62, which is considered the first mass movement to desegregate an entire community in the modern civil rights era, as well as the people and events that affected South Georgia.
Footage of Augusta, Georgia can be found in the WRDW Newsfilm Collection which features footage from 1961-1976.
Amateur film, video, and audiotape highlighting Georgia people, places, and musicians can be found in:
- The Andrew Avery Home Movie Collection of the 1940s-1950s
- The Kaliska-Greenblatt Home Movie Collection, which contains footage of prominent Jewish families in Atlanta and Athens in the late 1920s and 1930s.
- The Georgia Folklore Collection of field recordings of Georgia folk musicians made by Art Rosenbaum and the Georgia Folklore Society with more than 1,000 hours of music, interviews, and storytelling and includes rare and lively performances by the Tanners, Howard Finster, and the McIntosh County Shouters.
- The Foxfire Collection contains the videotaped interviews, performance, and music of this Mountain City, Georgia institution from 1970 to 1990.
Other film and videotape collections include:
- Arnold Michaelis Collection of Living History which features interviews with social, political, and cultural headliner interviews from the 1950s-1980s including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
- Georgia Music Hall of Fame Collection
- Atlanta Gas Light Company Collection
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources
- Numerous Home Movie Collections
- Nixon/Gannon Interviews
- Protestant Radio and Television Center Collections
- Two UGA campus educational films collections
- Redcoat Band halftime show films from the 1960s and 1970s
- The Southeastern Regional Emmys