"Firing Line" Television Program Database on Hoover Institution Website
The Hoover Institution Library and Archives recently launched a searchable database of the 1,504 "Firing Line" television programs hosted by William F. Buckley Jr. from 1966 to 1999 at . On "Firing Line" Buckley debated the issues of the day with public figures of diverse political persuasions, including John Kerry, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Betty Friedan, and Jesse Jackson. Visit the website to stream a video clip of the 1968 show on hippies, “an understanding of whom we must acquire or die painfully,” according to Buckley. Guests on the program are Jack Kerouac, who “started the whole Beat Generation business,” Ed Sanders, “a hippie type,” and Lewis Yablonsky, “a professional student of the hippies.”
The database is searchable by title, subject, guest, and keyword. All programs are cataloged using Library of Congress subject headings. Free-text program descriptions, taken from the program catalog compiled by "Firing Line" staff, facilitate keyword searches and add that special "Firing Line" flavor. Video clips from selected programs can be streamed online, and VHS tapes of programs that have received preservation treatment can be ordered. The site will continue to grow this summer as nearly two hundred more video clips are digitized.
Since the "Firing Line" broadcast archive was acquired two years ago, the Hoover Institution has been working to preserve the collection. More than two hundred obsolete 2-inch videotapes, and nearly two hundred videotapes in other formats, have been transferred to Betacam SP videocassettes. Additional preservation and transfer will occur this summer with the assistance of a National Television and Video Preservation Foundation Preservation Grant.
The "Firing Line" collection includes videotapes of the programs, as well as transcripts, still photographs, preparation materials, and other items.
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