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In Memoriam: Stanley Karnow

Stanley KarnowOpen Vault mourns the loss of Stanley Karnow, award-winning journalist and author of Vietnam: A Television History. Stanley was one of the driving forces behind the multi award-winning 13-part series Vietnam: A Television History. Whether it was on location in Vietnam, or the USA, interviewing politicians, soldiers or civilians caught up in the struggle, Stanley was integral to making the series into landmark television viewing going on to win accolades including six Emmy awards, the DuPont Columbia Award and a Peabody award.


Visit the Vietnam Collection to watch the interviews he created for this television series.

Norodom Sihanouk – End of an Era

Norodom Sihanouk has died at the age of 89 in Beijing. His varied and turbulent political life as King, Prime Minister, Exile led him to be both admired and reviled by the Khmer people, particularly his early support for the Khmer Rouge.

Watch Sihanouk’s film of his return from exile in the early 1970’s, including meeting with Khmer Rouge officials, prior to his subsequent imprisonment by the regime.


Remembering John Silber

By Sadie Roosa

Former Boston University president and gubernatorial candidate for Massachusetts, John Silber, died today of kidney failure at the age of 86. Serving as president of BU for a quarter century, Silber was an important figure in Boston’s history, and he continued to be active in the Massachusetts political and education arena after stepping down as president.

The Boston Local TV News collections cover the span of his entire career, and highlight many of the important stages of impact on the Boston community.

The WHDH collection has the beginning of his career in Boston with Silber’s inauguration as President of BU in 1971. It also contains several addresses he made early in his tenure, including one on American Universities.

The WCVB collection contains a lot of his career at BU, including coverage of the faculty and clerical worker strike that epitomized the tension that existed between Silber and the BU faculty and staff throughout the 70s. There is also footage of him discussing student loan policy and Affirmative Action.

The WGBH Ten O’Clock News collection overlaps with the WCVB collection and contains some coverage of Silber’s career at BU, including him giving an honorary degree to Zulu chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi and BU taking over management of the Chelsea public school system. The Ten O’Clock News also covers Silber’s career outside of his role as president a university. The collection has his views on bilingual education, a discussion/argument with Noam Chomsky on Contra aid, and coverage of his gubernatorial race in 1990 against William Weld, which includes a Ten O’Clock News Special profiling him as the democratic candidate. There is also a retrospective piece in the collection, containing photographs of Silber in his youth, at his wedding, at college, and with his family. Some of the Ten O’Clock News footage of Silber has already been digitized and is available on Open Vault.

John Silber had a large impact on the local Boston community, and our Boston Local News Digital Library is one way that impact will be recorded, preserved, and remembered. The catalog will be online soon to research these stories on his life and career.

The Advocates

The Advocates was a weekly debate program that aired nationwide on PBS through much of the turbulent decade of the 1970s. Policy issues selected by the show’s editorial staff ranged over the many hot political topics of the day, from the Vietnam War to same sex marriage, campaign financing reform, abortion, affirmative action, nuclear power, federally funded health care, and many more.TheAdvocates

Americans are still battling over many of the same issues today, and possibly the simple and civilized Advocates format could serve us well in our own uncivil times. Using a courtroom setting, and shooting often at Faneuil Hall or in the WGBH studios, staff producers deployed an array of impressive witnesses over the years, from Billy Graham to Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, then-senator Joseph Biden, Michael Dukakis, novelist Pearl Buck, Hubert Humphrey, and Antonin Scalia – hundreds of eloquent spokespersons over the life of the series.

We’re excited to bring these complete programs to Open Vault and most feature sync-able transcripts so you can follow along.
Keep checking back as we continue to add more programs.

Complete programs can be found at this link.

The Advocates on Open Vault collection was funded by the Open Society Foundations.  As a part of Open Society’s Youth Initiative Global Debate’s program, The Advocates will be featured in an online collection of debate resources offered by IDEA, the International Debate Education Association.  IDEA is an international network that trains young debaters and inspires informed discussion around the world.  To learn more, please click on this link. 

Connecting footage to history – the story of Mike Benge

As the Vietnam project draws to a close we’d like to share an extraordinary story found in the stock footage for the collection. When we were processing the materials for the collection, we came across a very beaten-up box of rusty and moldy cans that were not listed anywhere in the original production database. They were all USAID (US Agency for International Development) films with little information attached. Once transferred, we found they were films on the activities of aid workers in the late 1960s in Vietnam. One was on Mike Benge, an aid worker in a recently liberated village called Ban Me Thuot. We learned that the village was later overrun and, while attempting to rescue others, Benge was captured and spent five years as a prisoner of war, part of it in a cage and a black box. Karen Colbron, the project manager, says “I was able to track him down and point him to the film on Open Vault. He was thrilled to see it again and shared more of his story with me. This is what I love about being an archivist: the power of the moving image to capture our history and allow us to share such unique and memorable stories.” http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/vietnam-8987ff-mike-benge-montagnards-ban-me-https://blog.openvault.wgbh.org/wp-login.phpthuot-south-vietnam

Steve Jobs on "The Machine that Changed the World," 1990

In this 1990 interview with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for a documentary on “The Machine that Changed the World,” Jobs muses on milestones in computing and the future of the machine as he sees it.

In addition to recalling his first exposure to computers, 35 year old Jobs imagines a world where networked computers change the way humans work and communicate with each other. Here are few snippets of the interview which you can watch in full on Open Vault.

…we’re starting to be able to create clusters of people working on a common task in literally 15 minutes worth of set-up…we’re finding we can re-organize our companies electronically very rapidly… in the 1980s we did personal computing and now we’re going to extend that as we network these things into inter-personal computing

Check out the full, unedited interview here on Open Vault.

How did Steve Job’s and Apple’s innovations change your work life and how you communicate?

Do you remember your first desktop computer?