alec gifford wdsu television archives of new orleans broadcasting
In 1996 the library received the film and video archives (1948-1995) of WDSU-TV, the oldest television station in New Orleans and in Louisiana and the sixth major station in the South. During the early years, local stations constituted the infrastructure of the industry, and WDSU quickly emerged as a leader. To commemorate the station’s fiftieth anniversary in 1998, UNO Chancellor Gregory O’Brien announced that the university’s moving-image archives would bear Gifford’s name. In addition to WDSU film and video, the library holds film from another local station, WVUE, and films and videos within other collections.
Because the films and videos have seldom been viewed, they remain in remarkably good condition, but eventually they will deteriorate beyond redemption if their preservation needs are not addressed. Sports fans might fund the conservation of early Tulane-LSU games, while other donors may favor public affairs programming such as Sunday Supplement, Byline, or Louisiana Living. Still others will be most interested in documentaries or daily news coverage. The history of WDSU-TV is indeed the post-1948 history of New Orleans.