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New Resources Available

a. Vanderbilt Television News Archives
By Gary Handman (UC Berkeley), Resource Liaison

Over the course of the last half century, television has become thoroughly integrated into the cultural and political life of the global village.  Yet despite the increasing significance of television as a form of 21st century history and primary “text,” resources for researching and obtaining access to broadcast news programming have been scarce.

With the recent addition of the Vanderbilt Television News Archives to the roster of CDL resources, UC library users consequently have great reason to rejoice.  Five campuses are participating in the subscription: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, and UC San Diego.

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive ( is the world’s most extensive archive of network television news, containing more than 30,000 individual broadcasts from ABC, CBS, and NBC, captured and preserved since 1968, and selected CNN news from 1995.  The archive also contains more than 9,000 hours of news-related special programming covering presidential press conferences and political campaigns, and momentous national and international events, such as 9/11.

Material in the archive can be identified by searching Vanderbilt’s TV-News Search Database, which currently comprises 725,000 story-level records.  Records for regular news stories include abstracts, anchor name, and story running time.  Records for special news programs provide catalog-level description only.  Materials in the Vanderbilt collection may borrowed for a fee (individual news selections or compilations of selections are duplicated and loaned on demand).  Selected broadcasts from CNN are also available as streamed video (for RealPlayer).

b. Proquest American Drama and 20th Century Drama
By Rob Melton (UC San Diego), Resource Liaison

The CDL has been working to provide access to high-quality digital content in the humanities disciplines. Just within the last 18 months, a dramatic increase in the amount of drama full text has become available due to successful CDL negotiations.

Earlier this summer, the CDL announced that it had successfully negotiated a contract with ProQuest for perpetual rights to two of its new full-text collections (both of them part of the broader database Literature Online).  These are American Drama 1714-1915 and 20th Century Drama.

American Drama ( includes 1,100 texts either first published or performed from 1714 to the early 20th century, offering coverage of American dramatic writing in all its diversity, from 18th century dialogues and rhetorical exercises on moral or political themes, to plays in verse, farces, melodramas, minstrel shows, naturalist and realist plays, frontier plays, and temperance dialogues.

Frequently-studied plays by major dramatists are placed in the context provided by the dramatic writings of lesser known contemporaries and canonical authors not primarily remembered for their dramatic works, such as Louisa May Alcott and Emma Lazarus.  The database can be searched by date of publication, date of first performance, place of performance, sub-genre (e.g., pantomime or temperance play), publisher, and the gender, ethnicity, and national origin of the playwrights. In addition, texts are fully keyword-searchable.

Similarly, 20th Century Drama ( will contain, when complete, 2,500 published plays from throughout the English-speaking world, covering the history of modern drama from the 1890s to the present day. Currently, 238 plays by 25 authors from Britain, Ireland, and Australia are available, chiefly from the period of 1890 to 1920.

The full range of dramatic styles, genres and traditions will be represented, from widely studied and frequently performed plays to important examples of radical theater, regional theater, postcolonial theater, women’s theater, and popular forms such as farce and thriller that are often under-represented in surveys of the period.

The majority of these plays are still under copyright, and are available online in this collection for the first time. Each text is reproduced in full, including any accompanying text by the author, plus relevant supplementary matter such as dramatis personae and any illustrations that are integral to the text. Because of the licensing agreements, there are some restrictions on printing and downloading texts.

All campuses will have access to the new drama collections.