Eugene, Ore. – (Nov. 25, 2013) – The University of Oregon has received a broadcast archive and intellectual property rights from Chambers Communications Corp. of KEZI-TV news and UO sports broadcasts. The videotapes stored in 450 cardboard boxes hold more than 5,000 hours of footage from 1960 to 2008. The collection has been appraised at over $1 million.
“On behalf of the entire university, I’d like to thank Chambers Communications — for keeping this irreplaceable record of our community’s history and for making this generous gift to the University of Oregon,” said Philip H. Knight Dean of Libraries Deborah Carver. “We intend to steward this gift responsibly and work to unlock its potential by making it available to students, faculty and the community.”
Chambers was an early leader in UO athletic sports production, creating hundreds of hours of Oregon Ducks programming each year for broadcast on its ABC television affiliates and other outlets across the state for the Oregon Sports Network. Chambers also produced the first several seasons of DuckVision, utilizing fiber optic technology from the Chambers Media Center to the big screen in Autzen Stadium.
“This is a priceless treasure for the archives, the university, and the entire community,” said Carver. “We know some of what’s on these tapes. The athletics archive includes Steve Prefontaine, Bill Bowerman, and the Kamikaze Kids. The archives also include historical news stories featuring political figures such as Tom McCall, Wayne Morse and Mark Hatfield.”
Chambers, a longtime corporate partner, has given generously to UO athletics, the Lundquist College of Business, the Oregon Bach Festival, the School of Journalism and Communication, and other areas. The company provides student internships and partners with the university, including collaboration with journalism faculty members to give students real-world production experience in broadcast news, promotions and commercial production.
“As life goes on, you give back to the institutions and things that helped shaped you and gave you the start in your career or in life,” said Chambers Communications Corp. CEO Scott Chambers.
“I felt like the timing was right from two angles. First, the university had people studying archival storage and how to best store material in a digital form. Second, it was a space issue on our side. We were doing some moving and remodeling. The idea of moving it but making sure it got moved and stored properly made it seem like the right time to put it in the university’s hands.”
Chambers is a member of the SOJC’s Journalism Advancement Council and serves on the advisory board of the UO’s Cinema Pacific Film Festival. He was also executive producer of “Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story.”
The UO Libraries celebrated the generosity of the Chambers family at a reception Nov. 19. Work will begin soon on the time-intensive cataloging process.
“Eventually, it would be nice to have it available to the public,” said Chambers. “Until the VCR came along, nobody recorded TV. It aired once and went into the archives. There’s probably 25 to 30 years of material that could be very important to families too.”
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.
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