The Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive (MARMIA) has recently acquired the WJZ-TV Collection, including one-of-a-kind audio and video formats. WJZ-TV is Baltimore’s third television station in history, having first broadcast in November 1948.
The WJZ-TV Collection is extremely rare. There are only a handful of network affiliate station archives in the United States that have survived—and even fewer that are this comprehensive. The collection contains work created by WJZ from 1960 through 2000 (the bulk from Fall 1977-Summer 2000), documenting not only the history of broadcasting in Baltimore but that of the city, its surrounding areas, and the nation.
WJZ archival footage has been used in performance art, documentaries, classroom curriculum, and most recently in Netflix’s popular true-crime docuseries, The Keepers.
Jeff Krulik, Washington, D.C.-based filmmaker and director of Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986) said, “As a filmmaker and footage researcher, I cherish the opportunity that local market television provides when the tapes still exist. They are priceless in a world that frequently saw them bulk erased for tape stock. I cannot wait to see what the WJZ-TV Collection has in store, and encourage support for more efforts such as this, to preserve local television footage.”
Other footage of note includes that of media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s early career, spanning from her days in the late 1970s as news anchor to her successful run as co-host of the locally produced and incredibly popular show People Are Talking.
MARMIA’s goal for this invaluable collection is to provide access through digitization, beginning with the most vulnerable items. It will be inventoried and freely available for viewing via the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library. MARMIA will offer one-on-one research assistance to educators, artists, journalists, filmmakers, and the general public in order to utilize the WJZ-TV Collection in new works and studies.
MARMIA is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation and access of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic’s moving images and recorded sounds. The organization offers discounted audio and video transfer services to those in the region, as well as a repository for unique audiovisual materials documenting the Mid-Atlantic. MARMIA firmly believes audiovisual materials are irreplaceable documents of our history and culture. These records have a limited lifespan that is quickly approaching its end. MARMIA is here to help before the majority of the Mid-Atlantic’s audiovisual heritage is lost forever.