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TV History

Critical Studies in Television: scholarly studies of small screen fictions
Editorial board: Kim Akass, Stephen Lacey, David Lavery, Janet McCabe, Robin Nelson and Rhonda V. Wilcox.


Online resources for television history.




Broadcast History Timeline, from tvhandbook.com.
Milestones in the evolution of broadcast technologies.

Broadcasting History.
Links to online archives dealing with radio and television history.

Broadcasting History Resource Links.
Links to general broadcast history resources, preservation issues and research tools.

History of Television.
Earliest known collection of television photographs and more.

History of Television.
English translation of histoire de la television including articles and images from the early days.

EMC Intertel.
International television history digest. Carries features on television from around the globe.

Memories of Early Television Broadcasting.
Personal recollections related to telecasting in the fifties and sixties.

Television Heaven.
Offering a television history including early pioneers, the first television era (BBC); and the first golden television era in the US.

Television History.

TV Land.
Whimsical and creative tour through TV nostalgia.

TV Nostalgia Directory.
List of clubs, societies and magazines for retro-TV addicts.


Beginnings: original articles


‘What Hope For Real Television,’ from Radio Broadcast (July 1928).


Beginnings: pioneers and technology.


Early Television Museum.
Site dedicated to the preservation and restoration of television receiving and camera equipment from the early days of television.

Earliest Television Recordings.
Recently restored original recordings (found on Baird phonovision discs) made in the era of mechanically-scanned television. Includes early British TV history and the first British televised play.

History of Television: Pioneers.
Online links and resources for television pioneers like John Logie Baird (1888-1946), Philo Taylor Farnsworth (1906-1971) and Vladimir Zworykin (1889-1982).

Television History – the First 75-Years.
Learn about the history of the TV-set design, development and marketing. Useful Index and timeline.

Television System - 1926.
Infra Red Television.

Television System - 1928.
Baird’s ‘Televisor.’

History and Technology of Television.

Vintage television sets.
Collection of vintage television sets built between 1946 and 1959.

Baird Television.
Articles and links to sites on John Logie Baird.

John Logie Baird.

John Logie Baird (1888-1946).
Biography of the inventor of mechanical television.

Last Lone Inventor: Philo T. Farnsworth.
Information on television’s inventor by his biographer, Evan I Schwartz.

Inventors profile: Philo T. Farnsworth.

Official Philo T Farnsworth archives.

Women pioneers.
Women behind television’s golden age.

Vladimir Zworykin.

The Art of Television.

The Development of Television Technology: The Tale of Two Systems;
Television Camera Tubes;

Malcolm Baird, Baird in America.

Andrew Chitty, John Logie Baird: TV is Dead, Long Live TV.
Transcript from ‘Horizon’ special first transmitted in November 1996.

Martin Clifford, Early Television.

Adrian Hill, ‘Eye of the World: John Logie Baird and Television. Part. 1.’

Adrian Hill, ‘Eye of the World: John Logie Baird and Television. Part 2.’

Hal Landen, ‘Birth of Television’ (adapted).

Jerry Whitaker, ‘The Revolution of Television.’

Beth Ann Wilt, ‘Television History: The Beginning of a New Medium.’

Vladimir Kosma Zworykin and Leonard Feldman, Television.




What’s The Story, Pinoy TV.
History of Philippine Television.


Australia and New Zealand:


Australian television archive.

Australian Television WebRing.
Collection of Australian TV show sites, from game-shows to soaps.

History of Australian television.
Profiles major events by the decade. Site also includes feature articles, and classic TV guides spanning more than forty-years.

History of ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company).

History of Community TV in Australia.

History of Television in New Zealand.

New Zealand Film Archive.
Moving image heritage centre committed to collecting, protecting, and projecting New Zealand’s film and television history.”

ScreenSound Australia: Television Project.
Includes news about the ScreenSound Australia Collection. Contact David Hogan (david_hogan@screensound.gov.au) for further details.

TV Eye - Classic Australian Television.
Interviews, detailed articles, episode guides and photographs for most Australian television drama series (including children’s series and sit-com) from the first twenty-one years of Australian television.

Ina Bertrand, Review of Alan McKee, ‘Australian Television: A Genealogy of Great Moments.’


Mainland Europe and Scandinavia.


Czech-TV: History.

Germany: Radio and Television.

The German Broadcasting Archives, based at the Goethe-Institut.

History Image Sound.
The Dutch association Geschiedenis Beeld Geluid (History Image Sound) is a forum for researchers, teachers, television - and filmmakers who use audiovisual material (image as well as sound) as a source for their work. Most of the Dutch and Belgian IAMHIST members are also members of Geschiedenis Beeld Geluid. In Dutch.

Russian Television.
Survey of Russian television industry and its history.

Wulf Kansteiner, AT&T.
Milestones in AT&T television history.

Broadcasting in Chicago, 1921-1989.
Online Museum of Chicago Broadcast History (emphasis on NBC Studios).

CBC Archives.
Reliving history through radio and television.

Chicago Television History.
Comprehensive history of Chicago TV including photo galleries, channels and leading figures.

Colour Television Revolution.
Covers the early days of colour television in America.

History of American broadcasting.
Radio and television.

Library of Congress based in Washington DC.
Search facility to some of the Library’s motion picture holdings.

Media History Project Connection Pages.
Information on museums and institutions, general broadcast history and indices, international TV, programmes and pioneers produced by Media History Project hosted at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC).
The MBC aims to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform and educate. Includes the Encyclopedia of Television with "more than 1,000 original essays from more than 250 contributors and examines specific programs and people, historic moments and trends, major policy disputes and such topics as violence, tabloid television and the quiz show scandal. It also includes histories of major television networks as well as broadcasting systems around the world and is complemented by resource materials, photos and bibliographical information;” News on current education seminars, and exhibitions. Search the MBC’s Media Archive.

Museum of Television and Radio (MTR).
Includes screenings; seminars; and education department.

MZTV Museum of Television.
Includes virtual gallery; and the MZTV oral history project.

National Archival Research Catalog (ARC).
The Archival Research Catalog (ARC) is the online catalogue of NARA’s nationwide holdings in the Washington DC area, Regional Archives and Presidential Libraries.

Public Moving Image Archives and Resources Centres ./a>

Radio and Television History Sites.
Links to online information about museums, libraries, archives and organisations as well as other broadcasting history resources.

Television History.
Useful summaries of the key eras in American broadcasting history, such as early days, and network television.

Television History.
Archive acquired by the Syracuse University library along with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication’s Centre for the Study of Popular Television.

Television Studies.
List of online resources dealing with broadcasting history and television (primarily American).

Watching TV.
Timeline of television history (with an emphasis on Canada).


United Kingdom and Ireland:


Alexandra Palace Television Society.
Historic society dedicated to the preservation of the early years of British television. The Archive, relating to the history of British television, currently stands at nearly 5,000 individual items; and includes: Archive Holdings, and Original Documents.

BBC History.
Includes Research and Collections: "the BBC has hours of radio and television output and sound effects. It also archives key documents, commercial and sheet music. Archive access varies according to requirements and purpose”; and official history of the BBC.

British Film Institute.
Links to television history archives online.

British Film Institute: ScreenOnline - Television History.

British Television History.
Includes history of British network channels (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5).

British Television in the Sixties.
Archive of British television in the sixties.

History of British Television.
Summary of the British television history.

Cult TV: BBC2 at Forty.
Historical Television WebSite (HTW).
"Devoted to the past, present, and future of television in the United Kingdom, this site places emphasis on the programme makers as opposed to the programmes themselves (though some programmes do get mentioned). Special sections are provided for each of the main UK TV broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5), plus features on other topics such as Colour Television and 40 years of ITV in the South are also included.”

Independent TeleWeb.
"This site is designed to entertain, inform and educate, and is concerned with the Independent (Commercial) Television sector in Britain.”

Insight: Collections and Research Centre based at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (Bradford).
Provides online information about the collection, online exhibitions and resources.

Irish TV.
Story of Irish television over the past forty-years.

DMC Irish Television Site. History of television in Ireland.

Transdiffusion Network.
"Transdiffusion is dedicated to using modern methods of communication to educate and inform on broadcasting history.” Including a broadcasting archive for research and educational purposes.

Dedicated to fifties British TV nostalgia, covering children’s TV, adult TV as well as a chronological list of TV milestones, TV people and personalities, and memories by contributors. Programmes arranged alphabetically. Information provided on titles varies but usually includes stills, images, a brief history and credits and sometimes TV theme tunes. Holds clip index and links page.