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C-SPAN Posts Its Complete Archives Online

WASHINGTON: The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network has now made their entire archive available on the Web site. The move comes four years after the network went after YouTube for running with a video of Stephen Colbert hosting the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

C-SPAN has now loaded up 160,000 hours of video, going back to 1987, on its Web site, with widgets for sharing on Facebook and Twitter. The database is now available online; a formal announcement is due on Wednesday.

The archives continues to record all three C-SPAN networks nonstop, indexing them and placing them in the database. Programs are indexed by subject, speaker names, titles, affiliations, sponsors, committees, categories, formats, policy groups, keywords and location. The congressional sessions and committee hearings are indexed by person with full-text. 

Not all the resources are free of charge. All programs since 1993 are digital and can be viewed online for free. Duplicate copies of earlier programs can be obtained and used for education, research, review or home viewing purposes for a fee. Also, some programs are not copyright cleared for sale. 

The Archives began within the Purdue University School of Liberal Arts in 1987. In July 1998, C-SPAN assumed responsibility for the archival operations and the facilities were moved from the Purdue University campus to the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Ind.

Television Broadcast editor Deborah McAdams appeared on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators,” in May of 2006, in the wake of the YouTube flap. The conversation included a vignette about the future of long-form video on the Internet, revenue models and content protection. -- with Government Video