Woman Recorded 30+ Years of TV on Betamax, VHS Tapes

From the beginning of the Iran Hostage Crisis on Nov. 4, 1979, to her death in 2012, Marion Stokes was recording everything she could on TV, sometimes resulting in as many as eight tapes simultaneously recording. Described as activist archivist, Stokes’ collection eventually totaled 71,000 Betamax and VHS tapes of news broadcasts, commercials and just about everything else that made its way onto TV. Those tapes have now made their way to Richmond, Calif., where they will be digitized and preserved as part of the Internet Archive, while Stokes’ story will be told in a new documentary, “Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project.”

Atlas Obscura has a full story on Stokes and the project that became a central mission of her life.