CCTV Receives NEH Grant to Support Community Archives

April 19, 2024

CCTV Center for Media & Democracy

Town Meeting TV | CCTV Productions | Vermont Language Justice Project


April 17, 2024


Contact: Emily Brewer
outreach [at] cctv [dot] org

 CCTV Receives NEH Grant to Support Community Archives

BURLINGTON, VT – CCTV Center for Media & Democracy is pleased to announce receipt of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant alongside 32 peer archival institutions across the country. This $49,927 grant award will support efforts to preserve and expand access to audio/visual community history materials in the CCTV Archives.

The CCTV Archives include 42,000+ video programs dating back to the early 1980’s in Burlington, Vermont, a time of social and political transformation of the state’s largest city. Begun as the collection of a prolific local videographer and CCTV Co-Founder, Nat Ayer recording hometown events, CCTV quickly expanded into a collection of recordings by a legion of community media makers connecting community members while documenting local history and culture in the making.

The CCTV Archives exist on a range of media types, including VHS tapes and DVCams as well as born-digital content. To date, just over half of the collection has been digitized. By digitizing these assets, CCTV improves the community’s access to these programs and enables long-term preservation of the programming. Any member of the public may search CCTV’s entire catalog of program listings from 1984 to the present. 

The CCTV Archives contain all material produced by CCTV and Town Meeting TV producers and community users including municipal meetings, election coverage, studio programs, and field recordings. In addition, the CCTV Archives maintain select content produced independently and submitted by municipalities, community members, the Vermont Media Exchange, National Media Exchange, and CCTV Productions.

More than half of this archival collection has been digitized and made viewable online and usable, through a creative commons license, to community members, researchers, journalists, and the general public. The next steps in stewarding this collection are to complete digitization of the collection, to secure the materials as part of the Internet Archive collection, to make the collection more easily searchable and navigable, and to open the archives to more historic community submissions.

This Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant is part of a larger set of National Endowment for the Humanities grants issued to organizations around the country on April 16, 2024.  “From studies of the impact of emerging technologies on humans to new documentaries that lift up undertold stories, these projects show how the humanities help us understand ourselves and our world,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “NEH is proud to support 238 exemplary new education, preservation, research, and public programs that will expand our nation’s cultural resources and foster learning in communities across the country.” 

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To learn more about the CCTV Archives, to inquire about contributing audio/visual materials, or to support the efforts to preserve community history, please contact Jordan Mitchell at archive [at] cctv [dot] org (archive [at] cctv [dot] org) or 802-862-3966 x126.