University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the UT Department of Radio-Television-Film Records, 1961-1964, 1974-1989, 2002, 2007



Descriptive Summary

Creator: University of Texas at Austin. Department of Radio-Television-Film.
Title: UT Department of Radio-Television-Film, records
Dates: 1961-1964, 1974-1989, 2002, 2007
Abstract: The UT Department of Radio-Television-Film Records contain the financial records, scripts, correspondence, and field notes concerning the making of the department’s first film production, the Spadework for History series, from 1961 to 1964. It also contains two 16mm films from the series, The Desert and Salvaging Texas Prehistory. In addition, the records contain the business files of the UT CinemaTexas student film group from 1974 to 1988.
Accession No.: 95-200; 95-246; 95-251; 2015-158
Extent: 2.5 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

In 1921, a radio station was established at the University of Texas at Austin to conduct experimental work in radio communication. By the 1930s what was probably the first television broadcast in Texas originated on the UT campus. This spawned an interest in an academic degree program in broadcasting, which was ultimately created in 1939.

In 1965, the School of Journalism, the Department of Speech, and the newly formed Department of Radio-Television-Film became the three departments officially organized as the School of Communication. In 1979, the School of Communication became the College of Communication.

The Spadework for History educational film series was created by the UT Department of Radio-Television-Film between 1961 and 1964. The idea for the project was conceived in the late 1950s to document the River Basins Survey (RBS) archaeological excavations being conducted by the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institute. The six-film series was narrated, co-directed, and co-written by UT archaeologist Dr. E. Mott Davis, while cinematography was overseen by Shields Mitchell. Funding for the project was providing by the National Science Foundation. The films included Salvaging American Prehistory, The Woodlands, The Plains, The Desert Southwest, The Plateau and Pacific, and Salvaging Texas Prehistory.

Source:

"A Brief History of RTF." Department of Radio-Television-Film, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin. Accessed April 25, 2014. http://rtf.utexas.edu/about/brief-history-rtf.


Scope and Contents

The UT Department of Radio-Television-Film Records contain the financial records, scripts, correspondence, and field notes concerning the making of the department’s first film production, the Spadework for History series, from 1961 to 1964. It also contains two 16mm films from the series, The Desert and Salvaging Texas Prehistory.

In addition, the records contain the business files of the UT CinemaTexas student film group from 1974 to 1988, including financial records, correspondence, film showing schedules, film note paste-ups, flyers, and several photographs. Also, two later productions: East Austin Stories from 2002, and The Legacy of Watergate: Why It Still Matters from 2007.


 

Arrangement

The records are arranged into two series:
  • I. Spadework for History film series, 1961-1964
    • a. Administrative files, proposals
    • b. Financial records
    • c. Scripts
    • d. Correspondence
    • e. Publicity and usage of the films
    • f. Individual film records
  • II. UT CinemaTexas film group, 1974-1988
  • III. Other productions

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Davis, E. Mott.
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas at Austin. Department of Anthropology.
University of Texas at Austin. Department of Radio-Television-Film -- Archives.
Subjects
Archaeology -- Film catalogs.
Educational films.
Motion picture programs.
River Basin Surveys.
Places
Austin (Tex.)

Related Material

See also the Cinematexas International Short Video and Film Festival, 1995-2007, Texas Archaeological Society Records, 1929-2008, and Council of Texas Archaeologists Archive of Texas Archaeology, 1960s.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

UT Department of Radio-Television-Film Records, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by archives staff, September 1995.

Subsequent revisions were made by Vanessa Attia, May 2014.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Spadework for History film series, 1961-1964:

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4Y368 Administrative files, proposals:
Film series; negotiations up to award of grant (and proposal)
Spadework for History, catalog of all field sequences taken
Film series; general preparation
Film project, trip journal
Release forms, signed
Financial records:
OGSR papers regarding finances and monthly statements
Travel accounts
Scripts:
Scripts for all films (except #1, The East)
Scripts
Film scripts, all films
Correspondence:
General correspondence [includes E. Mott Davis’s 1989 letter of transfer to Horace Newcomb of the RTF Department]
ASWAN film project
National Science Foundation, miscellaneous correspondence after March 1961
Miscellaneous correspondence inquiries
Inquiries regarding film series
Inquiries after June 1, 1964
Publicity and usage of the films:
News items and other publicity
Film usage reports
Individual film records:
Film 1, Salvaging American History:
Carlyle Reservoir, Ill.; Big Darby, Ohio [includes photographs]
Film 2, The Woodlands:
Business records, summer trip, 1962
East: correspondence
National Park Service
Gaston Reservoir, N.C.
Allegheny Reservoir, Pennsylvania
Miscellaneous sequences in the Northeast
Film 3, The Plains:
Film project; Plains field documentation
Film series; filming plans for Plains
Stephenson interview [Soundscriber record disks]
Drafts of script to use for booklet
Film series script
Film 4, The Desert:
Film series; filming plans for Southwest
Field notes from Navajo project
S.W. artwork [includes a photograph]
Field notes; (Dt) originals Southwest
Southwest work on script
Southwest discarded script material
Film 5, The Plateau and Pacific:
Pacific-Northwest correspondence
Northwest art
Field notes, etc.
Work on script
Discarded script material
Film 6, Salvaging Texas Prehistory:
Field notes
Discarded script material
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2/Film E146 16mm films from Spadework for History film series, 1964:
The Desert
box
2/Film E147 Salvaging Texas Prehistory



 

UT CinemaTexas student film group records, 1974-1988

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2.325/B31 UT CinemaTexas student film group records, 1974-1988



 

Other productions

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3X92 East Austin Stories (DVD), 2002
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3147b The Legacy of Watergate: Why It Still Matters (DVD), 2007