The Bleier Center holds an impressive archive of entertainment television programs, scripts and history. It includes collections from Irma and Rocky Kalish, Alan Rafkin, Mark Tinker, Seaman Jacobs, Edwin Diamond, Steven Scheuer, James Day and Arthur Unger.
Center staff also conducted an ambitious oral history project which includes videotaped first-person accounts from over 120 luminaries on the founding and early days of television broadcasting.
In addition to the center’s archive collection, Syracuse University’s collection includes programs from the television series “Day at Night,” donated by host James Day; episodes from the first two seasons of “Omnibus”; 20 years of programs from “Inside Albany,” a weekly television news magazine; and an extensive audio collection maintained by the Belfer Audio Archive at the Syracuse University Library.
This is one of the country’s largest collections of television political coverage. Edwin Diamond, a former professor at New York University and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on political advertising, donated his extensive collection of thousands of political advertisements, most of which are television commercials. The collection also contains coverage of Republican and Democratic Conventions as well as televised political debates.
“Inside Albany” was a weekly public affairs program that aired on public television stations in New York State. It premiered on January 2, 1975, and ran until December 12, 2006, winning numerous broadcasting awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in television journalism. The Inside Albany Collection includes programs from 1975 to 1995, covering all of the Carey-Cuomo-Pataki years and issues like Love Canal and the fiscal crisis of 1975. They were donated to Syracuse University Library by Inside Albany Inc. and WMHT-TV to aid those researching the history of New York State government.
This collection contains scripts from more than 50 comedy television series, including several hundred television scripts from Seaman Jacobs, a comedy writer for such productions as “The Joey Bishop Show,” “Here’s Lucy” and several Bob Hope television specials.
This collection, donated by the television writing team of Irma (a 1945 alumna of Syracuse University) and Austin “Rocky” Kalish, contains nearly 350 television scripts, including pilots and drafts, of shows that aired between 1961 and 1990. The scripts are from such popular shows as “All in the Family,” “Bewitched,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Facts of Life,” “Family Affair,” “Good Times,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “My Three Sons” and “Nanny and the Professor.” The collection also contains nearly three dozen videotapes of such shows as “227,” “The Hogan Family” and “Sugar & Spice.”
NYPD Blue Collection
Donated by television producer and director Mark Tinker, a 1973 alumnus of the Newhouse School, the NYPD Collection includes scripts and videotapes of “NYPD Blue.” The police drama, which premiered in 1993 and ran until 2005, was widely recognized for its realism, brilliant writing, exceptional acting and treatment of controversial subject matter. It received more than 80 Emmy nominations.
Oral History Project
The Oral History Project includes a series of interviews with key personalities responsible for the creation and development of American television. The project was funded with grants from the Steven H. & Alida Brill Scheuer Foundation and the Lilly Foundation. More than 150 network executives, religious broadcasters, broadcast journalists and producers, directors and stars from the entertainment world have participated in the project by offering their own special perspectives on the birth of the medium. The collection includes both video and/or audio interviews with Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Joan Ganz Cooney, Dick Clark, Susan Harris, Don Knotts, Bob Newhart, Carl Reiner, Sherwood Schwartz, Howard K. Smith, Gore Vidal and Betty White, among many others.
This extensive collection of television scripts, production and casting records, and various videotaped versions—final cuts, rough cuts, run-throughs and some talent tests—of popular television shows was donated by television writer and director Alan Rafkin, a 1950 alumnus of Syracuse University. Included are well over 600 scripts of shows like “Charles in Charge,” “Coach,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “Love American Style,” “The Love Boat,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “M*A*S*H,” “Murphy Brown,” “One Day at a Time” and “Sanford and Son.” Videos include “Coach,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “One Day at a Time.”
St. Elsewhere Collection
This is a rare and complete set of scripts and videos of all six seasons of the popular NBC television series “St. Elsewhere.” The collection was donated by Mark Tinker ’76, who was a writer, director and producer for the show.
The Day Collection
This is a collection of interviews with important television functionaries which originally appeared on the television series “Day at Night.” The collection was donated by the show’s host, James Day.
The Omnibus Collection
When the Fund for Adult Education dissolved in 1961, the organization donated to nearly every “OMNIBUS” program that aired during the 1952-1954 broadcast seasons. The collection of 245 films, ranging in length from two to 75 minutes, contains everything from ballet to Benny Goodman, from Jack Benny to Orson Wells, from quips by Frank Lloyd Wright to an X-ray film of a man swallowing a candy bar, plus performances by John Steinbeck, Helen Hayes, James Thurber, Edward Everett Horton, William Saroyan, Leopold Stakowski, Alistair Cooke, James Agee and Burgess Meredith.
This collection comprises more than 1,000 audio interviews conducted by Arthur Unger, a Christian Science Monitor television critic for 17 years and special correspondent for Television Quarterly. Included are interviews with Isaac Azimov, Kurt Vonnegut, Buzz Aldrin and Theodore White.