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Guide to the KCRA-TV Film Collection (Part 1 of 3)
MS 0015  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: KCRA-TV film collection (Part 1 of 3)
    Dates: 1957-1982
    Bulk Dates: 1957-1982
    Collection number: MS 0015
    Creator: KCRA-TV (Television station : Sacramento, Calif.)
    Collection Size: 902 linear feet (10 million feet of 16mm film)
    Repository: Center for Sacramento History
    Sacramento, California 95811-0229
    Abstract: The KCRA-TV Film Collection documents the work of Sacramento's NBC television affiliate from 1957 to 1982. The bulk of the collection contains day-to-day news stories, politics, crime, local events, sports, and human interest stories occurring in northern California and the Sacramento region. In addition to daily news coverage, the film includes commercials, travelogues, specials, documentaries, consumer advocacy investigations, and public service features that aired separately.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    The collection is open for research under the terms of use of the Center for Sacramento History, City of Sacramento. The migration of requested film to a digital format for use may be required and may need specialized third-party vendor services. If the Center does not own an access copy, the cost of migration, to be paid fully by patron, will include 1) any necessary preservation efforts upon the original film, 2) a master digital file to be retained by the Center, and 3) a digital access file to be retained by the Center. The access file will be shared with the requesting patron upon completion of digitization; sharing of the master file is contingent upon licensing. Pricing and project time-frame will be quoted upon request. Note that the length of time for migration of the film depends on vendor services and the payment for these services by the party requesting the digitization.
    To request access, reproductions, or licensing from films in the KCRA-TV Film Collection please use the online form on the Center for Sacramento History's web site at: https://forms.cityofsacramento.org/f/CCS_CSH_FilmFootageRequestForm 

    Publication Rights

    All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Center for Sacramento History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identifcation of item], KCRA-TV film collection, MS 0015, Center for Sacramento History.

    Acquisition Information

    The KCRA-TV Film Collection was donated to the Center for Sacramento History between 1972-2019 accessions #1972/220, 1978/084, 1983/131, 1983/144, 1986/106, 1988/096, 1989/032, 1991/051, 2018/013, 2019/011.

    Processing Information

    Finding aid created for collection by Sean Heyliger, May 22, 2019.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Sacramento area's top-rated station, KCRA provided television viewers with locally produced news, special news programming, sports reporting, commercials, and world-wide travel reports. In 1978, as KCRA began accelerating from film to video production, the Kelly Broadcasting Company deeded 25 years worth of film, from 1957 to 1982, to the Center for Sacramento History. The collection is organized into eleven series: Series 1. Dailies Series 2. Specials Series 3.Promos Series 4.Commercials Series 5. Commercials scripts and production notes Series 6. Travel specials Series 7. Radio logs Series 8.Slides Series 9. Weeknight Series 10. Film logs Series 11. VAM masters. Dailies include stories of events and issues of the day. They emphasized the Sacramento region but include San Francisco Bay Area and occasionally Los Angeles reporting as well. Specials include news programs and reports of significant events such as the John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations, California gubernatorial campaigns, and the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Promos includes short clips that advertised KCRA news, weather, and sports programming. Travel reports from around the world filmed by the news teams. They aired independently or were inserted into news programs. Commercials for local business services and products filmed by the KCRA production department and aired on KCRA and other television stations. Commercials includes many national corporations such as Macy's, Dupont, and J.C. Penny's and local businesses are also represented such as Raley's auto dealerships, and Weinstocks department store. Descriptions of commercials are often limited by the descriptions on the film cans, which often use shorten abbreviations or numerical codes. The commercial scripts and production notes series includes more detailed information about the commercials including client names, commercial titles and dates. The radio log series includes news transcripts that aired on KCRA radio over the summer of 1972 and are arranged by air date. The slides series includes still graphics on 35mm color slides that were used for news broadcasts and commercial segments.
    The film logs were the internal inventory of the film collection created by employees at KCRA-TV and include a complete inventory of news stories, their length, and are arranged by the date the news story aired. Commonly used abbreviations found in the logs include MOS = Man On the Street interview, SIL = Silent, SOF = Sound On Film, NSOF = No Sound On Film, MAG/OPT = Magnetic/Optical Soundtrack, and CHAIN = The projector number that ran the film during the newscast. The listed newscasts include NEWSBEAT (11:00 p.m.) beginning on January 1, 1961; CHANNEL 3 REPORTS (Evening, varied through the years) beginning on January 2, 1961; TODAY AT NOON (12:00 p.m.) beginning on September 9, 1963; NEWSREEL (Afternoon) beginning on February 3, 1964; and NEWSBREAK (Morning) beginning on February 3, 1969. The film logs are a useful aide for finding materials in the collection and their air date. The VAM series are an artificial series of film clips that have been assembled by subject and sliced together in a continuous reel.
    All programs were edited and projected on the original camera film. Splices were joined by cold and hot cement splicers, and in later years by tape. Outtakes are also part of the collection, as is unedited footage that was never used in programs. The earliest news stories from 1957 were photographed on black and white negative film. This was followed by black and white reversal, and then starting in the mid 1960s, color reversal. Improved film chemistry met the increasing demand of television programming with a greater selection of color film stocks and increased filming possibilities. The 16mm stocks are: A-DuPont black and white medium speed negative and reversal; silent and optical sound striped. B-Kodak black and white medium and high speed reversal; silent and magnetic sound striped. C-Slow, medium, and high speed Kodak Ektachrome and Kodachrome color reversal; silent and magnetic sound striped. D-Color prints were also made from checkered A and B rolls of commercial originals. E-16mm sound tracks were commonly used as well, utilizing 3M sprocketed magnetic film.
    To request access, reproductions, or licensing from films in the KCRA-TV Film Collection please use the online form on the Center for Sacramento History's web site at: https://forms.cityofsacramento.org/f/CCS_CSH_FilmFootageRequestForm 


    • Series 1. Dailies (KCRA-TV film collection Part 1-2 of 3)
    • Series 2. Specials (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 3. Promos (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 4. Commercials (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 5. Commercials scripts and production notes (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 6. Travel specials (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 7. Radio logs (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 8. Slides (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 9. Weeknight (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 10. Film logs (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)
    • Series 11. VAM masters (KCRA-TV film collection Part 3 of 3)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    KCRA-TV (Television station : Sacramento, Calif.)
    Sacramento (Calif.)--History
    Television stations--California
    Television broadcasting--California
    Television broadcasting of news--California