Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Uncommon Knowledge Video Tapes
No online items No online items       Request items ↗
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Uncommon Knowledge video tapes
    Date (inclusive): 1996-2010
    Collection Number: 2001C109
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 125 manuscript boxes, 21 card file boxes, 54 videotape reels, digital files (69.2 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Relates to various aspects of American foreign and domestic policy. Television program sponsored by the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.
    Creator: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired between 2001 and 2011. For the broadcast years, most of the videotapes and audio tapes were acquired directly from the Uncommon Knowledge production staff in a series of increments. Some tapes were obtained from storage at the Hoover Press. Additional videotapes were acquired from the Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco, California and the PBS Media Library in Alexandria, Virginia in 2009. For the webcast years, video programs are received directly from Stanford Video. Transcripts were captured from various websites by Hoover Archives staff. Transcripts were captured by Hoover Archives staff from the Uncommon Knowledge website (http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uk/) and the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine since December 2008. Uncommon Knowledge is still being broadcast; video will continue to be deposited at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Uncommon Knowledge video tapes, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Historical Note

    Uncommon Knowledge is a public policy talk show produced by the Hoover Institution. It features Hoover research fellow Peter M. Robinson discussing national and international economic, political, and social issues with political leaders, distinguished scholars, leading journalists, and others. William F. Buckley Jr. designated it as the successor to his television program, Firing Line.
    Uncommon Knowledge was broadcast as a weekly half-hour television program from 1996 to June 2005. The first four seasons were broadcast on KTEH-TV, a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate in San Jose, California; beginning with the Winter/Spring 2000 season it was carried by PBS stations throughout the United States. It was also carried internationally by National Public Radio (NPR) Worldwide.
    Beginning in 2006, Uncommon Knowledge became an exclusive on the web, offered through National Review Online, FORA.tv, and the Hoover Institution website. The unedited webcasts are typically between 30 and 40 minutes in duration.
    During the broadcast years, each program in the season was assigned a sequential number, and with each new season, the numbering started with the next even hundred:
    1. 1996: 1-13
    2. 1997: 101-113
    3. Winter 1998: 201-213
    4. 1998-1999: 301-326
    5. 1999-2000: 401-426
    6. 2000-2001: 501-539
    7. 2001-2002: 601-639
    8. 2002-2003: 701-739
    9. 2003-2004: 801-839
    10. 2004-2005: 901-939
    After the program shifted to webcasting, the PBS program numbering was discontinued and Hoover Archives staff assigned each program a sequential number:
    1. 2006: WUK06 01-04
    2. 2007: WUK07 01-10
    3. 2008: WUK08 01-24
    4. 2009: WUK09 01-25
    5. 2010: WUK10 01-25
    Host Peter M. Robinson writes about business and politics, and edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest. He has written three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Regan Books, 2003); It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP (Warner Books, 2000); and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA (Warner Books, 1994; still available in paperback).
    In 1979, he graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he majored in English. He went on to study politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University, graduating in 1982. Robinson spent six years in the White House, serving from 1982 to 1983 as chief speechwriter to Vice President George H. W. Bush and from 1983 to 1988 as special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. He wrote the historic Berlin Wall address in which President Reagan called on General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"
    After the White House, Robinson attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where the journal he kept formed the basis for Snapshots from Hell. He graduated with an MBA in 1990. He then spent a year in New York City with Fox Television, reporting to the owner of the company, Rupert Murdoch. He spent a second year in Washington, D.C., with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as the director of the Office of Public Affairs, Policy Evaluation, and Research. In 1993, Robinson joined the Hoover Institution.

    Scope and Content Note

    The collection includes videorecordings, audio recordings, and transcripts of programs. Most recordings represent edited programs, though a few of the webcasts are unedited. Unedited webcast versions do not have lower third graphics (name/title) nor a Hoover watermark, and have a 4:3 aspect ratio (vs. 16:9 pillarbox for edited shows). Videotape formats in the collection include VHS, Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, one-inch videotape, D3, DVCAM, miniDV, and DVD. Sound recording formats are limited to audio CD. Transcripts are file-based (RTF or PDF).
    Full descriptions of all programs are taken verbatim from the Uncommon Knowledge website. Dates listed for each program are the date the program was taped. Where the Uncommon Knowledge web site information differs from the label on a video tape, the label information has been used.
    The two Collections of Programs series consist of programs grouped around particular themes by the Uncommon Knowledge staff.
    The one-inch videotapes usually contain more than one program per reel. For unidentified programs, the information in the container list is taken from the labels on the videotapes. They may contain clips from multiple programs.
    The Program Transcripts series is not quite complete. Transcripts through 2008 were captured by Hoover Archives staff from the Uncommon Knowledge website ( http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uk/ ) and the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine ( http://www.archive.org/web/web.php ) from December 2008 to January 2009. When searching the Wayback Machine, the following URLs were used: http://www-hoover.stanford.edu  and http://www.hoover.stanford.edu .
    Because Uncommon Knowledge is an ongoing program, additional material continues to be added to the collection.

    Related Archival Materials note

    Peter Robinson papers, Hoover Institution Library & Archives

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Video tapes
    United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-
    United States -- Foreign relations -- 1989-