“Easily the most important and innovative news show on the air, a show that does all the things that television was born to do but never does.”
—Michael Dare, Billboard, August 25, 1990.
“More exciting and genuine than anything on television.”
Extent: 800 videotapes
Description: THE 90’s was independently produced and broadcast on PBS in prime time nationwide, featuring the kind of videos most people didn’t know existed. This was before cell phones, before the Internet, before YouTube, the Daily Show, or “reality tv.” The pioneering award-winning weekly series piqued curiosity and challenged ideas about the world. It built an audience of millions on more than 160 public television stations. In total, 52 hour-long episodes aired over four years. As its title suggests, the series was an ongoing televised mirror of that decade, focused around documentary content but with plenty of music, humor, counterculture, and offbeat politics… low budget, high concept. Each episode was built around a general theme like money, taking chances, war, sex, hemp (marijuana), racism, television, everyday global realities, the street, saloons, addictions, food, kids and learning, prisons, and many more. THE 90’s was created and produced by Tom Weinberg and Joel Cohen, veteran producers of dozens of documentary and television programs. The production was based in Chicago, but videos from hundreds of producers worldwide were selected and shown.
Extent: 100 videotapes
Description: The Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection is a selection of some of the best independently produced videotapes examining international perspectives on life during wartime in the last few decades of the 20th century. These tapes capture the feel and impact of war from the eyes of citizens across the globe and form an invaluable window into the effects of modern-day war. From Iraq to Burma to Zimbabwe to Korea to New York City, people speak out about nuclear fallout, healthcare for Veterans, growing up in a war zone, the fall of Communism, the media’s role in wartime, and much more. These diverse historic materials span six decades and dozens of different global conflicts. They are on-the-ground historical documents that examine the way wars shape our planet and its people.