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  • Pete Seeger: A Gentle Soul

    Pete Seeger: A Gentle Soul

    Today, we pay tribute to Pete Seeger, one of the greatest American singers, political role models, and human beings. He lived his 94 years to the fullest, never wavering from his beliefs in the dignity of all people, civil rights, the environment, and decency, even when he was questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. His musical and personal legacy will live on for generations. In fact, it already has! He was in Chicago in 1991 to be […]

  • A stunning portrait of a lost community

    A stunning portrait of a lost community

    This week, we’re continuing our series of videos that celebrate Media Burn’s upcoming ten year anniversary with another peek at the hard working people who make Media Burn possible. Video Cataloger/Digitizer Andrew Seeder reflects on his 18 month-long experience watching hundreds of hours of videos: “It was the everyday life of the community that came across during those hours, and that’s exactly the kind of thing we’re going to be most interested in 50 years, 60 years, 100 years from […]

  • Walt Bellamy (1939-2013)

    Walt Bellamy (1939-2013)

    Professional sports just ain’t what they used to be. Now, every player in the NBA is a millionaire, but back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, even the biggest stars didn’t make huge money. We were reminded about those realities last weekend with the death of Walt Bellamy, aged 74, a Hall of Fame NBA center and Olympic champion who played for 14 years as a pro in Chicago, Baltimore, and New York. In 1986, Bellamy played in the NBA Legends […]

  • Getting to Know Studs Through Media Burn Archive

    Getting to Know Studs Through Media Burn Archive

    For nearly ten years, you have been able to depend on Media Burn to give you free online access to Chicago’s history and people. By now, you know there’s no other way to watch larger-than-life figures like Studs Terkel, Vito Marzullo, Dan Rostenkowski, Bill Veeck, and Mike Royko. In fact, we now have more than 6000 videos produced outside of traditional television which we have saved for posterity, and each and every one of them will only become more valuable […]

  • Interview with architect Stanley Tigerman (1990)

    Interview with architect Stanley Tigerman (1990)

    Today, Chicago-based architect Stanley Tigerman is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects Chicago for “his innovative design in over 175 built works for ‘all levels of society’” as well as the lasting influence of his critical and theoretical writings. Back in 1990, Tigerman was interviewed for an episode of The 90’s, where he espoused his own approach to architecture while levelling a few choice criticisms against the profession as a whole. The resulting […]

  • The Inner Workings of Congress, 1981

    The Inner Workings of Congress, 1981

    Ever wondered what really goes on behind closed doors in Congress? Cameras would never be permitted in closed door meetings today, but in 1981, we managed to shoot a rare peek at an orientation for newly elected House Democrats (including Harold Washington). In it, Majority Whip Dan Rostenkowski, with his typical tell-it-like-it-is attitude, explains to the freshmen how things are really done in D.C. It’s part of the excellent documentary Rostenkowski. This collection of raw footage was digitized through the […]

  • Gus Van Sant’s first film, from “Image Union,” 1982

    Gus Van Sant’s first film, from “Image Union,” 1982

    Since its first broadcast in 1978, “Image Union” has been a place on Chicago public television to celebrate the potential of the next generation of actors, documentarians, animators, writers, and directors. If it is independently produced and it is interesting, it has a chance of being seen on the air. “Image Union” was the first stop in many celebrated artists’ careers. Take, for example, this short film called “The Discipline of DE,” based on a story by William S. Burroughs, […]

  • Life before Google: The Chicago Public Library Information Service, 1993

    Life before Google: The Chicago Public Library Information Service, 1993

    How would you settle a bet over how many career triples Pete Rose had? Or what’s the primary export of Peru? Where would you go to find the answer? These days, we’d just turn to the internet, where almost all of recorded human knowledge is collected and readily available at our fingertips. The prevalence of things like iPhones and Google have drastically changed our ability to find and research even the most trivial of topics, so it’s almost astonishing to […]

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