Smithsonian Videohistory Collection
Tapes and transcripts from the Smithsonian Videohistory Collection may only be duplicated with the permission of Smithsonian Institution Archives. Tapes may be duplicated in a variety of formats, depending on the intended use. The Smithsonian Institution holds copyright unless otherwise stated. In some cases portions of material were restricted at the request of the participant; those segments are noted in the catalog. Written permission from the SIA is needed to duplicate or broadcast videohistory tapes or transcripts.
VHS copies are provided for reference; these copies have a visible time-code window, which is cross-referenced on transcripts. Master tapes are not available for use at the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) unless specifically requested for high-end production purposes. Most master tapes were shot in the Betacam format, although some were taped in 1" open reel or on ¾" U-Matic. Dubbing masters, which are always on ¾" U-Matic, are used for duplication, but not for general viewing. All copies will be dubbed with the time-code window unless otherwise requested.
All videotapes were transcribed and lightly edited to improve readability. Additional notations on the transcripts link visual information and electronic time-code with written text. This data is important for researchers since it incorporates non-audio (i.e., visual) information, provides data regarding artifacts and other non-explicit subject content, and allows quicker access to the videotape by indicating lapsed time in frequent intervals.
To view the projects within the collection, call or write
the Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery
Suite 3000, MRC 507, P.O. Box 7012, Washington, D.C., 20013-7012,
To send by FEDEX or other delivery service, address to
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery Suite
3000, 600 Maryland, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520.
copies of the tapes and/or transcripts, please
submit a written request to Institutional History
Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, (attn: Videohistory),
at the above address. Specify the purpose for which you
need the tape (education, research, exhibit, documentary
production) and list the name of the project and record
unit (RU) number. Fees will be charged for copies of both
tapes and transcripts, and payment in advance is required.
Total cost of duplication will be calculated before dubbing
takes place. The SIA will duplicate and ship the tapes
by regular mail. Recipients will pay for special shipping
Duplication of Videohistory Interviews
To obtain permission for duplication, the application must be completed and submitted to:
Institutional History Division
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Capital Gallery Building Suite 3000, MRC 507
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
request, please state how the Videohistory materials will be used, i.e.,
whether it is for research, education, exhibit, commercial use, or other.
Please describe the final product in which the Videohistory materials
will be used. Please indicate if the product will be used for non-profit
or commercial purposes. List the name of the project and Record Unit
(RU) number. State that you will credit copyright to the Smithsonian
Institution. The Smithsonian may reserve the right to review and approve
usage prior to publication and/or broadcast. Please indicate what format
you would like the copy tape in: VHS, 1", Betacam, ¾" U-Matic,
Permission will be granted only for the uses described
in the request. Permission must be requested again for
any additional uses.
The cost for transcripts is $0.20 per page copied.
The cost of duplication varies, depending on the number
of dubbing masers used in copying. Final price will be
calculated on a rate of $50 per dubbing master, NTSC standard.
PAL conversions will be higher. Total cost of duplication
will be calculated before dubbing takes place.
Tapes will be dubbed from ¾" to ¾", ¾" to
VHS, or VHS to VHS. Only full tapes will be copied; selective
editing costs are prohibitive. If you need another format
or a tape without time code, contact us for a cost estimate.
Usage fees are charged for publication or broadcast. Contact
the Institutional History Division for details.
Payment in advance is required. Checks should be made
payable to the Smithsonian Institution. Please write the
Videohistory Collection number on your check as well.
All dubbing masters have electronically-recorded time
code which is visible on the tape; this code corresponds
to the "window" visible on VHS tapes. Copies will automatically
be dubbed with the time-code window unless otherwise requested
for specified broadcast purposes.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives will duplicate the
tapes and transcripts and ship them by regular mail. You
will pay for expedited mailing services such as overnight
or courier delivery.