HUNTINGTON -– The Marshall University Libraries recently launched a new Web site called 50 Years Ago Today: As Seen On WSAZ-TV News at a news conference in the Special Collections Department of Morrow Library on MU's Huntington campus.

The Web site is accessible at

"With the click of a mouse, 50 Years Ago Today: As Seen On WSAZ-TV Newswill allow viewers on the Internet to watch vintage film and video of local, state and national news that occurred 50 years ago on that exact date, as written and reported by the WSAZ-TV news staff of 50 years ago," said Barbara Winters, dean of University Libraries.

Winters said 50 Years Ago Today: As Seen On WSAZ-TV News is a collaborative effort between WSAZ-TV and Marshall University, literally 32 years in the making.

"WSAZ-TV gifted Marshall with its film, video and paper archival materials beginning in 1976, and we gladly continue to be the repository and custodians of these priceless film and video images to this very day," Winters said.

Winters said Andrew D. Earles, Technical and Content Supervisor for Special Collections, originated the concept for the 50 Years Ago Today project. Winters said Earles, who is in charge of digitizing the WSAZ news footage from fragile film and video to sturdy DVD, came up with the Web site idea the day before the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik.

"Andy mentioned to Special Collections Curator Lisle Brown that he and Media Technical Assistant Lori Thompson had WSAZ news stories from the year 1958 already digitized and 'in the can,' " Winters said. "Andy's idea of putting it on the Internet for the entire community to 'tune in' and enjoy was a winner, and when Lisle passed along Andy's concept for the Web site to me, I heartily concurred."

Seeking to give context to and complement the vintage news images that appear on the Web site, Marshall Libraries received permission from noted area author and media producer David E. Carter to showcase images from his 1999 book,"Friends We All Grew Up With: A Fifty Year History of WSAZ TV," published by London Books Ltd.

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