New Guides to the KCET-TV Collections

As American Archives Month comes to an end, the Department of Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the posting of four new finding aids to the Online Archive of California. The finding aids are detailed guides to our four KCET TV collections. As a reminder, the recordings on videotape in these collections are not currently available to researchers due to the obsolescence of formats and playback equipment.  However, you can see which episodes we have in our repository if you browse the finding aids listed below. Obsolete technology is a major issue for archives with audiovisual materials, and we look forward to the day when we can digitize the video recordings, thereby making them more accessible for research use.

Two of the four collections are comprised of materials from “Life and Times,” a news and public affairs program that reported on stories from Los Angeles and Southern California between 1992 and 2007. The other two collections document the statewide news program “California Connected,” which KCET co-produced with KQED, KVIE and KPBS from 2002 to 2007.

During the productions of “Life and Times” and “California Connected,” KCET was Southern California’s flagship Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station. The collections, donated by KCET in 2012, provide a unique addition of L.A. (public media) history to the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles (CSLA) Research Collection.

Of the four collections now open for research use, KCET-TV’s Collection of “Life and Times” video recordings (CSLA-37) is the most extensive. It contains 3,472 programs that aired during the show’s Emmy-award winning 16-year run.  KCET’s “Life and Times” reported on politics, education, the environment, demographics, transportation, science, culture and arts. In offering an alternative to commercial television news, the show featured long-form interviews, in-depth analysis of important local and regional issues, and documentaries about citizens making a difference in Los Angeles communities.


We invite you to explore! For a full list of CSLA Research Collections, search here. Let us know if you have any questions about the KCET-TV materials or our online finding aids.