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More than two decades of Washington events, unedited and uncut
Art Chimes | Washington, DC 26 March 2010
C-SPAN Video Archive
Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.
This time, it's a source for more than two decades of Congressional debates, Washington press conferences, newsmaker interviews, policy forums, and all the other machinery of government as captured live and unedited by the cameras of America's leading public affairs television network.
"The C-SPAN Video Library is an online digital collection of all material that's aired on C-SPAN since 1987," says Robert Browning, the director of the C-SPAN archive at c-spanvideo.org.
C-SPAN is the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, which broadcasts live from the Senate and House of Representatives when they are in session, and fills the rest of its schedule with the policy conversation that sets the stage for decision making here in Washington.
What's different about C-SPAN is that while a news report may give you a 10-second sound bite from a lawmaker or analyst, on C-SPAN you get the whole thing.
"We don't do edits; we don't cut out portions. We air the entire event. And so it really makes this programming that is airing every day usable for historians, for educators, and just for public citizens."
C-SPAN's archive includes 160,000 hours of tape, fully indexed and often transcribed to help you find what you're looking for.
"We developed a lot of technology to help us record and index, and we even do a lot of within-programming indexing, where you can get every speaker by the little segment where they spoke at a Congressional hearing or the House and Senate floor. So we make the material a lot more usable."
If you just want to browse, the C-SPAN Video Library blog has links to some memorable moments, such as the 1987 Reagan-Gorbachev summit and George W. Bush announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein. That and much, much more uncut and unedited history at c-spanvideo.org, or visit our site, VOAnews.com, for the link to this and hundreds of other Websites of the Week.