Carson City Community Access Television Videotapes
Scope and Contents
The collection contains 384 VHS cassette tapes that document Carson City Community Access Television (CAT) channel from 1985-2003. The tapes include programs, events, meetings, and other activities that took place in Carson City, Nevada. Some groups and events documented on these tapes include: Carson City schools (Carson High School, Carson Middle School, etc.), the Winter Wine and All That Jazz annual event, Carson City Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Day celebrations, Host Lions Club, Carson City Show and Shine, Carson City Employee of the Year, Town of Genoa, Carson City Symphony Orchestra, and the Carson-Tahoe Hospital.
Additionally, Series 1 contains the indexes maintained by Jim Thorpe that lists all VHS tapes he created during his time working with CAT. These indexes contain a unique numbering system that documented if a tape is a duplicate or master, the index number. The run time, speakers, location, group/event/activity document on the tape is also included. This information is present on each of the tapes as well. This index contains details about all tapes created by Thorpe. Not all tapes were received in the donation and, while staff was appraising the collection, not all tapes were maintained due to degraded quality of these tapes. Consequently, although a tape may be listed in the indexes, they may not be present in the collection.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Public Access Television (“PAT”) in Carson City began in 1990. Jim Thorpe probably began with PAT when it started or soon thereafter. He was doing filming during that first year from those few I had access to up until his death. He seemed to be one of their main videographers. PAT originally was shown on the assigned community access cable channel for Carson City, later expanding some of its broadcasting also to Douglas County by the mid-1990s. Known in Carson City as “CAT” (Community Access Television), it’s programming was open to all persons who wished to submit recordings and was seen as a tool for free speech in an open democracy, with recording equipment available for public use.
As with many other public-access television channels, CAT favored locally produced programs. Consequently, it filmed many government and organizational meetings which took place in Carson City and at the Nevada Legislature. With many hours of airtime to fill, annual events, such as the Nevada Day Parade, were filmed as well as covering local school productions at holidays or for other special events. But the station also covered many one-time local happenings, such as the demolition of buildings, new developments for the expansion of business and industrial areas, or the closing of a favorite fast-food eatery. Again, CAT was reflecting its community and the local happenings in its viewing area.
10.25 Linear Feet (12 boxes)
Language of Materials
Carson City Community Access Television began broadcasting in 1990 as a tool for free speech in an open democracy, with recording equipment available for public use. The collection contains 384 VHS cassette tapes that document Carson City Community Access Television (CAT) channel from 1985-2003. The tapes include programs, events, meetings, and other activities that took place in Carson City, Nevada.
Arranged in the following series: 1) Master Indexes; 2) CAT Tapes
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by the Carson City Historical Society in November 2018.
Problems of color shift and/or loss of signal on the tapes
- Guide to the Carson City Community Access Television Videotapes
- Jessica Maddox
- March 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description