Early television programs come into the HFA collection regularly, usually as part of hobbyist film collectors’ donations. Single item titles here and there include Big Top (a 1956 circus program), quiz shows such as This is Your Life (1954), Juvenile Jury (1955), and Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour (1954).
Many films in the Television collection at the HFA were made by local animator Derek Lamb for WGBH-TV Boston.
More substantial holdings in television at the HFA include:
The Rifleman (78 episodes), a Western starring Chuck Conners, which ran from 1958-1963. The HFA possesses episodes utilizing the talents of such luminaries as Sam Peckinpah, Joseph H. Lewis, Ida Lupino, Budd Boetticher, Adam West, James Coburn, and Warren Oates.
Across the Seven Seas, a travelogue series hosted by Jack Douglas, 1962 (19 episodes, pre-print material only, part of the Fleetwood Collection)
CBS Omnibus, 10 episodes on 16mm film & video from the 1950s.
Sunday Showcase: Our American Heritage, an NBC series of which we have 11 episodes on 16mm, 1959-1961.
By far, the largest collection of television at the HFA is the Bill Dana Collection, the vast majority of which is the The Bill Dana Show (42 episodes, 1963-1965). Comedian Bill Dana donated this complete collection of negatives and prints of his 1960s Desilu sitcom to the HFA in 2005.