NBC 5/KXAS (WBAP) Research Procedures

Overview of the Collection

  • 16 mm daily film reels of television broadcasts (April 1951 - August 1979)*
  • Video recordings of television broadcasts (1976 - 2013)
  • News scripts (1951 - 1979; March 1986; 1990)
  • Daily film reports and story logbooks (1951 - 2013)
  • Still photographs (1948 - 1977)

*The collection does not contain footage related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. If you are interested in licensing this footage, you need to contact NBC Universal.

Finding Aids

Searching for and Viewing Materials in the NBC 5/KXAS Archive

Digitized news segments, as well as text searchable broadcast scripts and story logbooks can be viewed for free in The Portal to Texas History digital library. New material is added frequently as we work through reformatting the collection.

Due to the fragile condition of the original film and video contained in the NBC 5/KXAS collection, only digital access copies are made available to researchers. UNT Special Collections reformats footage in standard definition by default. Quotes for high definition reformatting are available by request.

Reformatting all the media in the NBC 5/KXAS archive will be a multiyear process. To date, the majority of the footage in the collection is not digitized. Researchers interested in viewing materials that have yet to be digitally reformatted will be responsible for all costs incurred in digitization following Special Collections’ reproduction standards, including shipping and postage. These fees are separate from those required to license footage. Researchers will be provided with a low-resolution access copy for viewing. Higher resolution files are available with licensing. Please note that each film reel and videotape contains multiple stories. Researchers are responsible for digitizing the entire item on which the desired footage is contained, not just the segment that interests them. In general, please allow a 2-3 week turnaround for digitization requests. We are able to digitize most video formats on site; film will be sent to an off-site vendor. Our digitization rates.

To make a digitization request, please submit a Reproduction & Digitization Request.

Special Collections staff members are happy to answer questions and to help locate relevant material. Please email us at SpecialCollections@unt.edu for assistance.​ To assist us in our search, please provide exact dates related to the content you’re looking for. Unfortunately, because most of the media is still in its original format, we cannot search thematically at this time. This means, for example, that we’re unable to easily locate all stories about a particular person without specific dates to guide us.

For topics occurring 1951 - 1976, we are currently using our script collection to help us locate film by searching for a specific date or range of dates. For topics occurring 1976 - 2012, we are using our logbook collection to locate video footage. Topics occurring between 1976 - 1978 could possibly be on either film or video and we use the relevant logbooks to locate footage. ​We cannot guarantee that all film segments were transferred to UNT. It was a common practice for notable stories to be removed from their reels and spliced into anniversary or other compilation reels. We are doing our best to locate removed footage.

UNT Special Collections staff will provide 2 hours of research within the script and logbook collection for free. After that, we charge a research fee rate of $25 per hour of research. We will not bill you for research without informing you first. Alternatively, you may access physical copies of our script and logbook collection in our Reading Room during our open hours. Email SpecialCollections@unt.edu to schedule a research appointment. Please allow 24 hours for scripts and logbooks to be recalled from off-site.

Licensing Materials from the NBC 5/KXAS Archive

The University of North Texas Libraries holds the exclusive right to preserve, reformat, permanently store, and present the NBC 5 /KXAS collection online. UNT Libraries acts as the licensing agent for all footage from this collection. UNT Libraries licenses footage for a wide variety of uses, including commercial and professional use. We require a 30 second minimum for world-wide, all media, in perpetuity rights. UNT Special Collections’ determines licensing fees based on a minimum clip length of 10 seconds per edited segment. This includes use in broadcast, multimedia, feature films, educational purposes, and exhibitions. Reuse of moving and still images, including those found on the Portal to Texas History and UNT Digital Library, requires permission from Special Collections.

All requests for reuse and licensing are evaluated by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Our licensing fee is based on many factors including the number and length of clips requested, your intended use, the media platform you choose to purchase rights for, the desired digital delivery file format, and the licensing term requested. Licensing fees range $20 - $90 per second. Actual licensing fees will be determined by Special Collections staff upon review of your Request for Licensing Footage. Discounts may be available for certain research and educational uses and some regional productions.

If you plan to use clips from the NBC 5/KXAS collection for purposes other than personal research — including projects that will be shown to the general public or used for commercial gain — you must obtain permission to license the material. Please submit a Request to License Special Collections Materials form and Special Collections will contact you.