When the Webster collection was transferred over to the BC Archives, a determination was made as to which episodes should have priority preservation. As this institution is primarily a holder of Government records, it seemed obvious to focus first and foremost on members of various levels of government.
A viewing of the top picks confirms this supposition. Premiers, Prime Ministers, Leaders of the opposition, mayors, opposition critics, ministers of the crown, and First nations leaders dominate the list.
A quick check shows that of the first 350 shows identified as important, over 200 were shows with political leaders both federal, provincial, first nations and municipal. Many of the rest were shows with people representing special interests trying to influence government with issues such as the environment, special needs, First Nations, unions, business interests, farming, prison reform, mental health, dominating that list.
It was only later that other shows were identified. Shows with authors, musicians, and topics of the day were all identified. We even discovered a person promoting the benefits of cod liver oil!
Now that about three quarters of the shows have been digitized, very little has disappeared through the cracks.
All these decisions were made based on various content lists that were provided with the collection.
Of course, not all shows were identified, and these were described in the listings as “unknown content.”
One of the final sweeps we did was to collect a large number of these undescribed shows and have them digitized as well. One of these episodes stood out.
As Dave Barrett prepared to leave the legislature, Jack Webster had what can best be described as an “exit interview.”
Luckily we had enough special funding to make the decision to have a look at this unknown content to see what was there.
Otherwise we may never have known that this conversation took place.
As we mourn his death, please enjoy this interview.
And remember the Archival mantra. Identify, describe, record!
Start of interview. Link
Dave Barrett’s view of his major achievements. Link
The humour clips Link