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Moving Image Section--Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division



Motion Pictures
Readings, Lectures, and the Performing Arts
arrow graphicPATHFINDER: Barbara Jordan




PATHFINDER: Barbara Jordan
see caption below

Keynote address by Representative Barbara Jordan, Democratic National Convention, July 12, 1976. Photograph by Warren K. Leffier; U.S. News & World Report. July 11-12, 1976. U.S. News & World Report Collection, Prints and Photographs Division. LC-U9-32937, frame 32A-33.

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A compelling example of the wealth of moving images that can be found for one individual is provided by Barbara Jordan (1936-1996). This politician, educator, social activist, and notable African American leader came to prominence in the age of television. Searching for pieces of Jordan's life in MBRS provides an example of strategies that can be used to locate television footage.

Searching Barbara Jordan's name in the division's card catalogs locates appearances on The Dick Cavett Show (1979, VBC 8833) and Ben Wattenberg's 1980 (VBM 7168). The Library's online catalog retrieves moving-image records for the Watergate documentary Summer of Judgment—The Impeachment Hearings (1984, VAA 0618) and identifies a four-part series, Who's Keeping Score (1981, VBC 9821-9823; VBC 9840), with Jordan participating in the examination of the pros and cons of minimum-competency testing in American schools. The initial search of the division's catalogs has uncovered valuable but incomplete results.

The search can be continued using the in-house inventories for Meet the Press and NET/PBS, unpublished documentation for NBC programming, and the division's publication Three Decades of Television. Because of the lack of subject access to most of the Library's moving-image materials, a key strategy is creating a title list from secondary sources available in the reading room. One should consult commercially published works, such as Special Edition: A Guide to Network Television Documentary Series and Special News Reports, 1955-1979 (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1987; PN 1992.8.D6 E56 1987) and Television News Index and Abstracts (Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt Television News Archives, 1968-95; AI3.T44; 1968-present on the Web) (see Moving Image Section External Sites), as well as online catalogs and CD-ROMs, including FirstSearch, MediaSearch, and Variety's Video Directory Plus. These sources yield a list of dozens of Barbara Jordan's appearances on television and in educational videos. A return to the division's catalogs using these titles retrieves from the collections holdings of the complete Watergate Impeachment Hearings, two profiles on Sixty Minutes VBA 1380, VBA 5059), the keynote speeches delivered at the Democratic National Convention in 1976 (VAG 5504) and 1992 (VAD 9755), a 1981 inaugural address (VAE 7528-7529), the Bill Moyers program Facing Evil (1988, VBI 8236-8237), two appearances on Meet the Press (1976, VBA 7721; 1987, VBH 1500), an NBC White Paper: The American Presidency (1979, VBB 2810-2811), and coverage of Barbara Jordan in several network evening news broadcasts.

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