Philadelphia Woman Recorded Over Three Decades Of Television On 70,000 VHS Tapes

June 28, 2019
VHS, Tapes, Table, Gray Wooden Background

(Photo by Getty Images)

In 1979, Philadelphia woman Marion Stokes wanted to keep tabs on the ongoing Iranian Hostage Crisis, so she began recording the news 24/7.

And she didn't stop.  For three decades, every hour of the day and night, Stokes recorded the news.

Eventually, upon her death in 2012, Stokes amassed a collection of some 70,000 VHS tapes with broadcasts of the last three decades of television.  She may not have known at the time, but she collected the greatest archive of news the world has ever seen.  Stokes has coverage from the Irianian Hostage Crisis in 1979, to tragically the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012.

Upon her death, Stokes donated the incredible archive to her son, where he donated them to the Internet Archive, who began digitizing all 70,000 tapes so Stokes' collection would live forever.

Stokes' story was made into a documentary Recorder, focusing on her "obsessive mission" while advocating for the "power of archival work."

Via Hyper Allergic