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Purdue announces new center for C-SPAN research

10/12/2017 3:15 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is announcing a new center for C-SPAN Archives research as part of the archives’ 30th anniversary.

The archives and the Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement will be celebrated on Oct. 12 (Thursday) with a panel featuring C-SPAN founder and Purdue alumnus Brian Lamb, former U.S. Rep. and ambassador to India Tim Roemer and former U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer. The event is at 6:30 p.m. in the Krannert Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.

“C-SPAN is a key component to our political and democratic process,” said Robert X. Browning, Purdue professor of communication and political science, and director of the C-SPAN Archives (pictured. “For 30 years the archives have ensured that it makes government more accessible, especially through its database and electronic archival systems. This new center will expand the utilization and research opportunities from this immense resource.”

“The C-SPAN Archives are a national treasure,” said David A. Reingold, Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts. “It is a great point of pride that the C-SPAN Archives reside in West Lafayette. To expand our C-SPAN connection by establishing the center we will allow our faculty and students to build upon Brian Lamb’s legacy for the benefit of all who want to better understand our democratic processes.”

The C-SPAN Archives, considered one of the most comprehensive video archives of governmental and political content, is located at the Purdue Research Park, and it was founded in 1987. During the past 30 years, more than 230,000 hours of primary source video of C-SPAN programming has been recorded, indexed and archived. All programs are digital and can be viewed for free at www.c-span.org. The archives is operated and entirely funded by C-SPAN.

“C-SPAN was Brian Lamb’s vision, and the C-SPAN Archives extends that mission in the digital age. We are grateful to Brian and C-SPAN for their ongoing support as Purdue establishes this center to expand the use of the archives, engage more researchers, and identify student learning opportunities,” said Marifran Mattson, professor and head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts.

Lamb, who will moderate the panel, earned his bachelor's degree in speech in 1963 and received an honorary doctorate from Purdue in 1986. He founded C-SPAN - Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network - in 1977, and the network's initial telecasts of the U.S. House of Representatives commenced in 1979. Today there are three C-SPAN networks offering around-the-clock coverage of the political process. He is the executive chairman of C-SPAN, and Purdue’s School of Communication is named for him.

“The C-SPAN Archives is accessed regularly by journalists and teachers, and of course interest peaks during the elections and key political moments,” said Rosalee Clawson, professor and head of Purdue’s Department of Political Science. “With so much archived content, there are endless research opportunities for scholars worldwide, and this new center will better support their work.”

For example, some past research topics that video from the archives contributed to includes the First Lady, African-American members of Congress, STEM debates in Congress, technology issues, campaigns and elections, linking President Donald Trump’s tweets and speeches, and technical innovations in measuring political behavior.

Browning will serve as the center’s inaugural director. In 2010, under the direction of Browning, the archives won a George Foster Peabody Award for its work in creating an online video library. He is editor of three books featuring research using the C-SPAN Archives.

Also, during the Oct. 12 celebration, the C-SPAN Archives and the Brian Lamb School of Communication will celebrate other individuals:

* The C-SPAN Archives will dedicate and name a conference room at the archives for David Caputo, the former liberal arts dean who supported the establishment of the C-SPAN Archives at Purdue. C-SPAN names conference rooms at its Washington, D.C., headquarters for founding board members.

* Communication students Liz Bitzer and Amanda Vassall will be the first recipients of the Brian Lamb Internship at Henson Consulting. Henson Consulting, a national public relations firm located in Chicago, was created by 1992 Purdue alumna Kathleen Henson.

More information on the panelists:

* Buyer from 1993-2011 was a Republican U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, and previously the 5th District, representing the Monticello and Lafayette areas. He served on the Armed Services and Veterans Committee, and during the Republican control of Congress from 2005-2007, he chaired the Veterans Committee. He also holds the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

* Roemer served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991-2003 as a Democrat from Indiana's 3rd Congressional District. Subsequently, he was the president of the Center for National Policy (CNP), a Washington, D.C.-based national security think tank and was a member of the 9/11 Commission. He served as U.S. ambassador to India from 2009-2011.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Sources: Robert X. Browning, rxb@purdue.edu

Marifran Mattson, 765-494-7596, mmattson@purdue.edu 

Rosalee Clawson, 765-494-4162, clawsonr@purdue.edu 

Related website: Purdue celebrates 30th anniversary of the C-SPAN Archives

Photo credit: (Purdue University photo/Charles Jischke)