Use of the University of Virginia WSLS Film Archive

The University of Virginia Library is committed to supporting research, teaching, scholarship, publication, and artistic production involving use of materials from the Library’s collections.  In 2009, WSLS, a Roanoke, Virginia television station, generously donated the entirety of its interests in 16 mm film archives from the 1950s to the 1970s to the University of Virginia. The UVa Library, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, was able to digitize and preserve this rare WSLS collection, and has decided to make these materials freely available for public access and use, subject to the responsibilities outlined below.

The UVa Library’s rights to WSLS material CAN extend only so far as the rights WSLS itself obtained by its filming and news broadcast activities.  The UVa Library does not have copies of releases or other consents that may have been obtained by WSLS when it recorded individuals for news and television broadcast.  Much of this archive also involves footage from public events reported on in central Virginia during the Civil Rights Era for which releases would not likely have been obtained. Each user of the WSLS materials must individually evaluate any copyright or privacy issues that might pertain to the intended uses of these materials, including fair use. Useful information regarding the fair use of media can be found at the Center for Social Media,

Users of WSLS content agree to indemnify and hold harmless the University of Virginia, its officers, employees and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions and expenses that might arise out of the use of WSLS materials. By your use of these materials, you agree to these responsibilities, including the noted legal protections of the University of Virginia.

If you seek higher resolution versions of the WSLS film archives, please contact Leigh Rockey at

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