Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mike Wallace Interview--Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has digitized 65 interviews from The Mike Wallace Interview, a pioneering interview program of the late 1950s. The Ransom Center's site provides video (several are in audio/transcript format only) along with transcripts of interviews conducted in 1957 and 1958. Featuring a wide range of guests from politics, entertainment and the media, the digitized interviews include discussions with Henry Kissinger, Earl Browder, Governor Orval Faubus, Kirk Douglas, Malcolm Muggeridge, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. According to the Ransom Center's website:

"Mike Wallace rose to prominence in 1956 with the New York City television interview program, Night-Beat, which soon developed into the nationally televised prime-time program, The Mike Wallace Interview. Well prepared with extensive research, Wallace asked probing questions of guests framed in tight close-ups. The result was a series of compelling and revealing interviews with some of the most interesting and important people of the day.

The Mike Wallace Interview ran from 1957 to 1960, but the Ransom Center collection includes interviews from only 1957 and 1958. In the early 1960s, Mr. Wallace donated to the Ransom Center kinescopes of these programs and related materials, including his prepared questions, research material, and correspondence."

In addition, the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin hosts a companion site, which features "a searchable, annotatable, rich-media version of The Mike Wallace Interview Collection."