UCLA Film & Television Archive launched an online lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving-image research area that features more than 190 episodes of the groundbreaking public television series In the Life at its core.
The In the Life project is funded by the Estate of Ric Weiland (managed by the Pride Foundation), the Arcus Foundation and Henry van Ameringen and is part of UCLA Film & Television Archive's partnership with the nonprofit Outfest.
Beginning as a variety show in 1992, In the Life quickly evolved into a news magazine format, becoming an honored and respected source for LGBT journalism at a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were often invisible in media. Produced by In The Life Media, the series was the first — and remains the only — LGBT news magazine broadcast on public TV. In the Life ran for more than 20 years in more than 200 markets around the country; its final episode aired in December 2012.
"I am immeasurably proud of the critical role 'In the Life' played in the LGBT movement," said Van Ameringen, a board member of In The Life Media. "We're committed to preserving this invaluable resource and maximizing access to it with an online presence that will continue to advance equality in new and innovative ways."
"Preserving and providing public access to LGBT media materials is important not only for scholars, researchers, filmmakers and historians worldwide but also for the broader society," said Jan-Christopher Horak, director of UCLA Film & Television Archive. "This new initiative with In the Life builds on the archive's longstanding commitment to underrepresented communities, including the LGBT community."
In 2005, UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered with Outfest to create the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, which has since assembled the largest publicly accessible collection of LGBT moving-image materials in the world, with more than 25,000 titles stored at UCLA. The project also works to preserve both the history and the future of LGBT moving-image materials by convening symposia, creating study guides, educating filmmakers about proper stewardship of their work, restoring materials that are at risk and encouraging the wide propagation of collection materials.
The In the Life initiative builds on previous Legacy Project efforts, with a specific focus on enhancing public access by putting program episodes — along with outtakes, interviews and other valuable content — online. And importantly, all materials will be accompanied by detailed descriptions to facilitate meaningful searchability.
"In the Life provided an invaluable voice for the LGBT community for over two decades, and we are thrilled that its legacy will live on," said Outfest executive director Kirsten Schaffer.
"This living legacy of In the Life will provide generations with documentation and history that exists nowhere else and will help chronicle and explain the LGBT movement over the past 20-plus years," said Jayne Baron Sherman, a board member of In the Life Media.