Q: What is the core of the VHS Archive ?

VHS Archives considers how to store, transfer, share, research, and reactivate media collections facing obsolescence. It is a database of one VHS collection with information, citation, and in some case digitization that can lead to more.

Q: Is this a living or active archive? 

The archive is active in that it grows with student work made in response as well as the requested addition of user suggestions or contributions. The original VHS tapes are finite in number.

Q: Can I take FILM 7032? Where/When is this class offered?

The class is offered on an irregular basis. Graduate students in CUNY can enroll. Others with shared interests have sat in and audited. Feel free to reach out to the professors to learn when the course will be offered in the future.

Q: Why are only some tapes available for viewing?

We only digitized tapes that were not already available elsewhere digitally and for which we got permission. If you have the authority to approve digitization of a tape in the collection, we are happy to add it to the viewable collection.

Q:Where are the non-digitized tapes stored? Can I rent them out or view them on-site ?

The tapes are stored at Brooklyn College. They can be viewed in person at the library for research purposes.

Q: Where can I find additional resources on the films, if they exist? 

There are links to more resources at the bottom of each entry, often found in the category “Is Referenced By.” If you know of or find out more about any video in the collection and want us to add this to the entry, please reach out via the Contact Us link.

Q: If I create an original work inspired by or deriving from the videos in the collection, may I submit them for consideration into the archive? 

Please! And do include some explanation.

Q: Can I add to, take down, correct, or dispute information on the site?

Please! We are eager for the people and communities who are represented in the collection to interact. Nothing should be on the site that is not approved by its makers; more can enter the site as contributed by its communities. 

Alexandra Juhasz

Q: Where can I see more of your work?


Q: How did you acquire the tapes in the collection? 

Most of the VHS tapes in my collection were gifts from friends, colleagues, fellow-teachers, or activists. That is, they were given to me for free so that they could be used for teaching or research. Some are tapes that I made by recording programming off the air or by making a dub from another tape. A small number were purchased.

Q: Do you have personal connections with the filmmakers and/or people featured in these tapes? 

My personal relations, almost always to the filmmaker, are accounted for in the descriptions for each tape which I have kept purposefully anecdotal. The media archivist for the project, Brianna Jones, has been keen on keeping the personal layer of the archive accessible while also including more formal or professional information about the tapes.

Q: Is there one tape in particular that you found yourself consistently reaching to or teaching from throughout your courses?  

I loved a two tape compilation that I had called Bad Girls Video, a series curated by Cheryl Dunye in 1994 for the New Museum and commissioned by Marcia Tucker. I taught 1-2 of these short videos in almost every class I taught for many years. Eventually, both were stolen. They held a beautiful, complex, diverse bounty of queer, feminist, and BIPOC expression from the 1990s! I wrote about that series in the 1999 essay: Bad Girls Come and Go … But a Lying Girl Can Never Be Fenced In.