Database of old tv show and or old tv guides
August 4, 2019 1:41 PM   Subscribe

i know lots of librarians use this site—-im a medical librarian—really good at bones and organs but this one is a bit out of my wheelhouse..... ihave a patron asking if there is a database that includes old tv shows—-is there a database that indexes old tv guides? two questions i really can’t answer. Thanks for any help
posted by sunnypup to Education (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have they found the Wikipedia page for Lists of United States network television schedules?
posted by Wobbuffet at 1:44 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]

The Paley Center for Media (formerly called The Museum of Television & Radio) has a video & audio collection of “over 160,000 television and radio programs and advertisements, available both in New York and Los Angeles.” They also have an online database of program synopses & production credits.
posted by D.Billy at 2:42 PM on August 4

Coming here to suggest the Pale Center. To the best of my knowledge, old TV Guides aren't indexed by any database company but there are a lot of websites that try to have informational pages about old TV shows. Some are better than others. TV Guide Magazine covers are available and keyword searchable at their website. has a searchable TV listing archive but.... it's weird and doesn't work right.

- CrazyAboutTV has some basic pages. Classic-TV is another one (I checked, they're not just mirrors of each other).
- IMDB does a pretty good job with TV coverage depending on what your patron wants to know, it's especially great for "Hey where else have I seen the guy what was on that Dragnet episode?"
- The Internet Archive has some old scanned TV Guides (sort of random) and a lot of old TV shows. Sometimes you can find someone who has built a front end for them like Rerun Century. Uncle Earl has another front end that makes me eyes hurt but might be seen as accessible to someone who just wants to click some things. Others can be streamed from popular platforms and googling "Streaming $SHOW_NAME" can help.
posted by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on August 4

If what you're looking for might have aired in the UK, BBC Genome has digitised listings for all the BBC's radio and TV channels since 1923 (sadly not for commercial TV, though). Some UK libraries have subscriptions to BOB National, which provides direct archive access for more recent TV.
posted by offog at 6:41 AM on August 5 is a good database - they also have Grids back to Fall 1970 - which are not the daily listings. They are the generic weekly grids that each network publishes in the fall.
posted by soelo at 9:59 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]

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