Video Library Collection

Many videos in the historic video library collection were deposited in either just the library or both in the library and distribution catalogue.

The history of videos arriving at the library...

The SVES’ originating philosophy was rooted in large part in the media democratization and media literacy movements of the 1960s, and promoted free or broader access to alternative information. New mechanisms were explored to expand access by and about underrepresented communities and ideas to the public. Strategies to achieve this included free or low-cost access to amateur portable video recorders and post-production, advocating for community cable systems, developing creator-centric dissemination models (free and for pay). The most relevant to this policy are the Image Bank mail art project created by Michael Goldberg that lead to the publication of the International Video Exchange Directory (8 editions), incorporation of the Satellite Video Exchange Society (1973), and the establishment of the public-facing SVES’ Video Inn Library (1973).

Video came to be in the Video Inn Library through several channels:

  • The Matrix Conference (1973)
  • By mail, from participants in the Exchange Network
  • Submitted in person (by locals and travellers)
  • -Gathered by SVES collective members. Early examples: the Video Inn Cross-Canada bus tour (1975) and Shawn Preus and Andy Harvey’s European tour (1977).
  • Solicitation of non-members using the facilities, for example, producers screening work at Video Inn or artists-in-residence.
  • By members, as a condition of subsidized production and post-production use of the facilities (SVES as co-producer effectively)
  • Through Video Out Distribution

Depositors at this historic time, included:

  • -Artists
  • -Activists or producers interested in social change
  • -Students
  •   Video organizations and collectives
  •   Broadcast: illegal off-air recordings
  • Video producers [interested in learning video production as a career; all genres]
  • Not all early submissions were deposited by the video’s creator.

While the majority of video at the Video Inn library was produced in what is known as Vancouver, British Columbia, the collection is international in scope. Technical quality was not a consideration in accepting a video. An effort was made to represent video art and documentary-influenced work in equal numbers. The media democracy movement was a diverse coalition, generally progressive politically, but not exclusively. Any controversial material was discussed amongst the collective and could be rejected.