Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video created by artists, activists and community groups. Media Burn is a project of the Fund for Innovative TV, which has been producing challenging documentary video and television since 1990.
    Our mission is to preserve audiovisual records of history and culture and to engage audiences with their creative reuse.
    The national significance of the collection of more than 7,000 videos has been recognized with grants from the National Archives, the “Save America’s Treasures” program of the NEH, the NEA, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Your support is a critical part of our success. Please donate today.
    The boxes of tapes in your basement or closet may be deteriorating much faster than you think. You will have no better chance of transferring them successfully and for a reasonable cost than today. Media Burn is a boutique footage transfer service that provides highly personalized attention to your project.

Latest Blog Posts

  • Tour Media Burn on Friday, October 7

    Tour Media Burn on Friday, October 7

    Go behind the scenes at Media Burn on Friday, October 7th as part of Chicago Open Archives Do you enjoy going behind-the-scenes to places the public is not normally allowed? Do you ever wonder what on earth we do all day at Media Burn? Now’s your chance to find out! Over thirty local archives, research centers, and cultural institutions in the Chicago area will offer special events open to members of the public on October 6-8, 2016.This year’s Chicago Open … Continue reading

  • Molly Ivins’ Biting Election Commentary is Still True

    Molly Ivins’ Biting Election Commentary is Still True

    “I don’t want an option on the ballot that says, ‘None of the Above,’ I want an option that says, ‘It makes me vomit.’”                                                                              -Molly Ivins, 1996 History, as we learned in high school, has a way of repeating itself. Molly Ivins (1944-2007) was … Continue reading


New Videos

  • Bike Messenger Jack Blackfelt- A Fresh Look

    Bike Messenger Jack Blackfelt- A Fresh Look

    “I get paid good money to just be who I am: a freak on wheels.” -Jack Blackfelt We have more than 7000 videos in our archive.  Most portray interesting people at a particular moment in their lives.  One great thing about video is its ability for people to watch many years later and provide perspective about how they’ve changed. This is the first of these updates we will be doing. This update features footage of colorful bike messenger Jack Blackfelt that was … Continue reading

  • Little Village Youth dig into the Archive

    Little Village Youth dig into the Archive

    We’re so pleased to announce a brand new initiative that will use our videos in youth programs, both in-classroom and after school. Media Burn has been awarded a grant from the Chicago HIVE Fund for Connected Learning at the Chicago Community Trust. HIVE was seeded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is stewarded by Mozilla. Our project partners are the National Mexican Museum of Art, Yollocalli Arts Reach, the Chicago History Museum, The Lamp, and the … Continue reading

  • Introducing Our New Collections Portal

    Introducing Our New Collections Portal

    Some of you saw the article in ReelChicago celebrating ten years of mediaburn.org. We’re so proud of what we have achieved and our continuing efforts to make our website more accessible and engaging. For the last several years we have enjoyed hosting interns from the University of Michigan School of Information during their spring break. These interns have been responsible for many of the transformations in our website that have made it more modern and fun to use. This year, our Alternative … Continue reading

  • Inside the Clinton Command Center, DNC ’92

    Inside the Clinton Command Center, DNC ’92

    No presidential convention has been brokered since 1952, when both Vice President Dwight Eisenhower and Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson needed more than one ballot to get their party’s nominations. This year, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton arrived at their conventions with enough delegates to win. Still, the conventions have been anything but uneventful. Just as the Bernie Sanders people are a thorn in the side of the Hillary Clinton campaign, so was Jerry Brown a force that Bill Clinton’s … Continue reading

  • RIP Garry Marshall, King of Sitcom

    RIP Garry Marshall, King of Sitcom

    “Some people think they can get [a hit] with just laughs and they go off the air.”                                                     –Garry Marshall Garry Marshall died on Tuesday. He was 81 and a show biz giant. He is responsible for many of the most popular TV series and movies of all time, including Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The … Continue reading

  • GOP, Meet Stoney Burke

    GOP, Meet Stoney Burke

    “You have to put all your intelligence in your back pocket and you can talk to these people”                                                                                   -Stoney Burke Last night’s Republican production reminded us of conventions past. In 1992, performance artist Stoney Burke provided an inside view for … Continue reading

  • Enjoy our new iPhone video tour of the forgotten corners of Comiskey and Wrigley Field

    Enjoy our new iPhone video tour of the forgotten corners of Comiskey and Wrigley Field

    Chicago baseball fans are traditionally loyal to either the Cubs or White Sox. It’s a classic North Side vs. South Side rivalry that has lasted more than a century. This year’s Crosstown series is just over a week away with the first game to be played at U.S. Cellular on Monday, July 25th. For the occasion we have created a Crosstown Classics tour with Vamonde. To view the tour: 1. On your iPhone, install Vamonde through the App Store (it’s free). … Continue reading

  • Ten Years of mediaburn.org

    Ten Years of mediaburn.org

    July 2016: Celebrating ten years of Media Burn online It’s been ten years since we launched mediaburn.org. Since then, our videos have been viewed in almost every country in the world, by more than 13 million people. This photo was taken on July 6, 2006, at the newly unveiled Cloud Gate (“the Bean”) sculpture at Millennium Park as our core group prepared for the official launch of mediaburn.org, which was nearly three years in the making. Top row: Jesse Weinberg, Judy Wallenstein, Russell Porter, … Continue reading