Last week C-SPAN announced the completion of its the C-SPAN Video Library, a freely available Internet resource featuring every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, totaling over 160,000 hours. The Archives records all three C-SPAN networks seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Programs are extensively indexed making the database of C-SPAN programming an unparalleled chronological resource. Programs are indexed by subject, speaker names, titles, affiliations, sponsors, committees, categories, formats, policy groups, keywords, and location. The congressional sessions and committee hearings are indexed by person with full-text. The video collection can be searched through the online Video Library.
These archives cover 23 years of history and five presidential administrations. Though C-Span was established in 1979, recordings from the early years are spotty. But according to a recent New York Times article, C-SPAN has about 10,000 hours of tapes from before 1987 and plans to reformat them for the Web are already in motion.
Needless to say, this is an awesome historical resource and on top of that, the site is advertisement free.