Digitization, Archiving and Access; 90 years of Film and Video History at the National Cathedral


Since its original vision by Major L’Enfant as “a great church for national purposes,” granted a charter by Congress in 1893, and its foundation laid in 1907 attended by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Washington National Cathedral has been a place of prayer, reflection, and solace for generations of Americans. This is where history has been made, serving both the revered and everyday individual with its awe-inspiring architecture, prayerful events, stimulating lectures, and extraordinary musical performances. These events have been captured by Cathedral staff for over 90 years on more than a thousand film reels and videotapes starting in the 1930’s. This proposal requests funding to assess and digitize a selected portion of this collection (218 tapes) and to create a long-term plan for preservation and access for the entire collection (>1,000 items). The project will create and outreach plan provide access to scholars, educators, and the public to this collection.


Recordings at Risk

Amount Awarded


Year Added



Washington National Cathedral


  • Mr. Matthew Echave (Washington National Cathedral)


100 items

  • 13 Betamax
  • 5 1/2" Reel
  • 100 Betacam