Repository Profile - NBCUniversal Archives & Collections

Universal City poster announcing Opening Day.


Repository Profile - NBCUniversal Archives & Collections

by Eric Chin, Senior Corporate Archivist, NBCUniversal, Inc.

In the early years of the twentieth century, NBC and Universal began creating their extraordinary legacies in the exciting new worlds of motion picture production and distribution, location-based entertainment, and radio and television production and broadcasting.

Universal Employees on their way to Opening Day.

The story of Universal began in 1906 when German immigrant Carl Laemmle moved to Chicago and opened his first nickelodeon theater. Over the next few years, Laemmle expanded his operation to film distribution and later production. On April 30, 1912, Laemmle merged his successful Independent Moving Pictures (IMP) with five other independent producers and the Universal Film Manufacturing Company was incorporated in the state of New York. As the oldest, continuously operating major motion picture studio in the country, Universal has produced countless iconic films that weave deeply in the fabric of our culture. 

NBC made it possible for a national audience to share in a single experience, be it a presidential address or a baseball game. David Sarnoff had envisioned such a service as early as 1915, when, in a memo to his boss at the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, he proposed a broadcast radio network whereby "events of national importance can be simultaneously announced and received," and "baseball scores can be transmitted in the air." His vision became a reality in 1926, with the founding of NBC.

  Jaws Shark Design.

In 2004, NBC merged with Universal and NBCUniversal was formed. Today, as one company under the ownership of Comcast, NBCUniversal continues to build on our legacy of quality and innovation.

NBCUniversal Archives & Collections serves as the central reference source for historic information about NBCUniversal and our productions. We preserve and document our heritage by collecting and maintaining significant historical records, photographs and artifacts according to professional museum and archive standards. We also preserve the history being made today by working with feature and television productions as well as the theme park and other businesses to document current activity. 

The information and assets curated by Archives & Collections is used to enrich the heritage of the company, promoting NBCUniversal internally and externally.  Our collections are frequently featured in prestigious museums and other institutions around the world through our loan program.

Hairspray Live! display at the Paley Center Beverly Hills.

All images courtesy NBCUniversal Archives & Collections.

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