Museum to Create a National Archives of Game Show History

“Showcase Showdowns” and “Daily Doubles” of yesteryear will now not be relegated to simply reruns.

A museum in Rochester, N.Y., introduced on Wednesday that it could function the house of a first-of-its-kind National Archives of Game Show History to protect artifacts and photographs from applications like “Jeopardy!” “The Price Is Right” and “The $25,000 Pyramid.”

The archives might be housed on the Strong National Museum of Play, which is present process an growth that can add 90,000 sq. ft to its area and that it expects to be accomplished by 2023.

Curators on the museum have already got some concepts about what sorts of artifacts would make a super centerpiece and are asking for gadgets from collectors.

“The wheel from ‘Wheel of Fortune’ would be iconic,” Chris Bensch, the museum’s vice chairman for collections, mentioned in an interview on Wednesday. The museum, he mentioned, would gladly settle for the letter board, together with a gown from the present’s well-known letter-turner, Vanna White.

Museum officers mentioned there was a void of preservation teams devoted to recreation reveals. They characterize a key side of tv and cultural historical past in America, from the earliest panel reveals and the quiz-show scandals of the 1950s to big-money mainstays of night tv.

“It is something we feel uniquely qualified to do,” Mr. Bensch mentioned of the museum, which opened in 1982.

The archive’s creation is an element of the broader growth on the museum, which is being supported by a $60 million marketing campaign. The price of the archive is but to be decided.

Several marquee names have already lined up in help of the venture, in accordance to the museum, which mentioned that the archive's co-founders are Howard Blumenthal and Bob Boden, the producers of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and “Funny You Should Ask.”

The museum, which is already house to the World Video Game Hall of Fame and the National Toy Hall of Fame, has discovered one other key ally: Ken Jennings, the record-setting “Jeopardy!” champion.

“There’s like a pleasant nostalgia to game shows for generations of Americans,” Mr. Jennings mentioned in an interview on Wednesday.

Calling the preservation effort overdue, Mr. Jennings mentioned that folks have been beginning to understand the significance of recreation reveals the way in which they did with different nice 20th century artwork kinds like jazz and comedian books.

“I think it’s the game show’s turn,” he mentioned.

In a assertion launched via the museum, Wink Martindale, the veteran recreation present host, mentioned there was a sure urgency to the preservation effort.

“Without this initiative, many primary resources relating to these shows, as well as oral histories of their creators and talent, risked being lost forever,” he mentioned.

The museum, which welcomed almost 600,000 guests in 2019 earlier than the pandemic, mentioned it was in search of to purchase every thing from set items and viewers tickets to press pictures.

“It deserves a place where it can be preserved, a place where scholars, media and the general public can access it,” Mr. Bensch mentioned.

The museum is just not limiting its focus to these in entrance of the digicam. Officials mentioned contestants, tv crews and viewers members would play an vital function in preserving the historical past of recreation reveals.

“There are so many significant folks who have shaped this industry over the years,” Mr. Bensch mentioned. “They deserve a chance to tell their stories. We also have plans to do video oral histories with key people so we will capture their stories directly and share those with the world.”

It appears the museum has a lead on an artifact.

“If they want a necktie I lost on ‘Jeopardy!’ with,” Mr. Jennings mentioned, “they’re happy to have it.”