University of Houston Libraries Exhibits

KUHT TexTreasures

KUHT, now Houston Public Media’s TV8, was established by Dr. John C. Schwarzwalder, a professor in what was then the Radio-Television Department at the University of Houston. When KUHT went on the air on May 25, 1953, it became the first non-commercial, educational television station in the United States.

In 1981 KUHT was the first television station in Houston to provide closed captioning, and in 1991 became the first station in Houston to offer services for the visually impaired such as Descriptive Video Service audio, and a secondary audio feed for bilingual viewers. KUHT was also one of the earliest member stations of National Education Television, which eventually merged into PBS.

Originally operating out of the Ezekiel W. Cullen Building on the University of Houston campus, KUHT-TV, now part of Houston Public Media, eventually settled into its current location in the LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting on the University of Houston campus in 2001.

This curated online exhibit contains materials from the KUHT Film & Video collection digitized through a TexTreasures grant in 2017. The KUHT collection in UH Libraries' Special Collections is home to roughly 2000 films and over 12,000 video assets, preserving the broadcast and production history of the nation’s first educational, non-profit television station.

View the full finding aid for information about accessing digital and physical materials from this collection.

The full Audio/Video Repository is also available.