The PBS NewsHour Collection includes more than 8,000 episodes of PBS NewsHour’s predecessor programs from October 1975 to December 2007, including The Robert MacNeil Report (1975), The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (1976 – 1983), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (1983 – 1995) and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (1995 – 2007). The programs aired nationwide on public television stations, five nights a week. Covering national and worldwide news and public affairs, the programs feature interviews with leading newsmakers including presidents, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, secretaries of state, and with world leaders, including the Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, Fidel Castro, Muammar Khadafy, Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin, Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher. The collection includes extensive coverage of U.S. election campaigns, African-American history, global and domestic health care, poverty, technology, immigration debates, the end of the Cold War, terrorism, the economy, climate change, energy issues, religion, education issues, rural life, scientific exploration, poetry and the media.
The Robert MacNeil Report went on the air on October 20, 1975 and has continued under subsequent series titles through the present, now known as the PBS NewsHour. PBS NewsHour is produced by NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Greater Washington Educational Television Authority (WETA). In 2016, the Council on Library and Information Resources awarded a grant to WGBH, the Library of Congress, and WETA to digitize, preserve and make publicly accessible the PBS NewsHour Collection. Transcripts for the majority of the collection were provided by the NewsHour. The entire digitized collection will be available by January 2019, with the exception of missing dates. As of July 2018, AAPB is currently missing 545 episodes that have not been located through the digitization project.