From the Vault

Davis Media Access (DMA) is a community media center that has served Davis and environs for more than 25 years, amassing an archive of more than 10,000 locally produced videos. These programs tell the story of our area: our struggles, triumphs, concerns, and motivations. Most were either produced by, or feature, community members. In an era where broadcast outlets became fewer and increasingly homogenized, these programs helped tell the story of our community in a very real, and meaningful way, often covering what the Sacramento media market would not.

The programs also chronicle part of the technological revolution that’s swept our culture over the years. Today, all new programs are submitted as digital files, but that’s not always been the case. Community media centers struggle with digitizing these archives, and highlighting their contents. It takes dedicated equipment, and lots of time, to transfer antiquated formats (ours range from original Betamax, U-matic, VHS, S-VHS and mini-DV). We’ve managed to digitize about one-tenth of the older programs to date, but it’s a slow process.

And yet, DMA's video archive represents a unique piece of our collective community history. Recognizing that, and wanting to find an intentional way to continue digitizing these assets, DMA is launching "From the Vault" to highlight select programs from this archive.

The project launches Oct. 30, 2014 and will continue until further notice. We will introduce a new "From the Vault" segment every two weeks. The first three segments are all related -- they profile the community build of Rainbow City at Community Park in 1991, and were produced by longtime DMA volunteer and staff person, Cliff Gamble. The City contacted us requesting this archival footage as it prepares to renovate Rainbow City, and it seemed a great way to launch this effort.

Each “From the Vault” segment will air on DCTV, Channel 15 on Comcast in Davis, Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., and Sundays at 10 p.m. The content will also air on AT&T’s U-verse service at Menu 99, and we’ll profile it across DMA’s social media feeds (@dmafeed on Twitter; davismediaaccess on Instagram; Davis Media Access on Facebook). All segments will also be added to DMA’s YouTube channel at

We're looking to highlight older programs, in general, though there may be impetus to highlight something more recent if it provides context for a current situation. Requests made be sent to and will be accommodated if feasible.