Digitization Project: The Port That Built a City and State

The BMI is nearing completion on a digitization project to conserve the film collection of Helen Delich Bentley’s long running television program The Port That Built a City and State. Bentley hosted the weekly program, which ran on WMAR from 1950-1965.

The project to preserve, catalog, and rehouse the extensive film collection is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) through the Museums for America program. This prestigious and competitive award, along with a generous bequest from Bentley’s estate, provides funding for the fragile 16mm acetate films to be preserved in a digital format. Henninger Media Services in Arlington, Virginia, a firm specializing in the preservation of motion pictures, has been selected to handle the digitization work.

As the project is nearing completion, as scripts and other materials are digitized, a film inventory for the digitized film is available upon request. The inventory will also be accessible through the museum’s online catalog later this year, helping to ensure their historic integrity and accessibility for generations to come.

Any questions about the collection or a request for the film inventory can be directed to our Archives Manager, Maggi Marzolf, at mmarzolf@thebmi.org.

Helen Delich Bentley was the nation’s first female maritime reporter and later served as a U.S. Congresswoman. Bentley was one of the BMI’s earliest champions, advocating for its inception alongside museum founder Mayor William Donald Schaefer, and was a cherished trustee at the BMI at the time of her death in 2016.

Read more about Helen Delich Bentley.


Helen Delich Bentley: Former Congresswoman, Museum Trustee, Champion of American Fashion


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