Collection ID: VAE1281
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Collection context


Agency for Instructional Technology
The Agency for Instructional Technology (formally 1973-2015) was a non-profit organization based in Bloomington, Indiana that produced and distributed educational television and multimedia programs to schools in the United States and Canada. This collection contains the organization's administrative records, publications, and production files.
131 Boxes
Materials are in English
Preferred citation:

[Item], Agency for Instructional Technology papers, Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive, Bloomington.


Biographical / Historical:

The Agency for Instructional Technology (AIT) was an organization founded through the United States Office of Education in 1962. Originally named the National Instructional Television Library, it worked with National Educational Television (NET, the precursor to the Public Broadcasting Service or PBS) to create and distribute educational films and associated program materials to television stations in the United States. In 1965 the National Instructional Television Library relocated to Bloomington, Indiana where it was funded and operated by the Indiana University Foundation; the organization aligned with Indiana University's other educational technology activities such as the Audio-Visual Center.

In 1968, the National Instructional Television Library was renamed the National Instructional Television Center (NIT). Following a landmark meeting between delegates from forty-seven states and four Canadian provinces, NIT became independent from formal ties with Indiana University, earned non-profit organization status, and renamed itself the Agency for Instructional Television (AIT) on July 1, 1973. Throughout the 1970s AIT enhanced its reputation by collaborating on series with local public broadcasting stations (ranging as far as WGBH-Boston to KCLS-Los Angeles), state boards of education, and educational research consortiums across the United States and Canada. These collaborations resulted in massive fundraising efforts and distributed productions across North America. Productions covered a wide range of educational topics including health, science, technology, math, arts, languages, literature, history, economics, social development, and cognition. Some popular programs from this time include Inside/Out (a series developed to help children deal with social, emotional, and physical problems), Ripples (an interdisciplinary series geared towards helping children understand relationships, emotions, aesthetics, and cognition), and Self Incorporated (a series designed to help young teenagers cope with physical and emotional changes).

AIT produced and distributed materials across new technologies (including videocassette, CDs, and electronic mediums) in the 1980s and 1990s; in 1984 the organization changed its name to the Agency for Instructional Technology to reflect these developments. This is the most current organizational name. Throughout the 1980s AIT cooperated with educators and researchers to identify curricular areas in which new technology materials, such as computer discs and audiocassettes, could be utilized. Major programs from the 1980s included Readit (a dynamic program in which John Robbins would draw on-screen as he read from children's books like The Boxcar Children and My Father's Dragon), It Figures (a math program geared towards fourth-grade curriculums), Sometimes I Wonder If It's Worth It (a mental health and suicide prevention program for teenagers), and Well, Well, Well (a health program hosted by the popular John Burstein character Slim Goodbody, who wore a signature unitard painted with internal anatomy).

AIT continued to make video productions in the 1990s, but it also delved into other educational programming opportunities. These include new media formats such as computer programs and games and emerging electronic distribution methods for schools accessing AIT materials. It also edited and distributed Technos, a quarterly journal dedicated to educational reform issues with a special focus on classroom technologies, from 1992-2002. AIT stopped producing new titles in 2011 and ceased operations in 2015, after which its corporate archives were transferred to the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive.

Scope and Content:

The Agency for Instructional Technology (AIT) collection fully consists of paper materials, video and audiotapes, and film. This finding aid describes the paper materials in the collection. These papers include AIT's administrative records, publications, and production files. The Administrative Files series (1976-2012) documents AIT's Board of Directors and Executive Committee activities; consortium documentation from AIT's cooperation with educators, public entities, and funders; contracts and distribution agreements with partner stations; course registers and releases; and other records such as official correspondence. The Publications series (1970-2002) documents AIT's official publication activities. The bulk of this series contains records from Technos, a quarterly journal AIT published between 1992-2002 dedicated to education discussions, reform, instructional media, and technology. This series includes full issues, writer files, covers, and administrative records such as costs. The series also includes bound catalogs of AIT's educational materials, research and program evaluation reports, and organizational newsletters. The Production Files series (1972-2000) contains records and materials from specific productions AIT created and distributed. These productions span a range of educational topics including science, math, language, social sciences, arts, and wellness topics related to child development. Popular productions significantly represented in this series include Inside/Out, Ripples, Thinkabout, Principles of Technology, Readit, Teletales, and Econ and Me. The bulk of documents in this series relate to the use and evaluation of AIT productions in the classroom. These materials include curriculum development tools for integrating AIT productions in the classroom including teacher's guides, manuals, lesson plans, student competency guides, and instructor handbooks; implementation resources such as worksheets, discussion guides, fact sheets, and related media; and evaluation tools, especially formative evaluation reports. The series additionally contains administrative records for productions including trademark information, actors' releases, contracts, production design reports.

Acquisition information:
Two accessions, 2013 and 2016.
Custodial history:

Transferred by Agency for Instructional Technology Executive Director Chuck Wilson in 2013 and 2016.

Processing information:

Finding aid created by Katie Morrison.

Completed in 2019; Morrison.

This collection has been minimally processed to allow researchers more immediate access to the collection. This finding aid reflects a minimally processed inventory of items in the collection.


The paper collection is organized into three series:

  1. Administrative Files, 1976-2012
  2. Publications, 1970-2002
  3. Production Files, 1972-2000

All series are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



Advance notice is required for access. This collection contains no files restricted to researchers.


The Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive respects the intellectual property rights of others and does not claim any copyrights for non-university records, materials in the public domain, or materials for which we do not hold a Deed of Gift. Responsibility for the determination of the copyright status of these materials rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Researchers are responsible for securing permission from copyright owners and any other rights holders for any reuse of these materials that extends beyond fair use or other statutory limitations.

Digital reproductions of archival materials from the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive are made available for noncommercial educational and research purposes only. If you are the copyright holder for any of the digitized materials and have questions about its inclusion on our site, please contact an archivist.


[Item], Agency for Instructional Technology papers, Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive, Bloomington.

Indiana University Bloomington
1320 East Tenth Street
Herman B Wells Library
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000, United States
Indiana University Bloomington