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Bowdoin Cable Network records

 Record Group
Identifier: A04.85

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Bowdoin Cable Network records date from 1999 to 2014. The records are arranged by media format: DVD/compact disk, videocassette, and MiniDV or tape. Descriptions at item level are available for most audiovisual media.


  • Creation: 1999 - 2014

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

The Bowdoin Cable Network, or BCN, was founded in Spring 1999 by a group of students. Under the leadership of Finn O'Brien (Class of 2000, referred to as '00), the students secured the charter and early funding for the Network and established a cable television station that would serve as both a central source of school news and information and a creative outlet for students. In the summer of 1999, a room in Adams Hall was acquired and equipment was bought. The station's technological base was selected to be the most recent advancement in digital video technology. The initial version of Final Cut Pro and digital cameras were bought to make high-quality footage and expedite the production process. The first transmission of BCN took place in the autumn of 1999. Productions that aired and captivated the campus during its first school year included The Bowdoin Tower (starring Philip Sharp '03 and Andy Cashman '03), Pine Films (starring Finn O'Brien '00 and Brendan Smith-Elion '02), BCN Sports (starring Matthew Volk '03), and Cooking with Anand. BCN established itself on Bowdoin campus.

A turning point for BCN came in the fall of 2001 when the network aired its first live broadcast from its Adams Hall studio. The following winter, BCN aired a live broadcast of the men's hockey game against Colby College. During that academic year, BCN Sports would provide immediate replays for games and go on to broadcast several additional events, including men's and women's basketball and indoor track. In addition, the second season of The Bowdoin Bubble demonstrated the full reach of BCN with a 24-hour live telecast streamed over the Internet that featured online voting and message board interaction, directed by Brendan Smith-Elion '02, Philip Sharp '03, Matthew Volk '03, and Steve Gogolak '05. BCN started searching the campus for a new production venue in the spring of 2002. The old Dining Service office on Coles Tower's first floor was choosen. BCN management, under the direction of Matthew Volk '03, Philip Sharp '03, and Nathaniel Felsher '02, moved to secure the central site. With ample space for equipment storage, broadcasting area, tape storage, and a respectable live set, the new studio could be more efficiently arranged. The new set had permanent wiring and lighting, which simplified live production. BCN started a project to fully digitize its production business in addition to building the new studio.

The years 2002–2003 were crucial for BCN's expansion as there was an increase in the quantity of creative, reliable content, and the network was becoming a destination for students. In 2004, BCN experienced extraordinary growth because of a new partnership with Information Technology, which General Manager Steve Gogolak '05 helped to establish. Under the name BCNews, a second channel, 41, was launched in January 2004. In 2005-2006, Two Apple PowerMac G5 computers were installed to the studio to provide students with editing equipment available. Dotan Johnson '07 and Steven Bartus '08 oversaw the renovation of a section of the Coles Tower studio to make way for a specially designed editing area for the new PCs. The BCN Studio had some significant upgrades during the 2007–2008 season. With the addition of two Mac Pro machines to the cutting-edge editing equipment lineup, more individuals could edit more effectively.

The 2011-2012 school year was the network’s twelfth season on Bowdoin’s campus. In 2014, the BCN vacated the studio in Coles Tower, slowly stopped producing media (with their last video posted on YouTube in 2016) and donated their physical media audiovisual collection to the archive.


9 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Audiovisual content created by the Bowdoin Cable Network, or BCN, the student-run, closed circuit television station on campus from 1999 to roughly 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred by the Office of Events after BCN had vacated the studio in Coles Tower in 2014.

Separated Materials

Duplicates on various media formats are to be discarded to preserve the single best copy of a program. Compact Discs and tapes of highly available media not produced by BCN will also be discarded as they are not pertinent to the collection.

Guide to the Bowdoin Cable Network records
In Progress
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288