Collection ID: NPkMC-222-082

Collection context


Edward P. Swyer and Ernest A. Arico
"On the River" was a documentary TV series concerning the Hudson River and its surroundings. It was developed to inform people about the River as an economical and a recreational resource.
152 3/4 inch master tapes, 300 1/2 tapes and 300 DVD's (2 1/2 inch tapes and 2 DVD's of each episode are available for use)
Preferred citation:

[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the On The River Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.


Scope and Content:

The "On the River" collection consists of 153 videotapes, documenting the impact of the Hudson River on the area and how it has been a recreational and economic resource to those on its shore or in the surrounding areas. It tells stories up and down the river about well-known places and near-hidden treasures. The videos provide snapshots of the River activities and subjects, chronicling many topics, including the return of the Bald Eagles to the Hudson, ice yachting and the history of whaling on the Hudson River. The videos also include historic sites, such as Wilderstein Estate, and West Point. People profiles include author Robert Boyle, marine artist Anton Otto Fischer, and Lowell Thomas.

Biographical / Historical:

The "On the River" documentary was originally aired on WTSA-channel 62, a Kingston, N.Y. - based station. It was hosted by WTZA news anchor Brian Madden and aired Sunday evenings from 1986 to 1993. Edward P. Swyer produced all the episodes up to 1991. Ernest A. Arico produced twenty episodes in the final two years.

The series is an extensive recording of activities and enterprises demonstrating how the Hudson River has been an abundant resource for people who live along or near it. The show’s focus on the Hudson as a recreational and economic resource, as well as its impact on those who live and work along its shores.

In October of 1998, the Swyer produced collection was given to Marist College to serve as an educational tool not only for the students, but also for the people in the Hudson Valley who want to learn more about the River. The hope of this collection was that future generations would commit themselves to the preservation of this historic and beautiful waterway.

At the time Swyer donated the collection, the Marist College Library Archives and Special Collections received a grant from Swyer to preserve and support the collection. The funds were used to process the “On the River” Collection as well as publicize the collection to students, faculty, and the public.

In 2004, the twenty additional episodes produced by Ernest A. Arico were donated to Marist College. These episodes were well received and won various awards including two New York State Emmys for his work on the History of Blacks in the Hudson Valley and the his two part series on the life of John Burroughs. Arico also was awarded with two New York State Broadcasters Awards during his time as producer.

Acquisition information:
Edward P. Swyer presented the videotapes and provided funding to preserve the collection to the Marist College Library in 1998. Ernest A. Arico presented additional videotapes to the Marist College Library in 2004.

Collection is arranged intoseven series: 1. Episodes airing in 1986, 2. Episodes airing in 1987, 3. Episodes airing in 1988, 4. Episodes airing in 1989, 5. Episodes airing in 1990, 6. Episodes airing in 1991 - 1993, and 7. Extra clip videos, archives, and work tapes.

Materials in series are arranged chronologically.

Physical / technical requirements:

Access to materials in the collection require use of a videotape player or a DVD player.

Physical location:
Please contact the Marist College Archives and Special Collections for information regarding use and access of this collection.
Rules or conventions:
DACS Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013.



There are no restrictions on this collection


Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives and Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website:


[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the On The River Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.

3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, United States