Directed by archivist Andy Lanset, the department provides a central repository for thousands of audio recordings, photographs, memorabilia, reports, news items, program guides, institutional records, and promotional materials.
Among its holdings are more than 50,000 recordings in a variety of formats, from early lacquer and acetate discs, to reel-to-reel tapes, to digital audio tapes and compact discs.
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For more than 90 years, WNYC has been a witness to the news, politics and cultural events of New York City. We've combed our archives to bring you some of the most notable highlights from our rich broadcast heritage.
Credit: NYC Municipal Archives
Recently in Archives and Preservation
Thursday, October 23, 2014
And Spanish and Yiddish are struggling to be called the official language of the Lower East Side. That's according to this 1970 Pan Am audio tour of New York City's neighborhoods.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Talking skulls, demonic wolves, and killer vampires—kids told us tell their favorite spooky tales during WNYC's 1979 Storytelling Festival.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posies.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
In the 1940s and '50s comics were considered pernicious by many. This Brooklyn mom spoke her moderate mind on WNYC.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
She broke into the Boy's Club here in 1966, but she'd already distinguished herself as a community activist—thanks to her, there's no four-lane highway through Washington Square Park.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
50 years ago, presidential aide Walter Jenkins was arrested for having sex with a man in a YMCA bathroom, just weeks before the 1964 presidential election. Hear a clip of LBJ's reaction.
Monday, October 06, 2014
The Jefferson Market Clock was almost destroyed at several points in its history. Listen to the 1960s interview with the woman who saved it every time.
Friday, October 03, 2014
Tomorrow is Siri's birthday, and to test her skills, we played her a 1962 recording of an IBM 704 computer singing "Daisy Bell." Will Siri recognize her own voice-sythesized forebears?
Monday, September 29, 2014
He cleaned up the subways.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
It’s not embalmed in a time capsule of amber as though it was not meant to change over time.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
How a turn of the century lute player came to influence an entire generation of club VJs and video artists.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
How a Frank Zappa-hosted concert of music by Varèse was resurrected
Friday, September 05, 2014
Homosexuality. Mixed-race couples. Narcotics on MacDougal Street. This archived conversation from a WNYC broadcast gives an incredible sense of what's changed--and what hasn't.
Thursday, September 04, 2014
Even tape of Joan Rivers needs a face lift, of sorts. Our archivists restored this 1999 recording of Rivers cracking wise on The Leonard Lopate Show.
Monday, August 11, 2014
A Casual Summertime Journey Through a Sprawling Municipal Treasure
Monday, August 11, 2014
Before reality TV, there was reality radio - well, sort of.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Nearly 40 years later the bones have disappeared but the voice is still defiant.
Monday, July 21, 2014
James Flexner's first appearance on WNYC in 1931 could have gone better. He tells the story of the announcer with the wandering hands.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
It started at WNYC, ended up at WQXR and packed a south of the border beat.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Baseball as a metaphor for life.