Browse through all of our archival programs. Read about the project here.
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.
From the October, 1942 WQXR Program Guide:
We asked Mrs. Lytle Hull to write this because she is in close touch with efforts to bring more and better music to the public. She is the Director of the Philharmonic Symphony Society, the President of the New Opera Company, and the Acting President of the Musicians Emergency Fund.
Thomas Edison's 'right hand man' praises WNYC's static-free sound in this 1936 missive.
From the October, 1943 WQXR Program Guide:
The author of this peek behind the scenes at WQXR is one of our program editors. His specialty is the lighter classics, and he knows that kind of music from Arensky to Ziehrer. Among the WQXR programs Mr. Simon produces are Just Music, The Maxwell House Dinner Concert, The American Express Cavalcade of Music and The Operetta Scrapbook.
From the February, 1943 WQXR Program Guide:
Prof. Moore as head of the Music Department of Columbia University is not only famous as an educator but also well known as a composer and writer. He is the composer of "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and as the author of "From Madrigal to Modern Music," is particularly well qualified to write on this subject.
In 1951, jazz superstar Hazel Scott boldly spoke against Jim Crow. At least a decade before Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the former "Darling of Café Society" talked about her own hopes of a future with "all racial prejudice eliminated."
In the '60s, WNYC tried to bridge the cultural Cold War-divide by periodically airing some Radio Moscow programs. Among them is a celebration of Cosmonautics Day and Moscow Mailbag, a segment devoted to debunking common myths about Russia.
From the July, 1944 WQXR Program Guide:
Mrs. Sternberger has been a WQXR commentator for over four years, presenting her "Washington Front" program each Monday through Friday at 5:15 P.M. Before coming to radio she was a newspaper-woman whose travels had taken her to all major European countries, most of Asia and part of South America.
Because of the great interest in the news at this time,we have asked Mrs. Sternberger to give her views on what she feels a commentator's responsibility is to the listening public in this crisis.
From the September 1944 WQXR Program Guide:
On a certain afternoon in June, WQXR broadcast about eight minutes of the 30-minute 'Lyric Suite' by Alban Berg. As this is an ultra- modern work, we asked the audience to write and tell us what they thought of it and whether they wanted us to play it in full at some future time.
In 1951, marijuana grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York. In that year alone, a division of the Department of Sanitation called the "White Wing Squad" confiscated and destroyed 41,000 pounds of the plants.
In this archival interview, the famed author defends his fiction against critics who to pan his writing, comparing his detractors to “circus geeks” who “bite the heads off chickens for the amusement of the rubes who walk by.”
In the April, 1942 WQXR Program Guide, distinguished American pianist and composer Abram Chasins wrote about the obligations of performers, composers and listeners to the art of music. In July, 1943 he was appointed WQXR's Music Consultant, and in 1946, its Music Director, a post he held for nineteen years.
The great Russian-born composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff died at the end of March, 1943 at the age of 70. Charles O'Connell, then RCA Victor's Music Director, composed this personal tribute for the May, 1943 WQXR Program Guide.
On this week's Weekend Edition, Robert Indiana called his iconic LOVE sculpture 'a terrible mistake', but in this 1971 conversation from the archives, he seemed much more optimistic about the work's influence on his career.
From the August, 1942 WQXR Program Guide:
Editorial Note: Occasionally we receive letters from listeners who protest angrily against our broadcasting German music either orchestral or vocal. Because of the democratic implications of the problem, we have asked Ernest Angell, President of the Council for Democracy, to present his views, which he does in the following article. The Council for Democracy is dedicated to a fighting faith in democracy, and hence Mr. Angell's comments represent the considered opinion of real fighters for our present way of life.