Streams

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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Recently in Archives and Preservation

James T. Farrell on a Writer's Inner Life

Monday, September 24, 2012

WNYC

James T. Farrell, the creator of Studs Lonigan, is often thought of as a crude, dogged, naturalist writer; it's refreshing to hear the author speaking, in this recording from 1952, of what truly obsesses him: literature.

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James L. Farmer Jr. Advocates Revolutionary Freedoms for African-Americans

Friday, September 21, 2012

"America is being forced to face itself," James Farmer proclaims in this 1963 Overseas Press Club appearance, before discussing the upcoming march on Washington and the historical roots of the civil rights struggle.

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Abba Eban Pushes Israel's Application for U.N. Membership

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In 1949, Israel's Abba Eban defends his country against a variety of accusations and urges the United Nations to act favorably on Israel's application for admission to that international body.

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Owa Tagoo Siam! Good Clean Fun in Harlem, 1946

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WNYC

Harlem Hospitality Club is an audience participation and variety show by and for African Americans. 

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Richard Dyer-Bennet's Living Tradition of American Minstrelsy

Monday, September 17, 2012

WNYC

WNYC's American Music Festival features Richard Dyer-Bennet in his all-too-brief heyday, before betrayal and political accusations would derail his career, in this 1945 studio appearance.

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Heart Troubles: Monologist Ruth Draper Performs Three Generations of Women

Friday, September 14, 2012

WNYC

"Three Generations From the Court of Domestic Relations" is the title of this 1954 performance by the  monologist Ruth Draper. The setting is the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf Astoria, where Draper, the afternoon's entertainment, takes the stage.

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Pioneering Language Classes Over WNYC

Friday, September 14, 2012

Between the summer of 1925 and spring 1932, Victor Harrison-Berlitz, the General Manager of 410 U.S. Berlitz language schools, taught French, Spanish, German and Italian over WNYC. The regular classes were a pioneering effort for American radio.

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Audio dada: A precursor to John Cage's 4'33", 20 years earlier

Thursday, September 13, 2012

As New Sounds celebrates composer John Cage's 100th birthday, we at the WNYC archives add our own, irreverent archival item to the celebration: a WMCA News Parade program with an eerie premonition of John Cage's famous "silent" piece, 4'33".

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Oil and Extremism: The Prescient Caution of Justice William O. Douglas

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WNYC

"We are heading up to one of the greatest crises, I think, in modern history." This prediction about oil and the Middle East was made in 1951 by none other than Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas at a Books and Authors Luncheon.

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'Hello, There! Let's Speak American!' 1952

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WNYC

This is not a radio show featuring our 43rd president; here, ‘speaking American’ is a colloquialism for functional English.

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Tommy Dorsey and Leopold Stokowski Bring Brass and Rhythm to Young Audiences

Monday, September 10, 2012

WNYC

Tommy Dorsey's 1945 teaming up with Leopold Stokowski drives the young audience into a frenzy even before the first note is played. Stokowski comes across as a bit schoolmasterish, admonishing the audience to be quiet or "the concert ends now."

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"A Great Day for the Irish" as New York City Welcomes Eamon de Valera

Friday, September 07, 2012

WNYC

The former prime minister and future president of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, is welcomed to New York by various dignitaries during this 1948 visit. Grover Whalen, the city's official greeter, introduces "the boy from Manhattan island" who now returns as a recognized world leader. 

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Backing a Democrat for the White House: Carmine DeSapio's Partisan Politics

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

WNYC

Carmine G. DeSapio rose through the ranks of Tammany Hall, the New York City Democratic machine, starting out as an errand boy and becoming "boss" in 1949. The upcoming presidential contest is very much on DeSapio's mind during this 1955 edition of Campus Press Conference.

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'Clean Living' is a Euphemism for... What?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

WNYC

In 1946, there was a 29% increase in the cases of venereal diseases in New York City.  Interestingly, there was a correlative rise in flushed exclamations of catching VD from toilet seats, park benches, and bus seats.

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The Democratic Machine: Carmine DeSapio and Jacob Javits Debate Ethics in Politics

Monday, September 03, 2012

WNYC

Speaking first in this 1955 debate, the Democratic boss Carmine G. DeSapio bristles at the question, "Is Tammany Hall fundamentally corrupt?" He dismisses such "sinister implications," claiming they refer to long-ago scandals.

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Sammy Davis Jr. Writes His "Emotional Soul" in Yes I Can

Friday, August 31, 2012

WNYC

Overcoming a life of hardship, Samuel Davis Jr. became a major performer in Las Vegas and a member of the legendary Rat Pack. In a quiet, moving tone, Davis, author of the just-published Yes I Can, speaks at a Books and Authors Luncheon in 1965.

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The "Overpoweringly Witty" Fiction of Noël Coward

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WNYC

Celebrating the appearance of his first published novel, Pomp and Circumstance (1961), Noël Coward coolly rebuts those critics calling him "antiquated, snobbish, and belonging to an earlier, more complacent age." 

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Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency: Wertham Versus Gaines On Decency Standards

Monday, August 27, 2012

WNYC

The investigation continues! The evils of horror comics are explicated by two contrasting witnesses, Dr.  Fredric Wertham, a reserved psychiatrist, and William Gaines, the chief purveyor of such lurid publications as The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, and Tales From the Crypt

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Poor Little Annie!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WNYC

During the 1945 newspaper deliverymen's strike, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia kept the children of New York City up to date on the adventures of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie by reading the Sunday comics over WNYC's airwaves.

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Eleanor Roosevelt's Hidden Talent

Friday, August 24, 2012

WNYC

To generate interest in a series of talent shows benefiting the 1957 March of Dimes, Eleanor Roosevelt tried her hand as an amateur disc jockey on WNYC.

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