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.
Five years after the U.S. Army Air Force dropped atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Cold War-era New York officials were preparing for the worst case scenario, an atomic bomb detonation over New York City.
As eloquent in her speech as she is in her song, the contralto Marian Anderson addresses the issues of prejudice and segregation head-on in this 1957 Books and Authors Luncheon appearance.
In this recording from April 26, 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Joseph Stalin, fields a variety of questions from the New York press after leaving her homeland. "I feel like Valentina Tereshkova at her first flight into space," she confesses, referring to the first female cosmonaut.
Steve Allen's short story collection Fourteen for Tonight is the ostensible reason for his appearance at this 1956 Books and Authors Luncheon, where the "Tonight Show" host treated assembled guests more as a television audience, relying on his stand-up comedy technique and a few book-oriented jokes. Television itself, still a novelty, provided much of the material.
In this broadcast of Maincurrents, three panelists -- all men -- examine recent legislation to "liberalize" existing abortion restrictions, leading to a wide-ranging discussion of the practice, both in the United States and abroad, as well as the historical basis for restrictions.
On Sunday, July 8, 2012, WNYC will mark 88 years on the air. Originally established as New York City's municipal radio station, WNYC has since become the flagship station for the country's public radio networks. In 1948, station founder Grover A. Whalen spoke briefly about what he believed to be WNYC's primary role in the lives of New York's residents.
WNYC's first official broadcast was at 8:56 p.m. on July 8, 1924. Since then, the station has been a witness to the news, politics and cultural events of New York City.
Take a five-cent trip on the Staten Island ferry. Take a Fifth Avenue bus to Fort Tryon Park. Watch the planes take off and land at LaGuardia field.
From 1940 to 1942 Ralph Berton hosted WNYC's daily foray into jazz called Metropolitan Review, dedicated to "the finest in recorded hot jazz." The program was radio's first serious jazz music show on the air.
The Archives Department celebrates Robert Moog's 78th birthday with this 1980s episode of WQXR's This is My Music. Host Lloyd Moss talks with the inventor and musical pioneer and plays selections from Moog's library of compositions and influences. The program includes a virtuosic performance of Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2 adapted for theremin and piano.
American artist Dan Flavin is well known for his often temporary, site-specific installations composed of fluorescent light tubes. In this 1970 episode of Views on Art, host Ruth Bowman interviews the artist about his work and the roles played by critics, museums and galleries.
Though a working artist for the span of some 80 years, Hedda Sterne may be best known for simply being in a photograph featuring some of the brightest stars of the Abstract Expressionist movement in America. In this interview with Views on Art host Ruth Bowman we gain some insight into the artist behind the photograph, midway through a long and successful career.
Walter James Miller (1918-2010) was Professor Emeritus at New York University and host of WNYC’s Reader’s Almanac (1970-1985) and WNYC-TV’s Book World (1968-1970). He conducted early interviews with writers such as Nadine Gordimer, Erica Jong, Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Gallagher and Jerzy Kosinski.
In 1951, as part of WNYC's annual American Art Festival, arts commentator (and future host of WQXR's "This Is My Music"!) Lloyd Moss wandered through the rooms of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery at its original location, 206 E. 53rd Street. Along with gallery co-director John Myers, Moss explores the work of "unknown" artists and even runs into a young Larry Rivers, who explains to the WNYC audience the importance of the New York School of Painting and his own place within that movement.