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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

On the Eve of New Year's Eve 1924

Friday, December 30, 2011

On December 30, 1924, The New York Times radio listings* for WNYC included a remote broadcast from the Newspaper Club of New York. It was a children's Christmas party for the sons and daughters of newspaper men. The entertainment line-up included Marilyn Miller, the Duncan Sisters, The Singer Midgets, George Haas and his singing canaries, Betty Bronson, Toto, Bob Miller, Gedney and Magee, Winifred Toomey, Rachel Mastrota, Richard B. Gilbert, Sam Wooding's Orchestra and Teddy, the baby elephant. Who were they? Let's find out.

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WNYC Promotes Health and Wellness with Olympian Joe Ruddy

Friday, December 23, 2011

Keeping Fit was a regular series of  health and exercise talks by Joe Ruddy on WNYC in 1926.

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The Holiday Party the Cold War Hijacked

Friday, December 23, 2011

On December 27, 1951, the Brownsville Boy's Club hosted  5,000 children to an inter-faith party at the 106th Regiment Armory in Brooklyn. 

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Merry Christmas To All, From Mayor La Guardia

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Americans had plenty to celebrate in December 1945. The Second World War had just ended in September, making this the first peacetime holiday season they had seen in several years. In his regular Sunday "Talk to the People" broadcast on Christmas weekend, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia recited the Nativity story and told New Yorkers to "resolve to live the spirit of Christmas."

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Cartoonist and Sports Writer Thornton Fisher, WNYC Sports Commentator 1924-1925

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thornton Fisher (1888-1975) began his broadcasting career in 1923 at AT&T's WEAF in New York as one of radio's earliest sports commentators. He switched to WNYC the following year, not long after the municipal station began broadcasting. The Evening Leader of Corning, New York  praised Fisher's Tuesday and Thursday evening program, Sports Analysis, and said, "he is one of the keenest sports writers and cartoonists in the world of journalism. His love for all sports, coupled with his sparkling wit and understanding of every phase of every game, have created an immortal place for him as chronicler of the progress of sports."[1]

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The Five Locust Sisters Perform on WNYC

Friday, December 09, 2011

On December 9, 1926, the Locust Sisters sang popular tunes in our studio. The  Locust Sisters were a singing quartet with a fifth sister, Mathilda, on the piano. Known as the "miracle makers of harmony," they were featured as missionaries in the 1927 Vincent Youmans Broadway musical Hit the Deck. Reviewing the performance in The New York Times, Brook Atkinson wrote, "the thin harmonies of the four Locust Sisters, admirably introduced, are artless and delightful."  They also appeared in a five-minute movie short in 1928, the first of their two appearances for MGM Metro Movietone Revue. The sisters also briefly recorded for Columbia Records. Watch and listen to them in their 1930 MGM short at: LOCUST SISTERS. 

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1964 World's Fair Hall of Science

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Seven years after Sputnik 1 was launched into orbit, and just six weeks after the U.S. space probe Ranger 7 sent back the first close range photos of the moon, civic leaders and Nobel Laureates gathered in Flushing Meadow, Queens, on a hot September day in 1964 to dedicate the World's Fair Hall of Sciences as a permanent structure committed to science education and exploration in New York City.

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AES 2011 Recap

Monday, December 05, 2011

Preservation is moving toward center stage in the audio world, and nowhere is this more patent than at the AES Convention. Marquee names (Chuck Ainlay, Bob Ludwig) are expressing concern over the legacy of their work, and their talks are increasingly well attended by the rank-and-file membership, who increasingly face challenges that require coordinated solutions.

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Archives Thanksgiving: Peppers and Zesty Cheese Croquettes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The second installment of the Archives' celebration of Thanksgiving continues today with a 1952 show focusing on cayenne peppers, featuring Mrs. Gannon, WNYC's Mistress of Markets. Tune in to learn all about incorporating this "pepper-upper" into your diets -- and be sure to catch her recipe for cheese croquettes!

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Senator John F. Kennedy on Overseas Press Club, 1957

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WNYC

Three years before he was elected President of the United States, Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his book Profiles in Courage, which he co-wrote with his adviser and speechwriter Ted Sorensen. The day the award was announced, May 6, 1957, Senator Kennedy addressed a special Overseas Press Club event honoring the accomplishments of members of the foreign press, which was broadcast over WNYC on May 31, 1957.

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Archives Thanksgiving: Healthy Vegetables in Tough Times

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Howdy, Homemakers! Welcome to the first in a special holiday series of Annotations featuring a few culinary highlights from the WNYC radio collection. Today the crew at the Department of Markets brings you their program on "food and rationing with a silver lining," featuring the wisdom of Commissioner Daniel P. Wooley and the experience of Frances Foley Gannon, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Services.

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Frontiers in Genetics, 1949

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

This week's Studio 360, "Making Better People," takes a look at man's preoccupation with improving man. Featuring interviews with Greg Stock, author of Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future, and others, the program considers how we might better nature through engineering. Meanwhile, in the Archives we found a WNYC program exploring the same topic ...almost exactly sixty-two years earlier.

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Remembering Eleanor, 1962

Monday, November 07, 2011

Forty-nine years ago today activist, politician and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt passed away at the age of 78. An outspoken advocate of civil rights, the Chairman of the President's Commission on the Status of Women and a former delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, Mrs. Roosevelt spent her final years speaking to groups around the country and raising money for various charitable organizations.

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Tony Schwartz On The Subway

Monday, November 07, 2011

WNYC

In this 1964 episode of Around New York, the inimitable Tony Schwartz presents an aural portrait of New York City’s subway.  

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First Jewish Daily Forward Radio Program is on WNYC

Friday, November 04, 2011

WNYC

Contrary to prevailing belief, the Jewish Daily Forward's first radio program was not on WEVD (a leader in Jewish and Yiddish radio programming in the 1930s and 40s), but on WNYC!  The Yiddish newspaper marked the May 21, 1926 broadcast nine days later by printing the photos on the left with the following caption:

"The First Forward Radio Concert --Isa Kremer, the world famous balladiste, who was the featured soloist of the Forward radio hour May 21, from WNYC. (Left) The famous Stringwood Ensemble, which rendered a program of classical music."*

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Frankfurt School Theorist on WNYC in 1940

Friday, October 28, 2011

Theodor Adorno was a key figure in the German refugee-led Institute for Social Research when it resettled at Columbia University before the U.S. entry into World War II.  At Columbia he was also associated with the Office of Radio Research and headed up the Music Division of what became known as the Princeton Radio Project (1937-1941), studying the effects of mass media on society. Beginning in late April, 1940 he presented a new series of music programs on WNYC. The announcer introduced them this way:

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1948: WQXR's Halloween Nightmare

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WQXR

What was WQXR's worst nightmare in 1948? Was it to have their supposedly long hair* cut? No -- as it turns out, it was to be part of a big network.

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United Nations Day, 1949

Monday, October 24, 2011

Celebrated each year on October 24, United Nations Day commemorates the day in 1945 when the UN Charter was made effective. United Nations Day was first celebrated in 1948, and in 1949 the cornerstone of the United Nations building between First Avenue and the East River was laid. Among those present to mark the event were Carlos P. Romulo, President of the General Assembly, Secretary General Trygve Lie, President Harry Truman and New York City Mayor William O'Dywer.

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Around New York

Thursday, October 20, 2011

WNYC and WQXR kicked off our fall pledge drive on Monday, and among the tote bags and mugs offered as premiums there appears a charming poster from the Archives (with thanks to the New York Transit Museum). The poster, which originally appeared in the city's subways, was designed in the early 1950s by the illustrator Oppy. Set against the city skyline and WNYC's then-home, the Municipal building, the poster promotes the show "Around New York."

 

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Celebrating the Charter of Flushing, 1945

Friday, October 07, 2011

On October 7, 1945, New York City's Mayor La Guardia solemnly celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Charter of the Town of Flushing from the historic home of John Bowne, who played a major role in abolishing New Amsterdam Director-General Peter Stuyvesant's limitations on religious freedom in the Dutch colony of New Netherland.

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