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.
Recently in Archives and Preservation
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.
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."
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.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
In 1949, the State of New York's Board of Water Supply was in the middle of constructing the Delaware Aqueduct as a means of augmenting New York City's water supply. During this time, residents and officials were deeply concerned with how all of the city's water was used -- or wasted.
Friday, September 02, 2011
In this 1965 Overseas Press Club Luncheon, Hallie Burnett, novelist and publisher, describes her experience in Berlin in August, 1961. On assignment for Reader’s Digest, Burnett was charged with reporting on the conditions of the East German refugees, who were “coming over at that time at about 2,000 a night.” Amidst a quiet week, she describes the night of August 13 when the foundations for the Berlin wall were laid. She describes standing among Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate, who were so shocked they had not yet found their voices to protest.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The largest court in the United States Tennis Association's complex in Flushing Meadows, where the US Open has taken place since 1977, is named after Arthur Ashe, one of tennis's great ambassadors. Today we give you a chance to listen to the late Ashe, in a 1987 installment of WNYC's broadcast of Voices at the New York Public Library, where he spoke about his upcoming book on racism in sports.
Monday, August 22, 2011
The Museum of Modern Art's 1951 exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and drawings by French artist Henri Matisse nearly didn't happen. In this recording, broadcast over WNYC on the evening of November 15, 1951 (and with the artist's son in the audience), museum officials discussed the trouble the museum had in receiving the artworks and the importance of the materials presented.
Friday, August 19, 2011
It's always exciting when we turn up an important long lost recording. In this case, the unlabeled flip side of one of Mayor La Guardia's talks had half-a-show that's not been heard for 67 years. Hailing from February 14th, 1944, we hear two friends get together to share some music with each other and WNYC's listeners. And what better venue than the station's annual American Music Festival, eleven days of studio performances and concerts around the city dedicated to home-grown music and talent? Talent indeed. Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, a renowned folksinger and bluesman, performed with pioneering folklorist Alan Lomax.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The publication of the Pentagon Papers by the New York Times in 1971 caused more than a commotion --it precipitated the first of the "credibility gaps" between the US government and the American public. Listen to a interview with Sidney Zion, shortly after he broke the story on Daniel Ellsberg supplying the documents to the paper.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Before achieving national acclaim for her exposé of the chemical industry, Silent Spring (1962), marine biologist and nature conservationist Rachel Carson wrote prolifically about the world of the ocean. Her sea trilogy, Under the Sea Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1955), quickly made her a New York Times bestselling author and a literary star.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Tyne Daly appears in the Leonard Lopate Show this week to speak about her portrayal of legendary diva Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Tony award-winning “Master Class.” Listen to this George Jellinek tribute to Callas in the WQXR show The Vocal Scene, aired just six days after the death of the great singer.