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

We Know What You Like

Monday, April 21, 2014

From the May, 1941 WQXR Program Guide:

"My little boy, aged 4, has very definite likes and dislikes in music. He will sit as quiet as a mouse all through Tchaikowsky's Symphony Pathetique..."

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Happy Earth Day - Now Move Your Car

Monday, April 21, 2014

WNYC

On the first Earth Day - that would be April 22, 1970 - Mayor John V. Lindsay implores New Yorkers to be more thoughtful with their parking.

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An Opera Impresario Looks at Radio

Monday, April 14, 2014

From the March, 1941 WQXR Program Guide:

The magic of radio has broadened the ranks of the Metropolitan Opera audience until it extends from coast to coast and beyond to the countries of South America. But radio has not been able to bring back to our stage the great voices of the past which were stilled before opera performances went on the air, nor can it repeat an opera again and again to satisfy the appetite of the enthusiast.

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A Walking Tour of Don Draper's New York

Friday, April 11, 2014

WNYC

The year is 1971. Manhattan's Fur District is booming and Mad Men's Don Draper is about to enter a decade of possibilities (or not).

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Music For American Youth

Monday, April 07, 2014

From the January, 1941 WQXR Program Guide:

Mr. Ganz is conductor of the Young People's Chorus of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society. He is a pioneer in the field of children's concerts, having directed such concerts for the past eighteen years. The Young People's Concerts from Town Hall, New York, January 13th and February 17th at 3:45 P.M. will be broadcast by WQXR.

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Why Are These Men Twisting a Fish?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

WNYC

Before the Fulton Fish Market moved to the Bronx in 2005, nearly 2,000 men spent their early mornings down on South Street between Fulton and Beekman at one of the oldest and busiest open air markets in the country.

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Paul Fussell: The Poetry of Three Wars: World War I, World War II and Vietnam

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The late Paul Fussell (1924-2012) was a noted cultural and literary historian, who taught at Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote about such diverse subjects as Samuel Johnson, travel, and the American class system. His numerous books include Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, The Great War and Modern Memory (for which he won a National Book Award), and The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-45. Fussell was a veteran of World War II, fighting in Europe, where he was wounded and decorated with a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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What a New Cold War Could Sound Like

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

One thing about the Cold War: It made for some great radio. 

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The Place of Radio in Musical Education

Monday, March 31, 2014

From the April, 1941 WQXR Program Guide:

Mr. Hutcheson is President of the Juilliard School of Music in New York. In addition to being a great pianist and teacher, he is the author of numerous books on music, including the recently published "A Musical Guide to Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung."

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The Classics on Broadway

Monday, March 24, 2014

From the October, 1944 WQXR Program Guide:

The success which has attended the presentation on Broadway of new forms of music of great composers such as Bizet, Johann Strauss and Grieg has aroused a certain amount of resentment among music purists. As one of them remarked about Carmen Jones: "The orchestration of Bizet's music was expert and adequate, but I still prefer my Bizet straight, if you don't mind."

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Hello Future, Can You Hear Me?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Last week we presented an allegory for retrieving audio, where we compared it to listening to a distant radio station. Of course, that is only half of what audio archivists do: the other half is to try to extend the reach of that signal into the future.

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Who Likes Good Music?*

Monday, March 17, 2014

The following essay was written for the December, 1942  WQXR Program Guide by the Elliott M. Sanger, Executive Vice President  and Co-founder of the Interstate Broadcasting Company, Inc., WQXR's owner.

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Hello Past, I Can Hear You!

Friday, March 14, 2014

WNYC

Picture yourself on a weekend retreat in a rented cabin in the woods, not far from your home. Although you love the isolation (no wi-fi, no TV), you would like to listen to your favorite radio show on Saturday afternoon¹. After looking around, you find a cheap clock radio in the bedroom and, at the appointed time, you fiddle with the (maddeningly small) tuner wheel, tune the (analog) dial, and hope that your favorite station's signal reaches your receiver's dinky little antenna.

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A Statement Regarding "Singing Commercials" *

Monday, March 10, 2014

The following statement was published in the May, 1944 WQXR Program Guide.

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A Song For the Melting Snow

Friday, March 07, 2014

WNYC

Celebrate the retreat of winter with an extraordinary performance of The Waters of March. It's not just a song about Spring, it's a song about "the rebirth of the human spirit."

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Music - A War Essential

Monday, March 03, 2014

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.

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Enjoy WNYC's Tube Noise-Free Sound? You're Not Alone

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thomas Edison's 'right hand man' praises WNYC's static-free sound in this 1936 missive.

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It's All in the Day's Work

Monday, February 24, 2014

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.

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Modern Music and the Rush to the Exits

Monday, February 17, 2014

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.

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Say it Loud: Black, Immigrant & Proud

Monday, February 17, 2014

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."

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