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.
In the '60s, WNYC tried to bridge the cultural Cold War-divide by periodically airing some Radio Moscow programs. Among them is a celebration of Cosmonautics Day and Moscow Mailbag, a segment devoted to debunking common myths about Russia.
From the July, 1944 WQXR Program Guide:
Mrs. Sternberger has been a WQXR commentator for over four years, presenting her "Washington Front" program each Monday through Friday at 5:15 P.M. Before coming to radio she was a newspaper-woman whose travels had taken her to all major European countries, most of Asia and part of South America.
Because of the great interest in the news at this time,we have asked Mrs. Sternberger to give her views on what she feels a commentator's responsibility is to the listening public in this crisis.
From the September 1944 WQXR Program Guide:
On a certain afternoon in June, WQXR broadcast about eight minutes of the 30-minute 'Lyric Suite' by Alban Berg. As this is an ultra- modern work, we asked the audience to write and tell us what they thought of it and whether they wanted us to play it in full at some future time.
In 1951, marijuana grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York. In that year alone, a division of the Department of Sanitation called the "White Wing Squad" confiscated and destroyed 41,000 pounds of the plants.
In this archival interview, the famed author defends his fiction against critics who to pan his writing, comparing his detractors to “circus geeks” who “bite the heads off chickens for the amusement of the rubes who walk by.”
In the April, 1942 WQXR Program Guide, distinguished American pianist and composer Abram Chasins wrote about the obligations of performers, composers and listeners to the art of music. In July, 1943 he was appointed WQXR's Music Consultant, and in 1946, its Music Director, a post he held for nineteen years.
The great Russian-born composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff died at the end of March, 1943 at the age of 70. Charles O'Connell, then RCA Victor's Music Director, composed this personal tribute for the May, 1943 WQXR Program Guide.
On this week's Weekend Edition, Robert Indiana called his iconic LOVE sculpture 'a terrible mistake', but in this 1971 conversation from the archives, he seemed much more optimistic about the work's influence on his career.
From the August, 1942 WQXR Program Guide:
Editorial Note: Occasionally we receive letters from listeners who protest angrily against our broadcasting German music either orchestral or vocal. Because of the democratic implications of the problem, we have asked Ernest Angell, President of the Council for Democracy, to present his views, which he does in the following article. The Council for Democracy is dedicated to a fighting faith in democracy, and hence Mr. Angell's comments represent the considered opinion of real fighters for our present way of life.
Howard Harold Hanson (1896-1981) was a composer, conductor, educator and music theorist. He was Director of the Eastman School of Music for 40 years and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his Symphony no. 4. A year earlier he wrote the following essay which appeared in the March, 1943 WQXR Program Guide.
Kurt Vonnegut tells Walter James Miller why he abandoned the sketchy sci-fi plot lines that had made Slapsticksuch a punching bag for critics in favor of a sharp-eyed political realism of what has come to be known as his “Watergate novel,” Jailbird.
At the height of World War II, WNYC invited concert pianist Irene Jacobi and her husband, composer Frederick Jacobi, to perform some of his works for the station's fourth annual American Music Festival.
Think back to last December. Or other Decembers. Maybe you received a holiday card sealed with a Christmas Seal from the American Lung Association. These stamps have been used as a fundraising element by the American Lung Association for over a hundred years. The tuberculosis epidemic of the ...
From the April, 1944 WQXR Program Guide:
Mr. Barzin, conductor of the WQXR Orchestra, is also conductor of the National Orchestral Association. He is one of the few men regularly conducting both for radio and for the concert hall. He has certain ideas about leading an orchestra over the air waves which we hope will throw new light on broadcasting musical programs.
This May 1, 1978 interview was the third Vonnegut had with Walter James Miller for WNYC’s “Writers’ Almanac.” This time, Vonnegut shares the microphone with journalist/novelist L. J. Davis. The topic was “the novelist’s relationship to community.”
How is the digital world affecting the role of audiovisual archives? Last week the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and New York University's Moving Image and Preservation Program (MIAP) presented a workshop on preserving locally-produced digital audiovisual content, which tried to provide some ...
Richard Serra was not a happy man in 1985. His public sculpture, Tilted Arc, was the focus of an on-going controversy in New York City and in this interview with Jenny Dixon on WNYC's Artists in the City, Serra defends himself against the critics who would eventually call for the ...