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

How to Cook a Heart on Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 13, 2014

WNYC

Start your Valentine's night off right with these 1950s WNYC beef heart recipes.

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Lenin's Favorite Songs

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Soviet hit parade.

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American Concert Audiences Have Changed

Monday, February 10, 2014

From the July, 1942 WQXR Program Guide:

Mr. Ewen is an authority on musical history, and the author of several books including The Man With the Baton, Musical Vienna, and Music Comes to America.

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Happy Cosmonautics Day, and Other Fascinating Moments From Radio Moscow

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

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.

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The Commentator's Responsibility to the Listener

Monday, February 03, 2014

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.

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1964: Opening salvo in the tobacco wars

Thursday, January 30, 2014

WNYC

This year marks the 50th anniversary of what some call "the most important public health document of the 20th century": the Surgeon General's first Report on Smoking and Health.

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It's A Matter Of Opinion

Monday, January 27, 2014

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.

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When Weed Grew Wild in Williamsburg

Thursday, January 23, 2014

WNYC

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.

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Vonnegut on Deadeye Dick, a Story of "Gun Nuts and Nukes"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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.”

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An I.O.U. to Music

Monday, January 20, 2014

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.

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Some Reflections on Rachmaninoff and His Music

Monday, January 13, 2014

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.

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Robert Indiana's Complicated LOVE Affair

Monday, January 06, 2014

WNYC

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.

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Music in a Democracy

Monday, January 06, 2014

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.

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The day they dropped an A-bomb on the Bronx

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

WNYC

We celebrate the end of the Cold War 25 years ago this year with Oscar Brand giving us a taste of 1950s civilian defense.

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A Declaration of Independence for the Listener

Monday, December 30, 2013

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. 

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Kurt Vonnegut on Jailbird, His Watergate Novel

Thursday, December 26, 2013

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.

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Concert Pianist Irene Jacobi: WNYC American Music Festival, 1943

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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.

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‘Making The Wheels Go Round’: The New York Tuberculosis and Health Association's 1931 Christmas Stamp

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

WNYC

            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 ...

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The Radio Conductor

Monday, December 23, 2013

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.

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Kurt Vonnegut and L.J. Davis and the Novelist's Relationship to Community

Thursday, December 19, 2013

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.”

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