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.
Herman Wouk, appearing in this 1955 Books and Authors Luncheon, contests what he perceives as the common view of his being "a conformist."
Walter White, head of the NAACP, ponders race and foreign relations at the Great Hall of Cooper Union, in New York City, in this 1949 recording.
A funereal air hangs over the proceedings at Rebecca West's 1966 Book and Author's Luncheon appearance.
In 1961, a radio reporter named Eleanor Fischer spoke to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for a CBC called Project 62. As far as we know, these unedited interviews have never been presented in their entirety until now.
In this 1956 appearance at the Books and Authors Luncheon, Grover A. Whalen takes us from his childhood on the Lower East Side to his role in assuring that the United Nations would build its headquarters in New York City.
In this amusing, time-capsule of a talk, given at a 1956 Books and Authors Luncheon to promote his best-selling novel Island In the Sun, Alec Waugh explains how he came to write about the West Indies.
In 1954, entertainment superstar Danny Kaye became UNICEF's first Ambassador at Large, a post he held until his death in 1987. This is Mr Kaye's personal recounting of his first East Asian tour visiting many of the world's impoverished children.
Virgil Thomson is the guest on this 1948 edition of The Reader's Almanac. Not Virgil Thomson the composer, though, but Virgil Thomson the critic, whose collection, The Art of Judging Music (1948), had just been published.
Rex Stout, the creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, addresses the audience at this 1966 Books and Authors Luncheon as if they were his "Committee on Grievances."
In a 1962 interview, Leopold Stokowski discusses his founding of the American Symphony Orchestra with WNYC's Seymour Siegel, calling for more emphasis on the arts.
The Democratic nominee, Adlai Stevenson, addresses the 1952 American Legion convention at Madison Square Garden in New York.
When a "member of the opposition" said that he had read Ted Sorensen's new book, Kennedy, and that he didn't like it very much, Sorenson replied that he was surprised, because "I didn't know you could read." Thus the sharp-tongued attorney and political advisor begins his talk before a 1965 Book and Authors Luncheon.
At this official 1952 ceremony on the steps of City Hall, the president of Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza, is welcomed to New York by Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri.
In this episode from Northwestern University Reviewing Stand, a panel of experts discusses Dwight Eisenhower's 1956 budget message. Were those different times? Former director of the Congressional Budget Office Rudolph Penner compares the budget struggles of yesteryear with today's.
In this 1948 New Year’s Day address, NYC Health Commissioner Harry Mustard radiates post-war optimism and faith in the future. He proudly recounts the accomplishments of the previous year in infant and maternal health, food and water safety and venereal disease treatment. He also candidly discusses the resource shortages of the Health Department, as well as the need to do more in the areas of environmental health (smoke from old furnaces was a key issue of the time), tuberculosis, chronic disease and mental hygiene. In short, he sounds like he is giving a report from NYC’s current model for action, “Take Care, New York”.