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.
"I feel like an impostor," the author and teacher Bel Kaufman confesses in this talk given at the Overseas Press Club in 1966, where the topics include her accent, poetry, and the classroom.
Jane Jacobs, in this 1962 appearance at a Books and Authors Luncheon, explains her current role as a community leader in the fight against what she views as the excesses and excrescences of the arrogant Modernist redesign of city neighborhoods.
“I guarantee, that if I am elected, I will take over the White House, hang out, shoot pool, scratch my ass, and not do a damn thing. Which is to say, if you want something done, don't come to me to do it for you; you got to get together and figure out how to do it yourselves. Is that a deal?” - Utah Phillips
"Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, that don't hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous." - Will Rogers
Largely forgotten today, Fannie Hurst was for many years one of the most highly paid and widely read novelists of her time. Anatomy of Me is Hurst's just-published autobiography, which she discusses at this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon.
On March 5, 1853 a German piano maker named Henry Steinway (né Steinweg) founded Steinway & Sons at 85 Varick Street in New York City, barely five blocks from the present-day WNYC studios. Less than three months later another, much younger German piano maker named Helmuth Kranich would arrive at these shores. Little did he suspect that one of his children would someday work at a competing form of entertainment: radio, specifically WNYC.
A.E. Hotchner, a friend of Ernest Hemingway during the last 14 years of the writer's life, reminisces about their relationship in this Books and Authors Luncheon appearance promoting his memoir, Papa Hemingway (1966).
Chaos rules at this rowdy 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club. The guest panel includes Catholic Church critic, Rolf Hochhuth, and a Catholic Church official.
David Halberstam briefs this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club on what he sees as a "sharp conflict" between America's official optimism and the reality experienced by reporters embedded in Vietnam.
Formerly a foreign war correspondent, Chicagoan John Gunther drew on his background to write the 'Inside' travel series, which included Inside Europe (1936), Inside Asia (1939), Inside Latin America (1941), and here, Inside Africa.
"The Actor and Clichés In the Theater," is the subject Sir Alec Guinness chooses for this impromptu 1964 performance before the Overseas Press Club.
In May 1965, the Overseas Press Club hosted the German novelist Günter Grass, who had arrived in New York to teach a seminar at Columbia University.
This WNYC American Music Festival program from February 19, 1941 captures the Benny Goodman Sextet in a rare and wonderful moment.
Popular best-sellers of the day, Edna Ferber's books also provided the stories for influential plays, musicals, and films. At this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon, she talks about her new book, Ice Palace.
"Is the Feminine Mystique a Mistake?" is the question posed at the beginning of this 1966 edition of Maincurrents, hosted by Lee Graham.
On December 11, 1991, Salman Rushdie "quietly ventured outside Britain and emerged"  to speak at a Columbia University dinner celebrating the 200th anniversary of the First Amendment. The thunderous applause that greets Mr Rushdie's unexpected appearance sets the tone for his speech.