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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

Ms. Bella Abzug

Monday, March 18, 2013

In March, 1972, reporter Eleanor Fischer interviewed Congresswoman Bella Abzug as she was fighting to hold on to her congressional district in Manhattan encompassing, in part, the Battery, the Lower East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, Greenwich Village and Chelsea. Representative Abzug talks about this effort to marginalize her. She also calls for pulling U.S. troops out of Vietnam, endorses Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm's campaign for the Presidency and (there may be some debate over it) lays claim to starting the honorific "Ms."

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'The Artistic and the Beautiful': Frank Lloyd Wright's Wide-Ranging Views

Monday, February 25, 2013

WNYC

In 1957, two years before his death, Frank Lloyd Wright sat down with WNYC to discuss his design philosophy, exhibiting his trademark eloquence and blistering opinions. The year of this interview marks an explosion of commissions for Wright, who by then had been practicing architecture for 70 years.

+ More from WNYC's Archives

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A 'Lively' Rant on Popular Film, McCarthyism, and Genre Fiction

Friday, February 22, 2013

WNYC

The writer, critic, editor, filmmaker, television pioneer, and broadcaster Gilbert Seldes comments on censorship, a favorite topic, in this 1953 broadcast of The Lively Arts

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The Activist Tom Mooney, on Death Row, Is Pardoned

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WNYC

This dramatic live broadcast from 1939 is a seminal moment in American jurisprudence and political history: the pardon of Tom Mooney, a tireless labor activist wrongly condemned to death in 1917 for a fatal bombing, after he served 22 years in prison.

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Amiri Baraka Reads "The Revolutionary Theater"

Monday, February 18, 2013

WNYC

Amiri Baraka died January 9th after weeks of failing health. He was 79. A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters.  Speaking at the Overseas Press Club ( and airing on WNYC) in 1965 following the release of his Obie award-winning play The Dutchman, Baraka presented himself as a no-nonsense artist who was not about to compromise his message for anyone. The talk catches Baraka (still known as Leroi Jones) at the height of his radical voice in the 1960s and is critical because it was delivered just four days before the assassination of Malcolm X.

 

The writer and activist LeRoi Jones (who would later be known as Amiri Baraka) speaks here on February 17, 1965, four days before the assassination of Malcolm X, an event that catapulted him from a charismatic Greenwich Village maverick into a radicalized black nationalist in Harlem.

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Art in Public: Stuart Davis on Abstract Art and the WPA, 1939

Friday, February 15, 2013

WNYC
Stuart Davis doesn't waste time with small talk or being nice to Republicans.
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Marcus Garvey: 20th Century Pan-Africanist

Friday, February 15, 2013

He had six million followers at one time
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Diplomatic Impunity: Dean Acheson Counsels Audiences on Disarmament

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WNYC

In 1958, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson was out of power but not out of opinions. At this Book and Authors Luncheon the influential statesman weighs in on the pressing foreign policy question of the day: our relations with the Soviet Union.

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A Chorus of Conversation: What Is American Music?

Monday, February 11, 2013

WNYC

In recognition of tonight's State of the Union address, hear a spirited 1950 roundtable on American music, featuring Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss and Irving Fine.

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Friendship Train Attempts to Humanize Postwar Effort

Friday, February 08, 2013

WNYC

These two 1947 broadcasts mark the start and finish of the Friendship Food Train's U.S. journey, a project conceived to help the people of Europe get through the winter. 

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Edward Barrett Considers Anti-American Sentiment in Latin America

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

WNYC

The violent anti-American demonstrations occasioned by Vice President Richard M. Nixon's recent trip to Latin America are the subject of this 1958 International Interview with Edward W. Barrett, dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

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Monte Irvin and Recollections on Negro League Baseball

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

WNYC

Hall-of-famer Monte Irvin talks about his time in baseball during a round table discussion led by host Walter James Miller.

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Great Minds and Stellar Talents Consider the State of Modern Photography

Monday, February 04, 2013

WNYC

"What Is Modern Photography?" is the question posed at this symposium hosted by the Museum of Modern Art's Edward Steichen. An all-star panel of photographers, including Margaret Bourke-White, Walker Evans, Irving Penn, and Ben Shahn, give (or refuse to give) their individual, often contradictory, definitions of the controversial medium. The gathering provides a great snapshot of  the state of the art in 1950.

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Whitney Young Provides Depth and Texture to Portrait of Racial Inequality

Friday, February 01, 2013

WNYC

Focused, uncompromising, and yet essentially pragmatic, Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League, answers questions at this 1966 meeting of the Overseas Press Club. 

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Ed Koch in Jackson Heights, 1979

Friday, February 01, 2013

WNYC
In this episode of New York Considered, hear excerpts from New York City Mayor Ed Koch's community meeting in Jackson Heights. The Mayor speaks about issues concerning the city, with particular emphasis on Queens: immigration, housing, street safety, transportation.

New York Considered was a public affairs series produced by Marty Goldensohn and Peter Freyberg.
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Writer Marguerite Young, Eccentric Documentarian of Utopias

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WNYC

"All that I have told in this story is true, down to the last butterfly or flower," claims Marguerite Young in this talk at a 1966 Books and Authors Luncheon. 

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Richard Wright's Love Letter to Paris

Monday, January 28, 2013

WNYC

In this brief monologue, the novelist Richard Wright sends home the most glowing postcard of France one could possibly imagine. 

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Herman Wouk Bucks Literary Trends to Produce Best-Selling Novels

Friday, January 25, 2013

WNYC

Herman Wouk, appearing in this 1955  Books and Authors Luncheon, contests what he perceives as the common view of his being "a conformist." 

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Teddy Wilson Contemplates the Future of Jazz

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WNYC

Pianist Teddy Wilson discusses his career and speculates on the future of jazz in this 1950 interview.

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Walter White of NAACP Asserts America's 'Race Problem' Undermines Overseas Efforts

Monday, January 21, 2013

WNYC

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.

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