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.
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 ...
W. O. Tewson was an editor and literary critic heard regularly on WNYC between March, 1928 and September, 1934 discussing literature and books. He wrote for The New York Times, Hearst newspapers, and was the editor of The New York Evening Post's literary review.
From the June 1944 WQXR Program Guide:
Mr. Caesar has been before the public as lyricist and librettist for twenty-five years. Among his better-known lyrics are "Tea for Two," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Lady Play Your Mandolin," "Swanee," "Crazy Rhythm," and a series of children's songs. "Sing a Song of Safety," in wide use throughout our public school system. He is a member of the Board of Directors of ASCAP, and a former president of the Songwriters' Protective Association.
Beginning in February 1957, a new influenza strain virus (known to virologists as H2N2) emerged in China. Throughout April, May, and June, it spread steadily and rapidly across Asian and Middle Eastern countries. There was one question in everyone’s minds: Would the new virus behave like the feared 1918 virus, which had caused tens of millions of deaths? Or would it behave like the ordinary influenza strains with which physicians were familiar? This November 1957 conference, organized by the New York Academy of Medicine and broadcast by WNYC, attempted to provide some answers.
Vonnegut talks about his strange sci-fi tale of fraternal twins who are brilliant when they can interact with each other but only “dull normal” when separated. He reveals that his portrait of these fictional twins was based on his deep real-life bond with his only sister, Alice.
Ted Cott was just 17 in 1934 when Seymour N. Siegel hired him to be the station's Drama Director. Cott had been a volunteer doing weekly radio plays with other City College students when his promising work came to the attention of Mayor La Guardia, who insisted 'the young man' be hired. La Guardia had only been Mayor about six or seven months and had campaigned to shut WNYC down, believing it was a waste of money. But Siegel had engineered a stay of execution and needed to bring in some fresh ideas and talent to further convince La Guardia that the station was worth keeping. Since there was no equivalent civil service post at WNYC's parent agency, the New York City Department of Plant and Structures, Cott was hired as a ticket taker for Staten Island Ferry and reported for work at WNYC. 
Most of us are familiar with the sad story of the passenger pigeon: the North American bird whose immense numbers (believed to have been up to forty percent of the wild bird population) and intensely social habits (being unable to thrive or breed successfully in small groups) prevented its recovery ...
From the November, 1942 WQXR Program Guide.
We take pleasure in presenting another article from the pen of America's outstanding popularizer of good music, Dr. Sigmund Spaeth. He last appeared in these columns with a strong plea for the American composer. This time he takes up the cause of the interpreting artist, whose work is of such importance in the fields of radio and records alike. Dr. Spaeth recently began a new series of programs over Station WQXR, sponsored by the Columbia Recording Corporation. These broadcasts are heard every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening from 7:30 to 8 o'clock under the title of "Dr. Sigmund Spaeth and His Record Library." The detailed programs for November will be found in this issue.
After years of obscurity in the 1950s and early 1960s, Vonnegut now found himself one of the handful of most-talked about writers in America. This interview reveals him at the top of his game—confidently proclaiming the novelist’s ability to “make up new myths that people will believe.”
Imagine a newly constructed hospital with room for over 300 occupants, sitting idle and standing empty in a time of great need.
By the mid-1920s the Bronx Hospital, originally founded in 1911, had outgrown its original facility and began construction on a state-of-the art hospital at Fulton Avenue and 169th ...
From the December, 1943 WQXR Program Guide:
When you think of interesting approaches to music you think of Mme. Stokowski, whose Layman's Music Course at Town Hall, New York, has been famous for years. To know why she is so successful in her method, we suggest you listen to her WQXR program every Sunday morning at 10 A.M.
The WQXR Archives celebrates Month of Mozart with highlights from Lloyd Moss's WQXR show This is My Music.
On April 17, 1937 WQXR invited Evan Roberts, the Managing Director of the WPA Federal Theatre Project Radio Division, to talk about the wonders of radio and its potential to be entertaining, educational, amusing, exciting and appealing to the intellectual as well as the average person.