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.
Marcus Garvey, the promoter of Pan-Africanism and black pride, had a vision of economic independence for his people. Those who followed him were called Garveyites. He was the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, (UNIA) the single largest black organization ever. In the 1920s and 30s, the UNIA had an estimated six million followers around the world.
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.
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.
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.
Hall-of-famer Monte Irvin talks about his time in baseball during a round table discussion led by host Walter James Miller.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.