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Recorded Sound Section--Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division



Women on the Radio
Beyond the Microphone
Daytime Programming
World War II
arrow graphicNBC Radio Collection
Programs for and by Women
Meet the Press Collection
NPR Collection
WOR Collection
Pacifica Radio Archive
CBS Collection
AFRTS Collection
Women on AFRS
OWI Collection
VOA Collection
BBC Sound Archive Collection
Music Recordings
Drama and Literature Recordings
The Spoken Word




National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Radio Collection

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Radio Collection, one of the largest single collections of broadcast recordings (150,000 discs) in the United States, was donated to the Library in 1978. The collection contains all genres of radio from the early 1930s through the late 1960s, including comedy, drama, public affairs, musical variety, sports, news, information, and international shortwave broadcasts. Everything recorded through 1953, plus a selection of programs after 1953, has been preserved and is cataloged on SONIC, which contains more than 68,000 NBC bibliographic records and permits searching by program title, name, date, genre, keyword, shelf number, and some subjects. An inventory (brief catalog records) of the remainder of the collection can be consulted in the reference center. The publication Radio Broadcasts in the Library of Congress, 1924-1941 (Washington: Library of Congress, 1982; Z663.36.R32 1982) and the recorded sound card catalog supplement also provide some access to NBC programs.

Researching NBC

Because topical access is limited, you should have a fairly good idea beforehand of particular names or NBC programs that interest you. Prior research and advance preparation will save time and make searching the collection easier. Discographic access to the NBC Radio Collection is not yet comprehensive, so the best available source of information about the content of the discs is the card catalog compiled by NBC for nearly forty years and other files and documentation that came with the collection. Together, the NBC catalog and files are the single most complete written record of American broadcasting content in the collections of the Library of Congress.

SEARCH TIPS: After searching NBC programs in SONIC, you should consult the NBC Collection Resources.

1. The History files cover the mid-1920s through the late 1940s. For these files, a computerized inventory is available on the Recorded Sound Reference Center's Web site.

2. The Log books list daily programs and cover the period 1922-55.

3. The Master books document programs and include scripts, news copy, and musical contents from 1922 to 1984.

4. The Index card catalog is a comprehensive index to network programs and includes entries for credits and plots. The catalog is divided into five separate parts: program analysis cards; an index to performers and guests; a title segment listing adaptations of literary works by title of the original work; an index to all NBC news and public affairs broadcasts dealing with World War II; and an index of programs broadcast from service bases, radio plays on the war, and shows with war-related topics. The entire program analysis card index covers the period 1930-60. The sustaining program section contains a yearly index to “women's programs” such as Women's Patriotic Conference on National Defense (1939) (RWA 53A1), Federation of Business and Professional Women (1937, 1941-42), Wife Saver (1939-41, 1945, 1947), and Florence Hale's Radio Column (1937-39).

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