National Public Radio (NPR) (see Recorded Sound External Sites), a noncommercial radio network, produces its own programming and also uses programming supplied by member stations or made
by noncommercial networks outside the United States or by independent producers. In 1976, NPR started giving the Library
its arts, cultural, and performance programming tapes dating back to its inception in 1971. (The news and public affairs programs
broadcast by NPR are not held by the Library but are housed at the National Archives and Records Administration.) Tapes are
transferred to the Library five to ten years after their initial broadcast. The Library's collection consists of more than
25,000 reels of live jazz festivals, opera, symphonic music, chamber music, folk and bluegrass music, radio dramas, game shows,
interviews, and poetry.
Featuring a wide variety of women artists who have made their mark on the cultural scene over the past thirty years, this
collection includes appearances by Asian American filmmaker Christine Choy (b. 1954), actress France Nuyen (b. 1939), and
Hispanic American writer Julia Alvarez (b. 1950). Marian McPartland (b. 1920), Fiona Ritchie (b. 1960), and Mary Cliff exhibit
their prodigious musical knowledge as hosts for NPR programs. Women instrumentalists, feminism and women's art, and women
in orchestras are some of the topics that have been discussed. The program Woman's Work (1980) primarily features classical music written and performed by women.
The NPR collection, which has been cataloged by NPR, is accessible only in the reference center in SONIC. It is searchable
by personal and corporate name, program title, subject, keyword, and genre.