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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
NBC 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
arrow graphicVOA Collection
BBC Sound Archive Collection
Music Recordings
Drama and Literature Recordings
The Spoken Word




Voice of America (VOA) Collection
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Marian Anderson. Carl Van Vechten. 1940 Jan. 14. American Memory Collection. LC-USZ62-105575 (b&w film copy neg.).

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The Voice of America (VOA) (see Recorded Sound External Sites) is one of the largest news gathering organizations in the world. Originally a division of the OWI, it has presented music, as well as news and information, to millions across the globe since 1942. The Voice of America Collection at the Library of Congress (spanning the years 1945-88) comprises more than fifty thousand recordings of arts, culture, and music performances recorded by the VOA for overseas broadcast. This collection features recordings of live musical performances, many unique, by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Philharmonic. The works of many great women performers and composers are heard on these broadcasts, including opera stars Marian Anderson (1897-1993), Leontyne Price (b. 1927), and Eleanor Steber (1914-1990) [picture]; American pianist and harpsichordist Rosalyn Tureck (b. 1914); and American composer Mary Howe (1882-1964). A database inventory searchable by series name is available for the VOA Collection. In addition, selected VOA series are being cataloged in the Library's online catalog where they are searchable by program titles, performers, genres, and composers.

VOA Highlights

Hundreds of musical artists have been interviewed over the past fifty years by the VOA. Conductor and pianist Antonia Brico (1902-1989), conductor Sarah Caldwell (b. 1928), composer and pianist Margaret Garwood (b. 1927), and singer Eartha Kitt (b. 1928) are just a few of those interviewed. These interviews have been cataloged and can be searched individually by name or collectively as “Voice of America Music Library Collection (Library of Congress)” in the Library's online catalog.

Newport Festivals

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Mary Lou Williams. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection, American Memory. LC-GLB13-0923 DLC (b&w film neg.).

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The VOA Collection also contains recordings of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. The Newport Jazz Festival features many great female jazz and pop artists, including Ella Fitzgerald (1918-1996), Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington (1924-1963), and Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) [picture]. Helen Humes (1913-1981), Nina Simone (1933-2003), Roberta Flack (b. 1939), Abbey Lincoln (b. 1930), Carmen McRae (1922-1994), Dionne Warwick (b. 1941), Tina Turner (b. 1938), Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990), and Maxine Sullivan (1911-1987) were also recorded at these festivals, as was alto saxophonist Vi Redd (b. 1928), who has been called the best female jazz musician since Mary Lou Williams [picture]. The Newport Jazz Festival recordings are cataloged in SONIC and are searchable by name, song title, performing group, and date. The inventory of the Newport Folk Festival will also be made available through the Library of Congress's online catalog.

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