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USING THE COLLECTIONS
RECORDED SOUND EXTERNAL SITES
Another major radio collection in the Library of Congress is that of WOR-AM, New York City. In 1984 RKO General, Inc., donated the complete archives of the flagship station of the Mutual Broadcasting Network. This collection offers thousands of hours of programming (ca. 15,000 discs), and, like the NBC Collection, contains a diverse array of genres, including news, documentaries, musical variety, dramas, comedies, soap operas, quiz shows, and information.
The collection includes the Martha Deane show, one of the first talk shows for women and a precursor to Mary Margaret McBride's show (Martha Deane programs can also be found in the Cynthia Lowry/Mary Margaret McBride and NBC Collections, and span—including those in all three collections—the period from about 1934 to 1953). McBride was actually the first of several different women to play the grandmotherly character. Even after McBride left to start her own show, Martha Deane continued to be very popular into the 1970s.
Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen (1913-1965) and model and movie star Jinx Falkenburg (b. 1919), both part of husband-wife radio teams, appeared with their spouses on breakfast shows during which they conducted interviews, dished up the latest Broadway gossip, and discussed current events.
The manuscript portion of the WOR donation is being processed by the division for public use. Of particular interest are scripts and papers relating to writer and producer Phillips H. Lord's programs, including Gang Busters (1937-53), which featured crime stories based on FBI files, and Policewoman (1946-47), which was based on the life of New York City policewoman Mary Sullivan. The archive also includes scripts for many of the radio adaptations of books by Kathleen Norris (1880-1966).
The WOR broadcasts are searchable by program title in a published finding aid available in the Recorded Sound Reference Center. They are gradually being preserved and cataloged in the Library's online catalog.[Top]
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