Primary Sources for Radio

Radio Programs Online

OTR.Network Library offers "Old Time Radio" programs.

Internet Archive includes films, radio audio clips, news clips, educational films, advertisements, industry films, etc.

For news programs see Broadcasting/Newsreels in News Sources 

American Archive of Public Broadcasting offers American public radio and television content dating back to the 1950s.

NBCUniversal Archives 

Pacifica Radio Archives 

Old Radio Programs: An Archive of Historical Old Radio Broadcasts 

Old Time Radio Catalog

More sources for radio programs are listed at: American Radio History: Resources on the Web (Univ. Penn.)

Document Collections

Public Broadcasting PolicyBase (1945-2012): Key documents about the history, purpose, policy and structure of public broadcasting in the US.


Radio Advertising in the 1920s and 1930s

Selling Stuff During the Golden Age of Radio

Periodicals The Online Radio & TV Library offers an enormous collection of radio/TV magazines.

Ratings, Statistics The Online Radio & TV Library offers ratings (Arbitron and other statistics). Open Broadcasting, Radio and TV Industry, then Ratings and Research.

Archival Collections (Not at Harvard)

A resource guide to the golden age of radio: special collections, bibliography and the Internet, by Susan and David S. Siegel. Yorktown Heights, NY : Book Hunter Press, 2006, 215 p
--Lists archives and special collections on radio with thorough subject index. Repositories with records of radio stations, sometimes transcripts and recordings, are indexed under Station history. Emphasis on 1920s-1960s..

Library of Congress. Recorded Sound Research Center.  

Conducting Research in the Library's Recorded Sound Collections

For specific titles, search the whole Library of Congress website

American Radio Archives

Radio series scripts, 1930-2001: a catalog of the American Radio Archives collection, by Jeanette M. Berard and Klaudia Englund. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, 2006, 421 p.

George H. Clark Radioana Collection, c. 1880-1950. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Online guide

Register of the George H. Clark Radioana Collection, c. 1880-1950, by Robert S. Harding. Washington, DC: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, 1985, 90 p.
Baker Business  |  Historical Collections -- Reference    |  TK6550 .N23 1985

Special Collections in Mass Media & Culture (University of Maryland)

In WorldCat, search "radio programs".plus any subject terms.  The date attached to the republication of a radio program will be the date of republication, not of the original broadcast.

Radio program transcripts may occur in archival collections.  See the Archives and Manuscripts page.

Secondary Sources, Context and Background

Reference Sources: Directories, Yearbooks, Statistics

WorldRadioHistory offers station logs and schedules and other material.

Includes the Broadcasting Yearbook (1935-2010) which  includes listings of all stations, suppliers, FCC rules, group ownership, stations sales and other industry statistics.

Reference Sources: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Chronologies,

American radio networks: a history, by Jim Cox. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2009, 228 p.
Widener | Harvard Depository | PN1991.3.U6 C63 2009

Encyclopedia of American radio, 1920-1960, by Luther F. Sies. 2nd ed. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2008. 2 v.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.2 .S57 2008

The encyclopedia of American radio: an A-Z guide to radio from Jack Benny to Howard Stern, by Ron Lackmann. Updated ed. New York: Facts On File, 2000, 370 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.3.U6 L29 2000

Encyclopedia of black radio in the United States, 1921-1955, by Ryan Ellett. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2012, 208 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.8.A35 E45 2012

Historical dictionary of American radio, ed. by Donald G. Godfrey and Frederic A. Leigh. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998, 485 p.
Baker Business | Stacks -- LC Books | PN1991.2 .H57 1998
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.2 .H57 1998

Historical dictionary of old-time radio, by Robert C. Reinehr, Jon D. Swartz. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2008, 305 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.3.U6 R45 2008

A history of broadcasting in the United States, by Douglas Gomery. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2008, 357 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1990.6.U5 G66 2008

Key concepts in radio studies, by Hugh Chignell. Los Angeles ; London: SAGE, 2009, 191 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.5 .C46 2009x

On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio, by John Dunning. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, 822 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.3.U6 D8 1998x

Radio broadcasting from 1920 to 1990: an annotated bibliography, by Diane Foxhill Carothers. New York: Garland Pub., 1991, 564 p.
Widener | Harvard Depository | PN1991.5.Z99 C37 1991x

Radio program openings and closings, 1931-1972, by Vincent Terrace. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2003, 278 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.3.U6 T44 2003

Same time-- same station: an A-Z guide to radio from Jack Benny to Howard Stern, by Ron Lackmann. New York: Facts on File, 1996, 370 p.
Widener | Harvard Depository | PN1991.3.U6 L32 1996x

Tune in yesterday: the ultimate encyclopedia of old-time radio, 1925-1976, by John Dunning. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1976, 703 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.3.U6 D8

Biographical Sources

The biographical encyclopedia of American radio, ed. by Christopher H. Sterling. Concise and rev. ed. NY: Routledge, 2011, 453 p.
Widener | WID-LC | PN1991.4 B56 2011