Help Us Preserve Radio History

The Library of Congress Radio Preservation Task Force has asked the Missouri Broadcasters Association to help create a Missouri Radio Air Check Repository. The MBA has been working with St. Louis media historian Frank Absher to collect airchecks that preserve the history of radio in Missouri. The collection is maintained by the State Historical Society.

We are only ONE YEAR away from observing the centennial of KDKA’s historic broadcasts of the 1920 Harding-Cox election returns that are considered the beginning of broadcasting as we know it. And the state of Missouri is nearing its celebration of the 100th anniversary of its first licensed radio station, WOQ in Kansas City, as well as its second licensed station, WOS in Jefferson City, and the third, KSD in St. Louis.

With such historic anniversaries coming up, the preservation of our radio history is on our minds now more than ever.

As Bob Priddy of the State Historical Society of Missouri put it:

Radio has been the voice of our communities for almost a century. It has informed and entertained Missourians through great events, terrible tragedies, economic disasters and economic recoveries, good and bad politics, the lives of our neighbors and the dangers from our enemies. YOUR station is part of that historical fabric.

In closets, attics, basements—even under your desks—are likely to be recordings that chronicle not only the history of your station but the history of your community and the history of our changing world.

But every day, as stations are sold or moved, that history is pitched into dumpsters by those who are not aware or do not care about the importance of radio to our national and state heritages. All of us must care enough about this medium we love to make sure its past and its present are there for our grandchildren to hear and understand.

You can read a full statement from Bob here, as well as find out a little more about what we are trying to preserve.

 

The Missouri Broadcasters’ Association is seeking aircheck recordings of any station in the state for their radio history preservation project. Anyone wishing to donate personal airchecks from Missouri is asked to contact Director of Member Services Terry Harper at tharper@mbaweb.org.

Recordings from the St. Louis and Kansas City markets will be distributed to organizations in both markets that are preserving their local histories, and those from outstate Missouri stations will be digitized, cataloged and preserved by the State Historical Society of Missouri.