Celebrating 25 Years Together

Celebrating 25 Years Together
Celebrating 25 Years Together
Celebrating 25 Years Together
Celebrating 25 Years Together

The LAB Celebrates 25 Years of Partnership with the University of Maryland

For 25 years the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation and UMD Libraries have worked together to collect and preserve the history of the radio and television industries in the United States. It began in 1964 as the Broadcast Pioneers History Project (BPL). Initiated by various members of the broadcast industry who understood the historical relevance of radio and television in American culture, the BPL officially opened at the National Association of Broadcasters building in downtown Washington, D.C. in 1972. While the BPL continued to grow for the next twenty years, space and funding became increasingly scarce. The Library's governing board established a partnership with Special Collections at the University of Maryland Libraries and in October of 1994 the collection, now called the Library of American Broadcasting, moved to its new location in College Park.

The LAB remains a vital and unique archive, being one of the only repositories to document almost a century’s worth of broadcast history in the United States. These multi-format collections include:

  • over 2,000 linear feet of manuscript material,
  • some 7,000 books (like those at right),
  • more than 6,000 audio tapes, including 1,100 oral histories, interviews and speeches,
  • 7,000 industry-related pamphlets,
  • 300 trade magazine titles,
  • 225,000 photographs,
  • 8,000 recorded discs,
  • 2,000 radio and television scripts, and
  • a growing collection of video and film material

Together, we're digitally preserving as many of these materials as possible, ensuring that they remain accessible to current and future generations of researchers from all over the world. Here are some highlights.

Radio, TV and Society advertisement

Don West Broadcasting & Cable collection

Broadcasting & Cable is a trade magazine focusing on radio broadcasting and cable television.

Check out the Don West Broadcasting & Cable collection

Kate Smith standing in front of chalkboard on Bond Day

Kate Smith

Senator Margaret Chase Smith seated behind desk

Senator Margaret Chase Smith

Portrait of Martin Block

Martin Block

Franklin Delano Roosevelt seated behind desk during a fireside chat

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Radio Advertising Bureau collection

The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) is a national radio advertising trade organization whose history dates back to 1950. 

Check out the Radio Advertising Bureau collection

Mona Kent papers

Mona Kent (1909-1990) was a script writer for both radio and television, having written hundreds of scripts for the radio serial Portia Faces Life and contributing scripts to TV's Captain Video series. The collection primarily documents Kent's work on the radio soap Portia Faces Life from 1940 to 1956.

Check out the Mona Kent papers

"Portia Faces Life" script

"Portia Faces Life" script

Portia Faces Life cast reading script by microphone

"Portia Faces Life" cast

Norman R. Glenn papers

Norman R. Glenn (born in 1909 as Norman R. Goldman) was the founding editor and publisher of Sponsor and Marketing and Media Decisions.

Check out the Norman R. Glenn papers

Reds Channel cover

Irene Beasley papers

Irene Beasley (1904-1980) was a composer, singer, and radio personality nicknamed "the long, tall gal from Dixie." Beasley is best known for Grand Slam, her long-running musical quiz show which was broadcast from 1943 to 1953.

Check out the Irene Beasley papers

Newspaper featuring Irene Beasley celebrating the 6th anniversary of her show Grand Slam

Grand Slam anniversary advertisement