Scope and Content
Title: William "Will" Noffke Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1953-1998
Accession number: GTU 2001-8-01
57 linear ft.
The Graduate Theological Union.
Abstract: William "Will" Noffke was a Bay Area radio host. He interviewed spiritual and political leaders on various programs, including
The Meeting of the Ways, New Dimensions and New Horizons. His papers include administrative materials, background information
on the interviewees and organizations, and 2,000 reel to reel tapes and cassettes of radio shows.
Shelf location: 5/C/3-5/F/6
Source and Date
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing
to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], William "Will" Noffke Papers, GTU 2001-8-01, The Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley,
Gift of William Noffke.
William "Will" Noffke, 1929 - 1997, was a radio-host whose life work documents the cultural and religious changes which began
to emerge in the 1960s in
California. Originally a New York City Off-Broadway set designer,
he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where over the course of two decades,
1970 to 1990, he hosted and produced radio programs on KQED-FM and KPFA-FM,
as well as in his own performance space and bookstore, Shared Visions,
in Berkeley, California.
As a radio host he interviewed hundreds of spiritual leaders and luminaries who
expressed new cultural perspectives and inspired innovation, including Joseph
Campbell, Buckminster Fuller, Jacob Needleman, Fritjof Capra, Robert Hillman,
Reshad Field, Ram Dass, Jean Houston, Werner Erhard, Barbara Marx Hubbard,
Marilyn Ferguson, Mark Satin, Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg. While Noffke's
range of conversations and panels, in this regard, included many religious
leaders from a diversity of spiritual traditions, including Krishnamurti,
it also included politicians, such as John Vasconcellos, health practitioners
and physicians, such as Andrew Weil, indigenous leaders, social activists,
and local flower children, of diverse traditions, knowledge, and sensibilities.
From 1972 to 1974, Noffke hosted "The Meeting of the Ways", a radio program on
KQED-FM. It was a program featuring interviews that gave voice to the diverse
spiritual constituency that had assembled under a local umbrella organization
by the same name. "Meeting of the Ways" also staged a number of celebratory
events in the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco during that time period.
From 1975 to 1979, Noffke co-hosted, with Michael Tom at KQED-FM, a popular
Saturday night radio program called "New Dimensions". From 1979 to 1990,
Noffke produced and hosted his own show, "New Horizons", on KPFA-FM.
Among his other activities, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the
Dancer's Workshop of San Francisco, and belonged to the Melvana Foundation.
Noffke, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1997, described his spiritual
path in his own words as "Vedanta/Sufi/Taoist!-unity of existence!"
Scope and Content
The Noffke collection includes 2,000 audiotapes and cassettes (some duplicates) that span two
decades of radio interviews embracing a rich diversity of subject matter and
personalities. His papers include administrative materials that reflect his role as
producer and radio host, such as scripts of interviews and publicity material.
Also included are resource materials from different organizations and individuals
he assembled in the course of researching and preparing interviews. Noffke's
correspondence reveals his work as an idealistic networker and loving friend.
Among his papers are handwritten manuscripts, correspondence, photographs,
newsletters, periodicals, a large collection of ephemera, including posters,
pamphlets, brochures, flyers, and publicity materials.
When the Graduate
Theological Union Library first received his donation, some of his collection,
primarily ephemera but some correspondence, was removed from the Noffke Papers
and filed into the New Religious Movements Organizations: Vertical Files
Collection (GTU 99-8-1). See that collection for further Noffke material.
Noffke materials in the Vertical Files Collection are identified by his name
on any file folder containing items and on the Container List in the finding
The collection has been organized into seven series: Correspondence, Programs, Personalia, Proagram Resources, Periodicals,
Posters, and Audiotape collection.
The following terms have been used to index the description of htis collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Buddhism--United States--20th Century
Divine Light Mission--United States
Hinduism--United States--20th Century
Islam--United States--20th Century
Metaphysical Movements--20th Century
Neopaganism--United States--20th Century
Occultism--United States--20th Century
Satanism--United States--20th Century
Sikhism--United States--20th Century
Sufism--United States--20th Century
Taoism--United States--20th Century
Unification Church--United States
Zen Buddhism--United States--20th Century
Lewis, Samuel L., 1896-1971