Register of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcast records

Processed by Hoover Institution Archives Staff
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Phone: (650) 723-3563
Fax: (650) 725-3445
Email: archives@hoover.stanford.edu
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Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcast records
Dates: 1951-2005
Collection number: 2000C120
Creator: RFE/RL, Inc.
Collection Size: circa 7000 linear feet
Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: American radio broadcasting organization operating Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Includes sound recordings of broadcasts, scripts, correspondence, and memoranda, relating to broadcasts by Radio Free Europe to audiences in Eastern Europe and to broadcasts by Radio Liberty Liberty to audiences in the Soviet Union.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Armenian, Azeri, Georgian, Belarusian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Uzbek, Pashto, Dari.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research. Portions of the collection in process open only by request.

A portion of the collection is stored off-site. It may be possible to have a limited number of boxes brought to the archives reading room for examination. A minimum of two days notice is required. Please contact the Hoover Institution Archives for information.

The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcast records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2000

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Scope and Content of Collection

The RFE/RL Broadcast Archive consists of the materials produced by RFE/RL for its radio programs. While the primary elements of this collection are tapes and scripts, arranged by broadcast department or language service, there is also a good deal of derivative and associated documentation created, received or collected in the course of the daily functioning of the broadcasting service. Such documentation includes editorial and research files, program logs and broadcast schedules, special programs, work plans, program lists, listener mail, papers of individual employees, collected or produced in the course of their duties, and other types of documentation.
The most important set of such derivative documents is the Daily Broadcast Analyses (DBAs), which form the Daily Broadcast Analysis series. The DBAs were used by management and the broadcasing departments and language services to track the quality and content of programming. A special department, the Broadcasting Analysis Department, existed to collect data on programming and compile it into DBAs, which were then distributed to management and back to the appropriate desks. In the collection, they are arranged according to the category of origin: Radio Free Afghanistan, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Europe Baltic, Radio Liberty Nationality Services, Radio Liberty Russian Service. The RFE DBAs contain texts of all the services and departments together for each day. DBAs were not issued every day, so the collection contains gaps. A separate category of translated scripts or parts of scripts is also part of the DBA series and listed at its end.
The Albanian Monitoring Subsection series consists of the papers of one of its employees, Nicolo Prenushi. An Albanian Language Service as such existed for a brief period of time in the early 1950s, leaving only the Monitoring Subsection thereafter.
The Azerbaijani Language Service contains scripts and other materials, primarily collected writings and research files created by the service chief, Mirza Michaeli.
The Bulgarian, Czechslovak, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, and Slovak broadcast departments and language services contain similar material, arranged by physical form and chronologically thereafter, but it should be cited by date as the box numbers will change.
Many early scripts and programs are available only on microfilm. There is a register for these in a neighboring binder, labeled "Programs on Microfilm," and covering primarily the 1950s.
The News and Current Affairs series contains the news budget, which includes reports from wire agencies and other sources on events during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and Prague Spring of 1968, as well as certain other topics. The series also contains scripts - printed versions of news events and interviews as read by announcers, with sound bites of the event, speech, or interview on audio tapes.
Sound Recordings consist of broadcast recordings, monitoring recordings, off-air recordings, and music recordings. Broadcast recordings of RFE/RL broadcasts were captured either in the studio or direct from a transmitter. They constitute the defining record of what RFE/RL committed to air. Typical content includes news reports, interviews, speeches, sermons, dramatic programming, and music. Monitoring recordings represent radio broadcasts other than RFE/RL that were monitored on a radio in the RFE/RL office and recorded to tape. Off-air recordings are raw captures of interviews, speeches, literary readings, music performances, etc. that would have been edited for use on future broadcasts. Music recordings are predominantly commercially issued popular, classical, and folk releases collected for on-air play; they are sometimes called a service’s “music library.” It is important to note that music related broadcast programming, such as the Romanian Language Service’s “Metronome” program, are considered broadcast recordings since they contain whole programs as they were heard on air.
While part of the larger whole, each language service operated independently, with different practices regarding programming logs, the labeling of tapes etc. Nearly all services reused tapes in an effort to conserve resources, particularly in the early years. Consequently, it is not uncommon for a language service to be missing sound recordings in multi-year spans, in some cases with significant gaps on the order of decades. Scripts are generally a more complete resource than recordings, which are usually scattered across time; scripts of early RFE programming are available on microfilm or paper even when no recordings may exist. Scripts are also available for many of the extant broadcast recordings and can serve as an index to their content. If an item of interest is found in a script, the date of that script can be used to search for a sound recording of the same date. This is the most convenient way to approach the resordings, as most have not been indexed for content. In some cases, as with the Polish service, a database can be used to find appropriate sound recordings.
From its earliest days through August 1995, when the radios adopted logging media to record all transmitters at once, nearly all recorded sound produced or recorded by RFE/RL was captured on ¼” open reel tape. Exceptions include an early set of Crusade for Freedom recordings on lacquer disc and particular services capturing limited broadcast runs, raw interview footage, and/or varying production elements on cassette and cartridge tape. Cassette, DAT and MiniDisc served this same purpose in the years following 1995.
From August 24, 1995 through October 31, 2006, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty committed its broadcast recordings to multi-channel logging media. Recordings of programs broadcast August 24, 1995 through August 26, 1999 are saved on VHS tapes encoded using Racal Wordsafe machines while recordings broadcast September 25, 1999 through October 31, 2006 are on DDS tapes encoded using an RCS Tracker system. Both systems recorded multiple concurrent tracks of audio, capturing on one tape the content of several different transmitters. The Racal Wordsafe system captured twelve concurrent tracks, each 25 hours in duration, meaning each tape has the potential to hold 300 hours of content. Tape is not the only storage mechanism for audio recorded using the RCS Tracker system – it created audio files independent of tape, to be saved in whatever manner the user preferred – however tape (DDS in this case) was the method chosen by RFE/RL. Each tape contains upward of eight concurrent tracks; multiple decks operated simultaneously affording the capture of all operating transmitters. The reader should note that, for inventory purposes, tapes from this period are counted as single physical items despite containing multiple recordings from different language services. Consequently, the sound recordings from this era – see Multiple Language Services sound recordings series description – constitute 6,809 physical items rather than the 55,800 audio recordings.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Radio Free Europe.
Radio Liberty (Munich, Germany)
Radio broadcasting, Europe, Eastern.
Radio broadcasting, Soviet Union.
Phonotapes


Container List

Box 1-264

DAILY BROADCAST ANALYSES, 1974-1993

Scope and Content Note

DBAs contain gaps.
Box 264

ALBANIAN MONITORING SUBSECTION, 1952-1962

Scope and Content Note

Papers of Nicolo Prennushi, employee of the Albanian Monitoring Subsection. See SOUTH SLAVIC SERVICE (BALKAN SERVICE) for Albanian language RFE/RL broadcasts.
Box 265-266

ARMENIAN SERVICE, 1989-2008

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, newswires and scripts. Target regions include Armenia. Languages include Armenian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
Box 267-308

AZERBAIJANI SERVICE, 1934-2008

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, daily format and work plans, editor's file, scripts and special programs. Older papers (including scripts prior to 1992) are from the desk of Mecid Musazade; scripts and special programs, beginning from 1987, as received directly from RFE/RL. Also known as Radio Azadliq. Target regions include Azerbaijan. Languages include Azeri. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
Box 309-332

BELARUS SERVICE, 1954-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, daily format and work plans, editor's file, press monitoring, program reviews, scripts and special programs. Also known as Radio Svaboda. Target regions include Belarus. Languages include Belarusian/Belorussian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
Box 333-1026

BULGARIAN BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT, 1968-2004

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, correspondents' reports, daily broadcast schedules, editor's file, letters from listeners, newscasts, program logs, program summaries, scripts, special programs, studio utilization reports. Target regions include Bulgaria. Languages include Bulgarian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
Box 1027-1235

CZECH SERVICE, 1993-2002

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, scripts, special programs and thumbnail sketches (with schedules). Target regions include Czech Republic. Languages include Czech. The Czechoslovak Broadcasting Department split into the Czech and Slovak services in 1993; for Czech language content prior to 1993 see CZECHOSLOVAK BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2002.
Box 1236-2221

CZECHOSLOVAK BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT, 1947-1993

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's file, employee papers, program reviews, scripts and special programs. Target regions include Czechoslovakia. Languages include Czech and Slovak. The Czechoslovak Broadcasting Department split into the Czech and Slovak services in 1993; for Czech and/or Slovak language content from after the split see CZECH and/or SLOVAK SERVICE.
Box 2222-2490

ESTONIAN SERVICE, 1940-2004

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, clippings, cover sheets, daily program summaries, editor's file, music programming, newswires, program reviews, scripts, Soviet media digest, special programs and tape index. Boxes 2488-2490 are out of numerical sequence. Target regions include Estonia. Languages include Estonian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2004.
Box 2491-2595

GEORGIAN SERVICE, 1950-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's file, printed matter, program reviews, scripts and special programs. Additional incremental materials in process. Also known as Ekho Kavkaza and Radio Tavisupleba. Target regions include Georgia and South Ossetia. Languages include Georgian and Russian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
Box 2596-3578

HUNGARIAN BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT, 1951-1993

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, correspondence, daily broadcast analyses, editor's file, employee papers, index to archival tapes, monitoring, news budget, program schedules, program summaries, scripts, special programs, thumbnail sketches and other document formats. Target regions include Hungary. Languages include Hungarian.
Box 3579-3725

KAZAKH SERVICE, 1953-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, daily format and work plans, editor's file, employee papers, monitoring, program logs, program reports, scripts, and special programs. Also known as Radio Azattyq. Target regions include Kazakhstan. Languages include Kazakh and Russian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
Box 3726-

KYRGYZ SERVICE, 1951-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. In process. Also known as Radio Azattyk. Target regions include Kyrgyzstan. Languages include Kyrgyz. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

LATVIAN SERVICE, 1939-2004

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. Target regions include Latvia. Languages include Latgallian and Latvian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2004.
On shelf

LITHUANIAN SERVICE, 1975-2004

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, cover sheets, editor's files, news reports, and scripts. Target regions include Lithuania. Languages include Lithuanian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2004.
On shelf

MOLDOVAN SERVICE, 1976-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, list of programs archived for the Web. Also known as Radio Europa Libera. Target regions include Moldova. Languages include Romanian and Russian. The Romanian Broadcasting Department began Moldova-specific programming in 1998 and ceased programming to Romania in 2008. For Romanian language content from 1959-2008 see the ROMANIAN BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1998-2006.
On shelf

NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS, 1956-1996

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, newswires, summaries and transcripts. In process. No specific target regions. Multiple languages including English.
On shelf

NORTH CAUCASUS SERVICE, 1993-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, audience research and evaluation review, program logs and program materials. Target regions include North Caucasus. Languages include Adyge, Avar, Chechen, Circassian, Ingush, Karachai-Balkar, Karakalpak, and Ossetian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

POLISH BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT, 1929-1997

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. In process. Target regions include Poland. Languages include Polish. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

PERSIAN SERVICE 1998-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, clippings from Iranian newspapers. In process. Also known as Radio Farda. Target regions include Iran. Languages include Persian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1998-2006.
On shelf

RADIO FREE AFGHANISTAN, 1986-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Also known as Radio Azadi. Target regions include Afghanistan. Languages include Dari and Pashto. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

RADIO FREE IRAQ 1998-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Target regions include Iraq. Languages include Arabic. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1998-2006.
On shelf

PAKISTAN SERVICE, 2010-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Also known as Radio Marshaal. Target regions include northwestern Pakistan. Languages include Pashto. See also RADIO FREE AFGHANISTAN or additional Pashto language content.
On shelf

ROMANIAN BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT, 1959-1995

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. In process. Target regions include Romania and Moldova. Languages include Romanian. The Romanian Broadcasting Department began Moldova-specific programming in 1998 and ceased programming to Romania in 2008. For Romanian language content from 2008-present see the MOLDOVAN LANGUAGE SERVICE. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

RUSSIAN SERVICE, 1953-1995

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. In process. Also known as Russian Broadcasting Department, Radio Svoboda. Target regions include Russia and former Soviet republics. Languages include Russian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

SLOVAK SERVICE, 1993-1995

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. In process. Target regions include Slovakia. Languages include Slovak. The Czechoslovak Broadcasting Department split into the Czech and Slovak services in 1993; for Slovak language content prior to 1993 see the CZECHOSLOVAK BROADCASTING DEPARTMENT. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2004.
On shelf

SOUTH SLAVIC SERVICE (BALKAN SERVICE), 1969-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Also known as Albanian Service, Balkan Service and South Slavic and Albanian service. Target regions include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Languages include Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Serbian. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

TAJIK SERVICE, 1970-2013

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Also known as Radio Ozodi. Target regions include Tajikistan. Languages include Tajik. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

TATAR-BASHKIR SERVICE, 1952-2007

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. Also known as Radio Azatliq. Target regions include Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, and Ukraine. Languages include Bashkir, Crimean Tatar, and Tatar. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

TURKMEN SERVICE, 1988-1995

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Also known as Radio Azatlyk. Target regions include Turkmenistan. Languages include Turkmen. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

UKRAINIAN SERVICE, 1952-1995

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings, editor's files and scripts. In process. Also known as Radio Svoboda. Target regions include Ukraine. Languages include Ukrainian, Russian, and Crimean Tatar. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

UZBEK SERVICE, 1987-1995

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. In process. Also known as Radio Ozodlik. Target regions include Uzbekistan. Languages include Uzbek. See also MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES for recordings from 1995-2006.
On shelf

MULTIPLE LANGUAGE SERVICES, 1960-2006

Scope and Content Note

Sound recordings. Services include Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, North Caucasus, Persian (Radio Azadi, Radio Farda), Polish, Radio Free Afghanistan (Radio Azadi), Radio Free Iraq, Radio Marshaal, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, South Slavic (Balkan), Tajik, Tatar-Bashkir, Turkmen, Ukrainian and Uzbek. In process.