Explore the Archive

The Search page is a way you can explore the entire Unlocking the Airwaves collection, including NAEB radio programs and related archival materials, from one point of entry. You may either browse the collection using what are called ‘facets’ (pre-defined categories and queries) on the left side of the screen, or you can conduct an Advanced Search of the whole collection using keywords, names of people or organizations, geographic regions, subjects, or time periods. The Search page is broadly useful to find a wide variety of materials in the collections, but if you’d prefer a more streamlined approach, you may also browse the collections by either radio programs (by series/episode), or within the series of folders from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s NAEB paper collections. Read below for more on how to explore by radio program or related materials.

Search the Archive

Explore Radio Programs

The radio programming service of the NAEB, known as the National Educational Radio Network (NERN), comprised broadcasts which balanced a focus on public service reporting of national events (e.g., the economy, the depression, World War II, the Civil Rights movement) with providing a forum for local issues (e.g., agricultural prices, community events, elections) and with expanding public education.

These broadcasts, mostly stemming from university and public school-run radio stations, provide an in-depth look at the engagements and events of American history, as they were broadcast to and received by the general public in the twentieth century. They cover crucial educational, political, and cultural events as diverse as the national census, atomic energy, American labor, religion, United States history, agricultural engineering, mathematics, and foreign relations.

Click below to browse the NERN broadcasts by series title.

Explore Programs

Explore Related Materials

Click the link below to browse materials from the NAEB paper collection, housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The NAEB papers mainly cover the period from 1950–1970, and include correspondence, scripts, reports, promotional materials, speeches of long-time president William G. Harley, files of the Office of Research and Development and of National Educational Radio (a division of the NAEB), newsletters and other publications. Below you can access a version of the WHS finding aid for the collection, which contains important scope and content notes, notes about the collection’s provenance, and most importantly, the Contents List. The Contents, or what is in the boxes and folders themselves, are organized by what are called archival "series.”

Beta Launch Note Right now the only folder which users can link to from this interface is under Contents List > Subject Files > Box 34 Folder 4: Public Relations, 1954-1965. If the advisors deem this interface useful, we will proceed with including the rest of the digitized folders in this interface.

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