KWSU Radio Station Records 1916-1977
Archives 56

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Title
KWSU Radio Station Records
ID
Archives 56
Date [inclusive]
1916-1977
General Physical Description note
approximate 19,420 items  15 linear feet  25 containers
Abstract
Contains correspondence, program scripts, and transmitter logs. Correspondence files include FCC communications (station license, construction permits, engineering exhibit & plans, etc.), information about Mary Avery, WSU Archivist, and her program "Washington Archives" and her textbook on Washington State history. Other material includes remodeling plans and blueprints of the radio station, brochures describing the station and its history and service, speeches written by Burt Harrison, Station Manager for seventeen years, press releases, program information and announcements. The collection also includes program scripts covering such items as agricultural extension broadcasts, musical and literary programs, dramatic productions, and school broadcasts.

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Organizational History:

KWSU Radio (originally known as KFAE) is one of the oldest and largest university-owned radio stations in the United States. It began broadcasting from the Mechanic Arts Building on the WSU campus on December 10, 1922. The initial funds for the station came from equal donations by the Agricultural Extension Service, the Associated Students of Washington State University, and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce. The three men most responsible for creating the station were: H. V. Carpenter, Dean of the College of Engineering; Frank F. Nalder, Director of General Extension Service; and Homer Dana, Professor of Electrical Engineering. The goals for the station as outlined by Dr. Nalder have not changed since they were formulated in 1922: to provide an information and cultural service to a wide area of population, to draw on the expertise of the faculty and present their findings, to provide a vehicle for further research in broadcasting and to train young people in the use, operation, and "human service" of radio.

In the early years KWSU Radio shared the same frequency with KTW, a station owned by the First Presbyterian Church of Seattle. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulated the use of the common frequency with a "Time Sharing Agreement" in 1931. KTW Radio was given exclusive use of the frequency at limited times--Sundays, Thursday evenings, and holidays. Problems arose with this arrangement in 1956 when KTW began to expand its broadcasting time. KTW petitioned the FCC for permission to operate simultaneously with KWSU; KWSU countered by filing for unlimited use of the frequency. The FCC held hearings in 1960 in an attempt to solve the problem. After investigating the situation the FCC awarded KWSU the right to broadcast from 6:30 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. each day; KTW, designated a "daytime" station, was allowed to broadcast during daylight hours and also from 11:15 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

The station has grown tremendously both in its physical facilities, broadcasting time, and programming capabilities. It has expanded from its first location in the College of Mechanic Arts and Engineering to a home in the Edward R. Murrow Communications Center, which was completed in 1976. The Center also houses KWSU-TV and classrooms and offices for the Department of Communications. The first course of instruction in radio was offered at Washington State University in 1929. Courses in broadcasting are offered as one of six possible majors in the Department of Communications. Originally scheduled for only four and one-half hours of air time per week in 1922 at 250 watts of power, KWSU now broadcasts with 5000 watts for over 120 hours per week. It was affiliated with National Educational Radio (NER), a precursor of National Public Radio. KWSU Radio News uses the services of Associated Press, United Press International wire services and audio, and National Public Radio.

Burt Harrison, manager of KWSU Radio from 1959 to 1976, was very active in the movement to establish what became the Public Broadcasting Act. He helped lay the legislative and financial groundwork for a network of national public radio stations. In 1970 KWSU Radio was designated as one of the 92 "qualified National Public Radio" stations. KWSU Radio broadcasts programs from the National Public Radio network and also produces programs for the network's national distribution.

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Scope and Contents note

The records of KWSU Radio Station consist of approximately 19,420 item of correspondence, program scripts, and program and transmitter logs. The logs comprise almost half of the collection. The material is arranged in three series. The first series, correspondence, is divided into three subseries: Federal Communications Commission, KTW Radio Station, and KWSU Radio Station. All three sub-series are arranged alphabetically by topic. The Federal Communications Commission sub-series dates from 1916 to 1974 with the bulk of the material from 1930 to 1960. The material includes station license and application form, construction permits, financial reports, engineering exhibits and plans. The second sub-series, KTE Radio Station, dates from 1937 to 1972 with the bulk covering the period 1958 through 1967. This subseries is comprised of station and license applications, Time Sharing

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Arrangement note

Agreements with KWSU, engineering exhibits, and legal correspondence between KWSU and Leonard Marks, attorney for KWSU, in the KTW-KWSU hearing before the Federal Communications Commission from 1960 to 1961. The third sub-series, KWSU Radio Station, includes correspondence to and from listeners, graduates, ex-students, and Mary Avery, Washington State University Library Archivists, concerning her program "Washington Archives," and the textbook she wrote on Washington State history. Other material consists of remodeling plans and blueprints of the radio station, brochures describing the station and its history and service, speeches written by Burt Harrison, Station Manager for seventeen years, press releases, program information and announcements. This sub-series covers the period from 1922 to 1977 with the bulk dating from 1966 to 1976. The second series, Program, consists mainly of program scripts, dating from 1928 to 1976, with the majority of the material from the mid-1950's to the mid-1960's. The series is arranged alphabetically by title of program or topic. The largest collection of scripts is Burt Harrison's commentaries, "Behind the Mike," dating from 1964 to 1976. The programs include agricultural extension broadcasts, musical and literary programs, dramatic productions, and school broadcasts. Most of these programs were locally produced. There is some correspondence concerning the "High School Interviews" and "News" in the Palouse area programs from 1936 to 1938.

The final series, the Log series, is divided into four sub-series: Program Log Books, Program Log Sheets, Transmitter Log Books, and Transmitter Log Sheets. They are arranged chronologically with the earliest logs placed at the beginning of the sub-series. The Program Log Books sub-series dates from 1922 to 1936 and consist of three books; two books covering the period from 1922 to 1925 and the third book covering the period of 1936. During the years 1922 to 1925, KWSU was known as Radio Station KFAE. The second sub-series, Program Log Sheets, cover the years from 1949 to 1973 inclusively except for the years 1961 and 1967. The third sub-series, Transmitter Log Books, dates from 1923 to 1934 with the exception of the years 1932-1933. The final subseries, Transmitter Log Sheets, dates from 1954 to 1960 inclusively. The program logs are a daily inventory of programs broadcast from sign-on to sign-off while the transmitter logs are records kept by station engineers concerning checks on equipment and radio emergency broadcast tests.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The Collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The records of KWSU Radio Station were transferred to the University Archives, Washington State University Libraries, in April 1979 (UA 79-12) in accordance with the approved records schedule. Previously accessioned material concerning KWSU Radio Station has also been incorporated.

Processing Information note

The records were processed in August 1980 by Linda Scott Lilles.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • State College of Washington. KWSU Radio station.
  • Washington State University. KTW Radio station.
  • Washington State University. KWSU Radio Station--Archives
  • Washington State University. KWSU Radio Station--Records and correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Avery, Mary W. (Mary Williamson), 1907-1975--Archives
  • Harrison, Burton Dwight, b. 1917--Archives

Subject(s)

  • College radio stations--Washington (State)--Research--Archival resources
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Radio in secondary education
  • Radio stations--Washington (State)--Pullman--Research--Archival resources
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

 1 Correspondence 1916-1976 

 1.1 Federal Communications Commission 1916-1974 

Application 

Box Folder

Full Time 1956, 1958   12.0 items

1 1

On 1230--kf 10 1942-1948   88.0 items

1 2

On 1030 kc--1943 1942-1964   3.0 items

1 3

Proposed on 1030 kc, Report by Raymond Wilmotte 1944   1.0 item

1 4

Proposed on 1110 kc 1947, 1947-1949   11.0 items

1 5

Auxiliary Transmitter 1954-1962   19.0 items

1 6
Box Folder

Basic Emergency Broadcast System Plan 1966-1969   9.0 items

1 7

Construction Permit 1927-1959   12.0 items

1 8

Dickson, Pollard--Complaint 1969-1970   33.0 items

1 9

Financial Report, Annual 1938-1949   12.0 items

1 10

Form Back-Dated 1938-1943   5.0 items

1 11

General Correspondence 1931-1962   183.0 items

1 12

License 

Box Folder

Application Form 1916-1950   72.0 items

1 13

Renewal (1957) 1956   8.0 items

1 14

Renewal Worksheets 1952-1953   2.0 items

1 15

Station 1916-1960   35.0 items

1 16
Box Folder

Rules and Regulations 1974   2.0 items

1 17

Section 3.182 Change Comments 1957   2.0 items

1 18

 1.2 KTW--Radio Station 1937-1972 

Application(s) 

Box Folder

5 W 1958   3.0 items

1 19

License Renewal--1959 1958-1959   5.0 items

1 20

Station 1948-1956   2.0 items

1 21
Box Folder

General Correspondence 1959-1967   59.0 items

1 22

KTW--KWSU Hearing (1956-1960) 

Box Folder

Engineering Exhibits 1958-1972   10.0 items

1 23

FCC Documents 1957-1967   45.0 items

1 24

General Correspondence 1937-1967   87.0 items

1 25

Hearing Exhibits 1960-1961   15.0 items

1 26

KTW Exhibits as Revised on August 22, 1960 1960-1961   3.0 items

1 27

Marks, Leonard 1956-1962   54.0 items

1 28
Box Folder

KTW-KWSU Time Sharing Agreement 1939-1965   37.0 items

1 29

 1.3 KWSU--Radio Station 1922-1977 

Box Folder

Alpha Epsilon Rho 1961   1.0 item

1 30

Alterations 1948-1961   39.0 items

1 31

Announcements n.d.-1948   3.0 items

1 32

Avery, Mary 

Box Folder

Radio Fan Mail 1962-1968   54.0 items

2 33

Radio Permissions 1966-1968   53.0 items

2 34

Text Permissions 1955-1966   102.0 items

2 35
Box Folder

Brochures 1947-1973   5.0 items

2 36

Budget 1933   1.0 item

2 37

Certificates of Appreciation 1969-1971   5.0 items

2 38

Engineering 1923   1.0 item

2 39

Graduates and Ex-Students 1971-1976   91.0 items

2 40

Harrison, Burt 1968-1976   33.0 items

2 41

Hoover, Hubert 1925   2.0 items

2 42

Miller, Allen 1968   1.0 item

2 43

National Broadcasting Company 1949-1955   15.0 items

2 44

Old Fiddlers' Contest 1935   2.0 items

2 45

Press News, ca. 1930-1940   10.0 items

2 46

Program 1922-1977   31.0 items

2 47

Station 1926-1953   25.0 items

2 48

Statistics 1928-1949   6.0 items

2 49

Survey, Diary by Mark Munn 1956-1958   14.0 items

2 50

Traffic 1966-1976   377.0 items

2 51-54

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 2 Programs 1928-1976 

Box Folder

Adventures in Melody 1959-1963   51.0 items

3 55

Agricultural Extension Radio Broadcasts 1928-1940   68.0 items

3 56

Ask the Professor 1940   2.0 items

3 57

At the Console 1959-1960   51.0 items

3 58

Behind the Mike 1964-1967, 1969-1976   436.0 items

3 59-66

Bryan, E.A., Address on "Peace and War" No. II 1930   1.0 item

3 67

Cavalcade of Music 1957-1958   41.0 items

3 68

Eastern Washington Library Program 1938   7.0 items

3 69

Farm and Home Program 1936-1946   5.0 items

3 70

Farm Flashes 1932   97.0 items

3 71-72

Farm Program 1950-1951   4.0 items

3 73

4-H Broadcasts 1929-1930   17.0 items

3 74

Fourth Row Center 1952-1967   25.0 items

3 75

Fred Waring 

Box Folder

Half Hours 1958-1962   21.0 items

3 76

Saturday 1956-1962   65.0 items

3 77
Box Folder

The Globe Turns 1937-1939   86.0 items

4 78-80

Here is Music 

Box Folder

General 1959-1965   159.0 items

4 81

Special Occasions 1959-1965   14.0 items

4 82

High School 

Box Folder

Interviews 1936-1938   10.0 items

4 83

News 1936-1938   87.0 items

4 84

Show/Parade 1937-1938   30.0 items

4 85
Box Folder

Highlights in American News 1937-1938   20.0 items

4 86

Little Joe the Green Hand 1940-1942   41.0 items

4 87

Make Mine Music 1957-1959   12.0 items

4 88

Music by Mantovani 1959-1963   57.0 items

4 89

Music by Melachrino 1957-1959   46.0 items

4 90

Music Scripts--Christmas 1959-1964   16.0 items

4 91

The Northwest Newsreel 1938   12.0 items

4 92

Our Radio Community 1938-1939   15.0 items

4 93

Pressing Agricultural Issues 1933   9.0 items

4 94

Production Scripts, ca. 1953   30.0 items

4 95-96

Production Spot Announcements 1953   4.0 items

4 97

Prologue to the 60's n.d.   1.0 item

4 98

The School Hour 1937-1939   33.0 items

4 99

School of the Air 1939-1942   9.0 items

4 100

Scripts, Various 1928-1940   31.0 items

4 101

Shakespeare Scripts Aired 1969, 1966-1969   19.0 items

5 102

Soil Conservation Services 1938-1940   77.0 items

5 103-104

Song of America 1969   1.0 item

5 105

Sound Track 1959-1962   65.0 items

5 106

Thirty Minute Theatre 1957-1958   9.0 items

5 107

Trailing News Around the World 1938-1939   39.0 items

5 108

Twilight Serenade 1958-1966   23.0 items

5 109

Dialectics, (Vol. 1, No. 2) April 1938   3.0 items

5 110

The Projector, (Vol. 1, No. 1) January 1938   3.0 items

5 111

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 3 Logs 1922-1973 

 3.1 Program Log Books 1922-1936 

Box

Station KFAE Log Book 1922-1924   1.0 item

6

Station KFAE Log Book 1924-1925   1.0 item

6

KWSU Log Book 1936   1.0 item

6

 3.2 Program Log Sheets 1949-1973 

Box

 1949   710.0 items

7

 1950   710.0 items

8

 January 1, 1931 - September 30, 1951   526.0 items

9

 October 1, 1951--September 30, 1952   710.0 items

10

 October 1, 1952--October 31, 1953   770.0 items

11

 November 2, 1953--December 31, 1954   768.0 items

12

 1955   710.0 items

13

 1956   710.0 items

14

 1957   710.0 items

15

 1958   710.0 items

16

 1959   710.0 items

17

 1960   710.0 items

18

 January 1, 1968--September 30, 1971   2270.0 items

19

 October 1, 1971--December 31, 1973   2470.0 items

20

 3.3 Transmitter Log Books 1923-1934 

Box

 March 26, 1923--December 23, 1930 

21

 December 29, 1930--December 31, 1931 

21

 January 6, 1934--December 21, 1934 

21

 3.4 Transmitter Log Sheets 1954-1960 

Box

 1954   350.0 items

22

 1955-1956   700.0 items

23

 January 1, 1957--June 30, 1959   875.0 items

24

 July 1, 1959--December 31, 1960   525.0 items

25

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