The American Women Making History and Culture, 1963-1982 (“American Women”) collection includes Pacifica Radio Archives’ holdings from the five Pacifica radio stations (KPFA- Berkeley, CA; KPFK- Los Angeles, CA; WBAI- New York, NY; WPFW- Washington, DC; and KPFT- Houston, TX) pertaining to the Women’s movement, or the period popularly known as “Second Wave Feminism” in the United States; from the publication of The Feminine Mystique (Betty Friedan, 1963) through the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. The American Women collection will document the emergence and evolution of the Women’s movement in cities across the United States over the included timespan, as well as the unique role Pacifica Radio played by providing a place for women to create and air programming that communicated the movement.
This two-year project (October 2013-September 2015), made possible through a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, includes the digitization of 1,700 reel-to-reel tapes and improved access through two levels of cataloging–item-level descriptions with standardized metadata available on Pacifica’s website, and a searchable online finding aid available at the Online Archive of California. The digital objects and record will be preserved long-term at the California Digital Library via the UC Berkeley Library. Public access to streaming audio will be provided by the Internet Archive. In the end, we will have a tested methodology for undergoing future preservation and access projects at Pacifica, and most important, we will produce an incomparable collection of primary sources for the study of the American Women’s Movement.
So far, fifty-one of the American Women recordings have been made available streaming through the UC Berkeley Library online catalog: OSKICAT. Click here to browse through and listen to this selection.
Contact information: Project Director Brian DeShazor: brian at pacificaradioarchives dot org, Project Archivist Jolene Beiser: jolene at pacificaradioarchives dot org.