From the Vault Radio

From the Vault: Pacifica Radio Achives’ weekly radio program

by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist

Over the years, Pacific Radio Archives has digitized hundreds of recordings featuring important women–artists, activists, politicians, etc. But we have just cracked the surface, having over 1,600 more to digitize and preserve as part of the American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 project.

Several of these recordings have been used for Pacifica’s weekly radio program entitled From The Vault.  I wanted to use this blog post to highlight some of these programs that have already been digitized.

Recently we featured a program from 1980, produced by Moira Rankin and co-produced by Deborah George for Sophie’s Parlor Collective, the oldest women’s radio collective on the air at Pacifica’s youngest station, WPFW in Washington D.C. This “Retrospective on Radical Feminism” was digitized in-house in 2013 and featured in a From The Vault episode available streaming here.

Also in March we feature a 1980 program entitled “Woman to Woman: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” a documentary about the relationship between and accomplishments of these two women.  This program was one episode of an eight-part KPFA (Berkeley, CA) series entitled Great Women. The remaining recordings in this series will be digitized as part of the American Women project and the entire series will be preserved together for the long-term. You can listen to this episode of From the Vault here.

One last highlighted program is Germaine Greer at the National Press Club (1971). Germaine Greer: theorist, academic, and journalist, was the first woman ever to be invited to address the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in 1971. An important voice of the feminist movement in the 1970s, she is captured here explaining to the private social club why it is important to examine the ways women are being presented in the press, and why women should be given more opportunities to speak for themselves. Listen to this episode of From the Vault here.

Thank you to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for the generous grant to support this important project.


–More information about the American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 project can be found here.




American Women Batch 1–Tape Condition Assessments

by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist

This project is really happening! This month we worked furiously on assessing the condition of our first batch of tapes to be digitized. This group includes 425 1/4 inch reel-to-reel recordings broadcast on KPFA-Berkeley, CA and WBAI-New York, NY between 1963 and 1982 related to women and the American Women’s movement. With 5 assessors–Project Director, Brian DeShazor; Project Coordinator, Adi Gevins, and Pacifica Radio Archives staff Mark Torres, Edgar Toledo and Joe Gallucci doing 20 assessments and re-housing (as needed) per day, we finished in 4 days! Project Archivist Jolene Beiser kept busy scanning the box labels and keeping the assessment machine running.

Along the way we found some tapes that really needed help–many had become un-wound or the tape pack had slipped making transfer to a new box very tricky. Several had to be put on our Pacifica tape machines to be re-wound before boxing and shipping. We also found many gems, hand-written notes to producers and broadcasters about sensitive language, comments about the programs, and sometimes comments about the station and listeners! About two-thirds of the tapes required re-housing in new boxes. All of the box labels were scanned and the images will appear in the recording records at

We’re so grateful to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for the funding to re-house and re-format these tapes through digitization at at George Blood, LP in Philadelphia, PA. You can tell these tapes really needed help!

See more about the project at:


nhprc-logo-jpeg                                                     george blood