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:


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