The American Radio Archive
The American Radio Archive, established in 1984 by the Thousand Oaks
Library Foundation, contains manuscripts, sound recordings, scripts,
books, photographs and other materials that vividly reflect the
history of radio and radio broadcasting. Please click on a
collection title to see a description of that collection.
Papers related to the history of American radio
and television broadcasting, ca. 1920- ; ca. 250 linear ft. The
collection is generally arranged by type of material with accession,
chronological or alphabetic arrangement within each category.
SUMMARY: Radio scripts, television scripts,
pamphlets, photographs, sound recordings, ephemera, and other
materials related to the history of American radio and television
broadcasting and maintained in Special Collections.
Allin Slate Collection
Collection of Los Angeles sports
broadcaster Slate, including ca. 2 linear feet of papers and over 400
open reel audiotapes.
SUMMARY: Slate was best known for
having pioneered the radio sports talk show format on Los Angeles
station KABC in the 1960s, yet his career began in the 1940s and
included a period of work in Honolulu before returning to his native
Los Angeles and working on stations KIEV, K ABC, and KNX. This
collection contains recordings of his broadcasts, including his
programs with co-hosts Leo Durocher and Jimmy Piersall, as well as
recordings of post-game interviews and press conferences with
athletes, and luncheons of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters
Association. Also included are typescripts used in his broadcasts,
photographs, and publicity material related to his shows. This
collection is partially processed.
Arthur F. Wertheim Collection
Research material used by scholar
Arthur F. Wertheim in the writing of his book, Radio Comedy
(1979, Oxford University Press). Includes 3 linear feet of holograph
notes, photocopies of script pages, newspaper and magazine clippings,
and various drafts of his manuscript; as well as 95 audio recordings
of radio programs that he collected for his research.
Papers related to service with the Armed Forces
Radio Service, 1942-1945.
3 v., arranged in three bound volumes: v.1-2 labeled "AFRS overseas
scripts"; v.3 labeled "Command Performance Mis."
SUMMARY: v.1: reports, photos, memoranda,
scripts, radio spots for AFRS; 1944-1945;
v.2: miscellaneous AFRS radio scripts, 1944-1945;
v.3: AFRS radio scripts for the Command performance, U.S.A. series,
NOTES: Austin Peterson served with the Armed
Forces Radio Service during World War II, attaining the rank of major
in the U.S. Army. After working for AFRS in Hollywood, he was based
mostly in the Western Pacific theater.
Bob Crosby Collection
Jack Benny program; Collection of scripts for
radio series, 1953-1954; 1 document box (58 items), arranged by radio
NOTES: Scripts formerly in the possession of
singer and band leader Bob Crosby, a regular performer on the Jack
Benny program and the brother of Bing Crosby.
Bob Gordon Collection
Collection of scripts for radio and television
series, 1945-1946, 1949; 4 v. (40 items), arranged in four bound
volumes numbered 2-5 and labeled "Abbott & Costello." Scripts from
Abbott and Costello radio show arranged in approximate
chronological order (some undated). At end of v.4, a script without
cover sheet from the Birds Eye Open House radio program has been bound
in. At end of v.5, a script from the Texaco Star Theatre television
program has been bound in.
Carlton E. Morse
Collection of scripts for radio and television
series, 1930-1954. 17 document boxes (28 linear ft.), arranged by
radio or television series.
SUMMARY: Capt. Post: crime specialist, 1930-31;
Chinatown Squad, 1932; Barbary Coast nights, 1933; I love a mystery,
1943-44, 1949-52; Adventures by Morse, 1944-45; His honor the barber,
1945-46; I love adventure, 1948; Slice of life, 1949; Mixed doubles,
1949; One man's family, 1949, 1951-52; Family skeleton, 1953-54.
NOTES: In addition to the scripts, the
collection also contains some memorabilia on Morse's career (awards,
clippings, etc.) and production documents related to particular
California Artists Radio Theatre, sound
recordings, 1989- ; ca. 20 sound cassettes : analog.
NOTES: The California Artists Radio Theatre
(CART) is a repertory company based in Hollywood that performs
plays and theater pieces written or adapted for radio. Peggy Webber is
CART's producer; she has also adapted and directed most of their
productions. Norman Corwin has written and directed several
plays for CART.
edits his script for Studio One, a radio program he produced and
directed in the late 1940s.
Papers, 1947-1981 (bulk 1947-1949, 1979-1981);
102 v., 4 document boxes (8 linear ft.); Scripts are arranged in
chronological order by radio or television series. Other papers are
arranged chronologically in three series: (1) Correspondence and
documents; (2) Photographs; (3) Press clippings.
SUMMARY: Scripts: Studio one, 1947-48; Ford
theater, 1948-49; Life with father, 1954; Sears radio theater,
1979-80; Mutual radio theater, 1980-81. Documents, photos, press
clippings and most correspondence relate to these series.
speaks to his audience during a tribute held in his honor at the
Thousand Oaks Library in March, 1999.
Tape collection of Frank Bresee, veteran radio
actor and radio historian, and the host of the radio program
Golden Days of Radio on the Armed Forces Radio and Television
Service from 1967-1995. Contains approximately 3900 open-reel tapes,
primarily from Golden Days of Radio, ca. 227 linear feet.
SUMMARY: Golden Days of Radio provided
a look back at radio programs and personalities from the early days of
radio up to the 1950's. This collection consists of tapes of Bresee's
program as it was broadcast, as well as source material for his
program, including complete episodes of many radio series from the
1940's and 1950's. This collection is partially processed.
Jack Benny program;
collection of scripts for radio and television series, 1950-1957. 1
document box (64 items); arranged by radio and television series.
SUMMARY: Jack Benny program (radio, 1950-1957;
Jack Benny program (television), 1954 [1 item].
NOTES: Scripts were part of the estate of
Hilliard Marks, longtime producer for Jack Benny and brother of Mary
Papers of John Pickard and Frank Provo, ca.
1928-1976, ca. 48 linear feet. Pickard (1910-1995) and Provo
(1913-1975) were writers of first radio, then television, and soap
operas. Among the shows they created were Wendy Warren and the
News (CBS, 1947-1958) on radio, and for television,
Concerning Miss Marlowe (NBC, 1954-1955), and From These
Roots (NBC, 1958-1960). The collection consists largely of
scripts of these programs and others that Pickard and Provo wrote
occasional episodes for, such as Young Doctor Malone (radio),
as well as the television programs The Doctors, The
Nurses, and Love of Life. In addition, scripts from
Australian Broadcasting Company programs that Pickard either wrote,
directed or acted in (ca. 1932-1935) prior to his emigration to the
United States are included, as well as presentation scripts for
proposed television and radio series, manuscripts of plays and novels,
Joseph W. Roberts
Collection of scripts for television, 1951-1952,
2 v., boxed (13 items), arranged in two bound volumes: Vol. I, Part I;
Vol. I, Part II, and labeled "Tales of Tomorrow." Scripts are arranged
SUMMARY: Scripts from the Tales of Tomorrow
television program, 1951-1953.
NOTES: Joseph W. Roberts was advertising manager
for program sponsor Jacques Kreisler Manufacturing Corporation.
Collection of scripts for radio series,
1940-1960; 247 v., 60 document boxes (174 linear ft.); arranged by
SUMMARY: Collection contains over 9300
individual scripts. Long series runs include: I was there, 1940-1942,
1944-1945; Amos 'n' Andy, 1944-1951; Romance, 1944-1946, 1948-1951;
The story of Sandra Martin, 1944-1945; Suspense, 1945-1959; The
whistler, 1945-1951, 1954-1955; Escape, 1947-1954; My friend Irma,
1947-1954; My favorite husband, 1948-1951; Our Miss Brooks, 1948-1957;
Yours truly, Johnny Dollar, 1949-1960; The lineup, 1950-1953; Meet
Millie, 1951-1954; Junior Miss, 1952-1954; Hallmark hall of fame,
1953-1955; Have gun, will travel, 1958-1960.
NOTES: Collection was formerly the radio script
archive at KNX (Los Angeles), a CBS affiliate radio station. In
addition to scripts, the collection also contains scattered production
notes and memoranda related to the broadcast of specific series.
Marvin E. Miller
Papers and sound recordings of
actor and announcer Marvin Miller (1913-1985); ca. 47 linear feet of
scripts and correspondence (1931-1985, bulk from 1935-1965), plus 135
open-reel audiotapes, and 8 scrapbooks.
SUMMARY: Miller, who began working
in radio while a college student in St. Louis, went on a prolific
career as an actor and announcer in Chicago and Hollywood, best known
for his work on radio series such as The Whistler, The
Romance of Helen Trent, and The Railroad Hour, among
others. Later branching out into film, television, and voiceover
work, his best-known role was as J. Michael Anthony on the television
series The Millionaire.
Papers of Milt Josefsberg, 1930-1980, (bulk
1960-1978); ca. 14 linear ft.. The collection is partly arranged and
described; generally chronological in order. Scripts are arranged
chronologically by series.
SUMMARY: The Milt Josefsberg collection contains
papers relating to his careers as a television producer and writer and
as the author of a biography of Jack Benny and a book on comedy
writing. The collection includes correspondence, radio and television
scripts, book manuscripts, sound recordings, press clippings, research
notes and other materials.
Milton and Barbara Merlin
Papers of Milton (1905-1996) and Barbara
(1917-1997) Merlin; ca. 28 linear ft., ranging from 1923-1997 (bulk,
SUMMARY: The Merlins worked as writers for both
radio and television, from the early 1940s to the mid 1960s. This
collection contains over 23 linear feet of scripts, which cover such
radio programs as Mr. President, Boston Blackie, The
Ginny Simms Show, Everything for the Boys, The Man
Called X and their best-known program, Halls of Ivy; as
well as the television version of Halls of Ivy, and The
Millionaire, among others. In addition to scripts, over one
linear foot of correspondence documents Milton Merlin's involvement
with various writers' organizations, such as the Hollywood Writers
Mobilization during World War II, and the Radio Writer's Guild, in
which he served as national president in the early 1950s.
Collection of radio scripts from San
Francisco-based writer and comedian Monty Masters (1912-1969), ranging
from 1941-1960 (bulk 1946-1951), 3 document boxes, ca. 3.5 linear
feet. Scripts are arranged chronologically by series.
SUMMARY: Spotlight Playhouse, 1946; The Eddy
King Show, 1947-1948; Ready for Brady, 1948-1949; The Monty Masters
Show, 1948-1949, Candy Matson, 1949-1951. In addition to these series,
the collection contains story treatments and sample scripts for
proposed television and radio series from the early 1950's, as well as
single copies of scripts from various radio programs.
Morris Freedman Collection
Collection of scripts for radio and television
series, 1946-1958; 3 document boxes (3 linear ft.); arranged by radio
or television series.
SUMMARY: Duffy's tavern, 1946-1949; Jimmy
Durante show, 1950; That's Rich, 1954; Ray Milland show, 1954-1955;
Meet Millie, 1955-1956; Professional father, 1955; How to marry a
NOTES: Collection also includes series
treatments, story outlines, sketches and jokes. Some items include
production notes and other emendations.
|Corwin was his
own narrator for One World Flight, a radio program that took him
around the world to interview people in 37 countries.
Norman Lewis Corwin's papers, 1910- (bulk
1938-1990); ca. 100 linear ft. The collection is partly arranged and
described. Materials are tentatively arranged according to a topical
scheme developed by Norman Corwin.
SUMMARY: The Norman Corwin collection currently
contains materials selected by Corwin for inclusion during his
lifetime: correspondence, scrapbooks, radio and television scripts,
motion picture screenplays, sound recordings, video recordings,
photographs, business records and contracts, press clippings, and
various ephemera. The bulk of accessible materials documents Corwin's
career in radio and television broadcasting, motion pictures, the
theater, and as an author and teacher, from 1935 to 1990.
Robert Q. Lewis Collection
Papers of Robert Q Lewis, 1940-1960 (bulk,
1947-1956), ca. 21 linear feet. Robert Q. Lewis (1920-1991), was a
comedian, radio disc jockey, and host of numerous television and radio
programs from the late 1940's to the early 1960's. The collection
contains material for Lewis' television and radio programs--both
complete scripts as well as jokes and monologues written for use on
these programs--as well as correspondence, news clippings, music
scores, and photographs that document his entertainment career between
the mid 1940's and 1960. Programs that are represented in this
collection include Arthur Godfrey Time (radio), Arthur
Godfrey and His Friends (television), and the Robert Q. Lewis
Show (both radio and television versions).
Ralph French's papers, 1935-1955; ca. 100 items.
SUMMARY: The collection consists primarily of
black and white photographs of Rudy Vallee, his friends and
associates, and locations where he performed. It also includes one
color photograph of Vallee and his wife Eleanor (ca. 1980), one letter
from Vallee, several greeting cards, and a small file of press
NOTES: Ralph French was a friend and associate
of Rudy Vallee; he acted as his business manager during the 1940's and
|A young Rudy
Vallee (circa 1930s) prepares for a performance.
Rudy Vallee's papers, 1901-1986, (bulk
1925-1975); ca. 250 linear ft. The collection is partly arranged and
described. Generally chronological in order. Musical scores arranged
by title according to an index developed by Vallee. Scripts arranged
chronologically by series; personal correspondence alphabetically
arranged by author within date ranges for letters received and
chronologically for letters sent.
SUMMARY: The Rudy Vallee Collection constitutes
the great majority of personal documents in Vallee's possession at the
time of his death, including correspondence, scrapbooks, radio and
television scripts, sound recordings, musical scores, photographs,
business records, press clippings, and various ephemera. The bulk of
accessible materials documents Vallee's career in radio broadcasting
and entertainment from 1925-1975.
Sportsmen Quartet's musical scores and
arrangements; ca. 18 linear ft. (ca. 1,500 items). The collection is
partly arranged and described; generally in order by title of score or
SUMMARY: The Sportsmen Collection contains
musical scores and arrangements prepared and used by the Sportsmen
Quartet during their performing career (1943- ca. 1970). Their work is
most closely associated with the Jack Benny radio and
Collection of radio and television scripts from
comedy writer Tom Koch (1925- ), ranging from 1959-1976 (bulk, ca.
1974-1976), ca. 1.5 cubic feet. For many years, Koch was a writer for
the Bob and Ray Show on radio, and this collection
contains 1,061 scripts for five-minute sketches used on the show, ca.
1974-1976. Also included in the collection are television scripts from
the Jonathan Winters Show (13 scripts, 1968-1969),
and pilot scripts and teleplays for various shows, including
All in the Family.
Tom Price Collection
Papers and sound recordings, ca. 1935- ca. 1975;
ca. 50 linear ft. (ca. 250 7" open reel tapes and 6 boxes of
documents); the collection is partly arranged and described, sound
recordings are arranged by series and numeric code.
SUMMARY: The Tom Price Collection contains over
11,000 recordings on tape of radio programs from the "Golden Age" of
radio (1930-1960) as well as documentary recordings from later years;
papers include extensive research files, largely concentrating on the
Fibber McGee & Molly radio program and its stars, Jim and Mary
Jordan. Only those sound recordings that have been transferred to
audiocassette are available for use.
OTHER SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Book Arts Collection
The Book Arts Collection is a reference
collection of over 300 volumes on the art and history of the book as
an artifact, focusing on its development in California and the United
States. The core of the Collection was the donation by Harold Gross of
his books on bookbinding and the endowment by Barbara Gorman. The Book
Arts Collection also includes the William & Patricia Standring
Collection of over 60 books, some dating from the early 1700s, on
English genealogy; the Standring Collection is on deposit in Special
Collections by permission of the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society.
Finding aids are available in the Special
The Conejo Future Foundation Collection
documents the operations of the Foundation from its inception 
down to the 1990s. The set of operating files is supplemented by
videotapes and sound recordings documenting Foundation projects and
concerns. The collection is partly arranged and described and is
currently not released for public use.
Note: The Conejo Future Foundation is a private,
regional planning group with the goal of promoting the quality of life
in the Conejo Valley area through issue studies and strategic planning
The Local History Collection is a
reference and research collection of published materials and
unpublished papers related to the history of the City of Thousand Oaks
and the Conejo Valley region, dating from ca. 1875 to the present. In
addition to more than 1000 books and pamphlets, the Collection
contains extensive topical files, biographical files, maps,
photographs, sound recordings, video recordings, and other materials.
The Local History Collection is generally arranged by type of material
or medium with accession, chronological or alphabetic arrangement
within each category.
Finding aids are available in the
Special Collections Department.
Pioneer Broadcasters and the Thousand Oaks Library
The Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters
(PPB), founded in 1966 to preserve the memory of West Coast
broadcasting in the "golden age" of radio, have collected some of the
most interesting and famous radio scripts, memorabilia and sound
recordings from American broadcasting history. The PPB collections
include about 10,000 individual scripts and 300-400 bound volumes.
These scripts document a major part of the history of radio
broadcasting, and form one of the largest private radio script
collections. The scripts have been housed for many years at the PPB
headquarters in the Washington Mutual Building at Sunset and Vine.
Historic early broadcasting
equipment and photographs are on display at PPB's Sunset & Vine
address. "Nostalgia Nights" are held the first Thursday of the month,
except during June, July and August. Membership in the PPB is open to
those who have worked professionally for at least 20 years in Radio,
Television or closely allied fields.
The American Radio Archives formed
a joint venture with the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters in January 2001
to provide a permanent home for the PPB collections. Future plans
include construction by the Thousand Oaks Library foundation of a
structure near the Grant R. Brimhall Library site to house and exhibit the
collections of the American Radio Archive as well as the collections
of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.
For more information about the
Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters, please visit their website at