RPTF/ARSC Sound Collections Database

Milo Ryan KIRO-CBS Radio News Phonoarchive, 1935-1978

The Milo Ryan / CBS Radio News Phonoarchive is a unique audio time capsule that documents many historic 20th century events. It consists of sound recordings of CBS Radio News programs, public affairs shows, actualities, speeches, interviews, wartime dramas, daily World War II news updates. The recordings capture groundbreaking broadcasts by Edward R. Murrow and his "Boys": William L. Shirer, Eric Sevareid, Tom Grandin, Larry LeSueur, Charles Collingwood, Howard K. Smith, Winston Burdett, Bill Downs, Mary Marvin Breckinridge, Cecil Brown, and Richard C. Hottelet. The collection also includes recordings of programs and speeches made by public figures during and beyond WW II, including Churchill, Eisenhower, Einstein, Hitler, and JFK. As Dr. Donald Godfrey writes in his 1973 article "History Held a Microphone": "There are twenty-two hundred and twenty-seven newscasts. All but a handful originating from CBS. Their newscasts represent every weekday without a miss, from September 7, 1939, with the Germans entering Poland, to April 2, 1945, with the allies entering Germany.... Tapes contain examples of special events coverage: the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, the bombing of Japan, landings in North Africa, the 13 Normandy Invasion, the World Security Conference, April, 1945, the function of the American and Russian Armies, April, 1945, the death and funeral of FDR, and miles of tape on V. E. and V.J. days. Elmer Davis' daily five minute reports are represented in entirety from his debut, September 16, 1939, to February 13, 1941, and occasionally to July 9, 1943. H. V. Kaltenbom edits the news, complete from August 27, 1939, until January 26, 1940, and sporadically thereafter. Our library includes 21 speeches by Winston Churchill, representing 12 hours of this master of language. There are 51 talks by President Roosevelt totaling 24 continuous hours." A detailed description of most of the recordings in the Phonoarchive is available in Milo Ryan's book History in Sound (UW Press).
CBS Radio Network (broadcaster) and KIRO (Radio station : Seattle, Wash.) (broadcaster)
University of Washington Libraries
Repository/Collector Type:
College or university
United States
Collection ID:
2849 items
Content types:
Performed music and Spoken word
Acetate open reel tape, Digital audio file (including MP3, WAV, AIFF, etc.), Photographic print, and Text document
Interviews, News recordings, Radio drama, Sound recordings, Speeches, addresses, World War II, and Cold War
Inventory description:
EAD finding aid
Condition note:
Playable with proper equipment
Website URL:
View on guides.lib.uw.edu
Online finding aid:
View on archiveswest.orbiscascade.org