Northwestern

WNUR-FM, Records Of Edit

Summary

Identifier
20/60

Dates

  • 1953-2000 (Creation)

Extents

  • 37.00 Boxes (Whole)

Names

Subjects

Notes

  • Scope and Contents

    This series consists of the records of WNUR. They span the period between 1950 and 1994. The records include general policy statements, correspondence, and materials relating to public activities.

    The correspondence is divided into two categories: general correspondence, arranged chronologically by date, and subject correspondence, arranged alphabetically by folder title. The general correspondence consists mainly of letters from listeners who wrote in to share their positive and negative reactions to WNUR's programming. The subject correspondence relates mainly to WNUR-FM's relationship with Chicago's Kennedy-King College and the sharing of channel 207 on 89.3 megahertz.

    The materials relating to programming and public activities consist of items such as application notices, clippings, community leader surveys, fundraising materials, flyers, the history of WNUR-FM, press releases, program guides, and WNUR created logs. The community leader surveys were created in 1979 to profile significant individuals in the Evanston area.

    The bulk of the series consists of station logs which fall into two main categories: operating logs and play list logs, both arranged chronologically by date. Station engineers maintained operating logs to track technical elements of broadcasting. The play list logs list all of the songs and records that WNUR-FM disc jockeys played.

    For additional information on WNUR-FM see the brief history of the station in Lynn Miller Rein's Northwestern University School of Speech: A History. The University Archives maintains a small collection of audio tapes and compact discs of selected WNUR-FM programs.

    This addition to the records of WNUR spans the years 1948 to 2000. The bulk of the addition contains materials relating to WNUR's 50th anniversary in 2000. This includes material directly relating to the anniversary and correspondence, memorabilia, press clippings, WNUR yearbook pages, copies of WNUR's original broadcasting license, and scripts sent by alumni and compiled for the anniversary.

    For the 50th anniversary of WNUR, an effort was made to collect records and memories from alumni who had been involved with WNUR during their time at NU. May 27, 2000 was celebrated as WNUR Anniversary Day and was marked by a reunion of WNUR alumni.

    The Application for Broadcast Station License contains the actual application as well as proposals for all the original programming in 1950, and the mission statement of the station at that time.

    The “History of WNUR,” by Christopher Boehm, is a short paper on the history of WNUR from 1950 through the early 1990s. The folder also contains “We're Outta the Basement,” a booklet of history and memories compiled for the Renaissance Reunion in 1995.

    The “Proclamations” folder contains Gov. George Ryan and Mayor Lorraine Morton's proclamations of May 27, 2000 as WNUR Anniversary Day.

    The correspondence is divided into two sections: General Correspondence and a section entitled “WNUR Memories.” The general correspondence spans the years 1951 to 2000 and is arranged chronologically. The general correspondence is mainly made up of the positive and negative reactions of listeners and some station responses to these letters. There is also a letter from Bill Butler, the first station manager of WNUR, outlining the progress made in the first six months of operation and plans for the future of the station.

    The “WNUR Memories” folders are made up of correspondence from Northwestern alumni who were involved in WNUR and responded to a questionnaire asking for favorite memories of working at WNUR, on the occasion of WNUR's 50th anniversary and reunion. These questionnaires, letters and emails are arranged chronologically by the sender's year of graduation (1946-1998). Letters from students in 1973 may be of particular interest, describing student and WNUR actions in the 1973 protests of the Vietnam War, and the response to the killings at Kent State.

    The materials in the General folder include Hit Line 89 top 20 lists, staff rosters, program guides and a copy of rules and procedures complied from alumni on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of WNUR.

    The scripts included are from shows in the early 1950s including shows by Julia Manz Horseman (“Onstage,” and “From the Keyboard”), scripts from Merle G. McConnell, “the Edge of Infinity” (a science fiction radio drama from Scott Lange), and a “Practice Copy for Radio and TV Announcing.”

    The second addition to this series spans the years from 1984 to 1997.  The bulk of the addition consists of administrative records documenting what was played on WNUR-FM from day to day.  The addition consists of three sub-series: general files, "Issues and Programs" records, and logs and playlists. 

    The general files are small in volume and contain general correspondence as well as documents relating to the radio station's policies and equipment usage. 

    "Issues and Programs" records, approximately one linear foot in volume, relate to what, from quarter to quarter, was discussed on air in regard to contemporary political, social, and cultural events.  Examples of subjects reflected here include, but are not limited to, arts and music, health and public safety, the environment, and education.  The documents in this section provide, in tabular format, the topics under consideration, short descriptions of the details of on-air discussion, and the dates and times of broadcast.

    Logs and playlists, which make up the bulk of the addition, consist of loose-leaf documents as well as spiral notebooks used to record written summaries of the announcements and music aired by the radio station.  Subsets of these records relate to scheduling and announcements while separate programming logs keep track of the music and talk shows that were broadcast over WNUR.  A significant number of folders within the logs and playlists are labeled "Traffic/Public Service Announcement Logs."  These serve as a record for when such announcements aired.  The rest of the collection, found within boxes 21 through 37, consists of playlist logs.  These come in the form of spiral notebooks and contain within handwritten accounts of the music that was played on the air during specific WNUR shows.  These records are organized largely in alphabetical order by genre, such as blues, jazz, or rock.  Some notebooks are organized by show name, such as "Continental Drift," "Southbound Train," or "Streetbeat."  The playlist notebooks tend to span the course of several months, although some can cover a longer period of time.  Not all accounts are clearly dated.  The extent of the description of what is played most often features just the names of recording artists and song titles.

  • Abstract

    This series consists of the records of WNUR. They span the period between 1950 and 1994. The records include general policy statements, correspondence, and materials relating to public activities. The addition to the records of WNUR spans the years 1948 to 2000. The bulk of the addition contains materials relating to WNUR's 50th anniversary in 2000. This includes material directly relating to the anniversary and correspondence, memorabilia, press clippings, WNUR yearbook pages, copies of WNUR's original broadcasting license, and scripts sent by alumni and compiled for the anniversary.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    None.

  • Method of Acquisition

    This series combines four separate accessions. The first accession was transferred to the University Archives by WNUR-FM on June 16, 1992 (Accession # 92-56). The second transferred by Professor James Schwoch on November 4, 1994 (Accession # 94-201). The third was transferred by Matt Walters on May 25, 1995 (Accession # 95-66). The final accession was transferred by Michael Schneider on June 13, 1995 (Accession # 95-90). Materials from the University Archives general files as well as from the papers of Jim Schwoch (Accession # 93-191) were also incorporated into the series.

    The addition combines two separate accessions. The first was transferred to University Archives by Rachel Rosenberg, School of Speech, on June 1, 2000 (Accession # 00-185). The second part of the series was transferred to the University Archives by Rachel Rosenberg, School of Speech, on June 23, 2000 (Accession # 00-198).

  • Existence and Location of Originals

    unspecified

  • Related Materials

    unspecified

  • Separated Materials

    One inch of duplicate and extraneous materials was discarded from the main body of the series.

    Approximately one inch of duplicate and extraneous material was discarded from the addition. Photographs were added to the University Archives Photographic Collection. Cassettes (AC #1421-1424), videocassettes (VC #769-772) and a CD (CD #4) were added to the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

  • Processing Information

    Alex Strauss; February 1998.  Addition processed by James Hayford; July 12, 2000.

Components