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Aaron Mintz Radio Program Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ACC-MSS 019

Scope and Contents

The materials donated by Aaron Mintz contain audio cassette tapes and compact discs featuring both rare and popular radio programs, most of which were originally broadcast between the 1930s and 1960s. While some material extends beyond this date range, the mid-20th century was known as the "Golden Age of Radio," when the medium became the dominant medium for news and entertainment in the United States. While some shows began as adaptations of well-known motion pictures or vaudeville routines between beloved comic duos, the era ushered in a wave of new formats for popular entertainment. Programs on the Aaron Mintz tapes and CDs span an array of genres, including comedy, drama, detective, mystery, wartime news broadcasts, quiz shows, science fiction, variety hours, and western. Although television eventually eclipsed radio in the homes of 1950s Americans, original radio series such as Dragnet and Gunsmoke bridged the transition and also enjoyed many years of success on the small screen.

Dates

  • 1925 - 1993

Creator

Language of Materials

Records in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. No materials may be taken out of or borrowed from the Emerson College Archives & Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The status of copyright in this collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C). This collection is for research purposes only. No portions of the materials may be performed or reproduced as written. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright. These are non-circulating materials.

Biographical / Historical

After studying broadcasting in college, Aaron Mintz spent twenty years working part time for local Western Massachusetts radio stations WMUA, WHAI, and WDRC, playing songs for a weekly program called "Rock and Roll Memory Time." These programming blocks consisted of themed lineups, focusing on hits of the 1950s and 1960s with featured "sound bites" of current events, news, and pop culture facts of the time. To amass content for the show, Mintz developed a strong network of contacts among his fellow broadcasters and began collecting. Former classmates also contributed to his findings, and he was inspired to digitize many of these rare materials after discovering a keen community for radio content on the Internet.

Extent

12 boxes, 6.25 linear feet

Arrangement

The collection is organized into three series based on material type and how the items were grouped upon their arrival to the archives. The first series of Prepackaged Sets includes several plastic and cardboard cases, each containing 10 or 20 audio cassettes and compact discs, which were sold commercially in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sets are then grouped into different subseries according to the genre that best corresponds to their content. For preservation purposes, CDs and tapes were removed from their original packaging, which has been housed separately and organized in Series 3. Manufacturer labels designate the number of each tape or CD within the set, as well as the specific episode titles and airdates.

Series 2 contains a large number of CDs and a few cassette tapes with assorted content, some of which were curated and digitally converted to these formats by Mintz himself. The items were received with no logical system of arrangement, but were grouped into subseries to best reflect the genre of the material. Within each subseries, items were sorted according to the alphanumeric system devised for Mintz's larger personal collection, as indicated by hand-written notes on the items or their casings. Some labels contained additional information, such as episode titles, airdates, running times, or guest stars. Further information about CD content could sometimes be found in Mintz's partial inventory (in Series 3) or his online inventory, located here: http://people.umass.edu/ahmintz/old-time-radio-shows.htm

Series 3 contains original packaging and informational program booklets providing supplementary details about the radio shows and relevant performers. Booklets were removed from the cases, enclosed in individual labeled envelopes, and placed next to their corresponding set, which were housed in three boxes to roughly reflect the subseries and alphabetical item order of Series 1. One folder houses Mintz's partial inventory for the CDs in Series 2.

Physical Location

4L

Custodial History

Materials were collected by the donor, with many being digitized by him.

Appraisal

No further materials are expected.

Creator

Title
Aaron Mintz Radio Program Collection
Date
2017-10-23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Emerson College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Walker Building, Room 223
120 Boylston Street
Boston Massachusetts 02116 United States
(617) 824-8301