Archives Theft and the Uniqueness of Audio

Monday, May 07, 2012

Photo: Ian Hayhurst/Flickr

While browsing for archival audio on the internet one night, radio historian J. David Goldin noticed a 1937 radio interview of baseball great Babe Ruth for sale on eBay. Goldin was startled; it looked almost exactly like the master copy he had donated to the National Archives more than 30 years ago. Goldin started sleuthing. His detective work set in motion an investigation that revealed one of the most serious thefts in the history of the National Archives.

In stealing those master copies, the culprit stole history, a trove of mind-blowing audio recordings spanning decades of American culture. These audio recordings mark an age before television and the Internet, when only sound connected you to the rest of the world. Host John Hockenberry wonders, how does audio transport you back in time better than a photo?


J. David Goldin

Hosted by:

John Hockenberry

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez

Comments [2]

randy peter from Oklahoma City

I wish I could hear a recording of George Washington's Newburgh Address to his soldiers, which he supposedly ended: "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country."

May. 07 2012 10:46 AM
Len from Florida

I would love to hear the teaching of the religious leaders in their own words. To hear the Buddha, Mohamed, Jesus and others might help dispel a lot of the nonsense that has been written since their deaths.

May. 07 2012 09:34 AM

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