Those interested in the history of U.S. Cold War international broadcasts aimed at the U.S.S.R. have a new resource.
The Russian Service of RFE/RL has published an online searchable database of its programs from 1953 to 1995. Radio Svoboda worked with the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University and the Hoover Institution Library & Archives at Stanford.
Radio Liberty launched in Munich in 1953 and moved to Prague in 1995. According to the OSA website, the original open-reel tapes containing the live broadcasts of the “Munich period” were preserved, archived and digitized by the Russian Service staff in Prague in the late 1990s. RFE/RL donated the tapes and digitized copies to Hoover Institution Archives, which last year authorized OSA to create metadata for the digitized audio, process the collection and prepare it for publication online.
RFE/RL said the archive consists of some 26,000 audio clips aired to the Soviet Union and Russian Federation. The content includes news and political programs about the U.S.S.R. and a collection of clandestinely published materials “about trials, imprisonments and forbidden expressions of life behind the Iron Curtain.”
In the announcement, RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic was quoted saying, “Today, when Russians are again relying on RFE/RL and Radio Svoboda for credible news, these archived programs take on a new meaning.”
RFE/RL, formerly Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is funded by Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.