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WMUC records

 Collection 0203-UA

Established in 1948, WMUC is the student-run radio station at the University of Maryland and has offered generations of students the opportunity to gain experience in music, news, sports and cultural programming. The WMUC records primarily includes correspondence, memoranda, flyers, publications, audio reels, and photographic materials and documents the history, organization, programming, advertising, and promotion of the station.


  • 1937-2012
  • Majority of material found within circa 1960-1999

Conditions Governing Access

his collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

This collection contains restricted material, please check the series and folder listings for additional information.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


6.50 Linear Feet (6.50 linear feet, 1,857 audio reels, and 4 posters)

6.50 Linear Feet

4 Items (posters)

1858 Items (audio)

Scope and Contents

The WMUC records spans from 1937 to 2012 and encompasses the station's history. Highlights of the collection include a 1937 newspaper article announcing the start of the university's radio program and a 1948 station report. Other paper-based materials include correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports and manuals, station playlists, flyers, zines, artwork, and alumni reunion information. Photographs, slides, and negatives feature WMUC staff, studios, and events between the 1960s and 1990s. The collection's audio clips (in a variety of formats) document WMUC's programming over the years, ranging from news broadcasts and athletic events to interviews, station IDs, and live music. WMUC programs represented in the audio collection include Yesternow, You Must Remember This, Womanspeak, Campus Focus, Miss Midnight, Folkways, Theatre of the Mind, and Third Rail Radio. Memorabilia items consist of various station T-shirts, including one from the 1970s "FM or Bust" campaign, bumper stickers, posters, a Frisbee, and a cassette player and microphone.

Administrative History

WMUC is the campus radio station at the University of Maryland. It is a student-run, freeform, FM station licensed to the University of Maryland. Beginning in 1948, WMUC went on the air as a carrier-current AM station that broadcast within the boundaries of Maryland's campus (and therefore did not need an FCC license to operate). Daily broadcasts included several hours of music and news. In the 1950s, students expanded broadcasting to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, adding coverage of sports and cultural events of local, national and international importance. In 1953, WMUC made its first long-distance remote broadcast from Raleigh, NC, covering Maryland's games in the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament.

In the 1960s, WMUC DJs began to add an impressive roster of famous musicians to its growing collection of station IDs. On February 11, 1964, WMUC staffers Bill Seaby, Paul Palmer and Alan Batten attended the Beatles' first U.S. concert at the D.C. Coliseum, participated in the press conference afterward and even got John Lennon to record promotional spots for the station. Subsequent station IDs included Phyllis Diller, Jimmy Dean, Frankie Valli, Frank Zappa, Chubby Checker, Ahmad Jamal and Fats Domino. In 1965, the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) selected WMUC as the recipient of its "All American College Radio Station" Award.

The 1970s were seminal years for WMUC. In 1974, the station’s staff secured University Chancellor Robert Gluckstern’s endorsement for an FM license and submitted an application to the FCC in 1975. Four years later, after two rejections and a fervid "FM or Bust" student campaign, the FCC granted WMUC its first FM license for broadcast on the 88.1 frequency.

For the next 20 years, WMUC operated as both an AM and an FM station. The latter adopted an all-freeform format in 1982, which offered more experimental and alternative music programming than the AM side, which continued to follow a Top 40 format until it ceased operation in 1999. Third Rail Radio, one of the station's longest running programs, was established in 1996 and features live performances by local and national artists every Sunday night. In 2002, began streaming online in order to cover more athletic events. WMUC-2, a separate, internet-only station launched in 2008.

WMUC continues to serve as the voice of the university, a valuable training ground, and an important creative outlet for students at the University of Maryland.


This collection has been organized into five series.

Series 1
Administrative Records
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
Oversize Materials
Series 5
Audio Materials

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries received its first transfer of records from the WMUC staff in June 2008. The station transferred additional materials (both audio and paper-based) in June 2011 and January 2013. Other donations have been received from several WMUC station alumni, inlcuding David Barnes in December 2012, Sue Kopen Katcef and Dave Walter in January 2013, Mike Doughney, Bob Duckman, Reese Higgins, Ed Jones, and Jeff Krulik in March 2013, Chet Rhodes in May 2013, Gary Allentuck in September 2013, Rich Kolker in October 2013, and Wendi Berman in December 2019.

Related Material

This collection also contains several unprocessed accessions which are not reflected in the finding aid. Please contact us for more information about these materials.

The University Publications collection contains additional materials about WMUC, under the categories Radio Station (UPUB R1) and WMUC (UPUB W12). For program logs and articles charting the station's history, see the student newspaper, The Diamondback (microfilm UPUB S36.005), and the Old Line magazine (UPUB S36 010). More information about the station's history and staff members can be found in the University of Maryland yearbooks, particularly in the years between 1950 and 1970. Administrative files pertaining to WMUC are also located in the records of the President's Office, Chancellor's Office, and Division of Student Affairs, and the Board of Regents minutes.

Processing Information

Paper-based materials were placed in acid-free folders or boxes and photographic materials were housed in polyester sleeves. Several posters were flattened and moved to a map case.

Guide to the WMUC records
Processed by Amanda K. Hawk.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742