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National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) records

 Collection 0017-MMC
This collection documents the advocacy campaigns and research activities of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the primary U.S. trade association representing terrestrial radio and television broadcasters. Materials date from the founding of the NAB as the National Association of Radio Broadcasters in 1923 through 2016, including speeches, research, publications, as well as accumulated materials from other broadcasting-related organizations. Audiovisual materials in this collection include conference recordings on audio cassette, audio reel, and VHS tape.


  • 1923-2016

Conditions Governing Access

This 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. Preliminary inventories are available under the Inventories/Additional Information section. Please contact us about making request for this material in advance of your visit.

While the print material is minimally processed, the audiovisual materials in this collection are unprocessed. This means that the audiovisual materials are in the same state we received them and have undergone cursory review for content or condition but are not inventoried. The audiovisual materials may need to be screened prior to use. Please contact us before visiting the Special Collections reading room to view the audiovisual materials collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


152 Linear Feet (97 record storage containers 4 Hollinger boxes)

50 Linear Feet (approximately 50 linear feet of unprocessed audiovisual content)

201.5 Linear Feet

Content Description

The collection includes National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) audiovisual and print material from annual conventions and conferences from 1923 to 2016, speeches of NAB personnel as well as testimonies before the Federal Communications Commission, research commissioned and/or collected by NAB, publications with advice to members on legal issues, legislative priorities, industry finances, employment, and public concerns (such as violence on television or appropriate children’s programming). The collection aslo includes surveys, market reports, handbooks, speeches, statements, and legal briefs on radio and television broadcasts primarily from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The NAB collection also includes materials from Broadcast Music Incorporated and the Television Information Office (both originally spun-off from NAB), as well as the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Television Bureau of Advertising, Radio-Television News Directors Association, and the National Broadcast Editorial Association, among other broadcasting-related organizations.

Audiovisual materials in this collection include conference recordings on audio cassette, audio reel, and VHS tape and are available upon request.

Biographical / Historical

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is the primary trade association representing the terrestrial radio and television broadcasters in the United States. Founded in 1923 as the National Association of Radio Broadcasters, the organization changed its name to the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters in 1951 and, finally, in 1958 simplified the name to the National Association of Broadcasters.

The NAB lobbies Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the administration about legislation and regulations that affect the industry. The organization also provides its member stations with industry research, sales and promotional materials, public service campaigns, and advice on staying profitable in a changing media environment.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains audiovisual materials. Items that cannot be used in the Special Collections reading room or are too fragile for researchers require that a digital copy be made prior to use. If you would like to access these materials, please contact us prior to your visit.

Custodial History

This collection was donated to the University of Maryland by the National Association of Broadcasters in multiple installments beginning on November 23, 1998.

Related Materials

Related collections at the University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives include the William S. Hedges papers, the Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) audio tapes and scrapbooks, and the Radio Advertising Bureau collection.

Processing Information

Print materials in this collection have been minimally processed. The collection came to the library in some order by date and document type and the processing archivists maintained that original order, however, there is overlap in the arrangement. For print materials including publications and industry that came to the Libraries in no particular order, the processing archivists arranged documents by date.

Many of the original folders were replaced with acid-free folders. Unlabeled folders were assigned labels. Approximately 150 linear feet of print media was removed as out-of-scope, including duplicates, newspaper and magazine clippings, and communications law.

Audiovisual materials including audio cassettes and VHS tapes were housed in separate boxes from the print materials. The majority of the collection was re-boxed.
Guide to the National Association of Broadcasters records
Minimally Processed
Processed by Jim Baxter, Michael Henry, and Jen Wachtel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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