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Burt Harrison collection of public radio oral histories

 Collection 0129-MMC-NPBA
Burt Harrison spent most of his broadcasting career in the state of Washington. He was station manager of KWSU, Washington State University at Pullman's radio station from 1959 to 1976. During this time he served on the boards of National Association Educational Broadcasters (NAEB), National Educational Radio (NER), and the Association of Public Radio Stations. In addition, Harrison lobbied for the inclusion of radio in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. In 1977, he received the first Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. After retirement, Harrison and his wife, Dee, taped 42 oral history interviews for the Public Radio Oral History Project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The collection consists of audio cassettes, verbatim and final transcripts of interviews for the Public Radio Oral History Project. The interviewees discuss their roles and memories of public radio.

Dates

  • 1977-1982
  • Majority of material found within 1977-1982

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research use.

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 page for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

5.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Burt Harrison Papers consists of audio cassettes, verbatim and final transcripts of oral history interviews by Burt and Dee Harrison with various significant figures in public radio for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded Public Radio Oral History Project. The interviewees discuss their particular role in and memories of public radio including such events such as the creation of National Public Radio.

Biography

Burt Harrison received degrees from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, and the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. While in Kansas, he worked for local newspapers. Harrison's work in radio began in Colorado where he wrote a weekly science commentary, free-lanced for the Rocky Mountain Radio Council, and ran a couple of commercial radio stations in southern Colorado. He was also a member of the University of Denver faculty.

In 1949, Harrison joined Allen Miller at KWSU, Washington State University at Pullman's radio station, and became an Associate Professor of Communications at Washington State University. He took on the job of station manager of KWSU in 1959 and remained at this post until he retired from KWSU in 1976. During this period, he served on the boards of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, National Educational Radio, and the Association of Public Radio Stations. He also lobbied for the inclusion of radio in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

Upon retirement from KWSU, he and his wife of thirty-six years, Dee (Nadine), taped forty-two oral history interviews for the Public Radio Oral History Project which was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He was also a Fulbright Lecturer at Chiengmai University in Chiengmai, Thailand, during this same period, 1977 to 1978. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting presented him with the first Edward R. Murrow Award in 1977. The Washington State Association of Broadcasters also honored Harrison with the 1987 Broadcaster of the Year Award.

Burt Harrison died in 2004.

Arrangement

Organized as one series:
  1. Series 1: Public Radio Oral History Project

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Burt Harrison Papers was donated to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by Burt Harrison in June of 1991 and in June of 1993.
Title
Guide to the Burt Harrison collection of public radio oral histories
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Susan McElrath.
Date
1995-11-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
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

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212