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The Studs Terkel Radio Archive: Take it easy, but take it... to new places

Title (author1): 
First names (author1): 
Surname (author 1): 
The WFMT Radio Network
Other authors: 
Grace Radkins
Presentation type: 
spoken paper
27 Sept Sunday
Start time: 
1 530
Belvedere 1

The mission of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive is to develop and curate an interactive global resource that stimulates creativity and breaks down cultural barriers. We will accomplish this by disseminating his radio programs, and related audio, visual, and textual material; connecting contemporary users, especially students, to this collection; and developing and maintaining an online repository of oral histories, podcasts, and other audio compositions that incorporate original Terkel recordings with contemporary interviews and commentaries.
Studs Terkel broadcast on Chicago’s WFMT radio station from 1952 through 1997. It was important to him to speak with people from all walks of life, to hear and broadcast a variety of points of view, and to broaden his own horizons and those of his listeners. As a traveler himself, he was broadcasting a “global” program long before this became the norm. This collection of recordings and related materials will connect twenty-first-century users to the sounds of twentieth-century social struggles, cultural and scientific achievements, and the experiences of “everyday people.”
The Studs Terkel Radio Archive plans to provide free online access to most of Terkel’s 5,000+ preserved radio programs and related materials in a manner that is highly searchable, annotated, and intriguing to contemporary and future users. We understand that a user-friendly search tool and an engaging interface will help us to in successfully sharing this archive and inspiring users to incorporate recordings into their own audio compositions.
Terkel’s radio broadcast programs are the foundation of the online repository we aim to create. The radio programs are valuable primary-source material for students learning about history, literature and drama, science, social justice, and journalism, to name just a few topics. We plan to use the archived recordings to inspire students and educators to develop interest-driven art and documentary projects, exploring the people and subjects of their choice using digital and multimedia skills. Youth participants will learn and apply skills in the visual, media, and literary arts to create new projects for a public exhibit and digital display on the Archive’s website. The project will also stimulate dialogue and collaboration between youth, their peers, and their teachers; and provide curated audio for classroom use and digital creation.
Our presentation will focus on the variety of means by which the public can access the Studs Terkel Radio Archive, the details of our workflow, and our collaborations with cultural institutions and schools. We will also cover our podcast series creation, the specifics of our work with youth, and utilizing new technologies that improve access and allow users to "collaborate" with Terkel and reimagine the works in the collection.