And We’re Live in 3… 2… 1…

Among the fresh crop of collections now open for research are a few which display two of UNC’s most publicly visible institutions, radio station WUNC and television station UNC-TV.  Their records provide a glimpse into the inner functionings of these stations, those parts that aren’t broadcast from Chapel Hill to Manteo.

Charles Kuralt (left) and Kent Jackson (right) doing a radio dramatization during the dedication ceremonies for WUNC Radio, in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection #P0031, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

WUNC began airing in the 1940s as a student-run AM station, transitioning to FM in 1952 (counting Carl Kasell  and Charles Kuralt among its founding members).  Due to technical problems, the station went down in 1970, but returned again in 1976, this time as a professionally-managed NPR affiliate.  WUNC went on to produce such long-running programs as “Gary Shivers on Jazz” (1978-1990), “Back Porch Music” (since 1977), “The People’s Pharmacy” (since 1981), and “The Story with Dick Gordon” (since 2006).

Below are a few examples of listener mail, expressing relief at the return of the station in 1976.

Listener mail, in the WUNC Records #40278, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Listener mail, in the WUNC Records #40278, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Listener mail, in the WUNC Records #40278, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Additional material found within the WUNC collection include nearly 3,000 audio recordings, many featuring prominent North Carolina figures, special event material, and station logs.

UNC-TV (then WUNC-TV) formed in 1955, not long after WUNC first began transmitting on FM waves, as a station featuring educational programing.   The station has produced a number of series highlighting North Carolina culture and history, and university system events and issues.  Perhaps most notable among these are “North Carolina People” hosted by former UNC system president Bill Friday.

We found a few vestiges of UNC-TV programming past.

Pamphlet for “The Biblical Perspective,” debuting in 1962. From the University of North Carolina Television Network Records #40258, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Pamphlet for the program “Personal Finance,” a 16-part series running in 1963 and 1964. From the University of North Carolina Television Network Records #40258, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The cast of “Backyard Gardener,” premiering in 1969. From the University of North Carolina Television Network Records #40258, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Also included in this collection are more than a thousand videotapes, ranging from 1950s broadcasts of “Dr. Boyd and the Bible” and “Sunday School,” to coverage of the Speaker Ban hearings in the 1960s, to gubernatorial inaugurations.

Thanks for tuning in!

(NB: this post was edited on March 5, 2014.)

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