Norman Corwin and actress Peggy Burt.The American Radio Archives (ARA) is one of the largest collections of archival material documenting the history of radio in the United States. Its more than 50 collections include the papers of important figures in the history of radio like Norman Corwin and Rudy Vallée, as well as the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Collection with its thousands of radio scripts and transcription discs.

List of ARA Collections and Finding Guides

The ARA was formerly housed at the Thousand Oaks Public Library and owned and administered by the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation. It was donated to the UCSB Library in 2021. The collections that form the ARA are a significant addition to UCSB’s already extensive collections related to broadcasting, media, and the performing arts.

Over the coming months the ARA collections will be physically moved to UCSB’s facilities and inventories and finding tools will be integrated into UCSB Library systems for providing researcher access, including the Special Research Collections website, the Online Archive of California, and the Special Collections Research Account. This work will happen in phases and will take time.

Collections will be inaccessible during this transition and will be opened up to researchers as soon as UCSB staff have physical access to the collections and there is sufficient intellectual control via our systems to facilitate researcher access. We are prioritizing high-use collections and we will begin providing services to researchers as soon as possible.

December 2021 Update: 15 collections have been reopened for researcher access. They are in boldface on the list of collections. For information on registering as a UCSB research and requesting materials, go here.

For further information on this process or the collections, contact the Curator, David Seubert.

Image Credit: Norman Corwin and actress Peggy Burt on the “Magic Key of RCA” program. Circa late 1930s. Image rights: Diane Corwin Okarski.