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To see a list of recordings being preserved as part of this project click HERE.

These comments were made by a young woman from Cal State LA, after hearing the voices of Anais Nin, Dr. Margaret Mead and other radical women for the first time at our first public presentation for American Women Making History and Culture, 1963-1982 a project of the Pacifica Radio Archives. Her reaction - to be inspired, educated, motivated - is our payoff.

From the publication of Betty Friedan's influential best-seller "The Feminine Mystique" in 1963, through the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) two decades later, Pacifica Radio listener-sponsored non-commercial stations KPFA (Berkeley), KPFK (LA), KPFT (Houston), WPFW (DC) and WBAI (NYC) broadcast thousands of programs documenting the emergence and evolution of the Women's Movement across the United States.

HEAR these extraordinary recordings: Congresswoman Bella Abzug describes being a woman in politics during the "Decade of the Woman" (1981). First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt recounts how the United Nations was created (1961). Suffragist Isola Dodic remembers marching around the White House in 1913 to win women the vote (1978). Actress and activist Ruby Dee speaks about fighting apartheid in South Africa (1964). Poet Audre Lorde recites "To Be Young, Black and Lesbian" (1982) and early (1970's) "consciousness raising" sessions, broadcasting all the personal and noisy revolutionary fervor for the world to hear.

The impact of the movement was profound, and it's amazing that so much was captured on tape.

THANK YOU for your generous support,

Brian DeShazor

Director, Pacifica Radio Archives

P.S. For a contribution of $100 or more, we will thank you with our 10-hour mp3 CD!




The Pacifica Radio Archives is proud to announce it has been awarded a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration to save 1644 recordings described as American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982.

From the Press Release: "The American Women two year project will document the emergence and evolution of the Women's movement in cities across the United States, and the unique role listener sponsored non-commercial Pacifica Radio played by providing a communications hub to create and broadcast programs expressing their struggles, philosophies, and victories."  Read the rest here or download the press release here.

Our grant category, Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records promotes the preservation and use of the nation's most valuable archival resources and expands our understanding of the American past by facilitating and enhancing access to primary source materials.

We congratulate our archivist team, Jolene Beiser, Joseph Gallucci and the Pacifica Radio Archives preservation and access coordinator consultant, Adi Gevins for their astounding work.

Please visit and subscribe to our blog for updates on the project at:!!!


 The American Women Making History and Culture, 1963-1982 ("American Women")  collection includes Pacifica Radio Archives' holdings from the five Pacifica radio stations (KPFA- Berkeley, CA; KPFK- Los Angeles, CA; WBAI- New York, NY; WPFW- Washington, DC; and KPFT- Houston, TX) pertaining to the Women's movement, or the period popularly known as "Second Wave Feminism" in the United States; from the publication of The Feminine Mystique (Betty Friedan, 1963) through the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. The American Women collection will document the emergence and evolution of the Women's movement in cities across the United States over the included timespan, as well as the unique role Pacifica Radio played by providing a place for women to create and air programming that communicated the movement.

This two-year project (October 2013-September 2015) includes the digitization of nearly 1,700 reel-to-reel tapes, and the updating of legacy catalog records through two levels of cataloging--edited item-level descriptions with standardized metadata, and a searchable online finding aid available at the Online Archive of California. The digital objects and records will be preserved long-term at the California Digital Library via the UC Berkeley Library.  Public access to streaming audio will be provided by the Internet Archive. Dedicated web pages on the PRA website will describe the collection and provide links to the streaming audio at the Internet Archive.  In the end, we will have a tested methodology for undergoing future preservation and access projects at Pacifica, and most important, we will produce an incomparable collection of primary sources for the study of the American Women's movement.

Click here to listen to an excerpt fromJane Fonda and the airmen at the gates of Travis Air Force Base, reported by Denny Smithson.

 Be sure to check out Solidarity : power of the future (excerpt), Ntozake Shange: Sassafrass Cypress & Indigo (excerpt), this interview with Fanny Lou Hamer (excerpt), and this interview with Betty Friedan (excerpt).

Fifty-one of the American Women recordings have been made available streaming through the UC Berkeley Library online catalog: OSKICAT.  Click here to browse through and listen to this selection. (These recordings take 30-60 seconds to load on Real Player, so please be patient)

A complete list of recordings included in the American Women project will be appearing below under Recordings available as part of this project. Click on any of the links for more information about specific recordings.  Also, links to streaming audio (provided by the UC Berkeley Library) will be made available in each record as they are digitized.