Greene County Room Digital Collections
WYSO 91.3 FM Public Radio is owned and operated by Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It began broadcasting on February 8, 1958 with 19 watts of power. The student founders promised programs “of a nature not generally available,” saying, “this will be a community radio station.” They vowed not to sit in ivory towers. They kept their promise.
Over the course of the next three decades, the students produced audio recordings that documented a period of profound social change: anti-Viet Nam war activities, Civil Rights protests, the women’s movement, prison reform, United Farm Worker concerns. They also captured the music of the Appalachian migration, African American life and culture, and a broad scope of social justice activities in documentaries, lectures, poetry readings, concerts, and radio programs.
Recordings of people of national reputation can be found alongside programs about local issues and events. Together, they shine a spotlight on the bold activism and civic engagement that flourished in southwest Ohio. Residents grappled with vital issues of the day and Antioch College hosted guest speakers of interest to the whole nation. These recordings document the social experiences that occurred not in the urban centers on the coasts, but in Ohio, America’s heartland.
In tandem with the extensive holdings of Antiochiana, the official archives of Antioch College, the WYSO collection reflects the major political, social and cultural issues of the mid-to-late twentieth century.
American Archive Project Grants
In 2009, WYSO was a lead participant and one of only two radio-only public stations chosen to be in the American Archive Pilot Project. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, its purpose was to identify and catalog important sample collections in American history held by public radio and television stations. A comprehensive inventory of the WYSO audio recordings was entered in the American Archive, a national project managed by WGBH in Boston and the Library of Congress.
Making this collection accessible was a collaborative effort between WYSO 91.3 FM Public Radio and the Greene County Public Library. These digitized audio recordings from a collection of 5,000 assets, are a significant beginning to the development of the WYSO Archives but there are hundreds of hours yet to be cataloged and digitized. Contributions to the ongoing operation and expansion of the WYSO Digital Audio Archives are most welcome. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org