Research and Development intern Kat Arcement sends along this charming piece:

Want to learn how to answer the telephone, or how to answer the door, or how to be nice? In Chicago, a full two years before Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released, you could if between the ages of 4-14 attend a class in manners. As Paula Person states, “I was rather tired with people saying children are horrible.”

 So are we, Paula Person. So are we.

(BTW, these kids are ADORABLE.)

Hello Emerging Trends in Digital Stewardship!

Today, NPR librarian Janel Kinlaw is speaking about this project at a conference called Emerging Trends in Digital Stewardship. The hashtag for the conference is #ndsr14 and you can see the full schedule here. Thank you to Lauren Work for inviting us. 

If you’re new here, nprchives is just over four months old. We have ~5700 people following the Tumblr and ~1200 people following the Twitter

Our most popular posts so far have been:

Online Shopping in 1984

 Interview with Simon Wiesenthal

Gay men sue CIA

Audre Lorde interview

Donald Barthelme interview 

Kurt Vonnegut interview

What works:

Interviews with late authors, interviews about tech, evergreen stories that still resonate with audience today, stories that make people think how different the world was 30 years ago, comparison pieces, anything we can update

Why we think it works:

1. People like nostalgia. People particularly like nostalgia when there’s context — and accurate context — added. This adds value. The NYTimes does Retro Reports. Nieman Storylab annotates archival stories. Look at BostonArchives. HistoricalPics is wildly successful — though some context would be helpful.

2. We hand curate with some context.

3. The archival audio is placed on a medium where people have to listen to audio — the audio is the focus of each post.

4. Each post can easily be summarized and shared on social. 

If you have any questions about the archive, you can email us! Janel = and melodykramer = 


Janel and Mel 

This latest addition was found by Research and Development intern Kat Arcement. She writes, “commentator Andrei Codrescu bemoans his fate at being in Baltimore, and not—I repeat, not—in Paris.

With one exception:

“Of course they don’t have baseball in Paris. The kids there kick things with their feet, but unless the ball hits a window and the classic shrew of a concierge starts pouring boiling water on pedestrians, it’s nothing to get excited about.”


A 1984 interview with writer and educator Rosemary Mealy, who was an original member of the Black Panther Party.  

From over the years, peruse the ways NPR has celebrated April Fool’s Day. My favorite:  (1989) Scott Simon reported for NPR’s Weekend Edition about an Iowa company called “Doug Be’net” that sold only descriptions of items, rather than physical items. Customers dialed a toll-free number and chose from 24 monthly selections ranging from under $16 to nearly $40. 

Tags: april fool's

In 1982, NPR reported that an unusually high number of women were having trouble with their pregnancies. All of the women worked every day on computers, processing information through their video display terminals. NIASH began a long-term study to find out what could be causing the miscarriages and birth defects the women were experiencing. Now 9 to 5, that’s a group representing working women, says they have located more pregnancy problems among women who work at video display terminals.

Top: cutting tape, mid-80s.

Bottom: Morning Meeting circa 1980.

Source: March 1987 WJR story (the group shot) and the others from “Quest/80” May 1980.

"We have met the enemy and he is us." So-said the sage words of Pogo the Swamp-Possum. Listen to this touching commentary on the funny pages from 1984. 

Tags: comics pogo 1984

From 1984: During WWII, Simon Wiesenthal spent nearly four and a half years in Nazi concentration camps in Europe. Nearly all of his relatives died in the camps. Since his release in 1945, Wiesenthal has spent his life documenting the crimes in Europe during the war and tracking down those responsible.