Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Barney Keep Papers, 1918-2000

Scope and Content Note

The Barney Keep Papers are comprised of audio and video formats, scrapbooks, loose photographs, paper records including correspondence, newspaper clippings and promotional publications, and three-dimensional objects including studio mementos, awards and commemorative items dating to Keep's retirement from KEX.

The collection's audio formats include reel-to-reel tapes, eight-track cartridges, standard audiocassettes and vinyl record albums, while its video content is held in 8mm film reels and a VHS videotape. In 2009-2010, the bulk of the collection's reel-to-reel audio was digitized by Scott Young and Bob Galluci at KBPS-AM in Portland. Selected audiocassettes and the collection videotape were digitized by the Special Collections & Archives Research Center in 2014. Much of this digitized content is available online through links provided within the body of this finding aid.

The five scrapbooks held in the Keep Papers comprise a major resource for individuals interested in Barney Keep's life and work. The scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, photographs, promotional publications and ephemera. One scrapbook is largely devoted to Keep's two years playing high school football for Portland's Washington High School Colonials in the mid-1930s. Two very rich scrapbooks detail Keep's radio career including his early shows and rise to fame, his numerous promotional efforts and the long-lived success of the "Keep Time" show. Two additional scrapbooks document Barney and Eleanor Keep's travels in Hawaii, western Europe, the Balkan Peninsula and elsewhere.

The remainder of the collection supports the audio-visual content held in Series I and the scrapbooks arranged into Series II. Smaller collections of loose photographs (a portion of them digitized and available online), correspondence, newspaper clippings, promotional publications and three-dimensional objects lend insight into Keep's activities and the culture at KEX during his thirty-five years of service. The collection's numerous awards provide an indication of Keep's acclaim within his profession and in the Portland community. On the same token, the retirement mementos arranged into Series V are suggestive of the esteem in which Keep was held throughout the region by the end of "Keep Time's" run in February 1979.

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