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KOAC Records, 1923-2000

Collection Overview

Title: KOAC Records, 1923-2000

ID: RG 015

Primary Creator: KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)

Extent: 3.5 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Records are organized into 11 series: I. Dean Caldwell Correspondence; II. Dean Powers Files; III. Annual Reports; IV. Questionnaires and Listener Research; V. Programs and Procedures; VI. Radio Program Series; VII. Advisory Council on Radio Policy; VIII. James W. Sherburne - Division of Continuing Education; IX. Sound Recordings; X. License Renewal Records; and XI. Radio Committee. Most of the series are arranged chronologically.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The KOAC Records document the establishment and functioning of the KOAC public radio and television stations at Oregon Agricultural College (Oregon State University). The records include adminstrative records, radio scripts and programs, and sound recordings. KOAC radio broadcasts began in 1923; KOAC-TV broadcasts began in 1957.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online .

Scope and Content Notes

Most of the records pertain to KOAC radio, although a few series contain records of KOAC-TV. Series 1 and 2 consist of files of the Oregon State System of Higher Education's Dean and Director of General Extension from 1932-1959. Series 3 consists of annual reports on various aspects of KOAC's activities between 1923 and 1952. Series 4 includes audience surveys and research for both radio and television conducted between 1926 and 1962 and reflect changes in listener interest and programming emphasis.

Series 5 includes radio programs and procedures from 1932 until about 1946. Series 6 contains scripts, manuscripts, outlines and other data pertaining to various radio program series from 1929-1962. Series 7 consists of records, primarily meeting minutes, of the Advisory Council on Radio Policy. Series 8 consists of the records James W. Sherburne, head of the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) Division of Continuing Education. These records include materials primarily from 1964-1965 pertaining to KOAC radio and television, interinstitutional television, and other continuing education activities throughout Oregon. Series 9 contains sound recordings made for and of KOAC radio and television programs. Topics include forestry, the McLaren School of Boys, and the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth. Series 10 contains the radio station's license renewal records from 1933. Series 11 consists of a few records, primarily correspondence and reports, of the Radio Committee for 1940-1956.

An addition to the KOAC Records (Accession 2009:014) is made up of teaching guides generated for KOAC's "School of the Air" radio broadcast programs. Oriented toward elementary school instruction and containing episode summaries, an outline of ideas presented, and suggestions for pre-broadcast/follow-up activities, the subjects covered in these guides include: arts and crafts, astronomy, health, basic science, and Americans of note throughout history. KOAC program guides were also found in this transfer.

A second addition to the KOAC Records (Accession 2009:038) is made up of materials generated and collected by the KOAC radio and TV stations that consist of award certificates/plaques, correspondence, historical outlines, maps, newspaper clippings, notes, policy notebooks, program/operators' logs, press releases, publications, reports, scripts, and a speech. Among the subjects addressed in these records include: radio program development, KOAC radio anniversary observances, coverage of OSU athletic events, the conversion to color TV-coverage, interaction with Oregon Public Broadcasting, and legal action against an Arizona radio station over frequency space. About half of the correspondence is made up of letters of support (originally called fan mail) to the KOAC radio station when faced with budget cuts that threatened it's closure in 1932. The maps outline KOAC broadcasting coverage. Documenting the World War II era, the program logs include details regarding the suspension of radio broadcasting following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

A third addition to the KOAC Records (Accession 2009:043) consists of a bound volume collecting biographical profiles of faculty at Oregon State College, the University of Oregon, Southern Oregon State College, Eastern Oregon State College, and the Oregon Normal School (currently Western Oregon University). Prepared as a series called "Who's Who on the Faculties" for announcement on the KOAC radio station, these profiles contain colorful descriptions of their subjects that include information on their educational backgrounds, hobbies, personalities, and research. Among the 34 OSC faculty featured in these profiles include the followng: George Hyslop, Kate Jameson, Frank Magruder, Lucy Lewis, Edwin Reed, Sara Watt Prentiss, Adolph Ziefle, Paul Maris, and J. L. Fairbanks.

Items from this collection have been digitized and made available online.

Biographical / Historical Notes

On December 7, 1922, Oregon Agricultural College was granted a license to begin broadcasting radio station KFDJ, which had been put together as a lab experiment by Physics Professor Jacob Jordan. The station's first broadcast was on January 23, 1923 from the third floor of Apperson Hall. In December 1925, the station's call letters were changed to KOAC, its power had been boosted from 50 to 500 watts, and the Extension Service utilized the station for broadcasting several programs, with Wallace Kadderly serving as program director. Early programming included lectures, music and student variety programs, reports of athletic events, and the annual commencement exercise. New studios were established in the new Physics Building (now Covell Hall) in 1928. Jordan oversaw the technical operations of the station until 1932, when Grant Feikert was named chief engineer. Kadderly served as program director until 1932 and served as station manager through 1933. When the new State System of Higher Education was established, KOAC became the System's radio station, under the purview of the General Extension Division. Additional studios were ultimately established in Eugene, Salem and Portland. Power was increased to 5000 watts in 1942. James Morris served as program director from 1945-1963.

KOAC-TV was established in 1957 and began broadcasting in November of that year from studios in Gill Coliseum. In its early years the TV station was used to broadcast courses from the State System campuses to its other campuses around the state. The Extension Service used the television station in the same manner that it had used KOAC radio for the past 50+ years. It produced programs such as "Extension 7," later called "Oregon at Work," which ran from 1959-1975.

In 1981, the State System of Higher Education divested its radio and television stations, including both KOAC-AM and KOAC-TV. These stations became the public corporation, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). Administrative, TV studio, and production functions were moved to Portland. A radio studio on the OSU campus and Corvallis transmitters and frequencies for both KOAC radio and TV are still used.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 20 microfilm reels

Related Materials:

Motion picture films and videotapes of KOAC-TV productions are available in the KOAC-TV Films (FV 207), the Media Services Moving Images (FV 119), and the Extension and Experiment Station Communications Moving Images (FV 120).

Other collections containing substantive records pertaining to KOAC include the Library Records (RG 009), President's Office Records (RG 013), Extension Service Records (RG 111), and the Jimmie Morris Papers (MSS MorrisJ).

The National Public Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland includes the records of the major non-commercial broadcasting organizations in the United States, such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), and the personal papers of individuals who have made significant contributions to public broadcasting.

See also: Music, Markets, and Milestones: 75 Years of KOAC Radio.

Preferred Citation: KOAC Records (RG 015), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
KFDJ (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon State System of Higher Education. Division of Continuing Education
Oregon State System of Higher Education. General Extension Division.

People, Places, and Topics

Continuing education--Oregon.
Kadderly, Wallace L. (Wallace Ladue), 1892-1983
Morris, James M., 1904-
Public radio--Oregon.
Public television--Oregon.
Radio in higher education--Oregon.
Radio programs--Oregon.
Radio stations--Oregon.
Rodenwold, Zelta Feike, 1895-
Sherburne, James W. (James Wilson), 1905-
Television in higher education--Oregon.
Television viewers--Oregon.
University History

Forms of Material

Radio scripts.
Sound recordings.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.