Welcome to The CPRV Newsletter. The Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications has enjoyed some important successes lately, and we wanted to give you this update on our activities. We hope to issue further newsletters from time to time in the future.
The Committee was established in 1986 to provide a vehicle for the preservation of QSLs. The CPRV QSL collection has been housed at Christian Science Monitor headquarters in Boston (CSM). We have benefitted greatly from CSM's help, and we have appreciated their commitment to CPRV.
More recently, however, CSM priorities have changed, resulting in a reduction in their involvement in broadcasting. In addition, as the CPRV collection has grown and taken on historical significance, the Committee's need for a more archival environment has increased.
As a result, the CPRV collection now has a new home. It is the Library of American Broadcasting (LAB) on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. The LAB, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1997, is a wide-ranging collection devoted exclusively to the history of broadcasting. Among its holdings are a book collection of more than 3,000 volumes, 25,000 photographs, hundreds of periodical titles, and many thousands of pamphlets, government documents, recordings, radio commercials, scripts, clippings and other artifacts, plus specialized collections such as the Arthur Godfrey collection. The LAB operates in conjunction with its sister project, the National Public Broadcasting Archives.
And the LAB is about to get a new home itself. The building where it is housed, the Hornbake Library, is soon to be converted to a Special Collections library, and the LAB will be moving into enlarged space of approximately 15,000 square feet in Hornbake. There will be expanded research areas, special listening and viewing rooms, cold storage lockers for the preservation of brittle items, exhibits of LAB material, and other important features. The LAB will truly be a showcase for broadcast history.
LAB Curator Charles Howell has said: "I am proud to announce the finalization of the partnership between the University of Maryland Libraries (of which we are a part) and the Committee for the Preservation of Radio Verifications. We here at the Library of American Broadcasting are honored to serve as your repository. The Committee for the Preservation of Radio Verifications QSL Collection is an outstanding example of the impact that dedicated individuals can have in preserving the radio heritage of our nation and indeed the world. I anticipate a long and fruitful relationship with the CPRV."
The LAB-CPRV relationship holds the promise of many benefits. On an operational level, it will ensure the safekeeping of the CPRV collection in a library environment, make available high tech methods for the preservation of the CPRV collection, and provide researchers and others easier access to the CPRV QSLs. In addition, LAB resources will facilitate the display of some of the best CPRV QSLs in the LAB's display room and on its website. Most importantly, the LAB-CPRV relationship will serve as a recognition of the important place of QSLs in the history of radio. This is likely to make CPRV-LAB an even more attractive choice for those interested in providing for the future of their QSLs.
It should be noted that the donation of the CPRV collection to the LAB does not in any way diminish CPRV's role in the preservation of QSLs. Indeed, it expands it because the CPRV collection at the LAB will be a constantly expanding collection, and the Committee will continue to serve as the primary vehicle for channeling new material to the LAB.
The Committee wishes to extend special thanks to LAB Curator Charles Howell, to Dr. Charles Lowry, Dean of Libraries of the University of Maryland, and to all the staff of the LAB, for their commitment to making this new relationship a reality. If you would like to know more about the Library of American Broadcasting, check out their informative website at http://www.lib.umd.edu/UMCP/LAB/
THE STATUS OF THE COLLECTION
At the start of 1999, the CPRV primary collection consisted of approximately 30,000 QSLs, all separately catalogued in the CPRV computerized database and filed for ready location and retrieval. Consistent with its emphasis on the broadcasting side of radio, medium wave (standard broadcast) QSLs comprise about 60% of the collection (of which 80% are domestic U.S. veries and 20% are from foreign countries); shortwave broadcast QSLs account for 25% of the collection; and the remaining 15% is composed of amateur radio, utility and other QSLs. The QSLs of nearly 150 persons are represented in the CPRV collection, and approximately 40% of the collection dates from before 1949.
Through the Committee's Registered Collections Program, hobbyists can place stickers on their QSL albums, indicating their wish that the QSLs be donated to the Committee when their owners can no longer enjoy them. Approximately 85 persons have registered their collections in this way. Several registered collections have already been transferred to the Committee by the families of registrants who subsequently passed away.
RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE CPRV COLLECTION
Many DXers know Hank Holbrook of Maryland as one of the most avid collectors of QSLs. Hank's radio listening activities date back to the 1940s. Although Hank was an all-band DXer, he is best known for his interest in utility QSLing, plus his work over many years with the Newark News Radio Club.
Hank passed away in 1998. Hank's collection, which he had registered with the CPRV in 1989, is very large. Thanks to the interest of Hank's wife and the Committee's new relationship with the LAB, Hank's QSLs are being preserved as part of the CPRV collection at the Library of American Broadcasting.
Also added to the Committee's holdings is the collection of the late Howard G. Kemp of Laconia, New Hampshire. Howard's extensive broadcast band collection includes QSLs from as long ago as 1932. In addition, the Committee has received the collection of Alvin V. Sizer. Al began DXing some 40 years ago and is well
The Committee is proud to have been able to facilitate the preservation of these important collections.
NEW COMMITTEE MEMBER
The Committee recently welcomed a new member, Daniel G. Henderson of Laurel, Maryland. Dan has taken the place of the late Kent Corson. Dan is an accomplished DXer and QSL collector of many years experience.