Digitizing Bernard Herrmann's Recordings with the CBS Symphony

Grant to: University of California, Santa Barbara (2023)


An award in the amount of $8,500.00 to University of California, Santa Barbara in 2023.


The UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections will preserve, digitize, and make accessible the groundbreaking radio broadcasts of the CBS Symphony conducted by Bernard Herrmann in the 1930s and 1940s. While Herrmann is known today as one of the preeminent film composers of the 20th century (Psycho, Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver), his early career was as a composer and symphonic conductor for radio, and these recordings are the primary collection of his innovative and progressive approach to the symphonic repertoire. He championed the work of a then under-appreciated Charles Ives, British composers including Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Americans like Robert Russell Bennett and William Grant Still. These aluminum- and glass-based broadcast airchecks of 135 radio broadcasts were donated to UCSB by his estate after Herrmann’s death and document this important aspect of his career.

About the NRPF

The National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) is an independent, charitable organization and registered 501(c)(3) entity. The NRPF works across the United States to foster awareness of the diverse perspectives and communities documented in audio, to support the preservation of historical and at-risk audio collections, and to coordinate resources for the digital preservation of audio recordings. The NRPF was mandated through federal charter by the U.S. Congress under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-474) and was thereafter duly incorporated in 2010.

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