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WAER Collection

A description of the Collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: BMF
Date: 19 Mar 2015

Biographical History

WAER is a radio station in Syracuse, NY, broadcasting at 88.3 MHz FM. Located on the campus of Syracuse University, it has been in operation since April 1, 1947. WAER was student-run until 1983, when operations were taken over by the university and the station became a member of National Public Radio (NPR). WAER currently serves the greater Syracuse area with NPR and local news, eclectic music, and Syracuse University sports. WAER is staffed by full-time professionals who train, educate, and supervise student volunteers interested in enhancing their experience in broadcast journalism and sports broadcasting. The station is best known for its sports programming, and the sports staff is made up entirely of students, broadcasting coverage of every football, men's basketball, and men's lacrosse game. WAER's sports staff has produced some of the biggest names in sports broadcasting, including Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Dick Stockton, and Mike Tirico.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The WAER collection consists of more than 250 reel to reel tapes. Few of the tapes are dated, but those that are cover a span from 1965 to 1979. Announcers or presenters are rarely identified. These tapes primarily hold topical broadcasts and live concert recordings. The news items include a mix of national and local productions, but there are relatively few in the collection compared to the concert recordings. Many concerts were given by popular artists such as Pink Floyd, Bonnie Raitt, Canned Heat, Niels Lofgren, and Commander Cody, taken from national broadcasts, mostly originating from New York City or Boston. The collection contains recordings of only a handful of concerts broadcast by Syracuse University student ensembles. 25 tapes are identified as having been recorded on-campus at the Jabberwocky Café; surviving performances from this intimate venue include those given by John Fahey, Taj Mahal, and David Bromberg.

Arrangement of the Collection

Items are arranged in order by ID number, but are listed in the inventory below in alphabetical order by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Researcher access to the recordings requires advance notice in order to produce a working copy.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Syracuse University -- History.
WAER (Radio station : Syracuse, N.Y.)


FM broadcasting -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
News radio stations -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Public radio -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Radio broadcasting -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Radio broadcasting of sports.


Syracuse (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Tape reels.
78 rpm records.
Long-playing records.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

WAER Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information


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