Collection ACC-MSS 019 - Aaron Mintz Radio Program Collection

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Aaron Mintz Radio Program Collection


  • 1925 - 1993 (Broadcasting)


12 boxes, 6.25 linear feet

Name of creator

Biographical history

After studying broadcasting in college, Aaron Mintz spent twenty years working part time for local Western Massachusetts radio stations WMUA, WHAI, and WDRC, playing songs for a weekly program called “Rock and Roll Memory Time.” These programming blocks consisted of themed lineups, focusing on hits of the 1950s and 1960s with featured “sound bites” of current events, news, and pop culture facts of the time. To amass content for the show, Mintz developed a strong network of contacts among his fellow broadcasters and began collecting. Former classmates also contributed to his findings, and he was inspired to digitize many of these rare materials after discovering a keen community for radio content on the Internet.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The materials donated by Aaron Mintz contain audio cassette tapes and compact discs featuring both rare and popular radio programs, most of which were originally broadcast between the 1930s and 1960s. While some material extends beyond this date range, the mid-20th century was known as the “Golden Age of Radio,” when the medium became the dominant medium for news and entertainment in the United States. While some shows began as adaptations of well-known motion pictures or vaudeville routines between beloved comic duos, the era ushered in a wave of new formats for popular entertainment. Programs on the Aaron Mintz tapes and CDs span an array of genres, including comedy, drama, detective, mystery, wartime news broadcasts, quiz shows, science fiction, variety hours, and western. Although television eventually eclipsed radio in the homes of 1950s Americans, original radio series such as Dragnet and Gunsmoke bridged the transition and also enjoyed many years of success on the small screen.

System of arrangement

The collection is organized into three series based on material type and how the items were grouped upon their arrival to the archives. The first series of Prepackaged Sets includes several plastic and cardboard cases, each containing 10 or 20 audio cassettes and compact discs, which were sold commercially in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sets are then grouped into different subseries according to the genre that best corresponds to their content. For preservation purposes, CDs and tapes were removed from their original packaging, which has been housed separately and organized in Series 3. Manufacturer labels designate the number of each tape or CD within the set, as well as the specific episode titles and airdates.

Series 2 contains a large number of CDs and a few cassette tapes with assorted content, some of which were curated and digitally converted to these formats by Mintz himself. The items were received with no logical system of arrangement, but were grouped into subseries to best reflect the genre of the material. Within each subseries, items were sorted according to the alphanumeric system devised for Mintz's larger personal collection, as indicated by hand-written notes on the items or their casings. Some labels contained additional information, such as episode titles, airdates, running times, or guest stars. Further information about CD content could sometimes be found in Mintz's partial inventory (in Series 3) or his online inventory, located here:

Series 3 contains original packaging and informational program booklets providing supplementary details about the radio shows and relevant performers. Booklets were removed from the cases, enclosed in individual labeled envelopes, and placed next to their corresponding set, which were housed in three boxes to roughly reflect the subseries and alphabetical item order of Series 1. One folder houses Mintz's partial inventory for the CDs in Series 2.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

The collection is open to researchers. No materials may be taken out of or borrowed from the Emerson College Archives & Special Collections.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The status of copyright in this collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C). This collection is for research purposes only. No portions of the materials may be performed or reproduced as written. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright. These are non-circulating materials.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Materials were collected by the donor, with many being digitized by him.


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

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Accession area