Producing Historical Documentaries for Radio
HIS 390Z/530R ~ Spring 2000

The Listening Room

The space is designed to provide a place where class members can listen to each others work prior to class discussions, share interesting sound files, and hear audio collected for group projects. Since there won't be time to discuss all the work in class in-depth, the HISTORYDOC-L list is a good place to share comments, suggestions, and reactions to these pieces.

Class Assignments
Instructional Resources
Group Projects:
   Schenectady NAACP/civil rights


ASSIGNMENT: Record and Mix
There are two parts to this assignment: a) Prepare short recordings (30-60 seconds each) of three components of a documentary (for the class documentary project, for your own documentary project, or for a hypothetical one): voice narration, relevant music, an actuality, ambient sound, an interview (select a segment from last week's assignment), and so on. Make sure the recordings are as clear and crisp as possible. b) Produce an audio mix on tape/ZIP disk/CD of the three recordings. Submit the recordings and the mix on CD, tape, or a Zip disk (or FTP them to your assigned directory/folder if one has been set up). You can also save them in compressed form onto a regular diskette.

    Civil Rights

    Civil War Chaplains

    The Lost Voice of Radio Beijing




    The Brothers


     Aural Agriculture

     Father Malachi

     The Actress

ASSIGNMENT: Short-Form Documentary
Prepare a script and produce a very short mini-documentary, or "feature," (at least 4 minutes) on any historical topic. You may submit final audio segment on tape, as a digital audio file (*.WAV or *.RM format) on ZIP/CD, or FTP the file. To make this assignment a bit less time consuming, you might want to use audio segments you have prepared for the class documentary project or for your own final documentary project.

     News From the Front

       Albany Gay Rights Legislation


Note re MP 3 files: If you are using Netscape's browser, right click on your mouse and download the MP3 file before playing unless your browser is prefigured to autoplay; if you are using Microsoft's browser and the RealMedia plug-in, the MP3 file should play when you click on the MP3 links.)

    McKay Commission, Tape 3.


Dewey and Organized Crime:
March 31, 2000 interview of Mary Stolberg by Prof. Richard Hamm. Original interview is approximately 55 minutes, but has been divided into 3 segments for easier listening. Note: Because of the way the recording was miced for this telephone interview, Professor Hamm's questions are not audible.
       Mary Stolberg interview-Part 1.
       Mary Stolberg interview-Part 2.
       Mary Stolberg interview-Part 3.

The following are sound excerpts from several sources:
     Dewey: smashing crime.
     Dewey: the people's attorney.
     Dewey: on Lucky Luciano.
     Dewey: ted alliance.
     Dewey: LaGuardia on slots.
     Dewey: LaGuardia and clean streets.


Schenectady NAACP:
NAACP Membership Appeal on WGY.

James Stamper Clips:
   On black waiters.
   Job Discrimination at GE. "The Red Circle."

Ralph Boyd Clips:
   Experience while working.
   Hired because he was a veteran.
   Changes with the Union
   Took job to survive.
   They teach you nothing.
   You could get fired for smoking.
   People problems.
   On nepotism.
   The NAACP
   The NAACP, blacks and whites.
   Minorities shutout.
   Made work at the foundry.
   Job limitations.
   Ralph Boyd's ideals, view of people.
   Got the least.
   Job at GE.
   GE job application.
   Feelings about GE
   Most GE employees don't live in Schenectady.
   employees outside of Schenectady (2).
   Discriminatory management of the books.
   What he like, didn't like.
   Ralph Boyd arrives in Schenectady.
   On communists.(?)



     Helen Quirini in-class interview (2-29-2000)
[One microphone setup. Cassette recorder, low-bias tape, dynamic cardiod microphone].


Return to Documentary Production Course Syllabus

Revised 4-7-2000