Special issue of TMG Journal for Media History on broadcast archives in Europe and launch event “On the Record? New Approaches to the History of Radio Archives”

We’re pleased to announce the release of our new special issue of TMG Journal for Media History (open access), which takes up critical historical perspectives on broadcast archives in Europe: 


Next week we’ll host a launch event at SPUI25 in Amsterdam (see details below), and further info about the TRACE research project can be found on our new website: https://trace.humanities.uva.nl.

Best wishes,

Carolyn Birdsall and Erica Harrison


On the Record? New Approaches to the History of Radio Archives

SPUI25 – Wednesday 19 October, 17:00-18:30

What voices from the past are preserved in Europe’s radio archives, and whose stories are excluded? A panel of academics and archival practitioners will discuss new scholarly work on the critical study of radio archives, examining how such work can inform our understandings of Europe’s past and present.

From efforts to protect historical records in Ukraine from military attack through to recent seizures of White House records by the US National Archives and Records Association, the politics of archives remains a timely and urgent matter. So far, however, in the growing critical attention to the study of archives, there has been little attention paid to the records of broadcasting institutions.

As the dominant means of mass communication for decades, what can the study of radio archives tell us about the institutions and societies which created them? How were radio archives and their collections formed and how did major events such as the Second World War affect them? How has our understanding of recent European history been shaped by what has been kept (or omitted) from the radio archive?

This afternoon, we will celebrate the release of “Historical Traces of European Radio Archives, 1930-1960” (in TMG Journal for Media History). This special issue showcases perspectives from scholars and archival practitioners, and seeks to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation at the intersection of media history, radio studies, and critical archival studies.

About the speakers

Carolyn Birdsall is Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, where she is affiliated with the Television and Cross-Media team and leads the NWO-funded project TRACE (Tracking Radio Archival Collections in Europe, 1930-1960).

Erica Harrison is a post-doctoral researcher on the TRACE project at the University of Amsterdam, focusing on radio archive history in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, 1930–1960. 

Vincent Kuitenbrouwer works as a senior lecturer in the History of International Relations at the University of Amsterdam and coordinates a project on Dutch media during the Second World War for the Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision in Hilversum (Mediaoorlog).

Pekka Salosaari has been working for the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle Archives for more than twenty years and is currently Audio Collections Manager. 

For more information and registration: https://spui25.nl/programma/on-the-record