I was having a discussion with my boss the other day and he was telling me about Old Time Radio or radio shows that have entered the public domain, mainly due to American Radio Networks not registering copyright in the 1950s/60s.
When I got back from the pub I decided to have a look and see if I could actually find any for download online – I found a couple of really good sites with a massive collection of OTR shows – and some brilliant SciFi.
These shows are from the heyday of American Radio – in the bit before television took over and a big radio drama could attract many millions of listeners for each show.
There are also several well known British shows available through the OTR networks as well – this is a brilliant way to take a step back in time, enjoy some brilliantly produced audio productions and learn a little about our media heritage at the same time.
When you add the OTD sites to the British Library and its goal of adding out of print books, newspaper articles and pamphlets to their website for people to read, Google and their book scanning goals and the BBC Archive and you’ve got a great set of resources for 1) going back in time and looking at media history, 2) getting some fab free content and 3) researching modern history.
The OTR and BBC Archive stuff are also brilliant ways to hear the evolution of the English language and accents over the last half century or so.
The OTR stuff is primarily up as mp3s as well so you could probably produce some pretty good podcasts using the content – won’t cost anything either.