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WMUC Collection


WMUC Collection
WMUC Collection
Collection number:
5.50 linear feet, 4 posters, and 1857 audio items
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
University of Maryland
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

Established in 1948, WMUC is the student-run radio station at the University of Maryland and has offered generations of students the opportunity to gain experience in music, news, sports and cultural programming. The WMUC Collection primarily includes correspondence, memoranda, flyers, publications, audio reels, and photographic materials and documents the history, organization, programming, advertising, and promotion of the station.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


Some materials in this collection have been restricted. They will remain restricted for a period of seventy-five years or until the death of the individual concerned. Please refer to individual folder headings for more information.

Preferred citation:

WMUC Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

WMUC is the campus radio station at the University of Maryland. It is a student-run, freeform, FM station licensed to the University of Maryland. Beginning in 1948, WMUC went on the air as a carrier-current AM station that broadcast within the boundaries of Maryland's campus (and therefore did not need an FCC license to operate). Daily broadcasts included several hours of music and news. In the 1950s, students expanded broadcasting to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, adding coverage of sports and cultural events of local, national and international importance. In 1953, WMUC made its first long-distance remote broadcast from Raleigh, NC, covering Maryland's games in the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament.

In the 1960s, WMUC DJs began to add an impressive roster of famous musicians to its growing collection of station IDs. On February 11, 1964, WMUC staffers Bill Seaby, Paul Palmer and Alan Batten attended the Beatles' first U.S. concert at the D.C. Coliseum, participated in the press conference afterward and even got John Lennon to record promotional spots for the station. Subsequent station IDs included Phyllis Diller, Jimmy Dean, Frankie Valli, Frank Zappa, Chubby Checker, Ahmad Jamal and Fats Domino. In 1965, the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) selected WMUC as the recipient of its "All American College Radio Station" Award.

The 1970s were seminal years for WMUC. In 1974, the stations staff secured University Chancellor Robert Glucksterns endorsement for an FM license and submitted an application to the FCC in 1975. Four years later, after two rejections and a fervid "FM or Bust" student campaign, the FCC granted WMUC its first FM license for broadcast on the 88.1 frequency.

For the next 20 years, WMUC operated as both an AM and an FM station. The latter adopted an all-freeform format in 1982, which offered more experimental and alternative music programming than the AM side, which continued to follow a Top 40 format until it ceased operation in 1999. Third Rail Radio, one of the station's longest running programs, was established in 1996 and features live performances by local and national artists every Sunday night. In 2002, began streaming online in order to cover more athletic events. WMUC-2, a separate, internet-only station launched in 2008.

WMUC continues to serve as the voice of the university, a valuable training ground, and an important creative outlet for students at the University of Maryland.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The WMUC Collection spans from 1937 to 2012 and encompasses the station's history. Highlights of the collection include a 1937 newspaper article announcing the start of the university's radio program and a 1948 station report. Other paper-based materials include correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports and manuals, station playlists, flyers, zines, artwork, and alumni reunion information. Photographs, slides, and negatives feature WMUC staff, studios, and events between the 1960s and 1990s. The collection's audio clips (in a variety of formats) document WMUC's programming over the years, ranging from news broadcasts and athletic events to interviews, station IDs, and live music. WMUC programs represented in the audio collection include Yesternow, You Must Remember This, Womanspeak, Campus Focus, Miss Midnight, Folkways, Theatre of the Mind, and Third Rail Radio. Memorabilia items consist of various station T-shirts, including one from the 1970s "FM or Bust" campaign, bumper stickers, posters, a Frisbee, and a cassette player and microphone.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries received its first transfer of records from the WMUC staff in June 2008. The station transferred additional materials (both audio and paper-based) in June 2011 and January 2013. Other donations have been received from several WMUC station alumni, inlcuding David Barnes in December 2012, Sue Kopen Katcef and Dave Walter in January 2013, Mike Doughney, Bob Duckman, Reese Higgins, Ed Jones, and Jeff Krulik in March 2013, Chet Rhodes in May 2013, Gary Allentuck in September 2013, and Rich Kolker in October 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Amanda K. Hawk, Fall 2013.

Processing note:

Paper-based materials were placed in acid-free folders or boxes and photographic materials were housed in polyester sleeves. Several posters were flattened and moved to a map case.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Amanda K. Hawk.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection has been organized into five series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1948-2011 (2.5 linear feet)

Series I documents the programming and administrative operations of WMUC. A 1948 proposal about the fledgling radio station to the Student Government Association represents the earliest paper document in the collection. Other items of interest include staff lists and program schedules from the 1970s to 2000s, a variety of flyers and playlists, financial information, student interest surveys and applications for employment, station licenses, and zines. In addition, WMUC handbooks, policies and procedures, and information about station funding and general operations chronicle the management of the station. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject. Oversize paper-based materials were moved to Series IV.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Alumni Information Sheets, 1987 [Restricted] series 1box 1folder 1
Alumni Reunions, 1987-1995 series 1box 1folder 2
Artwork and Clip Art, undated series 1box 1folder 3
Awards and Certificates, 1970s-1990s series 1box 1folder 4
Carrier Current Transmission System, 1959-1993 series 1box 1folder 5
Catalogs and Magazines, 1980s-1990s series 1box 1folder 6
D.J. Music Logs, 1979 series 1box 1folder 7
Educational Radio, 1960s-1970s series 1box 1folder 8
Employment -- D.J. Applications, 2009-2011 series 1box 1folder 9
Employment -- Engineering Staff Exam, 1981-1989 series 1box 1folder 10
Employment -- High School Interns, 1993-1998 series 1box 1folder 11
Employment -- Staff Applications, 1990s series 1box 1folder 12
Employment -- Student Interest Surveys, 1990s-2000s series 1box 2folder 1
Equipment Logs, 2008 series 1box 2folder 2
Equipment Receipts and Other Expenses, 1970s-1990s series 1box 2folder 3
Flyers -- Folder 1 of 2, 1970s-2000s series 1box 2folder 4
Flyers -- Folder 2 of 2, 1970s-2000s series 1box 2folder 5
General Operations Correspondence, 1979-2008 series 1box 2folder 6
Handbooks, Policies, and Procedures, 1964-1995 series 1box 2folder 7
Internet Licenses -- Agreements and Articles, 2000-2002 series 1box 3folder 1
Listener Feedback, 1990s and undated series 1box 3folder 2
Meeting Notes, 1991-2001 series 1box 3folder 3
Playlists, 1972-1974 series 1box 3folder 4
Playlists, 1975-1976 series 1box 3folder 5
Playlists, 1977-1981 series 1box 3folder 6
Playlists, 1982-1996 series 1box 3folder 7
Program Information, 1970s-1990s series 1box 3folder 8
Program Schedules, 1960s-2000s series 1box 3folder 9
Promotional Material, 1980s-1990s series 1box 3folder 10
Public Service Announcements, 2000s series 1box 4folder 1
Publicity, 1960s-2000s series 1box 4folder 2
Staff Lists, 1963-2000 series 1box 4folder 3
Stamp Student Union All-Niter, 1989 and 1998 series 1box 4folder 4
Station Funding, 1991-1996 series 1box 4folder 5
Station Funding -- Budget Cut Petition, 1995-1996 series 1box 4folder 6
Station Funding -- Student Government Association Allocations, 1993-1997 series 1box 4folder 7
Station Letterhead, undated series 1box 4folder 8
Station License, 1980 series 1box 4folder 9
Station Logos, undated series 1box 4folder 10
Station Operations Log, 2009 series 1box 4folder 11
Station Proposals, 1948-1963 series 1box 4folder 12
The Third Side of the Page -- Creative Writing Program, 1975 series 1box 5folder 1
WCVT-FM -- Towson Station University, 1970s series 1box 5folder 2
WGTB-FM -- Georgetown University Devo Concert, 1978 series 1box 5folder 3
Zines -- WMUC, 1998-2004 series 1box 5folder 4
Zines -- Other -- Folder 1 of 2, 1980s-1990s series 1box 5folder 5
Zines -- Other -- Folder 2 of 2, 1980s-1990s series 1box 5folder 6

Series 2: Photographs, 1960s-1990s (1.00 linear foot)

Series II consists of photographs, negatives, and slides from the station's history. The photos primarily feature WMUC staff members in the radio studio and at events and reunions. Highlights in the photographic materials include the installation of the FM radio tower and the inaugural day of WMUC-FM broadcasting in 1979.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Photographs, 1960s-1990s series 2box 6folder 1
Photographs series 2box 7folder 1

Series 3: Memorabilia, 1970s-1990s (1.00 linear foot)

Series III contains memorabilia items, mostly t-shirts and bumper stickers, from the station. One t-shirt is from the station's "FM or Bust" campaign, which promoted WMUC's efforts during the mid-1970s to secure an FM radio license. Also included are a WMUC frisbee, a button, and a cassette player and microphone of the style used to record interviews in the 1970s.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
E=MUC T-Shirt, 1980s series 3box 8folder 1
FM or Bust T-Shirt, 1970s series 3box 8folder 2
WMUC Rainbow T-Shirt, 1970s series 3box 8folder 3
WMUC Rainbow T-Shirt, 1970s series 3box 8folder 4
Yesternow T-Shirt, 1970s series 3box 8folder 5
WMUC Frisbee, undated series 3box 8folder 6
Cassette Player and Microphone, 1970s series 3box 9folder 1
WMUC Bumper Sticker, 1980s series 3box 9folder 2
Defeat the Dirty Feet Button, 1980s series 3box 9folder 3
WMUC News Bumper Sticker -- 2 copies, 1980s series 3box 9folder 4
WMUC 88.1 Headphones Bumper Sticker -- 2 copies, 1990s-2000s series 3box 9folder 5
WMUC "College Radio is Good Radio" Bumper Sticker -- 2 copies, 1990s-2000s series 3box 9folder 6
WMUC Radio Tower Bumper Sticker -- 2 copies, 1990s-2000s series 3box 9folder 7
WMUC 88.1 and 650 Bumper Sticker -- 2 copies, 1990s-2000s series 3box 9folder 8

Series 4: Oversize Material, 1937-2000s (1.50 linear feet)

Series IV includes a copy of the 1937 newspaper article announcing the beginning of the university's radio program, a service plaque given to the station in 1970, a scrapbook of photographs from the 1990s, oversize newspaper articles about WMUC, and program logs documenting the start of the station's FM broadcasts in 1979. Four WMUC posters designed by Jay Kernis, Class of 1974, have been flattened and moved to a map case.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Framed Article -- "Campus Gets C.B.S. Studio", 1937 series 4box 10folder 1
Plaque -- National Award for Distinguished Service, Muscular Dystrophy Association, 1970 series 4box 10folder 2
WMUC Scrapbook, 1990s series 4box 10folder 3
Program Logs, 1979 series 4box 11folder 1
Publicity, 1980s-1990s series 4box 11folder 2
Publicity, 1990s-2000s series 4box 11folder 3
Poster -- "Commander 'MUC", 1970s series 4box 12folder 1
Poster -- Original "65 WMUC" poster, 1970s series 4box 12folder 1
Poster -- "65 WMUC" with Guitar, 1970s series 4box 12folder 1
Poster -- "Listen to 65 WMUC: Seduction of the Spirit via Radio", 1970s series 4box 12folder 1

Series 5: Audio Materials, 1960s-2000s (1857 items)

Series V contains over 1800 audio items from the WMUC station in a variety of formats -- reels, VHS, ADAT, Beta, and MP3s. These audio recordings are representative of the station's programming between the 1960s and 2000s and primarily include sporting events, news broadcasts, cultural programs, station IDs, PSAs, promos, interviews, concerts and live music. Original WMUC programs encompassed in this collection are Campus Focus, Electric Radio, Folkways, Miss Midnight, Theatre of the Mind, Third Rail Radio, Womanspeak, Yesternow, and You Must Remember This.

An inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please contact the University Archives for more information about WMUC audio recordings.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

The University Publications collection contains additional materials about WMUC, under the categories Radio Station (UPUB R1) and WMUC (UPUB W12). For program logs and articles charting the station's history, see the student newspaper, The Diamondback (microfilm UPUB S36.005), and the Old Line magazine (UPUB S36 010). More information about the station's history and staff members can be found in the University of Maryland yearbooks, particularly in the years between 1950 and 1970. Administrative files pertaining to WMUC are also located in the records of the President's Office, Chancellor's Office, and Division of Student Affairs, and the Board of Regents minutes. For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.