Skip to main content

WRFG records of the Living Atlanta oral history project

Collection number: ahc.MSS637

Scope and Content

The bulk of this collection consists of tape recorded interviews of Atlantans used to create fifty programs titledLiving Atlanta: Atlanta Life from World War I through World War II, and the programs themselves, which aired on WRFG Radio in Atlanta, Georgia. The programs were composed of excerpts from the interviews connected by music and explanatory narration. During the course of the project, hundreds of Atlantans were interviewed, resulting in approximately four hundred hours of taped material. The collection also includes typed transcriptions for most of the interviews, and administrative material that include grant records and background research for the programs.


  • 1977-1980, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. The oral history interviews listed in Series One are published online and licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivsCC BY-NC-ND license, Copyright of the programs described in Series Two and the interviews referred to as "restricted" in Series One is owned by Radio Free Broadcast Foundation, Inc.

Administrative/Biographical History

Radio Free Georgia Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that licenses and operates a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, with the formal call letters WRFG. The foundation was established in 1971 by Thomas Conners and attorney Michael Padnos. Other Atlantans, including American Civil Liberties Union attorney Reba Bolt, Black Panthers activist Tim Hayes, John Miller, and sociologist Harlan Joye and his wife, Barbara, worked with the foundation that year to help develop the radio station. Since its inception, the foundation has been governed by a board of directors and is operated by a small staff. The purpose of the foundation is to provide "a voice for those who have been traditionally denied access to the broadcast media and the involvement of a broad base of community elements to guarantee that access."

In 1972, the Federal Communications Commission granted a construction permit to the foundation for it to build a radio station which debuted in July 1973. Early programming included blues, bluegrass, and jazz. In addition, the station featured Korean language programming, poetry, college football games and broadcasts of civic events. News reports and station literature credit WRFG as the first listener-sponsored radio station in the Southeast.

In 1977, WRFG was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a series of fifty half hour radio programs exploring Atlanta history in the years between World War I and World War II. These programs were first aired on WRFG in 1979.


26.3 linear ft. (425 audio tapes; 10 document cases)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series; Series I. Interviews and transcriptions; Series II. Programs; Series III. Administrative records.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Patrons who want access to the audio listed in series I msut use the digital copies available at

Audio recordings of programs described in Series II remain on 7 1/2 inch reel-to-reel tapes and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital surrogates. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs. Items AV-MSS 637.166.001, AV-MSS 637.166.002, and AV-MSS 637.166.003 from"The Great Depression" series, have been digitized and are available upon request.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1989

Description Control

This collection was re-processed in 2017.

WRFG records of the Living Atlanta oral history project
Josh Hogan and Erica Hague
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305