KOAC Records (RG 15)
0.5 cubic feet and 20 reels of microfilm

Scope and Content Note

Records are organized into 11 series: I. Dean Caldwell Correspondence; II. Dean Powers Files; III. Annual Reports; IV. Questionnaires and Listener Research; V. Programs and Procedures; VI. Radio Program Series; VII. Advisory Council on Radio Policy; VIII. James W. Sherburne - Division of Continuing Education; IX. Sound Recordings; X. License Renewal Records; and XI. Radio Committee. Most of the series are arranged chronologically.

Most of the records pertain to KOAC radio, although a few series contain records of KOAC-TV. Series 1 and 2 consist of files of the Oregon State System of Higher Education's Dean and Director of General Extension from 1932-1959. Series 3 consists of annual reports on various aspects of KOAC's activities between 1923 and 1952. Series 4 includes audience surveys and research for both radio and television conducted between 1926 and 1962 and reflect changes in listener interest and programming emphasis.

Series 5 includes radio programs and procedures from 1932 until about 1946. Series 6 contains scripts, manuscripts, outlines and other data pertaining to various radio program series from 1929-1962. Series 7 consists of records, primarily meeting minutes, of the Advisory Council on Radio Policy. Series 8 consists of the records James W. Sherburne, head of the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) Division of Continuing Education. These records include materials primarily from 1964-1965 pertaining to KOAC radio and television, interinstitutional television, and other continuing education activities throughout Oregon. Series 9 contains sound recordings made for and of KOAC radio and television programs. Topics include forestry, the McLaren School of Boys, and the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth. Series 10 contains the radio station's license renewal records from 1933. Series 11 consists of a few records, primarily correspondence and reports, of the Radio Committee for 1940-1956.

Historical Note

On December 7, 1922, Oregon Agricultural College was granted a license to begin broadcasting radio station KFDJ, which had been put together as a lab experiment by Physics Professor Jacob Jordan. The station's first broadcast was on January 23, 1923 from the third floor of Apperson Hall. In December 1925, the station's call letters were changed to KOAC, its power had been boosted from 50 to 500 watts, and the Extension Service utilized the station for broadcasting several programs, with Wallace Kadderly serving as program director. Early programming included lectures, music and student variety programs, reports of athletic events, and the annual commencement exercise. New studios were established in the new Physics Building (now Covell Hall) in 1928. Jordan oversaw the technical operations of the station until 1932, when Grant Feikert was named chief engineer. Kadderly served as program director until 1932 and served as station manager through 1933. When the new State System of Higher Education was established, KOAC became the System's radio station, under the purview of the General Extension Division. Additional studios were ultimately established in Eugene, Salem and Portland. Power was increased to 5000 watts in 1942. James Morris served as program director from 1945-1963.

KOAC-TV was established in 1957 and began broadcasting in November of that year from studios in Gill Coliseum. In its early years the TV station was used to broadcast courses from the State System campuses to its other campuses around the state. The Extension Service used the television station in the same manner that it had used KOAC radio for the past 50+ years. It produced programs such as "Extension 7," later called "Oregon at Work," which ran from 1959-1975.

In 1981, the State System of Higher Education divested its radio and television stations, including both KOAC-AM and KOAC-TV. These stations became the public corporation, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). Administrative, TV studio, and production functions were moved to Portland. A radio studio on the OSU campus and Corvallis transmitters and frequencies for both KOAC radio and TV are still used.

Related Materials

Motion picture films and videotapes of KOAC-TV productions are available in the KOAC-TV Films (P 207), the Communication Media Center) Films and Videotapes (P 119) and the Extension and Experiment Station Communications Films and Videotapes (P 120).

Other collections containing substantive records pertaining to KOAC include the Library Records (RG 9), President's Office Records (RG 13), Extension Service Records (RG 111), and the Jimmie Morris Collection.

The National Public Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland includes the records of the major non-commercial broadcasting organizations in the United States, such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), and the personal papers of individuals who have made significant contributions to public broadcasting.

Shelf Locations

Microfilm Cabinet;
Paper records: 5/1/10/41, 7/1/3/a (12x17 oversize box);
Sound recordings: SR 4/2/4/c; SR 1/2/3/40; SR 1/2/3/60.

Series Outline

Return to Institutional Records Page