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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.