From Indiana University:
Indiana University Libraries’ Lilly Library is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the 1938 “The War of the Worlds” broadcast by openly streaming its recent digitization of the infamous radio event taken directly from Orson Welles’ personal lacquer disc recordings.
The Lilly Library’s collection features Welles’ radio scripts, production material for his theater work and artifacts about his early films, in addition to the recordings of his radio programs.
IU is home to one of the greatest collections of Welles’ work in the world, covering almost all of his work from the first half of his career. The Lilly Library first acquired the copies of Welles’ broadcasts in 1978, though the six discs containing the broadcast had long been silent due to concerns over their deterioration. Instead, visiting and local scholars studying Welles’ radio innovations could listen to cassettes copied from reel-to-reel recordings of the original discs.
Last year, through a partnership with IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative and support from the National Recording Preservation Foundation, IU Libraries launched an online project, publishing the digitized copies of Welles’ radio work.
Streaming episodes on the website, in addition to “The War of the Worlds,” include Welles’ weekly radio dramas, such as “Sherlock Holmes” and “Dracula,” famous adaptations of literature, his political commentary and wartime broadcasts. Together, the “Orson Welles on the Air” materials represent the most complete original source of audio for Welles’ radio work during the late 1930s and 1940s, with the highest extant sound quality.
Direct to All Audio Streams: Orson Welles on the Air, 1938-1946