The Encyclopedia of Sound (3600 hours)

Collection Title:
The Encyclopedia of Sound (3600 hours)
PRA Archive #: 

This new compilation from Pacifica Radio Archives is the most expansive and diverse collection of historic audio recordings ever offered.

Packaged as three 64 GB USB memory drives containing MP3 audio files.

Voices that Change the World, Vol 1 (1300 hours)

From the Vault, Volumes 1-6

Explore over 500 one-hour radio documentaries hand-crafted from the exquisite audio preserved at Pacifica Radio Archives - immerse yourself in sounds covering  some of the most important events of the last fifty years,  featuring voices of some of history's most controversial figures, like Noam Chomsky, Ray Bradbury, Alice Walker, Allen Ginsberg, June Jordan, Adrienne Rich, and hundreds more.

Sixty Five Years, Sixty Five Voices

Each recording in this compilation was chosen for Pacifica's 65th Anniversary because it uniquely exemplifies the quintessential Pacifica sound.   The result is a well-rounded and rich tapestry of the history of Pacifica Radio through the voices of Gore Vidal, Langston Hughes, Bernardo Bertolucci, Elsa Knight Thompson, Jessica Mitford, Dylan Thomas, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Murray Bookchin, Lena Horne, plus dozens more.

Black History

The Pacifica Radio Archives proudly presents its comprehensive collection of Black voices in celebration of Black History - with studies of the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, the Black Panthers, Blacks in Hollywood, Black Poets, and Black Authors; you'll hear from Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Rosa Parks, Paul Robeson, Nelson Mandela, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, and many more.  

Women's History

Showcasing Women's History through restored audio recordings dating back to the earliest days of community radio broadcasting in 1949, these recordings have been professionally preserved and digitized through grants and listener donations.  Included in the collection are Pauline Kael, Emma Goodman, Alice Walker, Helen Caldicott, Lily Tomlin, Bette Davis, and many more.


Pacifica Radio's vibrant tradition of non-traditional on-air book readings wove its way through the last six decades with gusto.  Relax, and visit to a different reality with readings of literary classics like Tolstoy's War and Peace,  Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground,  Jaime de Angulo's Indian Tales, and Noel Langley's children's classic, In the Land of Green Ginger.

Grammy Restored Recordings

In 2013 the Pacifica Radio Archives received a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation to preserve two series of music and theater programs that aired on WBAI-FM, Pacifica's NYC affiliate station, back in the 1960s and 1970s: The Free Music Store and the Mind's Eye Theatre. These two series are exemplary of WBAI's history of cutting-edge cultural programming, and feature performances by Janos Starker, Dave van Ronk, Julia Mendina, John Hammond, and over a dozen plays including Romeo and Juliet, The Starr Pitt, and Inquest at Christiana, to name just a few.

Pacifica and Politics

These recordings showcase the quality and breadth of Pacifica' s coverage of all things political,  with classic topics covering Watergate, the Vietnam War, the American Indian Movement, gang politics, and race relations through the voices of  Fidel Castro, Russell Means, Molly Ivans, Mort Sahl, Philip Agee, Dick Gregory, and so many more.

Radio Arts

Pacifica's diverse history has always included as a cornerstone unabashed and enthusiastic support for art in all forms, with a penchant for the controversial.  The Radio Arts collection celebrates that amazing broadcast history with recordings form artists like Gary Snyder, Edith Piaf, Suni Paz, Vincent Harding, Judy Chicago, Toni Morrison, Ed Asner, Julius Lester, Rosalyn Drexler, Phil Ochs, Jerry Stiller, and plenty more.

Student Free Speech Movement

Pacifica was front and center for one of the most important pivot points of the Civil Liberties movement - the student protest on the UC Berkely during the 1964-65 academic year.  Travel back to this politically charge place in time with the l ikes of Joan Baez, Mario Savio, Bettina Aptheker, student organizers, plus fantastic 'on the street' actuality from campus and beyond.

Religious Studies

Pacifica Radio has always welcomed beliefs of all kinds to its airwaves, and through the decades has amassed an impressive body of audio that covers alternative views of theology, issues concerning religions of all kinds, and historical perspectives on the origins of religion.  We'll hear religious thinkers such as Alan Watts, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Russell Means, D.T. Sozuki, and Blase Bonpane.

Exploration with Dr. Michio Kaku

Pacifica Radio's flagship science program, hosted by theoretical physicist (and sci-pop-culture phenom) Dr. Michio Kaku, remains one of the longest running radio science programs in the world.  Heard weekly on Pacifica Radio and across the globe, topics include bio-technology ethics, cosmos and physics, environmental issues, and science's contributions to both war and peace.  Regular guests include Brian Greene, Ray Kurzweil, Lisa Randal, Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Archer, and Peter Ward.

Voices that Change the World, Vol 2 (1000 hours)

Pacifica Radio Archives introduces its latest master collection of historic audio, totaling approximately 1000 hours, which dives deep into the storied corners of public radio stations KPFK (Los Angeles), KPFA (Berkeley), KPFT (Houston), WPFW (Washington DC), and WBAI (New York City) - the fabled "five sisters" that are the heart and soul of legendary Pacifica Radio.  Rare, significant, and unfiltered, this new audio collection is not only flush with familiar names synonymous with Pacifica Radio, but also brings to the surface voices and sounds particular to each individual station - those from local station communities, caring listeners, and proud supporters.


It all started at KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley.  America's first public radio station (and one of the first FM stations in the world) would exist solely upon the support of its listeners.  KPFA presented a radical new type of radio experience for the Bay Area; unrestrained by commercial advertising, what came out over airwaves were unlike anything heard before... raw, risque, revolutionary.  Hundreds of notable souls have passed through KPFA since its first days in 1949, and continue to do so today: Lew Hill, Alan Watts, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, , Elsa Knight Thompson, Linus Pauling, Mario Savio, W.E.B. DuBois, to name a few.

KPFA is known for its strong programming in LGBTQ studies, Gender and Women's Studies, History, and Music, with notable programs including:

Emma Goldman: The Courage to Struggle

Noam Chomsky:  On the New World Order

John Trudell: Speaking at CSU Hayward

Gore Vidal: State of the Union

Michael Moore at Santa Rosa, 2003

Bette Davis at the San Francisco Film Festival, 1969

Gore Vidal and Hermoine Gingold

Tennessee Williams Meets the San Francisco Press

Celia Cruz In San Francisco with Johnny Pacheco

Cornel West: Prophetic Imagination, 2014


KPFK, in Los Angeles, was the second member of the Pacifica family, going on-air in 1959.  Blessed with an enormous transmitter in a prime location on Mt. Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, KPFK 90.7 FM is the most powerful of the Pacifica stations and is the most powerful public radio station in the Western United States.  Its roots run deep in Southern California, and it is proud to have a strong partnership with local activists and the entertainment industry.

KPFK is known for its strong programming in Music, Union Causes, Poetry and the Arts, and Native American Studies, with notable programs including:

Celebrity Readings of Greg Palast: Alec Baldwin, Larry David, Jello Biafra, Greg Proops, Ed Asner

Paul Rosenstein: The Structure of Union Democracy

Richard Mowhawk: The Case of Paul Skyhorse

The Past Makes the Future: A Los Angeles History

Guatemala and their Unions

Charles Chaplin, Jr.: Chaplin on Chaplin

Father Luis Olivares


WBAI began as WABF in 1941 and moved to 99.5 FM in 1948; then, station took a respite from broadcasting in 1953, and came back on the air as part of World Broadcast Associates, Inc (WBAI) in 1955. On January 10, 1960, WBAI joined Pacifica when philanthropist Louis Schweitzer gave the station to the network.  The rest is history, literally.  WBAI is famous for wild free-form radio and a slew of unique metropolitan voices and sounds fitting for New York City and its environs.

WBAI is known for its strong programming in LGBTQ studies, Women's Studies, Science, Music, and Native American Studies, with notable programs including:

Einstein On The Beach

Duke Ellington at Basin Street East

Alice Walker Reads Her Poetry

Malcolm X: Life After Death

Leonard Peltier & the Land

Cornel West Speaking in NY

Russell Means Interview with Mike Walsh Backup

Bob Dylan Interviews


KPFT 90.1 FM Houston was founded in 1970 by journalist Larry Lee, and started broadcasting on March 1st, 1970.  Just two months later, the Ku Klux Klan blew up the KPFT transmitter, and the station was off the air for several weeks until repairs could be made.  In October, 1970, the transmitter was bombed yet again, and this time the damage was more extensive, taking many months to repair.  In early 1971, with Arlo Guthrie live in the studios performing "Alice's Restaurant," (the song that had been playing when the October bombers struck), KPFT triumphantly took to the air again, and remains strong today, reaching an audience of over a million listeners each week.

KPFT is known for its strong programming in Gender and Women's Studies, Poetry, and Chicana/Chicano Issues, with notable programs including:

Noam Chomsky: A Preemptive Strike on International Law

Robert Fisk Flashpoints Interview

Dolores Huerta: Taking A Stand In History

Jane Fonda and the Indochina Peace Campaign in Houston


WPFW 89.3 FM is the fifth station of the Pacifica Radio Network, going live in 1977, and stands proud as the original voice for progressive news, public affairs, and music programming in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  Known as the "Jazz and Justice" station, WPFW continues to challenge the norm in public media, passionately serving the underserved and the marginalized in the community.  Von Martin, a volunteer programmer who still hosts the show Caribbeana, was the first voice to sign the station on the air 40 years ago, beginning the broadcast with Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train".

WPFW is known for its programming in Gender and Women's Studies, Music, Civil Rights, Poetry, Native American Studies, with notable programs including:

Malcolm X

John Coltrane

Dizzy Gillespie: The Man and His Music

Kathleen Quinlan: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

The Rosenberg Case: Twenty-Five Years Later

An Interview with Earl Robinson

James Baldwin: They Would Not Want to be Black Here

Voices that Change the World, Vol 3 (1300 hours)


AZ1748 Eduardo Galeano KPFA Speech Collection


Galeano 1991, Galeano 2006, Galeano 2009, Galeano 20013


AZ0978 Malvina Reynolds I'd Rather Say It Myself Singing


AZ1204 Bernardo Bertolucci San Francisco Film Festival_1979


AZ1205 Jack Nicholson San Francisco Film Festival_1976


AZ1206 Francoise Truffaunt - Jaquilline Bisset SFFF_1973


AZ1208AB Alec Guiness San Francisco Film Festival_1979


AZ1209A Eugene ONeill and Tao House


AZ1211A Buckminster Fuller Lecture McKenna


AZ1220 Anais Nin at the University of California at Berkeley


AZ1256 John Cage at Stanford - 80th Birthday


AZ1285 Pauline Kael - Last Broadcast - KPFA and Report to the Subscriber by Trevor Thomas


AZ1294 SLA Communique Clarifying SLA Demand for Good Faith Gesture 2_16_74


AZ1295 SLA Patty Hearst Press Conference February 18_19_20_1974


AZ1291 SLA Hearst and Weed Respond to Tania Communique


AZ1303 Symbionese Liberation Army Reports Actuality SWAT Shootout 5_20_1974


AZ1306 Peter Franck with FBI re Symbionese Liberation Army 5_25_74


AZ1317 Hitchens-Hedges Debate on Religion Is God Great


AZ1324 Alice Walker Delivers Speech at the National Black Lesbian and Gay Conference


AZ1331 Gil Scott Heron


AZ1337AB&C Dave Van Ronk, Patrick Sky and Phil Ochs


AZ1340 Ntozake Shange -  Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo


AZ1343 Benefit for Women Library Workers - Malvina Reynolds and Margie Adam


AZ1345A Carlos Castaneda


AZ1358A Arundhati Roy


AZ1360A Naomi Klein The Battle for Paradise


AZ1375 Mario Savio and Clark Kerr on UC Berkeley Campus


AZ1385 Sit - In at Sproul Hall UC Berkeley_12_04_64_3 AM


AZ1397A Mississippi Freedom Project 1964_1965_Part 1


AZ1396 Interview with Edward Said


AZ1399 Interview with Bishop Desmond Tutu


AZ1403 Walter Mosley Interviewed by Kris Welch


AZ1416 Kris Welch and Chuy Varela Interview Bobbie McFerrin


AZ1473 Interview with Miriam Makeba by Philip Maldari


AZ1492 Banks Bailouts And Manufactured Market Crashes


Rights Summary: 
RESTRICTED. Permissions, licensing requests, Curriculum Initiative, Campus Campaign and all other inquiries should be directed to: Mark Torres, Archives Director, 800-735-0230,
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This recording is currently on a 1/4” reel tape and has not been digitally preserved. If you would like to contribute to the cost of transferring this recording, and receive your own personal copy on CD, please complete this form and we will return your request with pricing information. You will hear from an archive staff member once your request has been researched. We can also be reached by phone at 800-735-0230.