Skip to main content

The National Broadcasting Company at the Library of Congress

Listening and Viewing Procedures

National Broadcasting Company television broadcasts and television-related manuscript materials, including Meet the Press transcripts, can be viewed in the Moving Image Research Center. Radio broadcasts, the History Files, and radio manuscript materials can be accessed in the Recorded Sound Research Center. Read on to learn more about conducting research in our facilities.

Making Appointments

Underwood and Underwood. [Woman with headphones listening to radio]. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

To view or listen to materials not available online, submit a request to our reference librarians. When submitting requests, please provide the title, call number, and date of the item. Names associated with the item, such as director/creator or performers, are also helpful. Call numbers will be a combination of capital letters and numbers, and will vary depending on the format of the item and the collection it is in (e.g. VBG 3214; FCA 4414-4416; LWO 5599; gr12 r2a1-3b; NCPB 5434; Decca 12-1401).

Listening Appointments

Appointments are required for listening to most of the material in our collection. Recordings do not circulate. Listeners can call the Recorded Sound Research Center at (202) 707-7833 or submit requests through Ask a Librarian.

A growing number of our recordings have been digitized and are available for listening on demand. All others will take at least two weeks for our engineers to digitize for your listening appointment. Special arrangements are required for requests of more than eight items at one time. Certain audio formats will require more time to digitize and will necessitate a longer wait. Please contact the Research Center as soon as possible with large requests or to identify previously digitized recordings.

Viewing Appointments

Appointments for viewing film prints and video copies should be made as far in advance as possible to guarantee that requests can be fulfilled, with a minimum of ten days advance notice. A six-week lead time will guarantee that all but the most irreparably damaged items can be made accessible. Less advance notice limits staff time to inspect requested items and deliver them to the Moving Image Research Center from off-site storage. Viewers can call the Research Center at 202-707-8572 or submit requests through Ask A Librarian.

Although advance notice is not needed for items that have been digitized, a reservation is recommended to guarantee equipment availability.  If an appointment needs to be canceled or rescheduled, please contact the reference staff as soon as possible.  Cancelation without sufficient notice can prevent others from having access to the facilities.

Restrictions on Recording

Recording equipment of any type is not allowed.  Photographing images from the screen for reference purposes will be permitted only when authorized in advance by our reference staff.

Reader Identification Card

Each user of the Library's research areas, including the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Research Centers, is required to have a Reader Identification Card issued by the Library. Go to the "Using the Library of Congress" section of the guide for more information on how to acquire a Reader Identification Card.

Copyright & Obtaining Copies

Film, television, and sound recordings are some of the most copyright-restricted formats at the Library. NBCUniversal holds the copyright for radio, television, and manuscript materials in the collections of the Library of Congress, and NBC must provide permission in order for researchers to obtain copies of these materials. For television broadcasts, request for purchase or reuse of materials held by the Library must be made directly to NBC. For radio broadcasts, written permission from NBC is required in order for the Library's Recording Laboratory at the National Audio Visual Conservation Center to duplicate recordings. Recorded Sound reference staff can provide researchers with contact information.