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Tony Schwartz Collection

A guide to the collection of the sound recordist Tony Schwartz


Tony Lending an Ear

[Untitled Tony Schwartz image.]. [Tony_lending_an_ear_-_tall_crop.jpg]. Tony Schwartz Collection, National Audio-Visual Collection, Library of Congress.

The Tony Schwartz collection, held by the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center at the Library of Congress, includes motion picture materials, sound recordings, and personal papers documenting the life and work of this unique and innovative individual who changed the face of electronic media. Perhaps best known for the “Daisy” television advertisement, made for Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 presidential campaign, he also hosted regular radio programs on stations WNYC and WBAI, and pioneered in the field of soundscape recordings. These soundscapes can be heard on several LP releases for Folkways and Columbia, and are best exemplified by Columbia’s "New York Taxi Driver" which includes sounds of New York traffic, car horns, taxi meters, and snippets of interviews with drivers. The collection also contains some 30,000 folk songs from 46 countries that Schwartz received in trade from an international network of collectors and folklorists. It also documents Schwartz’s work on advertisements for television and radio, covering election campaigns, and the anti-smoking initiative that was instrumental in the ban on advertising for tobacco products.

This guide will provide information about Tony Schwartz, details about locating audio and video in the collection, and provide procedures for viewing and listening to collection items at the Library. It will also point to additional resources at the Library and beyond useful for researching media master Tony Schwartz.