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Old Time Radio Library

Radio and libraries have always enjoyed a close relationship and have been used for locations in many radio shows.

36 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 14 hours, 43 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
16 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from January 17, 1949:

"Calling All Detectives: The Coin-operated Typewriter Case"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Reading in the LibraryTo organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful was basically the same mission held by the ancient Library of Alexandria. The Library of Alexandria, originally dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts, was founded by Ptolemy I Soter, Alexander the Great's half-brother and one of his most trusted generals. Some critics charge that the Library's true function was as a display of the wealth and power of the Ptolemaic dynasty, but before its destruction, the Library attracted the greatest scholars and thinkers of the ancient world.

In some ways, the Library of Alexandria bore only passing resemblance to a modern public library. The information was kept on papyrus scrolls, which were not loaned out like a modern library book. Instead, the Library had a central area for reading, or a scholar could hire a scribe to copy the information onto another scroll. Any foreign ships visiting the port of Alexandria was compelled to surrender any books they had on board until they could be copied, and any books or scrolls taken as prizes of war made their way to the Library.

The Library of Alexandria flourished as a center of learning until the Romans conquered Egypt and the library was destroyed, its books either burned or stolen. The Romans were establishing libraries of their own by this time, often as a status symbol. Around the time of the birth of Christ, Roman intellectuals were speaking out against illiterate nobles who kept private libraries filled with books that their owners would not and could not read.

The Romans also created public libraries which attempted to rival the one in Alexandria, and it became fashionable for each emperor to build a grander library than that of his predecessor. As Europe slipped into the Dark Ages, libraries were maintained by the Church, often as part of the monastic system. Before the advent of the printing press, monks painstakingly copied books, one at a time, by hand. Books were only loaned if a sizable deposit was made, sometimes in the form of money or treasure, but more often as a book of equal or greater value. Before returning the book, the borrower would likely hire a scribe or monk to copy the text.

Library FlirtsDuring the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, libraries were established at universities for the use of students. Eventually, an attitude developed that the knowledge stored in a library should be available to anyone. Books were often chained to the desks to prevent them from disappearing, which was actually damaging to the volumes.

The modern public library is a product of the Industrial Revolution. As capitalism succeeded, workers had more leisure time on their hands. People in the upper classes feared that the lower-classes could begin to make trouble if they had too much time on their hands, so libraries were created to encourage morally uplifting activities like reading.

Two developments in the post-Civil War period had an enormous effect on libraries. In 1876, Melvil Dewey published his decimal based system of book classification. In 1880, the first library built by the Carnegie Library Endowment system was opened. At first, the Carnegie Libraries were established in places that Andrew Carnegie had a personal connection to, but 1899 Libraries began to be established in other areas that met “the Carnegie formula”. Carnegie believed first and foremost in helping those who would help themselves, so before a community would be given a library, it had to prove the need for a library, provide a building site, provide 10% of the building cost annually for the operating costs of the library, and provide free service to all. 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929.

One of the major problems with a lending library system is getting the books back after patrons are done reading them. Often a system fines for books held overdue is enforced, but the most effective means of getting the books back is the social stigma of being known as someone who keeps books past their due date. For many young people, getting their library card was their first official interaction with the greater society, and holding a library card implies that society acknowledges the youngster’s progress toward maturity.

Library Cat PosterEven though libraries are places of enforced quiet (so as not to disturb other readers), radio and libraries have always enjoyed a close relationship. As a young man, comedy great Fred Allen worked “in the stacks” of the Boston Public Library. A patron would order certain volumes and it was Fred’s job to bring the books to the patron’s desk in the reading room. In his free time, he had access to the entire library’s collection, which became the foundation of his famous topical humor.

Through the years, libraries have been popular locations for murders in both hard and soft-boiled detective stories. If two characters in a drama argued over an obscure fact, the definitive answer could be found at the reference desk of the local library. Naturally, the main character in a situation comedy failing to return his library books before they were overdue was always sure to get many laughs.

Libraries are falling out of favor in the twenty-first century almost as fast as radio declined at the dawn of the television age. It is not that knowledge and reading are losing popularity, rather many students report a preference for doing research over the Internet rather than physically going to the library and reading books. It is certainly faster to find a fact using an Internet search engine than finding and opening a book and reading its contents. Library proponents point out that the information on the Internet is easier to retrieve, it usually lacks the depth provided by a library book.

The Internet is actually becoming an important tool for libraries. The ‘Net allows libraries to better organize and present their collections, and digitized versions of out-of-print books are simple to exchange between libraries and their patrons.

This collection contains a variety of radio dramas centered around the library including radio broadcasts from Aldrich Family, Barry Craig, Boston Blackie,  Fibber McGee & Molly, Milton Berle, Ozzie and Harriet, Philip Marlowe, Suspense and more!.  

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    36 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 14 hours, 43 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      36 shows - total playtime 14 hours 43 minutes
      1. Aldrich Family 521102 557 Overdue Library Book.mp3
      2. Barrie Craig 540907 Ghosts Dont Die in Bed.mp3
      3. Bob & Ray 510113 Salute To Boston & Maine. Whdh Aircheck.mp3
      4. Boston Blackie 4609033 Stolen Rare Book.mp3
      5. Broadway Is My Beat 521101 Amelia Lane Murder Case.mp3
      6. Calling All Detectives 490117 353 Coinoperated Typewriter.mp3
      7. Chase 530405 Johnny And Ellen Killer And Hostage.mp3
      8. Dr Christian 510411 No Change In Plans.mp3
      9. Eb And Zeb 000000 200 Episode 200.mp3
      10. Eb And Zeb 000000 256 Episode 256.mp3
      11. Eb And Zeb 000000 365 Episode 365.mp3
      12. Fmm 460115 0462 Treasure Map.mp3
      13. Fmm 540916 0989 Lost Library Book.mp3
      14. Fmm 550220 1099 On New Committee.mp3
      15. FMM 550224 1103 Arrangements To Move Library Books.mp3
      16. Frontier Gentleman 581005 35 Librarian.mp3
      17. Great Gildersleeve 530128 481 Gildy And Grace Tuttle.mp3
      18. Hollywood Star Playhouse 510726 066 Im Coward.mp3
      19. Iwcf 520813 17 Exit On Left.mp3
      20. Jack Benny Program 380515 297 Murder In Library.mp3
      21. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 089 Belco Suspected.mp3
      22. Let George Do It 490606 Death In Blue Jeans.mp3
      23. Lux Radio Theater 530622 834 Fall Of Maggie Phillips.mp3
      24. Meet Meeks 480605 39 Overdue Book Return.mp3
      25. Milton Berle Show 480302 52 Salute To Literature.mp3
      26. Nebbs 451014 Library Book Drive.mp3
      27. One Mans Family 580227 B129c43 Pinch Hitter Strikes Out.mp3
      28. Ozzie And Harriet 490320 189 Argument About Rover Boys.mp3
      29. Phil Harris 520127 200 Phil Is In Charge Of House.mp3
      30. Philip Marlowe 510728 107 Good Neighbor Policy.mp3
      31. Philip Morris Night 480523 From Chicago.mp3
      32. Sleep No More 570306 14 Thus I Refute Beelzy Bookshop.mp3
      33. Superman 460716 1334 Horatio F. Horn Detective Pt 11.mp3
      34. Suspense 450802 Man In House.mp3
      35. Suspense 450920 Library Book.mp3
      36. Whistler 440903 120 Practically Foolproof.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    36 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 14 hours, 43 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      36 shows - total playtime 14 hours 43 minutes
      1. Aldrich Family 521102 557 Overdue Library Book.mp3
      2. Barrie Craig 540907 Ghosts Dont Die in Bed.mp3
      3. Bob & Ray 510113 Salute To Boston & Maine. Whdh Aircheck.mp3
      4. Boston Blackie 4609033 Stolen Rare Book.mp3
      5. Broadway Is My Beat 521101 Amelia Lane Murder Case.mp3
      6. Calling All Detectives 490117 353 Coinoperated Typewriter.mp3
      7. Chase 530405 Johnny And Ellen Killer And Hostage.mp3
      8. Dr Christian 510411 No Change In Plans.mp3
      9. Eb And Zeb 000000 200 Episode 200.mp3
      10. Eb And Zeb 000000 256 Episode 256.mp3
      11. Eb And Zeb 000000 365 Episode 365.mp3
      12. Fmm 460115 0462 Treasure Map.mp3
      13. Fmm 540916 0989 Lost Library Book.mp3
      14. Fmm 550220 1099 On New Committee.mp3
      15. FMM 550224 1103 Arrangements To Move Library Books.mp3
      16. Frontier Gentleman 581005 35 Librarian.mp3
      17. Great Gildersleeve 530128 481 Gildy And Grace Tuttle.mp3
      18. Hollywood Star Playhouse 510726 066 Im Coward.mp3
      19. Iwcf 520813 17 Exit On Left.mp3
      20. Jack Benny Program 380515 297 Murder In Library.mp3
      21. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 089 Belco Suspected.mp3
      22. Let George Do It 490606 Death In Blue Jeans.mp3
      23. Lux Radio Theater 530622 834 Fall Of Maggie Phillips.mp3
      24. Meet Meeks 480605 39 Overdue Book Return.mp3
      25. Milton Berle Show 480302 52 Salute To Literature.mp3
      26. Nebbs 451014 Library Book Drive.mp3
      27. One Mans Family 580227 B129c43 Pinch Hitter Strikes Out.mp3
      28. Ozzie And Harriet 490320 189 Argument About Rover Boys.mp3
      29. Phil Harris 520127 200 Phil Is In Charge Of House.mp3
      30. Philip Marlowe 510728 107 Good Neighbor Policy.mp3
      31. Philip Morris Night 480523 From Chicago.mp3
      32. Sleep No More 570306 14 Thus I Refute Beelzy Bookshop.mp3
      33. Superman 460716 1334 Horatio F. Horn Detective Pt 11.mp3
      34. Suspense 450802 Man In House.mp3
      35. Suspense 450920 Library Book.mp3
      36. Whistler 440903 120 Practically Foolproof.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    36 recordings on 16 Audio CDs
    total playtime 14 hours, 43 min

    OTR Library Disc A001

    1. Eb And Zeb 000000 200 Episode 200
    2. Eb And Zeb 000000 256 Episode 256
    3. Eb And Zeb 000000 365 Episode 365
    4. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 089 Belco Suspected

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A002

    1. Jack Benny Program 380515 297 Murder In Library
    2. Whistler 440903 120 Practically Foolproof

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A003

    1. Suspense 450802 Man In House
    2. Suspense 450920 Library Book

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A004

    1. Nebbs 451014 Library Book Drive
    2. Fmm 460115 0462 Treasure Map

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A005

    1. Superman 460716 1334 Horatio F. Horn Detective Pt 11
    2. Boston Blackie 4609033 Stolen Rare Book
    3. Milton Berle Show 480302 52 Salute To Literature

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A006

    1. Philip Morris Night 480523 From Chicago
    2. Meet Meeks 480605 39 Overdue Book Return
    3. Calling All Detectives 490117 353 Coinoperated Typewriter

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A007

    1. Ozzie And Harriet 490320 189 Argument About Rover Boys
    2. Let George Do It 490606 Death In Blue Jeans

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A008

    1. Bob & Ray 510113 Salute To Boston & Maine. Whdh Aircheck
    2. Dr Christian 510411 No Change In Plans

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A009

    1. Hollywood Star Playhouse 510726 066 Im Coward
    2. Philip Marlowe 510728 107 Good Neighbor Policy

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A010

    1. Phil Harris 520127 200 Phil Is In Charge Of House
    2. Iwcf 520813 17 Exit On Left

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A011

    1. Broadway Is My Beat 521101 Amelia Lane Murder Case
    2. Aldrich Family 521102 557 Overdue Library Book

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A012

    1. Great Gildersleeve 530128 481 Gildy And Grace Tuttle
    2. Chase 530405 Johnny And Ellen Killer And Hostage

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A013

    1. Lux Radio Theater 530622 834 Fall Of Maggie Phillips

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A014

    1. Barrie Craig 540907 Ghosts Dont Die in Bed
    2. Fmm 540916 0989 Lost Library Book
    3. Fmm 550220 1099 On New Committee

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A015

    1. FMM 550224 1103 Arrangements To Move Library Books
    2. Sleep No More 570306 14 Thus I Refute Beelzy Bookshop
    3. One Mans Family 580227 B129c43 Pinch Hitter Strikes Out

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    OTR Library Disc A016

    1. Frontier Gentleman 581005 35 Librarian

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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