WAMU Broadcast Collection, 1998-current

WAMU Broadcast Collection, 1998-current

Finding Aid

Collection No. 45
D.C. Community Archives


WAMU (88.5 FM), American University Radio is a National Public Radio affiliate in Washington, D.C.  In 1998, WAMU began depositing audiotapes of broadcasts related to local D.C. current affairs and history under an agreement with the Library. WAMU holds copyright to the tapes; library staff are allowed to make copies for preservation purposes only. 

History, Scope and Content Note

Primarily contains recordings of two weekly shows, Metro Connection and the D.C. Politics Hour, which date from April of 1998 to the current date.

Metro Connection airs Friday afternoons and Saturday morning and covers current news, history, personalities, neighborhoods, events, and human interest stories in the local Washington-metro area. 

The D.C. Politics Hour began as a weekly one-hour segment of the Derek McGinty, former host of a two-hour afternoon talk show on WAMU. The show invites reporters and columnists from the metro area to discuss among themselves, invited political figures, and the call-in audience current D.C. political issues. Mark Plotkin, a local journalist and news commentator, became a regular guest on the D.C. Politics Hour. When McGinty left in 1997, the show was retitled Public Interest and was guest hosted until the summer of 1998, when Kojo Nnamdi became the new permanent host of Public Interest. In 1998, the weekly Friday show at noon became known as the D.C. Politics Hour, with Mark Plotkin as the co-host with Nnamdi. Plotkin left the show in 2002; Nnamdi currently co-hosts The Politics Hour with WRC-TV political reporter Tom Sherwood.

The collection also contains editorials on D.C. political issues, most often prepared by Mark Plotkin, as well as some one-hour segments from Public Interest, which relate to local Washington, D.C. matters. Significant featured series in the collection include:  recordings of 1998 mayoral debates and candidate forums sponsored by WAMU, and the 20th Century Washington series, which aired on Metro Connection in 1999 to mark the close of the 20th century by reporting on significant periods or events in the city’s history.

Series Descriptions

Series I:  Local Interest, 1998-2002

The series contains 287 audio recordings of Local Interest and includes but is not limited to the following programs: Public Interest; DC Politics Hour; DC Politics Hour with Mark Plotkin; and the Diane Rehm Show.

Series II:  Metro, Connection, 1998-2004

The series contains 289 audio recording of the Metro Connection Program.

Series III:  Kojo Nnamdi, 2002-2004

The series contains 103 audio recordings of the Kojo Nnamdi Show

Box Inventory

Series 1: Local Interest, 1998-2002

Box 1

  • 51 audio tapes, June 24 1998-February 5 1999

Box 2

  • 50 audio tapes, February 12 1999-September 3 1999

Box 3

  • 51 audio tapes, September 9 1999-March 20 2000

Box 4

  • 51 audio tapes, March 22 2000-March 2 2001

Box 5

  • 50 audio tapes, March 2 2001-January15 2002

Box 6

  • 34 audio tapes, January 25 2002-September 27 2002

Series 2: Metro Connection, 1998-2004

Box 6

  • 17 audio tapes, February 27 1998-October 10 1998

Box 7

  • 51 audio tapes,  October 24 1998-November 20 1999

Box 8

  • 50 audio tapes, November 23 1999-April 28 2001

Box 9

  • 51 audio tapes, May 5 2001-May 18 2002

Box 10

  • 52 audio tapes, June 1 2002-June 27 2003

Box 11

  • 52 audio tapes, July 11 2003-August 20 2004

Box 12

  • Audio tapes, August 27, 2004-December 17, 2004

Series 3: Kojo Nnamdi, 2002-2004

Box 13

  • Audio tapes, October 4 2002- October 31 2003

Box 14

  • Audio tapes, November 7 2003-December 17, 2004

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives

Back to Special Collections Homepage