Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title:WRBB–FM. (Radio station: Boston, Mass.) records
Date:1966–2006 (bulk 1996–2000)
Location Code:35/1-2
Reference Code:A111
Extent:2.35 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:

The collection documents the administration and operation of WRBB radio station. The bulk of the records are administrative, consisting of correspondence, meeting agenda and minutes, financial records, program books, and budget files. A smaller portion comprises operational records and includes on–air promotions, broadcast schedules, DJ tests, song lists, and promotional flyers for the station. There is 1 cubic foot of audio material including audio reels, cassette tapes, and CDs which includes program broadcasts election coverage, public service announcements, commercial studio recordings/promotional material, and the Curry Center dedication broadcast.

Historical Abstract:

WRBB, Northeastern University's student radio station, was formed as WNEU in 1962 when a student group known as the Husky Hi–liters began broadcasting out of a small room in the basement of Ell Student Center. The Hi–liters were responsible for the University student broadcasting system which informed students of campus events and activities. In December 1962, the station began transmitting on AM radio, expanding its reach to include two dorms and other locations around campus. The following year, WNEU became an affiliate of ABC radio and provided news coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. In 1968 the radio station welcomed its first female announcer, Donna Halper, who broadcasted a nightly show called "Full Circle". In 1970 the radio station moved to FM and changed its call letters to WRBB, the RBB standing for Rock Back Bay. As a non–commercial station, it transmitted at 10 watts on 91.7 FM.

An FCC ruling in 1978 required all stations operating at 10 watts to boost their power to 100 watts or move to another frequency. The ruling was meant to prevent small radio stations from interfering with larger commercial stations on neighboring frequencies. With limited space in a crowded airwave, WRBB's application for an increase in wattage ran out, and in 1982 the station was forced to move to its present location at 104.9 FM. As a "secondary" station, it shared the space with WVCA in Gloucester. WRBB's signal remains at 10 watts which limits its reach to a two and one–half mile radius from its transmitter located in the Curry Center. WRBB continues to transmit on 104.9 FM, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, playing a variety of music and providing extensive coverage of the University's sports teams. The station has since added a live stream broadcast on its website:

Language and Scripts:Materials entirely in English.
System of Arrangement:Arranged in alphabetical order by subject.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). WNEU
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). WRBB

  • College radio stations –– Massachusetts –– Boston
  • College students –– Massachusetts –– Boston
  • Radio stations –– Massachusetts –– Boston
  • Student activities –– Massachusetts –– Boston.

Conditions Governing Access:Administrative and Operational records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Personnel Records (box 1, folder 3, and folder 4) are restricted for 75 years from date of creation.
Technical Access:One 3 ¼ inch floppy disk in Box 3 does not open.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:The collection was transferred from the WRBB Radio Station, 15 January 2008.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:Copyright restrictions may apply.
Related Archival Materials:

Student Activities Office records (A45), Gerald H. Herman papers (M168)

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Cheryl Ostrowski, November, 2011

1962WNEU begins broadcasting from Ell Student Center.
1962Begins transmitting on AM radio. Receivers set up in NU dorms and other campus locations.
1968First female announcer, Donna Halper, begins broadcasting a nightly show titled “Full Circle”.
1970Moves to FM radio and changes call numbers to WRBB, transmitting as a 10 watt, Class D station on 91.7 FM.
1978FCC passes ruling requiring all 10 watt stations to increase to 100 watts.
1982FCC ruling and interference from adjacent stations force the move to 104.9 FM.

"Fresh Air", Northeastern University Alumni Magazine, March 2004.

Northeastern University Student Handbook, 1962–1963.

"WNEU–AM Starts Broadcasting", Northeastern News. Vol. XLV: No. 10, December 14, 1962.

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1 Communication Studies1989–1998
1 Constitution 1989–1994
1 Disciplinary Action (2 folders) (restricted) 1997–2000
1 Finances (5 folders)1991–2005
1 Underwriting (3 folders)1996–2000
Meeting Minutes and Attachments
1 Executive Board (3 folders)1979–2006
1 Finance Committee 1994–1998
1 Media Board (2 Folders)1997–1999, 2003–2006
1 Staff (4 folders)1982–2000
1 Membership1998–1999
1 Public Inspection File1998
1 Staff Photo Ids 1975
1 Station History (2 folders)1966–1996
1 Sunny Joe White Broadcast Console Dedication1998
3 1 kHz Tone (audio cassette)n.d.
3 Bacchae Public Service Announcement (audio CD)n.d.
3 Boston's Spice Life ( ¼" audio reel)25 Feb 1994
3 Brave New Radio Studio Performances – Week #19 & #20 (2 audio CDs)2–16 May 1994
3 Broadcast ( 2 ¼" audio reels)n.d., 1976
3 Community Forum Program ( ¼" audio reel)n.d.
3 Curry Student Center Dedication: John Gettings and Nathaniel Fredman ( audio cassette)4 Nov 1996
3 Election Coverage ( ¼" audio reel)1996
3 Floppy Discn.d.
3 Fogel and Grisow (audio cassette)n.d.
3 Football Game Broadcast: Northeastern v. University of Rhode Island (audio cassette) n.d.
3 The Huntington Report ( ¼" audio reel) 17 Feb1994
3 Luca Amara – Squared Circle ( ¼" audio reel)n.d.
3 Northeastern University Alive ( ¼" audio reel)14 May 1994
3 One–hour Comedy Jam ( ¼" audio reel)n.d.
3 "The Straight Facts – Sex in the 90's" with Dr. Ruth Westheimer (audio reel cassette)n.d.
3 Unlabeled Reel ( ¼" audio reel)n.d.
1 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers2004
1 DJ Clearance Testsn.d.
1 Logosn.d., 1987
2 Music Director n.d., 1997
2 Newswire Subscriptions1996–1997
2 Old Charts n.d., 1998
2 Pre–filing and Post–filing License Announcements 1995–1997
1, 2 Programming (2 folders)1986–2001
2 Promotional Material (2 folders)1980–1998
2 Sports Broadcast Schedules and News 1997–2000
2 Studio Equipment Layout1995–1999
2 Web Site 1997