Digital Commonwealth

The Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council and WGBH Program Guides, 1949–1969

WGBH

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This set is comprised of program guides from the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council (LICBC) and its successor, WGBH. The LICBC was created to expand the reach of the Lowell Institute, which since its founding in 1836 has provided free public lectures to the people of Boston regardless of gender, race, or economic status. In the spring of 1946, Lowell Institute trustee Ralph Lowell met with the presidents of local colleges and universities to develop a cooperative broadcasting venture in adult education. Initially, the LICBC programs were produced at, and broadcast from, Boston's commercial radio stations, with the faculties of the LICBC's member institutions providing the performers and lecturers. The Council grew to include many other Boston-area colleges, universities, and cultural institutions. In 1950, when securing air-time on commercial stations became increasingly difficult, the LICBC sought permission from the FCC to create its own station. WGBH-FM made its official debut on October 6, 1951, broadcasting from its transmitter atop Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts. WGBH-TV would soon follow, with regular broadcasts starting on May 2, 1955.

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