The OTR Digest Archive Project

About This Project


The OTR Digest is an Internet electronic mailing list devoted to the discussion of Old Time Radio covering, roughly, from the 1920s into the early 1960s. While it centers on American radio, other English-speaking broadcasts are occasionaly mentioned.

Subscibers to list can post a messages that are sent to all other subscribers though email. While some mailing lists relay these messages as they come in, this list compiles messages into a "digest" where multiple emails are appended together and sent out as one message, once a day or however the list owner sets up the system.

As far as I know, this list started in the 1990s and continues to the present day. It has had several "owners" over time and as of this writing, the latest owner, Charlie Summers, has passed away the future status of the list is in limbo. Due to his passing there was a discussion on the list about where all the back isues could be. Apparently they were not saved on the server and some subscribers started posting the range of back issues they had which prompted me to do the same.

This OTR Digest Archive is a proof of concept to see how the past issues of the list might be made available to others. I had saved quite a few of the mailings in 1995-96. For whatever reason I stopped but started saving again when I resubscribed in 2000. The files from 1995-95 were saved in plain text format and compressed as a collection of zip files and stored on 3-1/2" floppy discs. The digests from 2000 to the present were exported from Mozilla Thunderbird as HTLM files and stored on a hard drive. I retrieved all this files and set up this site using the PHP language and stored the data on a mySQL database server.

Again, this is really a proof of concept and hasn't been designed for ready updating or more detailed searching than what it has.

Vince Long
December 2020