2023 Conference

General information

The Radio Preservation Task Force of the Library of Congress is pleased to announce a major conference to be held April 27-30 on Capitol Hill at the Madison Building of the Library of Congress, and at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

The conference is titled “A Century of Broadcasting: Preservation and Renewal” and features talks and panels with more than 300 archivists, radio and television historians, artists, information scientists, journalists, curators, sound studies scholars, broadcasters and others highlighting how preservation contributes to the history and creation of mass media at community, local, national and international levels.

Download a Current (3/24) Version of the Program Here

Some key features of the event will include:

An event featuring The Kitchen Sisters, longtime radio producers and audio artists Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva. Their work includes stories for NPR, KQED, AIR and independent podcasts including Hidden Kitchens, Lost & Found Sound, and The Keepers. Their many awards and recognitions for their work at NPR and in podcasting include the duPont-Columbia Award and two Peabody Awards. The Kitchen Sisters archive has recently become a part of the collection at the Library of Congress.

A plenary talk on the topic of “Useful Radio” by archivist, writer and filmmaker Rick Prelinger of the University of California Santa Cruz. Prelinger is the founder of the Prelinger Archives, a unique collection of thousands of amateur, industrial and educational films. He is a longtime advocate for media preservation. 

A special launch organized by Black Women in Radio, LEGENDS: The Evolution and Legacy of Black Radio Culture. The new LEGENDS project is a comprehensive study of the people and events that helped shape 80 years of America’s Black radio culture into the digital age.

A special event sponsored by the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Audiovisual Media Preservation Initiative (AVMPI) will be held at the Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to showcase highlights from Smithsonian radio programs and the work of radio artists Anna Friz and Jeff Kolar.

The Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) is a project of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board and works in conjunction with the Library of Congress Recorded Sound Section. The RPTF serves as a clearing house that promotes research, preservation, and curation of historical audio across historical events from Civil Rights speeches to Congressional debates, LGBT community organizing, sports history, newscasts, and Spanish language and bilingual broadcasts. The project has been featured by a number of press outlets from C-Span, NPR, The Atlantic, The Hill, CBS Radio, and the Washington Post, as well as numerous academic publications.

The task force has teamed up with dozens of universities, as well as multiple partners including NPR Research, Archives, and Data; Smithsonian Folklife; U.S. National Archives; Voice of America, and the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art.

Support for this conference has come from the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, the MA program in Sound Arts and Industries at Northwestern University, and the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.

The event is free and open to the public. Inquiries should be sent to Conference Director Neil Verma neil.verma@northwestern.edu. For more information on the program, please visit RPTF (radiopreservation.org). Registration will begin April 1st

Traveling around DC

There are many ways to get around DC. DC’s iconic Union Station is close by both conference venues and is served by Amtrak, Megabus, MARC, and other transportation services. The local transportation system is the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Fares for Metro vary based on the service, ride length, day, and time you ride. Trip Planner  is the best way to calculate your fare.

The closest airports are the Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) and the Dulles International Airport (IAD).

How to get to the Madison Building 

Address: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540, Google Map

(The following information is taken from the Library of Congress’ Guide to the Thomas Jefferson Building, which is adjacent to the Madison Building). The closest Metro stop to the Jefferson Library (which is close to the Madison Library)  is Capitol South (Orange/Blue/Silver Lines) – Exit station using main exit, walk approximately two blocks north on First Street SE. An alternative stop is Union Station (Red Line) which is a  .5 mile walk to the Libraries. 

Parking options include a limited two-hour zone and metered parking on streets and public parking lots (closest is located at Union Station).

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

(The following information is taken from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s website) The museum entrance is located on Madison Dr. NW, between 9th St NW and 12 St NW (Google Map). The museum exit is located at 10th St. NW & Constitution Ave. NW. 

The closest Metro stations to the museum are the Federal Triangle Metro station, located on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines; the Archives/Navy Memorial station on the Green and Yellow lines; and the Metro Center station on the Red line. View a map of the closest Metro stations.

There are no Smithsonian Institution public parking facilities on the National Mall. On-street meter parking options are available but please be advised to carefully check the days and hours of enforcement posted on the parking meters and curbside signs. There are designated parking spaces for people with disabilities around the National Mall. View the Smithsonian Accessibility Map (PDF).


As in previous RPTF meetings, we have set aside a fixed block of rooms at the Capitol Hill Hotel, which is near the conference main venue at the Madison Building of the Library of Congress. We have been given a favorable rate for the area, but there is no requirement to stay there specifically, so feel free to explore lodging options. If you are booking at the Capitol Hill Hotel, please use the following information:

Please advise guests to use the link below or call 202-448-2097 and request the rate for “Library of Congress – Radio Preservation Task Force Conference”. When using the link, guests must choose the check-in date, check-out date, and select “confirm dates of stay.”  https://reservations.travelclick.com/112942?groupID=3572577. This block is reserved for us to book until March 27.

Note: The RPTF’s directors and conference committee assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in any of the above information. This is only suggested information. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness. Attendees should use their own discretion when making decisions about lodging and transportation to the event.