On Monday, December 5, 2022, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives was privileged to host a visit by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Inc. President Jamie Fly. Mr. Fly was given a tour of the archival collections by Hoover archival staff, including Tanya Yule and Sarah Cassone (pictured) who provided descriptive content for the RFE/RL Broadcast and Corporate records respectively. The RFE/RL records and numerous related collections of private papers of employees, such as Sig Mickelson, Arch Puddington, Ferdinand Peroutka, Alexander Vardy, Gene Sosin, Brutus Coste, Liviu Floda, Garip Sultan, and many others—in languages ranging from Albanian to Uzbek —are available to the public for research in the reading room. The Broadcast records alone are housed in some 15,000 archival boxes, taking up a length equivalent to over 25 football fields.
Mr. Fly also met with Eric Wakin, director of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives to discuss new initiatives to increase public awareness and stimulate research based on the richness of these collections. The RFE/RL and related records held by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives since 1999 provide a wealth of information on the Cold War and the challenges of news broadcasting in the Internet age based on the pathbreaking work of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty from their first broadcasts in the 1950s to their renewed role in the information landscape of the present. The history of RFE/RL and the role of news, factual reporting, propaganda, counter-propaganda, and disinformation during the Cold War offer numerous lessons for research today.