80 years of radio

The collections put together since the 1930s, which Ina inherited in 1975, contain all types of radio programme from both public and private radio stations. These collections have been enriched ever since and grow day by day within the framework of the legal deposit.

Public and private radios (1933-1944)

The oldest document Ina has in its collections is a recording of the voice of Gustave Eiffel, which dates from 1891, but radio-related collections date mainly from 1933. In the 1930s, they came from state-backed radios (Paris PTT, Radio Paris, Poste colonial), private radios (Poste Parisien, Radio Cité, Radio Nîmes, Radio 37), and reports from the sound agency Radio Actualités Françaises.

The archive contains programmes dating from the Second World War from Radio Paris (in the occupied France), Radio Vichy (in the unoccupied area), the BBC’s Frnch team, and the BBC itself, Radio France Alger and Radio Brazzaville (France Libre).

In addition, there are documents from local archives in the Puy de Dôme area (programmes broadcast in 1943-1944 on Radio Vichy) and from the Contemporary International Documentation Library (BDIC): programmes broadcast on Radio Vichy taken from the belongings seized from Marshall Pétain.

Public radio stations (from 1945 to the present day)

Public radio since 1945

Ina preserves programmes broadcast on the national and regional stations of RDF (Radiodiffusion Française, 1945-1949), RTF (Radiodiffusion télévision française, 1949-1964), ORTF (Office de radiodiffusion télévision française, 1964-1974) and Radio France (since 1974).

Over the decade from 1980 to 1990, sample days of programmes have been entirely recorded for the following stations: France Culture, France info, France Inter, France Musique, Radio France Internationale (RFI), France Inter Paris (FIP), Radio France Fréquence Nord, Radio 7, Radio France Melun, Radio Solidarité.

In addition, Ina has preserved the programmes of France’s overseas radiodiffusion company SORAFOM broadcast between 1955 and 1962 and documents from the radiophonic cooperation office OCORA broadcast from 1962 to 1968. 

Radio France radio stations since 1994

Following the Law of 20 June 1992 on the legal deposit of radio and television entrusted to Ina, five Radio France stations (France Culture, France Info, France Inter, France Musique, Radio bleu) were recorded 24/7 from 1994 onwards, and entire days of broadcasts were preserved

In 2012, Le Mouv’, a Radio France FM station joined them. Gradually, filmed radio programmes will be included in these collections, RFI, recorded for legal deposit since March 1999, signed an agreement on safeguarding and preservation of 25,000 hours of programmes broadcast from 1987 to 2004, including the emblematic  “Journaux d’Afrique” (News from Africa).

Finally, as part of the extension of the legal deposit to regional media, France Bleu’s 44 local radio stations were picked up starting in 2016. As many as 66 radio stations are preserved today in the legal deposit, including private radios.

Private radio stations since 1945

Several radio collections from various radio production companies and private radio stations have been acquired by or given to Ina as a donation. This is the case of the programmes broadcast by The Voice of America’s Paris station, information from the US government, between 1947 and 1975. It is also the case of the Gaston l’Herbier collection, named after a radio technician, which consists in a selection of programmes broadcast mainly by Radio Luxembourg (then RTL) between 1947 and 1980.

Meanwhile, the collection of the “Banque de programmes” association, which in the 1980s organised the FM Festival, contains a selection of programmes broadcast between 1982 and 1985 on nearly 150 local private radios. Finally, entire days of broadcasts (24 hours) from Europe 1, RMC and RTL were recorded between 1980 and 1990.

Private radio stations since 2001

From the year 2001, as part of the legal deposit, the collection extended to programmes from general and theme-based private radio stations (music, the economy, entertainment), which were recorded and preserved in their entirety 24/7.

Then, historic peripheral radios (RMC, RTL, Europe 1) were included within the scope of the legal deposit, along with FM radios with a national coverage: Chérie FM, Europe 2 (qui became Virgin Radio in 2008), Fun Radio, Nostalgie and RTL 2, NRJ and Skyrock, RFM.

In December 2008, BFM and Radio Classique were added to their number, followed by Rire et chansons in September 2009.

"Pirate", “free” and association-run radios

As part of the legal deposit, Ina also manages a collection devoted to so-called “pirate” or “free” radio stations in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Carbone 14, Radio Lorraine heart of steel, Génération 2000, Radio FLIP, Radio Verte and Paris 80. The collection was built up thanks to donations and contains not only recordings in a variety of formats, but also, some precious written documents.

The EPRA (Radiophonic Exchanges and Productions) collection, formed of 27,000 programmes, is also part of the sound archives being incorporated into the Ina collections. For over 20 years, EPRA, a public interest body, allowed for the financing and broadcasting of programmes intended to help immigrant populations become integrated in France. These programmes were produced by over 150 stations on the FM wavelength, more often than not by local or association-run stations.

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