The Collection


In 1995 WKBN Broadcasting Corporation began to donate its corporate archives, which included business records, marketing materials, broadcasting equipment, radio air check recordings and extensive television news film and videotape libraries.

The Business & Media Archives project is the legacy of Warren P. Williamson, Jr. (1900-1996), a pioneer radio and television broadcaster in the Mahoning Valley who founded WKBN Broadcasting Corporation in 1926. WKBN operated AM and FM radio stations and a UHF television station in the Mahoning Valley market until 1997. All of these stations were affiliates of the CBS Radio and Television Network. Fully realizing and appreciating the tremendous historical and educational value of the materials his company had accumulated since its founding, Mr. Williamson made the initial contribution of funds to start the Business and Media Archives of the Mahoning Valley in 1994. In 1995 WKBN Broadcasting Corporation began to donate its corporate archives, which included business records, marketing materials, broadcasting equipment, radio air check recordings and extensive television news film and videotape libraries. Since then other local media outlets and individuals have contributed historical materials to the Business and Media Archives the Mahoning Valley collection.

The collection started as a partnership between the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, Youngstown State University and the shareholders of the former WKBN Broadcasting Corporation.  In 2006 members of the Williamson Family formally transferred ownership of the collection to MVHS and established a fund within their family foundation for the Historical Society to maintain the collection into perpetuity.

The Collection

  • Over 2.5 million linear feet of 16mm news film from WKBN TV-27, covering the years 1955-1978.
  • More than 500,000 linear feet of news video in 3/4″, 1″ and Betacam formats covering the years 1978-1989
  • More than 21,000 phonograph records from the WKBN radio music library on 33-1/3 RPM; 45 RPM and 78 RPM discs.
  • Thousands of photographs and documents from the corporate records of WKBN Broadcasting Corporation.

A variety of transmitters, playback machines, editing machines, microphones, film and video cameras.