Historical radio advertising archive

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Tape collection of the HWA in the magazine of the Regensburg University Library

The historical radio advertising archive (HWA) of the University of Regensburg represents a unique collection of radio advertising broadcasts from the years 1948 to 1987. With around 50,000 - mostly German-speaking - radio spots of various brands and products, it is one of the largest radio advertising archives worldwide.


The archive was left to the University of Regensburg by Erwin H. Geldmacher, honorary professor at the University of the Arts Berlin. The recordings stored on around 8,000 analog magnetic tapes come from the Frankfurt recording studio (1948–1977), whose director was Geldmacher, and the subsequent Fischer Studio, Bad Soden am Taunus (1978–1987). Contrary to the usual practice at the time, Geldmacher advocated the systematic collection and archiving of advertising photos from the start . Until January 2003, the archive was housed with Bayerische Rundfunkwerbung (the advertising subsidiary of Bayerischer Rundfunk ) in Munich, but had to be removed from there due to lack of space and was left to the University of Regensburg with the condition that the commercials were digitized and made available for research and teaching deliver. In July 2004, the historical radio advertising archive at the University of Regensburg was inaugurated.


In order to save the tape recordings from physical deterioration and to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the audio documents, the collection was digitized in the MultiMediaZentrum of the Regensburg University Library. This project was funded by the German Research Foundation from January 2005 to March 2008 as part of the “Cultural Tradition” funding area.

HWA database

The radio spots can be accessed and researched via a database on the Internet. A simple and an extended search mask are available for research, and it is also possible to leaf through the entire inventory by brand, product group and year of production.

Access to the radio spots

The advertising images are available for research and teaching free of charge or for a small processing fee. Private and commercial use are regulated by a fee schedule. All orders require the signing of a user agreement. Further information can be obtained from the contact persons of the historical radio advertising archive.


  • Gabriele Gerber / Sandra Reimann: White giant and Persil woman: The historical radio advertising archive of the University of Regensburg . In: Blick in die Wissenschaft 15 (2006) 18, pp. 56–61.
  • Gabriele Gerber: The historical radio advertising archive - a digitization project of the University Library Regensburg , Berlin: Institute for Library and Information Science of the Humboldt University of Berlin, 2006. - (Berlin handouts for library and information science, 185).
  • The fascination of radio advertising - in flux: The historical radio advertising archive of the University of Regensburg / Ed. Sandra Reimann. - 1st edition - Regensburg: edition vulpes, 2006. - 119 pp. ISBN 3-939112-10-0 .

A complete list of publications is available on the HWA website.

See also

German broadcast archive

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ List of publications