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Template:FCC history cards

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 Template:FCC history cards is deprecated.›FCC History Cards for {{{2}}}

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Generates a web-link for the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) database to retrieve the history cards (PDF documents) of the specified station.

Usage

{{FCC history cards|1=Facility ID|2=Callsign}}

Parameters:

  • 1 - the facility ID, required
  • 2 - the station callsign, required

Examples:

Code Result
{{FCC history cards|28617|WFAN}}  Template:FCC history cards is deprecated.›FCC History Cards for WFAN
{{FCC history cards|38338|WKJY}}  Template:FCC history cards is deprecated.›FCC History Cards for WKJY

Resource information

The FCC "History Cards" were collections of 5 by 8 inch index cards, maintained for each AM, FM and TV broadcasting station. They were introduced in early 1927, at the time of the establishment of the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), replacing separate card files that had been maintained by the Commerce Department. (Commerce had regulated U.S. radio broadcasting from 1920 to 1927.) The History Cards were stored in large, publicly accessible pull-out trays. They were individually updated using typewriters, and were used until 1980, when they were replaced by the computerized Broadcast Application Processing System (BAPS).

As part of the changeover, the History Cards for active stations were copied to microfiche as reversed monochrome images. Subsequently the FCC converted the microfiche images to PDF files, that were made accessible online.

The original card sets were sorted alphabetically by station call letters, however, the FCC PDF file copies are accessed via a station's Facility ID assigned by the FCC's Consolidated Database System (CDBS).

History Card organization
FCC PDF file version Original card appearance
The first set of cards in an individual station's card deck were "buff" colored. The front of these cards were labeled "Broadcasting Station License Record", and they were used to record basic station data, including current owner information, and transmitter and studio site information.
KDKA FCC History Card (PDF) license record card number 1 (front).jpg
KDKA FCC History Card license record card number 1 (front).jpg
The backs of this first series of cards were labeled "Construction Permit and License Record". Recorded here was chronological summary information about Construction Permits, plus license grants and renewals
KDKA FCC History Card (PDF) license record card number 1 (back).jpg
KDKA FCC History Card license record card number 1 (back).jpg
The second series in an individual station's card deck, which was initially called "Station Application Record" and later "Application Record - Broadcasting", summarized chronologically a station's applications. These cards were white in color.

Although most of the History Card files only include information starting with the 1927 establishment of the Federal Radio Commission, in at least one case, KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, someone later included information from the earlier Department of Commerce files starting in October 1920.

KDKA FCC History Card (PDF) application record card number 1.jpg
KDKA FCC History Card application record card number 1.jpg
In a small number of cases there was a third series of cards, "Record of Applications Requesting Facilities of Broadcasting Station", which recorded information about competing applications to eliminate a station facilities. These competing application cards were reddish in color.
KYW-KFKX FCC History Card (PDF) competing applications card number 2.jpg
KYW-KFKX FCC History Card competing applications card number 2.jpg

See also