Alistair Cooke Collection

The Alistair Cooke Collection at Boston University

Thanks to his duties as host of the cultural programs Omnibus and Masterpiece Theatre, Alistair Cooke (1908 - 2004) came to be seen as an arbiter of highbrow arts and entertainment for many Americans and, as such, he became a television icon. Yet he was much more than just an erudite broadcaster; over a long and distinguished career, he proved to be a consummate journalist and an insightful social historian. For more than a quarter century, Cooke was the United States correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian or the Manchester Guardian as it was formerly known. In addition, he filed a weekly "Letter from America" on BBC radio, a 15-minute broadcast. He received numerous accolades and honors in his lifetime, including three Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award for International Reporting, and several honorary degrees. In 1973, Cooke was made a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

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The Alistair Cooke website at Boston University allows researchers to search the entire Alistair Cooke Archive through an electronic finding aid by using subjects, names or dates. The description of the manuscripts, letters, photographs, awards, notes and notebooks, and memorabilia that comprise the collection are accessed after clicking on "SEARCH THE COLLECTION".

Search the holdings of scripts for Alistair Cooke's LETTER FROM AMERICA program by subject, name and date, after clicking on "LETTER FROM AMERICA". These searches return results only from the LFA manuscripts which have been scanned and prepared for viewing online, and tagged by descriptions of the subjects and important individuals mentioned in the broadcast. Researchers will also find direct links to BBC Radio 4 where the audio of each broadcast is available for listening. New LFA manuscripts will be added every week.