Boston University BBC Radio 4

Alistair Cooke did more than translate the American experience to United Kingdom, he did what only the best journalists do: he educated us about our world.

In March 1946, Alistair Cooke began a weekly broadcast for the BBC called AMERICAN LETTERS. The name was changed to LETTER FROM AMERICA in 1950, and continued for more than 2,860 broadcasts, ending in 2004. The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center holds nearly 2,500 of the manuscripts read by Alistair Cooke for these weekly broadcasts. The documents exist in a variety of formats, including transcripts and annotated photocopies, but most are the original heavily annotated and corrected typescript manuscripts prepared by Alistair Cooke.

BBC Radio 4 holds an extensive collection of audio recordings of Alistair Cooke's original broadcasts. The LETTER FROM AMERICA collaborative between HGARC and BBC Radio 4, with the permission of Cooke Americas RLLP, creates a bridge between America and United Kingdom. This website is a portal where researchers may study the details of these rich manuscripts and with a ‘click' link to the pages of BBC Radio 4 and listen to the voice that was, for decades, a lifeline to millions. The combination of both collections is an invaluable resource for scholars and fans; it is a collaboration that will grow and compound the rich legacy of Alistair Cooke.