M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the
PAPERS, 1941-2004

(MSS-135 and MSS-134)

For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518) 437-3935

Finding Aid compiled by
Nicholas Webb
July 2009


M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: .83 cubic ft.

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, in 200x.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Series Descriptions

Box and Folder List:

Name of Collection Papers
Biographical Note

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Dorothy Sweeney (nee Langley) was born in Amsterdam, N.Y. in 1923. After graduating from high school in 1941 she worked as a secretary at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., where her brother Edward was an actor on WGY, G.E.'s AM radio station. When WGY's sound effects artist was drafted later that year, Dorothy was hired to replace him.

After two years at WGY Dorothy Sweeney moved to New York City and enrolled at the Radio and Television Institute to pursue a professional career in sound effects. In January 1944 she was hired at WOR, the Manhattan-based flagship station of the Mutual Broadcasting System. She worked at WOR until 1946, when she married returning serviceman John Sweeney and returned to Amsterdam to raise a family. In 2004 Sweeney was interviewed by the University at Albany's Oral History Program.[1]

This collection also contains material which originally belonged to Dolores Carrara. Carrara worked at WGY and at television station WRGB, probably as an actress, during the late 1940s. No biographical information on Carrara is available.


return to biographical note

1. McGuire, Mark. "Listen while she works: Sound effects artist Dorothy Sweeney helped make the heyday of radio come alive." Albany Times-Union, 21 March 2004, p. I1.

Name of Collection Papers
Scope and Content Note

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This collection contains scripts and memorabilia related to the broadcasting careers of Dorothy Sweeney and Dolores Carrara.

Dorothy Sweeney's career as a sound effects artist at WGY and WOR is represented by a number of scripts from programs on which she worked. These scripts are typically marked up with pen or pencil to indicate sound cues. Programs represented include crime and detective dramas such as Nick Carter and The FBI in Action, horror stories such as The Strange Doctor Weird and The Sealed Book, and World War II propaganda programs such as John Smith: American and The People vs. Adolf Hitler. A set of WOR promotional photographs show Sweeney demonstrating how she uses various household objects to create sound effects. Memorabilia includes several radio trade magazines, a 1945 technical manual on the creation of sound effects, and Sweeney's New York City pistol license, which she maintained so that she could fire blanks during the recording of action sequences. The series also includes cassettes and transcripts of Sweeney's 2003-2004 interviews with the University at Albany Oral History Project.

Dolores Carrara's career at WGY and WRGB is represented by a collection of scripts. Their highlighting suggests that Carrara was an actress, although the collection does not contain any independent documentation of her activities. Television programs in the collection include episodes of Dear Chollie and The Ted Malone Show and an adaptation of Jane Eyre. The majority of radio scripts are episodes of The FBI in Action.

Name of Collection Papers
Series Descriptions

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Series 1: Dorothy Sweeney, 1941-2004, .66 cubic ft.

This series consists primarily of scripts from the various radio programs on which Dorothy Sweeney worked. Scripts are organized alphabetically by title. Of interest are FM Playhouse scripts for plays by Langston Hughes ("Brothers"), Norman Corwin ("This is War: To the Young"), Woody Guthrie and Peter Lyon ("Girl in the Red, White and Blue"), Pearl S. Buck ("American Family") and a half dozen by Arch Oboler. The series also includes various other pieces of memorabilia, including WOR promotional photographs, trade magazines, a technical manual, and Sweeney's New York City pistol licenses, as well as cassettes and transcripts of Sweeney's 2003-2004 Oral History Project interviews.

Series 2: Dolores Carrara, 1946-1947, .17 cubic ft.

This series contains scripts marked as belonging to Dolores Carrara. It includes eleven television scripts from WRGB and seven radio scripts from WGY. The television scripts are listed alphabetically by title, while the radio scripts, which consist primarily of episodes of The FBI in Action, are listed chronologically.

Dorothy Sweeney & Dolores Carrara Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Dorothy Sweeney, 1941-2004

Box 1

1. Anniversary Program, undated
2. The Count of Monte Cristo, 1944
3. "The Creation" from God's Trombones, 1944
4. Day of Reckoning, Council for Democracy: "The People vs. Adolf Hitler," 1943
5. Extra, Extra, 1943
6. FBI in Action, 1943
7. FM Playhouse, 1941
8. FM Playhouse, January 1942 - August 1942
9. FM Playhouse, September 1942 - October 1942
10. FM Playhouse, November 1942 - December 1942

Box 2

1. FM Playhouse, January 1943 - March 1943
2. FM Playhouse, April 1943 - November 1943
3. John Smith: American, 1943
4. The Mysterious Traveler: "Concerto of Death," 1945
5. Nick Carter, 1944
6. The Sealed Book, circa 1944
7. Special Army Scripts, undated
8. The Strange Doctor Weird: "The Voice of Death," 1945
9. To The President: "The Special Day," 1943
10. Photographs, 1944
11. News Clippings, 1945
12. Correspondence, 1943, 1946; WOR corporate ID; New York City pistol licenses, 1944-1946
13. Radio Row and Tune In (periodicals), 1945
14. Radio Sound Effects (book), 1945
15. Oral History Transcript, 2003-2004
16. Oral History Cassettes, 2003-2004

Dorothy Sweeney & Dolores Carrara Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 2: Dolores Carrara, 1946-1947

Box 3

1. WRGB Scripts, 1946-1947
  1. "Dear Chollie," undated
  2. "Enchanted Hours," 25 October 1946
  3. "Jane Eyre," undated
  4. "Memo to Heaven," undated
  5. "Number, Please," 3 December 1947
  6. "One Part Genius," undated
  7. "Picture Puzzles," undated
  8. Program on Rembrandt, no title given, undated
  9. "Ranchhouse Serial," undated
  10. "The Ted Malone Show," 18 March 1946
  11. "Was My Face Red," 22 April 1947 [first page only]
2. WGY Scripts, 1946-1947
  1. "The Future Begins Now," 21 January 1946
  2. "The FBI in Action," 13 September 1946
  3. "The FBI in Action," 20 September 1946
  4. "The FBI in Action," 27 September 1946
  5. "The FBI in Action," 24 January 1947
  6. "The FBI in Action," 14 March 1947
  7. "The FBI in Action," 18 April 1947

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Last updated July 22, 2009