City Arts & Lectures online archive

What do Steve Martin, Barbara Boxer, Rosemary Clooney, Stephen King, Salman Rushdie, Linda Ronstadt, and Maurice Sendak have in common?  Along with hundreds of other writers, artists, and thinkers, they have been featured on the City Arts & Lectures radio program.

As mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle, the UC Berkeley Library has created an online archive of these interviews.

These are available to the general public on computers in our libraries (we suggest bringing your own headphones).   Under the terms of our license agreement, only current Cal students, faculty, and staff members can also access them online as described below.

To call up a list of the programs, go to our OskiCat library catalog and search: city arts and lectures. Click on the title of a program, then look for the link labeled “Restricted to UCB”.  Clicking on this link should start the program using RealPlayer software.

Copies of these programs (in audio or transcript form) are not available for sale.


Cal students, faculty, and staff wishing to listen to these programs using off-campus computers should have either the Virtual Private Network (VPN) software or the proxy server setting active. For more information on these options, see Connecting from Off Campus.

Some users have reported problems accessing these files. Here is some information that may help.

In our testing, the VPN seems to generate fewer problems with the City Arts & Lectures files, though it does require that you download the VPN client, install it, run it before each session, and disconnect it when finished.

With the proxy server, you may get an error message indicating that you don’t have permission to access the file. Our staff report that these solutions may work for some users:

  • On a Windows PC, with RealPlayer 11 or later and RealPlayer SP
    If you are using Firefox with the proxy set up:
    Click on the URL of the audio file.
    You should be prompted to log in if you aren’t already.
    After you log in, you will be asked to download a .ram file.
    Select “Open with” and select “RealPlayer” from the dropdown menu.
    Click OK.
    Realplayer should launch automatically and play the file shortly.

  • If you are using Internet Explorer with the proxy set up:
    Click on the URL of the audio file.
    You should be prompted to log in if you aren’t already.
    After you login, Realplayer should launch automatically.
    If the file doesn’t start playing shortly, go to Tools-> Preferences in RealPlayer.
    A new window will open and on the left side bar, click on “Proxy” under “Connection”.
    Click on “Change Settings” at the BOTTOM under “Streaming Settings”.
    Under “HTTP Proxy” select “No Proxy”. Try opening the audio file again.

  • On a Macintosh, with RealPlayer 11 or later
    you may get an error message as described above.
    Possible solutions:
    * Download the file as described in this UCLA Knowledge Base article, or
    * Use RealPlayer 10.

  • If these solutions do not work for you, we recommend using the VPN instead of the proxy server.