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The late Ernest C. Marriner, a 1913 graduate of Colby College who went on to become an English professor, dean, and ultimately a historian of the college, was best known in Waterville for his radio series, “Little Talks on Common Things,” which aired on WTVL for 34 years.

Recently Special Collections in Colby’s Miller Library digitized 23 of the programs and compiled the recordings on six CDs, which are now available at the library, through Maine Info Net, or for purchase. The CDs and copies of the scripts that Marriner used for each broadcast can be borrowed from Colby’s library or they can be purchased ($60 for the set, plus shipping) by contacting Special Collections Librarian Patricia Burdick ( or 207-859-5151).

“Little Talks,” which aired from 1948 to 1982 was, in its later years, the longest continuously running radio broadcast in the nation under the same sponsor. It was a weekly broadcast that addressed a wide range of Maine-related topics. The project to preserve and make available the recordings was funded by a grant from the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.