What is the Museum all about?
The NCRTV Museum shows the listener and viewer side of both radio and television broadcasting over nearly a century, primarily receivers and related items. The Museum can be visited on your own, or you can take a free guided tour.
Where is the Museum located?
The Museum is located in Bowie, Maryland just off the junction of Routes 50 and 301, between Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, Md. For additional directions please click on this link here.
Are there other things to see in the same area?
Absolutely—starting with the other Bowie museums.
When is the Museum open?
The Museum is open three days a week at present: Fridays from 9am to 4pm, and both Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12pm to 4pm. In the event of a major holiday or extreme weather, the Museum may be closed, so please call ahead: (301) 390-1020.
Is the Museum near any public transit?
Unfortunately not, it really does require a car. We have free parking right next to the Museum.
What does it cost to visit?
Visiting the Museum is FREE. We welcome your donations.
Do you offer tours?
The Museum does offer tours. You may tour the Museum on your own, or take an introductory tour with one of the docents who are always on duty during our regular hours (see above).
Can the Museum accommodate group visits?
Yes, but due to space and personnel limitations, please contact our office first at (301) 390-1020. We regularly provide tours to school groups and retirement communities.
Are the Museum’s exhibits accessible?
In part, yes. The Museum is located in a century-old farmhouse, and the second floor does require use of a stairway (there is no elevator), but the first floor galleries are fully accessible, and there is a virtual tour of what is on the second floor.
Can I experience old radio and TV programs?
The Museum has large collections of both and you can hear or see them on vintage receivers. Here are lists of many of the radio programs and a list of TV shows in the Museum’s collections.
Do you have any special collections?
The Museum has a number of special collections, such as a collection of early ham equipment, World War I equipment, radio station studio equipment, it’s now on display. From time to time such equipment will be featured in special temporary exhibits. The Museum also has an extensive library but much of it is also stored offsite. Those wishing to do historical research should contact the curator.
Is there a museum shop?
Yes. The Museum has a small shop, but also offers items for sale on this website. At the present time, the Museum offers books about radio and television history and engineering (many long out of print), restored vintage radios, and thousands of vacuum tubes. The Museum also sells limited numbers of radio and television-related items.
Who owns and operates the Museum?
The Museum is managed by a paid executive director and an administrative assistant, and operated by 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
How old is the Museum?
The Museum opened in June 1999.
Do you have exhibits elsewhere?
In addition to the museum in Bowie, the Museum maintains and exhibit of early radio and television receivers on display at the Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland.
Do you accept donations?
As with most museums, yes! The National Capital Radio & Television Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and welcomes donations. Because of limited storage space; however, please contact our curator if you would like to donate radio or television receivers or related equipment. We also have a list of items we are seeking for exhibit. The Museum also accepts financial and in-kind donations. Please contact the office at (301) 390-1020 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in donating in-kind items or providing financial support.
How can I help out?
In addition to donations (see previous question), the Museum welcomes those who would like to volunteer to help. While knowledge of some aspect of radio and television is hugely helpful, it’s not required. There are many potential roles—acting as a tour guide (docent), helping design and build exhibits, repairing old radios and televisions, and many other jobs that need doing. If you are interested, please contact the Museum.