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The Last Archive​ is a show about the history of truth, and the historical context for our current fake news, post-truth moment. It’s a show about how we know what we know, and why it seems, these days, as if we don’t know anything at all anymore. The show is driven by host Jill Lepore’s work as a historian uncovering the secrets of the past the way a detective might.

The Last Archive is a history show. Our evidence is the evidence of history, the evidence of archives. Learn more about how we turned historical record into a podcast.

People have asked about teaching The Last Archive. We are here to help! There’s lots in the show that can be used in college or high school classes, and even some middle school classes. Learn more about how to teach The Last Archive.

Most Recent Episode

The Returns: Hush Rush

Each week on ‘The Returns,’ we pull a different episode from our archive to help put our present politics into historical context.  In the 1980s, Rush Limbaugh transformed talk radio.…

The Returns: An Election Mini-Series from The Last Archive

Election Year 2024 is upon us. And it promises to be a bit of a mess. But where did all this mess come from? In a 4-episode mini-series drawing from…

The Krononauts

In our season finale, we travel through time.


In the 1940s, a freelance wiretapper named Big Jim Vaus got mixed up with the cops, the mob, and the most famous evangelist in America. This week on The Last…

Acting Out

In the 1930s, at a women's reformatory in upstate New York, an upstart social scientist made a study that launched the field of social network analysis. It was revolutionary, but…

Parakeet Panic

When invasive parakeets began to spread in New York City in the 1970s, the government decided it needed to kill them all. Today: The offbeat panic about wild parrots, and…

The Word For Man Is Ishi

In 1911, a Native American man, the only member of his community to survive a genocide, encountered the new Anthropology department at the University of California, Berkeley. What happened next…

Player Piano

This week on The Last Archive, the story of the composer Raymond Scott’s lifelong quest to build an automatic songwriting machine, and what it means for our own AI-addled, ChatGPT…

The Last Archive: Season 4 Trailer

This upcoming season on The Last Archive: early artificial intelligence, the forgotten origins of social network theory, invasive species panics, freelance wiretappers, time travelers, and science fiction family histories. How…

The Hosts