Audio recordings constitute the definitive record of radio broadcasts, lectures, and oral histories produced during the twentieth century. Highlights include sound recordings of Cold War radio; Ronald Reagan radio addresses; the NSZZ Solidarity movement; and the signing of the United Nations Charter. Formats include phonograph discs, open-reel tapes, cassettes, digital tape media, optical discs, and digital files.

Collage of sound recording media at the Hoover Institution Archives (Image by Rachel Bauer)

Hear the recording and read our audio engineer's story of its discovery


United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings

Founding conference of the United Nations, 1945

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Broadcast Records

US radio broadcasting organization

Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service Miscellaneous Records

US government agency monitoring foreign radio broadcasts during World War II

Commonwealth Club of California Records

Private nonprofit for the study of public issues based in San Francisco

Mont Pèlerin Society Records

International organization of laissez-faire economists

Milton Friedman Papers

US economist

Ronald Reagan Radio Commentary Sound Recordings

Radio series featuring Ronald Reagan, 1975–79

Chicago Boys and Latin American Market Reformers Collection

Economists associated with the University of Chicago

Helen Praeger Young Interviews

US historian; interviews of women veterans of the Chinese Long March

NSZZ Solidarność Records

Polish trade union and political movement


See More:

Recorded Sound in Archival Collections     Recorded Sound in Library Materials
Solidarnosc High Noon Poster

Labor Organization NSZZ Solidarność Audiotapes Digitized

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five hundred and thirty audiotapes of meetings of the Polish Solidarność trade union have been digitized for preservation and access by Hoover’s audio lab. The Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity, formed in 1980 under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa, became a pro-democracy and anticommunist political and social movement. Its recordings, which comprise the NSZZ Solidarność Records at the Hoover Archives, offer an inside look at labor, economic, and political conditions in Poland during the pivotal period from 1980 to 1991.


Conference on Peace Research, Education and Development sound recordings in the Hoover Archives

Monday, April 29, 2013

Building on its rich collections related to peacemaking and diplomacy, the Hoover Institution has now obtained audiocassettes of the proceedings of the national Conference on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED) held November 7-10, 1984. The conference brought together leading peace activists and political figures to discuss global challenges in security, institution building, conflict management, nuclear nonproliferation, and the role of public diplomacy in easing international tensions and improving international understanding.


Institute for Humane Studies’ Audiotapes Digitized

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nearly one hundred and fifty audiotapes of lectures delivered at the Institute for Humane Studies have been digitized for preservation and access by Hoover’s audio lab. The institute is a US nonprofit organization that promotes laissez-faire economics. The tapes include lectures on economics and political theory by Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, John Jewkes, Arthur Kemp, Felix Morley, Bruno Leoni, Jacques Rueff, and others.

this is an image

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Latvian Service Audiotapes Digitized

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hoover’s entire collection of audiotapes created by RFE/RL’s Latvian Language Service has been digitized for preservation and access. Use copies of the recordings are available for listening at the Hoover Archives.


Himmler Sound Recordings Digitized

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

More than two dozen audiotapes in the Heinrich Himmler papers have been digitized by Hoover’s audio lab for both preservation and access. Many are Himmler’s speeches to police and military leaders, including Volksgrenadier officers, SS Panzerkorps commanders, Waffen SS commanders, and Ordnungspolizei leaders. Two tapes with voices in English may be from a bugged meeting of British and American POWs in a German camp. Some recordings are fragmentary; although most were recorded in 1943 and 1944, one tape is from 1940.

Tarsaidze Papers Digitized

Eugene Lyons’s Sound Recordings Digitized

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tape and disc recordings of Russian American journalist and author Eugene Lyons are now available for listening, having been digitized in Hoover's audio lab. Most are speeches by Lyons about conditions and events in the Soviet Union and the communist influence in the United States, with several recordings focusing on communism in Hollywood. Another is a spoken letter to a Polish youth on the meaning of Polish ethnicity in the United States and the nature of oppression in the two countries. The recordings, which date from the 1940s to the 1960s, are part of the Eugene Lyons papers.

Milton Friedman Sound Recordings Digitized

Milton Friedman Sound Recordings Digitized

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More than two hundred fifty audiotapes in the Milton Friedman papers are available for listening after having been digitized by Hoover's audio lab. The earliest, recorded in 1961, captures a debate between Friedman and Senator Joseph Clark on the proper role of the federal government in which Friedman frames his argument around a critique of John F. Kennedy's inaugural address.

Tapes had been stored individually on the shelves

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Tape Boxing Project Completed

Images of the ambitious project to box, label, and accurately count the 80,000 seven-inch open-reel audiotapes.

an image

What's in a Label?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The label said "General Stilwell's talk to Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Feb. 13 1946," but could it be trusted? I've written about the problems with labels before.




Contact L&A For assistance contact hooverarchives [at] stanford [dot] edu or 650-723-3563

Hoover Archivists' Musings: The Fragility of Youth

Jim Sam, Hoover audio engineer: "For some, audio preservation is a black art, and I am not going to help that...." Read more.

Need a copy?

Close-up of "Through Polish Eyes" poster. UK 3412, Poster collection, Hoover Ins