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Communication Research Guide

Physical Speeches in the Library

From the Library Book Collection

Look in the Library catalog - Do a subject search under Speeches or an author search under the author or a key word search like king speeches or kennedy speeches or newman sermons.

Look in the main stacks for Reference Collection items
  • Speech Index or its Supplement (PN 4001 S86)
  • Index to American Women Speakers, 1828-1978 (PN 4055 U5 M35)
  • We Shall Be Heard: An Index to Speeches by American Women, 1978 to 1985 (PN 4055 U5 M352 1988)
  • American Orators Before 1900: Critical Studies and Sources (PN 4055 U5 A4 1987)
  • American Orators of the Twentieth Century: Critical Studies and Sources (PN 4193 P6 A44 1987)
  • Facts on File (D 410 F3, 1941-2007))
  • Keesing's Record of World Events (D 410 K4, 1931-2007)
  • Historic Documents of [Year] (E 839.5 H57) We have 1972-1995
Look in the book stacks on the 3rd floor
  • Representative American Speeches (PS 668 B3) - Our collection goes from 1939 up to the present.
Look in the Government Documents
  • Congressional Floor Action and Debate - includes statements and speeches from the Congressional Record
  • Congressional Hearings and Prints - includes transcripts of statements made before Congressional hearings
  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the U.S. (Docs AE 2.114)

Finding Speeches Online

Here are some suggestions for finding the text and audio of speeches online.

From Library Databases and Periodicals
  • New York Times - Historical File - complete fulltext of the New York Times from 1851-2006, including text of speeches.
  • Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century - contains digitized film and video clips covering the social, cultural, and political history of the 20th century from 1893 to 1989, including speeches of leading figures.
  • Vital Speeches of the Day - prints in full the important addresses of contemporary leaders of public opinion from 1934 to the present, with an emphasis on government and business leaders. From 1934-1999 look in the microform area under microfilm MF165. From 1999 to 2003 look in the Periodicals Collection under PN 6121 V52. A cumulative index covering 1934-1959 is available. Vital Speeches of the Day is also available through the Academic Search Elite database from 1985 to the present.
  • Newspapers are also a good source for speeches. Check either the same day or a day or two after the speech is delivered in various newspapers in the Periodicals Collection for recent issues or in the Microform area for older issues.

Databases for Content for Communication Speeches

These databases cover current events and may be especially good for finding information for speeches.  For other ideas, please Ask a Librarian.