Presidential Recordings Program

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall in the Oval Office? Now you can through the work of the Presidential Recordings Program at the University Of Virginia. They are making digitally available the secret White House recordings of six US presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. The collection currently includes almost 5,000 hours of sound.

Researchers are able to download finding aids and large files of the complete audio. For the curious browser, the most interesting section is probably the Transcript+Audio pages, where you can browse through short clips of some of the more interesting sound bites of the collection. There are online exhibits where you can hear presidential audio centered around important historical events, like Martin Luther King’s assassination or Watergate, and there is also a section of resources for teachers.

— Jessica Hronchek, Reference Librarian

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