Category Archives: Society for American Archivists

Archival Podcasts

Can’t get enough of historical research? Living history? Thinking about times past? This list was pulled together for the Society of American Archivists’ Reference, Access and Outreach Section newsletter.

Podcasts are audio broadcasts delivered via an RSS feed or through a website. You can listen to them on your computer, or you can listen to them on a digital audio player, such as an iPod or a Zune. There are usually presented in episode format and are published on a regular basis. There are two primary types of archival podcasts: podcasts that contain digitized audio material from their collections and podcasts of new material that are created by archives in order to promote materials, talk about events, and other similar things. Often, both of these types of podcasts are combined.

Here is a short list of archival podcasts that are available online.

  • Presidential Libraries Uncovered: A podcast from the National Archives and Records Administration which takes recorded audio of presidents from Hoover through Clinton talking about major policy initiatives, giving major speeches, or talking informally with friends and advisors. Recent episodes include Nixon talking about his 1972 trip to China, John F. Kennedy creating the Peace Corps, and Lyndon B. Johnson talking about his Great Society.
  • The Virtual Gramophone: Podcast from the Library and Archives of Canada which features digitized recordings of 78-rpm records and wax cylinders from their collections.
  • Podcasts from the Los Alamos Historical Society: A podcast from the Los Alamos Historical Society which primarily focuses on the Manhattan Project, nuclear technology, the Cold War, and (surprisingly enough) ranching.
  • Collections Up Close: A podcast from the Minnesota Historical Society which “tells the stories behind selected items in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections.”
  • Podcasts from the National Archives of the United Kingdom: This podcast “features a mix of lectures from top academics specifically aimed at pupils alongside radio-style investigations of historical topics using primary documents from the National Archives read by actors.”
  • Kansas Memory Podcast: This podcast features the stories of people from Kansas, both famous and not, as told through their letters, diaries, and other documents.
  • What Endures…: his podcast from the LSU Libraries Special Collections T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History features updates on Center projects and activities as well as featuring audio excerpts from their collections.

What would you like to hear?

Collecting, preserving, and sharing history

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Society for American Archivists
Saving Our Archives
MayDay 2007


MayDay is a time when archivists and other cultural heritage professionals take personal and professional responsibility for doing something simple, something that would make a difference when and if an emergency occurs.

Last year, while working as an archivist at Lane Community College, I gave a class on preparing for a disaster for Lane employees, and I never thought my former boss would be using our emergency resources less than a year later. On April 18th, 2007, the Archives experienced significant water damage due to a water leak. Information, photographs, and disaster resources can be found on the Archives and Records Management web page.

This disaster serves as a reminder to us all that preparing for an emergency is more than just an exercise we go through once a year …