Primary sources: Speeches

Text, audio, and video versions of speeches, sermons, lectures, and other public addresses.

Suggested resources

This selective list includes some general bibliographies, gateways, and indexes along with some of the more extensive primary source collections available at Lafayette College. For more subject-specific resources or individual titles, consult the library's annotated list of research tools by subject, and follow suggestions for library catalog searches below.

American Rhetoric     Collection  
Collection of full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and other recorded media events. The site also includes sections devoted to rhetorical devices, Chrisitan rhetoric, 9/11 rhetoric, movie speeches, and political speeches.
Gifts of Speech     Collection  
Collection of speech texts by influential women from around the world.
Historic Documents     Collection  
Annual collection of primary sources covering significant events of the year. Includes materials such as speeches, international agreements, and reports from governments, NGOs, and other organizations. Each document is preceded by an introduction providing context and background.
History Out Loud     Collection  
Audio collection of politically significant speeches and interviews, primarily from the 1960s and 1970s. Includes transcripts.
"I Do Solemnly Swear . . ."    Collection  
Collection of digital files from every inauguration from George Washington's in 1789 to Barack Obama's in 2009. Includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music.
Presidential     Collection  
An archive of selected presidential speeches dating back to George Washington.
Speech Index     Index 
Location: Skillman Ref PN4021 .S64x
Index to collections of world famous orations and speeches
Vital Speeches of the Day     Collection 
Location: Skillman 050 V84 (1978-present) ; online (1934-present)
Coverage: 1934-present
Annual collection of speech texts from around the world on education, government, current events, history, economics, business and commerce, social progress, and politics.

Library catalog searches

Use the table below to develop search strings for locating primary source bibliographies and collections in library catalogs.

Searching for . . . Enter this phrase + modifier(s)
[see examples]
general topics (speeches or addresses) and [nationality]
[speaker's name]
presidential addresses (collected) presidents united states messages    
sermons sermons and [nationality]
[speaker's name]

Sample searches:

  • speeches addresses etc and american
  • sermons and tillich

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