About the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library
The Vincent Voice Library is a collection of primary source sound material, found mainly in speech, interview, lecture and performance formats. It is the largest academic voice library in the United States and is part of the Michigan State University Libraries.
The collection is stored primarily on reels of magnetic recording tape. Items represent, in most cases, a migration from other recording formats, off-air broadcasts, or Voice Library original recordings. New items are mastered digitally and a retrospective digital re-mastering of existing analog recordings is underway. About 15,000 digital sound files have been created.
Voice recordings are really the product of the Twentieth Century and very few exist which were made prior to 1900. Sound was distributed more widely with the coming of radio in the 1920’s and more signals meant the likelihood of more things being recorded. The Voice Library collection begins to reflect the greater prevailing culture beginning in the 1930’s and 1940’s, with the coming of FDR.
Strong areas of collection emphasis include, American and foreign politics and government, labor history, show business and media history, academic lectures, sports, popular culture, literature and the arts and Michigan State University history.
Collections highlights include these:
Access to Voice Library holdings is determined by copyright law. Most items held in the public domain are available for online listening as mp3 files. Copies of many other items may be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan, via a public or university library. Some fees may apply.
Remote access to recordings is subject to copyright review. For more information on copyright policy, please go to the MSU Digital and Multimedia Center Copyright Permissions group.
All recordings may be listened to at Vincent Voice Library facilities on Four West of the MSU Main Library in East Lansing.