Commonwealth Club Radio Program Collection

About Collection


Today in Commonwealth Club History:

Nelson Rockefeller addressed the Club at least five
times from 1959 to 1976.

More than two thousand sound recordings of speakers addressing the Commonwealth Club of California are housed at the Hoover Archives. The first sound recording was made in 1944; over time an increasing number of the club's programs were recorded.

Many of the recordings are in obsolete formats that require preservation treatment and digitization before they can be accessed. Consequently, only after a recording has been digitized is it available for use.

To purchase recordings, please contact the Commonwealth Club at Users may also listen to recordings in the Hoover Archives reading room at no charge. Advance notice is required.

The searchable database contains descriptive records (title, speaker name, date) for all sound recordings. More details about the programs continue to be added. As the Hoover Archives receives recordings of the club's most recent programs, the database is updated with the new titles.

For most speeches, the sound recording is the most complete version of the event. The paper records of the Commonwealth Club, which are stored off-site, occasionally include the text of a speech. The club's serial publications, Transactions of the Commonwealth Club and The Commonwealth, contain condensed summaries of speeches, often including some of the question-and-answer sessions that followed. These publications are also the best source of information about club events for which no sound recording exists. Those magazines are available at the Hoover Archives and at many libraries.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's speech to the Club in 1960 created a special photo opportunity.
An announcer asks the audience to turn their faces toward the camera in the balcony in a related audio clip.
Click to listen to the audio clip. (Flash player required)

The Hoover Institution wishes to thank an ongoing series of dedicated and talented metadata cataloging interns from the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University for contributing to the database: Sandra Chang, Diana Kohnke, Paula Little, Oanh Tran, and Sarah Giffen West.