May 25, 2022

NPR Debuts New Online Database of Commencement Speeches, 315 Transcripts Now Available & C-SPAN’s Collection of Commencement Speeches

The new database (looks nice!) on the National Public Radio web site is formally titled, “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever”. Users can search by name of the commencement speaker, name of school, and year. Keyword search for specific words and phrases is not available. Speeches are also tagged using one of sixteen tags that describe its theme.  This nprED blog post has more including a look at the most popular themes of the speeches found in the collection.

Direct to Commencement Speech Database from NPR.

Multimedia: More Commencement Speeches

Make sure to take a look at the C-SPAN Video Library.

It’s home to a collection of 677 commencement speeches with more being added all of the time.

The earliest speech available is John F. Kennedy’s American University Commencement Address on June 10, 1963. The bulk of the collection begins in the mid-1980s.

The most recent speech was delivered earlier today (May 19, 2014) at Wake Forest University by former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson.

Make sure to note the many options to limit your results by utilizing the various data fields found in the left column of each results page.

This link will take you to the C-SPAN Video Library commencement collection.

Kudos to NPR and C-SPAN.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.