May 23, 2022

A Look at the Digitization of Historic Speeches From the 1960s and 1970s at UCLA, Listen Online

From The Los Angeles Times:

Derek Bolin salvaged history in the living room of his Los Angeles apartment, digitizing dozens of reels of audio recordings of important — and rarely heard — speeches given at UCLA during the political and social unrest of the 1960s.

Bolin, 44, who recently graduated from the school with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, has preserved more than 300 speeches, including by British royalty, Ethiopian leaders and American entertainers such as Joan Rivers and Jane Fonda.

Until now, the speeches were accessible only to people who could reach the archived tapes on campus. With almost $13,000 from alumni donations to transfer the tape reels to digital formats, recordings of events that captured the political undercurrents of the tumultuous era will now be available online.


So far, the most popular recordings feature actress Mae West, satirist Lenny Bruce, screenwriter and playwright Rod Serling, and actors Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau. Other speakers include Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine; Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel; and boxer Muhammad Ali

Note: The digitized speeches already available (216 as we post this item) online can be found on the UCLA Communications Studies Speech YouTube channel. You can find a complete list here.

Three Examples of Speeches in the Collection

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.