May 26, 2022

Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature Debuts on Library of Congress Web Site

A new LC online archive of recorded poetry and literature went live today.

From LC:

Available as streamed audio, the archive will launch online with 50 recordings. Additional material from the collection will be added on a monthly basis.

The new online archive will be accessible at:

Highlights from the launch include:

  • Robert Frost interviewed by fellow Library Consultant in Poetry Randall Jarrell in 1959;
  • Gwendolyn Brooks giving her opening reading as the last Consultant in Poetry (the position succeeded by Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry) in 1985;
  • Kurt Vonnegut giving a lecture in the Library’s historic Coolidge Auditorium in 1971;
  • The Academy of American Poets’ 35th-anniversary program in 1969, featuring readings by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Allen Tate, and others;
  • Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz reading with Paul Muldoon in 1991.

The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress has material dating back to 1943, when Allen Tate was Consultant in Poetry. It contains nearly 2,000 recordings of poets and prose writers participating in literary events at the Library, as well as sessions at the Library’s recording studio in the Jefferson Building. Most of these recordings were captured on magnetic tape reels, and have only been accessible by visiting the Library in person. In digitizing the archive and presenting it online, the Library hopes to greatly broaden its use and value.

Direct to New Archive of Recorded Poetry

See Also: Digital Humanities: Listen Online: “PennSound Transforms How Poetry is Taught the World Over”


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.