Here’s a bit of news that archivists and historians may find useful on this anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into World War II. The Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library has placed some 46,000 pages of speeches in draft, transcript, and final form online. This collection is accompanied by another which comprises the complete audio recordings available of those speeches. The site describes the collection:
The FDR Library, with support from AT&T, Marist College and the Roosevelt Institute launches online one of its most in-demand archival collections – FDR’s Master Speech File – over 46,000 pages of drafts, reading copies, and transcripts created throughout FDR’s political career. Presented alongside the Speech File is the Library’s complete digital collection of Recorded Speeches of FDR.
The earliest recording is dated 1920. That’s pretty amazing given the state of recording technology in that era. It’s more amazing that it can be downloaded in the ubiquitous MP3 format. It’s that casual.
I’ve visited this site plenty of times in the past. There is a wonderful collection of public domain photographs that document the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II. There is some amazing stuff in these collections. Speaking of Pearl Harbor, scroll halfway down this page for digitized research materials relating to Franklin Roosevelt and the Day of Infamy.
The original caption reads: “USS West Virginia and USS Tennessee after attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.” Archivist note: USS West Virginia, BB-48, sinking after being hit with seven torpedoes and two armor-piercing bombs. Along side is USS Tennesse, BB-43, after being hit with two bombs and being damaged by the explosion of the USS Arizona. In the foreground are yard patrol craft which appear to be assisting in damage control and rescue operations.