Notice: The East Wing of the Main Library is closed until 3pm on Wednesday, June 19, as we continue major construction work.  We apologize for this inconvenience. For more information or for assistance accessing library resources, please visit any of our information desks, or call 517-355-2333.
Notice: The East Wing of the Main Library is closed until 3pm on Wednesday, June 19, as we continue major construction work.  We apologize for this inconvenience. For more information or for assistance accessing library resources, please visit any of our information desks, or call 517-355-2333.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.
Michigan State University Libraries
G. Robert Vincent Voice Library
366 W. Circle Dr.
East Lansing , MI 48824
United States

The G. Robert Vincent Voice Library (VVL) is a collection of primary source sound material, found mainly in speech, interview, lecture and performance formats. It is the largest academic voice library in the United States and is part of the Michigan State University Libraries.

The collection is stored primarily on reels of magnetic recording tape. Items represent, in most cases, a migration from other recording formats, off-air broadcasts, or Voice Library original recordings. New items are mastered digitally and a retrospective digital re-mastering of existing analog recordings is underway. About 15,000 digital sound files have been created.

Voice recordings are really the product of the Twentieth Century and very few exist which were made prior to 1900. Sound was distributed more widely with the coming of radio in the 1920’s and more signals meant the likelihood of more things being recorded. The Voice Library collection begins to reflect the greater prevailing culture beginning in the 1930’s and 1940’s, with the coming of FDR.

Strong areas of collection emphasis include, American and foreign politics and government, labor history, show business and media history, academic lectures, sports, popular culture, literature and the arts and Michigan State University history.

Collection highlights include:

  • Rare Edison recordings from the late Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century, including the voices of Sarah Bernhard, Buffalo Bill Cody, Gladstone, Tennyson, and Queen Victoria.
  • Voices of the American Presidents since Benjamin Harrison, including speeches, interviews and press conferences.
  • A large holding of World War II actualities, featuring Nazi propaganda, war news from the major networks, and the speeches of Churchill, Stalin and FDR.
  • A broad representation of the arts in America and abroad, with the voices of Barrymore, Picasso, John Lennon, Brando, Fanny Brice, Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, George Bernard Shaw, Salvadore Dali, T.S. Eliot and others.
  • A view of the life and culture of Michigan State University, including speeches of the University Presidents and such visitors to campus as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Bill Clinton.
1/4 inch audio reels on a shelf
1/4" Audio Reels stored on compact shelving in the VVL

Learn more from watching our video

Mosaic of Voices