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Sound Recordings Collection

The Robert D. Farber University Archives houses sound recordings of lectures, events, and musical preformances held at Brandeis University. Unfortunately, most of the recordings remain in their original reel-to-reel format and are too fragile for public use. The University Archives is making a concerted effort to reformat these recordings in order to make them available to researchers.

Electronic Music Collection

With funding from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., the University Archives has preserved a collection of pioneering electronic music recordings. Culled from the Brandeis University Music School sound recording collection, the Electronic Music Collection is comprised of 72 musical performances that have been reformatted from reel-to-reel tape onto CD. All of the works were recorded at the former Brandeis Electronic Music Studio and date from the early period of American electronic music (1958-1968). Prominent composers such as Alvin Lucier, Ernst Krenek, Luciano Berio, and John Cage were invited to the Brandeis campus to compose and perform their works. Many of the recordings are one of a kind or represent the only known copies of particular versions of compositions, because of the unique improvisional elements they contain.

Recordings from the Electronic Music Collection are available for listening in the Brandeis University Libraries' Creative Arts Department and may be searched in the Brandeis University Libraries' online catalog. They may also be searched on this website by composer. For every composer, there are links to descriptions of his recordings, which may be singular pieces, or part of larger musical works.

University Lecture Recordings

Over the years, many renowned scholars, creative artists, public intellectuals, political leaders, and social reformers have spoken at Brandeis University, often as part of standing lecture series. Many of these talks (1950s-1960s) were originally recorded on reel-to-reel audiotape, and are currently housed in the University Archives. The Department seeks to preserve these master recordings and to provide digital access to them, as resources become available. Toward that end, we recently digitized three lectures given at Brandeis by well-known individuals: Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Maslow / Harry Rand (joint), and Martin Luther King, Jr.

To hear selected clips from Eleanor Roosevelt's 1958 speech, click on the following link: Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture: General Education S. Selected clips from Abraham Maslow and Harry Rand's 1965 lecture are available here: Abraham Maslow & Harry Rand Lecture. Martin Luther King's 1957 speech can be heard here: Martin Luther King Lecture: Justice Without Violence. Brandeis English professor Allen Grossman delivered a eulogy for Martin Luther King, Jr., in April of 1968, which can be found here: Eulogy for MLK Jr. by Allen Grossman.