Founded by Herbert Hoover in 1919, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives are dedicated to documenting war, revolution, and peace in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With nearly one million volumes and more than six thousand archival collections from 171 countries, Hoover supports a vibrant community of scholars and a broad public interested in the meaning and role of history.
Broadcast collections at Hoover play an important role for scholars. As legacy realtime accounts of particular era, including specific historical events, broadcasts serve an immersive function offering additional levels of experience beyond the written word.
Hoover’s public broadcasting holdings, Firing Line with William F. Buckley and the Commonwealth Club of California records, include debates, discussions and speeches on politics, society, philosophy, and the arts. Additional broadcast collections include: the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty records; NBC Radio coverage of the United Nations Conference on International Organization; and BBC World Service broadcasts in Vietnamese and Russian.
From 1966 to 1999, the television series Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. was a venue for debate and discussion on political, social, and philosophical issues with experts of the day. The broadcast collection includes administrative files, program preparation materials, photographs, transcripts, sound recordings, and videotape copies of the 1,505 programs. Support for videotape preservation has been provided by the Mericos Foundation and the National Television and Video Preservation Foundation.
Since 1903, the day’s premier leaders, crusaders, and elected officials have spoken at the Commonwealth Club of California, with many such talks subsequently broadcast on the club's nationwide radio network. Sound recordings and scripts of these speeches on political, economic, technological, social, and recreational matters, along with the club's reports, minutes, correspondence, and other records, are in this collection.