Between 1958 and 1979, Portland State University hosted over two hundred speeches, interviews, panel discussions, and readings by scholars, activists, politicians, authors, artists, and community members. Many of these events featured prominent public figures who were invited to campus by academic departments, university administration, or interested students. Portland State was a campaign stop for Presidential and Congressional candidates in the late sixties and early seventies, a focus of urban development in Portland, and fertile ground for conversations on politics, social justice, science and technology, the arts, and the future. The recordings in this collection reveal an era of vital dialogue and debate supported by the university and its community.

The original recordings of these events were captured on reel-to-reel tapes by Portland State audio-visual technicians. For a time, the tapes were available as a library resource, but after reel-to-reel technology was superseded the collection fell out of use and was not included when the library catalog went online. The tapes spent years in storage until their rediscovery by PSU’s University Archivist. With the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, new digital transfers of the original reel-to-reel audio recordings are now available to the public in the Oregon Public Speakers Collection.

Listen to a selection of excerpts from the collection on the Portland State YouTube channel:

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Submissions from 1970

"Remarks on a recent summer trip to Europe and on Portland State", Gregory Baker Wolfe

Submissions from 1969

"Repression in education; the need for Black studies, by Dave Barnett and Charles Jackson", Dave Barnett

"The French university crisis", Jacqueline Bernard

"The United States grants economy", Kenneth Ewart Boulding

"Asia, 1969", Alexander Campbell

"Our national priorities and military policy", Joseph S. Clark

"An address on civilization and social change from a religious perspective", William Sloane Coffin

"Discussing physical fitness and exercise programs for adults", Kenneth H. Cooper

"The geological revolution (Lecture 1)", Charles L. Drake

"The geological revolution (Lecture 2)", Charles L. Drake

"Law and dissent", Barnes H. Ellis and David E. Horowitz

"Address to faculty and students on the significance of the 1968 Chicago riot and the subsequent trial of the Chicago Seven", John Froines

"Poetry reading, with Allen Ginsberg, and others", Allen Ginsberg, John Anderson, Robert Bly, and Robert Sund

"Nation-building in Kenya", Maure Leonard Goldschmidt

"Nation-building in Kenya" April Version, Maure Leonard Goldschmidt

"Black Heritage", Alex Haley

"Improvement of Secondary instruction", John P. Hanna

"The harmonious discord of words", Frank Livingstone Huntley

"Discussion of youth problems and family structure in our society", Francis J. Ivancie

"Suicide as a way of life", John Kerr, Hugo Maynard, and Ronald Snodgrass

"ABM: Yes or no? A symposium", Gordon MacDonand, Martin Perl, Frank Munk, Leverett Richards, Kenneth Pierce, and Lawrence Byers

"Trends of American foreign policy", Wayne Lyman Morse

"The role of youth in world affairs today", Covey T. Oliver

"Convocation to witness the signing by Governor McCall of Senate Bill 65, establishing Portland State University, and to celebrate the occasion of the institution's fourteenth anniversary", Portland State University

"Faculty meeting called to discuss a proposed resolution in support of the November 13-14, 1969 Portland State University student strike", Portland State University

"Introduction of new faculty and address by the president (Gregory Wolfe)", Portland State University

"Speeches condemning the United States' military involvement in Vietnam", Portland State University

"All-University Conference on university goals (Session 2)", Portland State University, Judah Bierman, and David Minar

"All-University Conference on university goals (Session 1)", Portland State University, Robert J. Low, Charles McCann, and Gregory Wolfe

"Joint Presidential Inauguration ceremony", Reed College and Portland State University

"University - community: two-way communication [an address concerning the black community and communication]", Donald Hugh Smith

"An address to faculty and students on the United Nations and the Middle East", Jurj Tu'mah

"Address to faculty and students, discussing air, water, and land pollution in Oregon", Sherman A. Washburn

"What changes? A view of 1984", Gregory Baker Wolfe

Submissions from 1968

"Historical roots of the death of God", Thomas J.J. Altizer

"The city and the slums; New York experiments in communication", Robert M. Blum

"An address to faculty and students on the program and history of the Southern Conference Educational Fund", Carl Braden

"Address to faculty and students, discussing America and Vietnam", Tran Van Dinh

"Local and municipal government: its characteristics and problems", Fred Dyer, Robert Logan, and Burton Onstine

"The population explosion and ecology", Paul R. Ehrlich

"Speech", Edith Green

"An address to faculty and students on self-help programs for the poor in the Appalachian area", Myles Horton

"Address to faculty and students, discussing current political and social issues", Robert F. Kennedy

"An address to faculty and students on the historical roots of black power", Louis E. Lomax

"Address to faculty and students, discussing current political and social issues", Eugene J. McCarthy

"Nonviolence: a tactic and philosophy for social change", David McReynolds

"The Tonkin Bay incident; an address to faculty and students on United States involvement in Vietnam", Wayne Lyman Morse

"Communism and the world revolution", Ferenc Nagy

"General education in an urban college (Session 2)", Portland State University, Bill Bakke, John Hughes, Bob Lewis, John Nolan, and Ben Padrow

"General education in an urban college (Session 4)", Portland State University, Joseph C. Blumel, Branford P. Millar, and Frederick O. Waller

"General education in an urban college (Session 1)", Portland State University, Charles Bursch, Richard Byrne, James Hart, Gary Koeppel, James Robb, Robert Tuttle, and Morris Weitman

"General education in an urban college (Session 3)", Portland State University and John Sheedy

"Responsibilities of the writer: a display of the resistance to communication", Ivor Armstrong Richards

"Planetary Exploration (Lecture One)", Carl Sagan

"Planetary Exploration (Lecture Two)", Carl Sagan

"Address to faculty and students, on behalf of Robert F. Kennedy for President", Arthur Meier Schlesinger

"Convocation address", Gregory Baker Wolfe

"Interview with Dr. & Mrs. Gregory B. Wolfe on the occasion of his appointment as president of Portland State College", Gregory Baker Wolfe

"Introduction of new faculty and address by the president", Gregory Baker Wolfe

Submissions from 1967

"Urban and political sociology: social cost accounting", Earnest Barth

"Poetry Reading", Allen Ginsberg

"The Negro and social change in America", Louis E. Lomax

"A discussion", Branford Price Millar and E. Dean Anderson

"The city as the foundation for the development of subcultures", Donald Pollard

"Conference on Specific Reading Disability (Dyslexia) - Session 1", Portland State University, Barbara Bateman, Rosa Hagin, and Ernest Saward

"Conference on Specific Reading Disability (Dyslexia)- Session 3", Portland State University, Barbara Bateman, Jean McCarthy, and Gilbert B. Schiffman

"Conference on Specific Reading Disability (Dyslexia) - Session 2", Portland State University, Jean McCarthy, and Gilbert B. Schiffman

"Liberal Education in the High School", Paul Woodring

Submissions from 1966

"The church's historic position toward war", Gabriel Bernhard Fedde

"Contemporary attitudes toward war", Edward M. Keating

"Russian communist attitudes toward war", Alfred G. Meyer

"An evaluation of the student protest movement", Portland State University

"Conference on China and the United States Proceedings, Part 2", Portland State University, Charles Burchill, William Holland, Stuart Innerst, R. de Jaegher, and Cecil Thomas

"Conference on China and the United States Proceedings, Part 3", Portland State University, Charles S. Burchill, Jack Compents, William Holland, Stuart Innerst, R. de Jaegher, and John Sullivan

"Conference on China and the United States Proceedings, Part 1", Portland State University, William Holland, Stuart Innerst, Harald Jacobson, R. de Jaegher, and Robert Scalapino

"The American High School: Undertaker or regenerator", Max Rafferty

"On peace", Kenneth Rexroth

"A new birth of freedom for Argentina", Hugo Rodríguez-Alcalá

Submissions from 1965

"The Divine comedy and tradition", Chandler Baker Beall

"Coexistence not Co-education (Some aspects of moral education in comparative perspective)", George Z. F. Bereday

"Civil Rights", Harry G. Boyte

"Panel discussion on jazz", Dave Brubeck

"The longest walk in the universe", John Ciardi

"Southwest Indians and their art", Erna Gunther

"American policy in Southeast Asia", Wayne Lyman Morse

"Conference on American foreign policy", United States. Department of State, Walt W. Rostow, and William J. Jordan

Submissions from 1964

"Berlin: Tale of two cities", Eleonore Lipschitz

"What price Utopia?", B. F. Skinner

Submissions from 1963

"Why good music isn't popular and popular music isn't good", Robert D. Crowley

"Public housing for the elderly in Portland (Interview One)", Julia G. Johnson

"Public housing for the elderly in Portland (Interview Two)", Julia G. Johnson

Submissions from 1962

"The effects of radioactive fallout and disarmament", Linus Carl Pauling

"Form and content of the Icelandic saga", Pauli Veikko Vehvilainen

Submissions from 1961

“Improving Instruction in the Secondary School (Using the disciplines to produce a liberal education)", Fred Theodore Wilhelms

Submissions from 1960

"Foreign Policy and military planning", Henry Alfred Kissinger

"Politics 1960", Goodwin Jess Knight

"The rise of Southeast Asia", Cyril Northcote Parkinson

"American foreign policy in the atomic age", Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr.

"A novelist on novels", Alec Waugh

Submissions from 1959

"The written word; antidote to number", Jacques Barzun