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PSU Discovers Historic Voices In Its Archives


Portland State University unveiled a trove of lost-and-found audio recordings Thursday featuring political and artistic leaders.

Marti Clemmons pulls the tape of a reel recovered from PSU's archive collection. 

Marti Clemmons pulls the tape of a reel recovered from PSU's archive collection. 

Dahlia Bazzaz / OPB

The reel-to-reel recordings were found in a storage warehouse.  Among them, Allen Ginsberg at PSU, in 1965.

Civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael is heard rallying students, in 1973.

And one tape captures Robert Kennedy campaigning in 1968 at PSU, just months before he was shot.

Carolee Harrison 

Carolee Harrison 

Dahlia Bazzaz / OPB

PSU library tech Carolee Harrison connected catalog cards to the boxed-up tapes.

“To match the catalog card to the physical object, and to find they were mostly still there — was an exciting process, yeah,” Harrison said.

Archivists found they were able to play the vast majority of the tapes - and transfer them, to digital, for the public.

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