Human resources

Online Resources: “New online archives offer insight into more than a century of American history”

From Cooper Union:

The Cooper Union Presents Great Hall Voicean extraordinary new public resource that tells the story of New York and the nation through the words of the people who helped shape it from the stage of the legendary Great Hall. Great Hall Voice is a digital archive, free and accessible to all, and generously supported by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. This growing collection features all known sound and video recordings made in the historic Cooper Union Great Hall since 1941 and continuing to the present day, as well as 8,900 objects, such as photographs, tickets and flyers, related to over 3,000 great hall programs. dating from 1859.


Great Hall Voice houses recordings of some of America’s most renowned thinkers and leaders from all disciplines, including Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton; Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem; nearly every New York City mayor from the 1950s to the present; Congressional leaders like John Lewis and Adam Schiff; cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead; architect Louis I. Kahn; psychologist and writer Timothy Leary; and poet and author Carl Sandburg. The digital archive is searchable by date, speaker and 20 different themes such as anthropology and sociology; architecture and urbanism ; Environment; work and economy; New York; politics and activism; racial justice and human rights; and Women, gender and sexuality.


It took nearly four years for a team of archivists and designers to create the archive which consists of the new digital platform and a collection compiled from multiple sources. Many historic recordings had languished in Cooper Union Audio Visual Department storage for decades. With the start of this project, they have been relocated, conserved and cataloged. Additional recordings were transferred from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the Cooper Union School of Art, and the WNYC New York Public Radio Collection of the New York City Archives. Many recordings made in partnership with WNYC from 1968 to 1970 were syndicated nationally by the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. Ultimately, the archive project grew into a larger cause to consolidate all available information about the Great Hall at Cooper Union into this formalized resource. The born physical and digital records represented on the site are archived and available in the Cooper Union Library Archives and Special Collections.

Direct to the Voices of the Great Hall Online Archive

Learn more, read the full announcement