National Sound Archive

The National Sound Archive at the British Library holds various recordings of key Liberal figures.

The Their collection includes Edison’s 1889 recording of Gladstone’s voice which you can hear in MP3 format here

The following Liberal recordings are also held by the Archive. We hope to add further Liberal recordings to the website in the future:

Paddy Ashdown

Proportional representation and its consequences for British politics. (RSA lecture)
NSA reference: C494/586 S1-2

Party election broadcast. Liberal Democrats.
NSA reference: V3943/2 0:0924″

Herbert Asquith

Excerpts from Budget speech
NSA references:C263/27

William Beveridge

The Welfare Society Lecture on the relative functions of state and citizens in the Beveridge Report
NSA reference:1CDR0003970 BD2 NSA

Violet Bonham Carter

Lady Violet remembers. Interview in which Lady Violet recalls her fathers return to Parliament in 1920. Also refers to her own involvement in politics, Churchill and Munich.
NSA reference:1CDR0002314

Winston Churchill as I know him. Interview with Asa Briggs
NSA reference:M365W

Lady Violet remembers [4]. People and politics. Recalls leading political figures of her time inc Lord Grey
NSA reference:M517W BD 1

Winston Churchill

Election Speech 1918
NSA reference:1CD0076305 D1 S1 BD3 OPAL

Is This The End? speech 1918.11
NSA reference:1CA0006419 D1 S1 BD1 ARGO

Excerpts from budget speech 1909
NSA references:1CDR0002314 S1 BD21 NSA
1LP0118734 S 1 BD 4

William Ewart Gladstone
“The request that you have done me the honour to make…” speech
NSA reference:1LP0215219 S 1 C 3 ARGO

Congratulating Edison
NSA reference:NP10753W BD9

David Lloyd George

Speech at the Eisteddfod
NSA reference:M4430R BD 1

Twenty-three years ago. Talking about conditions when he was Prime Minister
NSA reference:M4523R BD 1

Speech at the Eisteddfod, 1939.
NSA reference:NP1992R BD 1

The free churches and the world situation.
Extract from speech at luncheon in City Temple 1938.10.26
NSA reference:M4425R BD 1

Extract from speech at Calvinistic Methodist Bi-Centenary meeting, Caenarvon.
NSA reference:M4574W BD 1

1935 Election speech
NSA reference:4446R BD 1

Excerpt from “Why should we not sing…” speech, 1915
NSA reference:1CDR0002315 S1 BD13 NSA

Speech at the Eisteddfod, 1934
NSA reference:M4574R BD 1

Whitefield commemoration Extract from a talk on George Whitefield included in an Exchange programme with America on the Bicentenary of his first landing in N. America on 1738.05.07.
NSA reference:M4433R

1931 Election speech 1931.10.21
NSA reference:CD0076305 D1 S1 BD13 OPAL

1931 Election Speech
NSA reference:M4572W BD 1

1929 Election speech
NSA reference:3609-3611BW R1 C16

Speech on the 1909 budget. Edited extract of a recording made by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer (Liberal Government) to encourage public support for his Peoples’ budget
NSA reference:1CD0166570 BD4

Jo Grimond

Party Political Broadcast
NSA reference:NP5582R BD 1

Time for action programme. Grimond draws out common lessons and argues for radical rethink of attitudes to democracy, people and planning
NSA reference:P1157R BD 1

Of the people, by the people programme. Jo Grimond, former leader of the Liberal Party, discusses with Peter Jenkins the role of the leader in contemporary politics.
NSA reference:M1515R

Election broadcast on behalf of the Liberal Party
NSA reference:M792W BD 1

Whitehall and beyond, conversation on critical thought being given to proposals to reform Civil Service, revise system of cabinet government, for drawing technocrats to centre of government and improving Parliament’s ability to check executive with Norman Hunt.
NSA reference:NP440R BD 1

Liberal Party Conference. Extract from closing speech at Brighton
NSA reference:B3024 C6

Liberal Party Conference, 1960 An extract from the opening address by the leader of the Liberal Party, Jo Grimond.
B3023 C1

Liberal Party Conference, 1960. Speech extract
B3023 C6

Interview with Godfrey Talbot
B3024 C2

Interview with Keith Kyle. Grimond talks to Kyle about: early childhood in St. Andrew’s; the influences of family life; education at Eton and Balliol; events of 1920s and 1930s and how these shaped his political ideas
NP8406R C1

Interview with Keith Kyle. Grimond reflects on problems he faced in becoming leader of Liberal Party in 1956
NP8492R C1

Charles Kennedy

How European am I? Discussion with Charles Kennedy MP, Green politician Sara Parkin, journalist Marc Roche, and three sixth form students
C494/265-266 T1-2

David Owen

Interview with Michael Charlton
1CDR0012876 BD2-24 NSA

Interview with John Humphreys about the SDP
V1406/01 0:0309″

Herbert Samuel

General Election and its issues
1CD0076305 D1 S1 BD9 OPAL

David Steel

Party Political Broadcast – Great Britain – Liberal/Social Democratic Party Alliance with Roy Jenkins: Consists mainly of recording of Steel and Jenkins answering questions at an election meeting.
NP6935W TR 1

Party Political Broadcast
NP4653W BD 1

Liberal Party Assembly 1980.9.12
T3254R BD 1

Bow Dialogues: Rector of St Mary-le-Bow in dialogue with leader of Liberal Party. They compare liberalism in 19th and 20th century
1CDR0003268 S1 BD3 NSA

Liberal Party Assembly, 1979
T2527W&R BD 1

Party Political Broadcast
Speech on theme of Britain seen as “one nation”
NP7755R C1
Sound only. Broadcast BBC 2 on 7th December 1983

Interview with Michael Charlton
B435/1 0:0016″
BBC recording, broadcast Radio 3 on 3rd December 1985

Jeremy Thorpe

Thorpe’s last stand. Excerpt from debate on Rhodesia. HOC
1CD0089253 D1 S1 BD5 EMI

Bow Dialogues: Rector of St Mary-le-Bow in dialogue with leader of Liberal Party. Based around issues raised by referendum on Common Market: nationalism; patriotism; sovereignty; Common Market
1CDR0003235 S1 BD2 NSA

Bow Dialogues: Archdeacon of Westminster, in dialogue with leader of the Liberal Party. They discuss practical politics
1CDR0003162 S1 BD3 NSA

Bow Dialogues: McCulloch, Rector of St Mary-le-Bow, in conversation with Thorpe. They discuss role of government with reference to individual and economic freedoms
1CDR0003105 S1 BD3 NSA

Discussion of Leyton by-election with Tom Driberg and Sir Charles Curran
M234W C1

Jim Wallace

Millennium Memory Bank. Wallace speaks about his political memories
C900/21173 C1

Shirley Williams

Woman in the house [2]. An unsuitable job for a woman? Look at different routes female Members of Parliament have taken to become MPs
H9382/5 2:4213″
Real Radio and Television production, broadcast BBC Radio 4 on 3rd November 1997

Snakes and ladders, a political diary

A very social democrat: a portrait of Roy Jenkins. Inc contribution from Shirley Williams
V3718/1 0:0001″

The agony of transition. From communism to democracy: Edward Boyle Memorial Lecture
C494/145-146 T1-2

Party election broadcast SDP/Lib Alliance
T5609W/2 C1

Shirley Williams and Norman St. John-Stevas talk about the influences that made their politics.

Women in Parliament. David Marquand, Professor of Contemporary History and Politics at the University of Salford, reflects on the practical considerations that deter women from becoming MPs. Incs contributions from Williams and Nancy Seear
T2994W C1

For further details on the above recordings, contact the National Sound Archive at:

The British Library
Sound Archive
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7440
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7441