Skip to main content

Edmund S. Muskie papers, Series XVII: Sound recordings

Identifier: MC105.17

Series Overview

This series consists of three subseries organized by format - cassette tapes, open-reel tapes and phonograph records. The contents are similar in that they consist of recordings of Muskie's speeches and other public remarks, including question-and-answer sessions, press conferences, radio and television interviews and news broadcasts, campaign spots for broadcast over radio or television, and congressional hearings. Almost all were made by Muskie's Senate or campaign staff for later reference. The recordings also contain a large number of audio press releases, called "beepers", prepared by Muskie's senate staff.

Most of the open-reel tapes were recorded in the 1960s, but that subseries also includes a wire recording of a 1954 Democratic program and a contemporaenous Republican television program, which includes remarks by Vice President Richard M. Nixon. Starting in 1968, the staff increasingly relied on cassette tapes. The cassette tapes include a recording from 1958 (originally recorded on an open-reel tape player, but donated to the archives on a cassette tape) in which Muskie shared an Old Orchard Beach stage with Louis Armstrong and Bette Davis. The cassette tapes also include brief journal entries from Muskie and several members of his staff.

This series has been digitized and is in the process of being uploaded to the public website. For currently available digital copies, please go here.


  • 1950-1980

Access Restrictions

Materials are stored in a separate building. Please discuss your research needs with staff ahead of your visit, if possible.

Copyright Notice

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.


1031 items (631 audiocassettes 400 reel-to-reel tapes)

Language of Materials


Series Arrangement

The series is organized into the following subseries: A. Cassette Tapes, B. Open Reel Tapes, and C. Sound Discs.


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.

Acquisitions Information

The Edmund S. Muskie Papers were deposited at Bates College in June 1980, when Muskie was named U.S. secretary of state. In 1985, several of Muskie's friends and former staff members, with assistance from the College, raised sufficient funds to support the renovation of the former women's gymnasium into the Edmund S. Muskie Archives building, which was dedicated in September of that year. Muskie's papers were formally donated to Bates College on April 23, 1986. Intellectual property rights in the unpublished writings of Edmund S. Muskie were given to the College in an addendum to the deed of gift signed December 8, 1989. The right to dispose of items from the collection was granted to the College by the Muskie heirs in 2007.

In 1994 and in 1996, Bates College received two shipments of records documenting Muskie's life since leaving public office which were maintained in his Washington, D.C. law office. A third accretion was received from the estate of Jane G. Muskie in 2005 and accessioned in 2006. Relatively small groups of files donated at various times by former Muskie staffers and others have also been integrated into the collection. Accession No.: 001-80-01, 001-86-01.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives Staff, 2010

Encoded by Michelle Belden, 2013
Finding Aid for theEdmund S. Muskie papers, Series XVII: Sound recordings 1950-1980
Edited Full Draft
Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by: Michelle Belden
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America
207-755-5911 (Fax)