Gifts of Speech

Sometimes it can be difficult to locate the text of a speech (especially without access to expensive electronic databases).  In that case, Gifts of Speech: Women’s Speeches from Around the World could be a particularly useful resource. Started in 1996 at Sweet Briar College, this database offers the full-text of speeches by an impressive group of women from 1848 onward.

Site visitors can browse speeches by year or alphabetically by last name. I immediately jumped to “G” to see what the database might have for Emma Goldman, and was pleased to see 5 of her speeches listed, including “We Don’t Believe in Conscription.” There’s even one by Courtney Love on piracy circa 2000!

Users can browse Nobel lectures given by women as well as see which women made the list of top 100 speeches of the 20th century (as ranked by some academics at University of Wisconsin and Texas A&M in 1999).

According to the site, Gifts of Speech was last updated in fall of 2010, so it’s pretty recent.


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