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Politics and Public Affairs on Film, Television, and Radio

This guide provides resources and search strategies for conducting research on news, politics, and public affairs in the moving image and recorded sound collections at the Library of Congress.


Since their invention, radio and television have provided avenues for public discourse and debate and brought us closer to the news, to elected officials and civic leaders, and to current events. The Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division at the Library of Congress has collected all kinds of political and public affairs coverage over the years—news, speeches, debates, conventions, advertising, congressional proceedings, documentaries and fictional films—that have shaped our perception of political figures and processes throughout the years.

The materials gathered here are a small sample of the Library's moving image and recorded sound holdings and are by no means comprehensive. Rather, this Guide is meant to give an idea of the possibilities for audiovisual research on politics, public figures, news, and public affairs, as well as to provide some search strategies and places to start.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Use the Ask a Librarian links to the left to get in touch with Moving Image and Recorded Sound reference librarians. They're always happy to help locate materials, set up listening and viewing appointments, and answer questions.

Library of Congress Research Centers

For more information on conducting research with moving image and recorded sound materials, go to the "Using the Collections" section of this guide, or get in touch with reference librarians in the two research centers of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress: