Recordings of the Notre Dame Sophomore Literary Festival (1968, 1971, 1972, and 1979): Featuring Tom Stoppard, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, John Barth, and Others

Material Description

The Sophomore Literary Festival (SLF) recordings from 1968, 1971, 1972, and 1979 include approximately 54 hours of readings and lectures on 68 ¼” open reel tapes, made by the University’s audio-visual service at the request of the event’s student organizers. This collection is currently housed at two separate campus locations: Twenty-two are at the student radio station (WSND), while the remainder are held by the University of Notre Dame Archives. A full inventory of the tapes is included as an appendix to this application. The Archives received its batch of tapes in 2005 as part of the papers of Raymond M. Funk, Jr., who helped to organize the SLF in the early 1970s. The Funk Collection also includes correspondence with and photographs of many of the writers who participated in the event. The finding aid for this collection—including the associated tapes—can be found at Please find below an example of the content description in this finding aid: AFUN 26835-26837 R2 : William H. Gass, Readings from His Fiction [04/18/1972, Library Auditorium, 6.30 pm, 8.30 pm], A Talk on Metaphor and Measurment [04/19/1972, Carroll Hall, Madeleva, SMC, 3.30 pm] 1972/04. As part of this project, the tapes housed at WSND will be transferred to the Archives for optimized storage and better access, and added to the online finding aid. To the knowledge of the archivists, these recordings have only been accessed by staff listening to catalog content for the finding aid and to assess recording quality for the purposes of this project, and have never been listened to in full.


The Notre Dame Sophomore Literary Festival (SLF) brought to campus luminaries in poetry, prose, drama, and criticism, particularly in the event’s early years in the 1960s and ’70s. This project will digitize approximately 54 hours of SLF readings and lectures from 1968, 1971, 1972, and 1979, when speakers included Tom Stoppard, Allen Ginsberg, and John Barth, among other eminent writers. On open reel ¼” tapes, the unique value of these recordings to literary scholars of this period—for whom spoken word is an essential supplement to printed text—is at great risk of loss due to deterioration and obsolescence. The significance of these recordings is complemented by the University of Notre Dame Archives’ Raymond M. Funk, Jr. Papers, which feature correspondence with and photos of the SLF participants. After digitization by the NEDCC, these recordings will be made available for online listening and publicized in online finding aids.


Recordings at Risk

Amount Awarded


Year Added



University of Notre Dame


  • Ms. Helen Hockx-Yu (University of Notre Dame)
  • Mr. Charles Lamb


54 recorded hours