Although the number of sound recordings held by the Swiss Federal Archives is by no means large, there are nonetheless a few real gems among them. The audio material is usually preserved on tape cassettes, tape reels, CDs or records. The debates of the Swiss parliament recorded from 1982 onwards represent the largest collection.
The debates of the Swiss parliament have been recorded on tape from 1982 onwards. They are accessible via the fonds United Federal Assembly: recordings of negotiations (1848-2009) and Council of States: recordings of negotiations (1848-2010).
Sound material on the Second World War
The fonds of the Press and Radio Division (1815-1960) contain censored sound recordings of the axis powers and the allied forces as well as propagandist sound recordings from Switzerland. Military marches and speeches by General Guisan are available from the private archive Guisan Henri (1886-1988). The speech Winston Churchill gave in Zurich in 1946 can be found in the fonds of the Department for Political Affairs (1849-1980).
The collection of sound recordings fonds (1942-1994) include among others:
- Radio drama about Max Daetwyler, the well-known Swiss pacifist
- Speech by National Councillor Robert Grimm on the occasion of the election of his party colleague, social democrat Ernst Nobs, as Federal President.
- Radio transmissions on various political topics from the early 1970s
- Interview with historian Willi Gautschi on General Guisan (1989)
- Speeches by minister for the economy Rudolf Minger (1940s)
Additional sound material
- Swiss Radio DRS (1937-1972): recordings of the programme "Echo der Zeit".
- Delegates of the Federal Council for 700 years of the Confederation (1988-1991): various programmes with reports, speeches and discussions.
- Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television (1971-1992): radio programmes that have been the subject of complaints (not yet accessible online).
- Federal Department of Finance: personal files of Federal Councillor Otto Stich (1981-1995): radio speeches by Otto Stich on votes.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (1880-1995): recordings of classical concerts.
Tips for further research
- Swiss Parliament: current debates of the Federal Assembly.
- Swiss National Sound Archives: historical recordings by Radio Suisse Romande, produced in the studios in Lausanne and Geneva. The sound material held by the Swiss National Sound Archives is accessible via the computers in the reading rooms at the Swiss Federal Archives (there are other listening points throughout Switzerland).
- Swiss Radio and Television Corporation: recordings of various radio programme transmissions in a number of archives.
- Archives of Contemporary History: interviews with contemporary witnesses
- Swiss National Library: sound recordings of Swiss authors in the Swiss Literature Archives.
Last modification 04.11.2019