Assembly Series Lectures

Jan Taylor, president of the Association of Black Student’s program committee, stands speaking at a podium in front of a crowded Field House facility while introducing Assembly Series speaker Alex Haley in 1977.

The Assembly Series Lectures in University Archives is a collection of public lectures held at Washington University. The Assembly Series is an interdepartmental initiative supported by academic departments, individual schools, Student Union, and various student groups to present speakers to inspire discourse, complement curriculum, reflect contemporary interests, and engage the greater St. Louis community.

Lectures began in 1949 and continue today with speakers including leaders and visionaries, pioneering scientists and public intellectuals, genre-breaking artists and performers, Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners, Supreme Court justices, and entrepreneurs.

Read more about the Assembly Series, some of the famous figures who have participated, and their impact on the Washington University community through the Washington Magazine article “Echoes of voices past.”

More information will be available in Fall 2022 with an online exhibition that will highlight some of the lectures digitized as part of a preservation grant courtesy of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Preservation Grant

The Washington University Libraries was awarded a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to fund the project “Echoes of Voices Past: Preserving the Public Lectures of Washington University’s Assembly Series.” The project will digitize more than 1400 audio records from Washington University’s Assembly Series Lectures collection.

For further details about the preservation grant, please see the “Washington University Libraries Awarded Grant to Preserve Assembly Series Recordings” article.


Sonya Rooney
Job Title
University Archivist
Phone Number
(314) 935-9730