Civil Rights Oral History Survey

The Society completed work on a contract from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to conduct a seven-month survey of existing archival collections of oral histories of participants in the Civil Rights Movement in the US during the 1950s and 1960s.

Four scholars from the fields of archives and library science, folklore, and history (Danille Christensen, Bloomington, Indiana; Will Griffin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Gritter, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Andrew Salinas, New Orleans, Louisiana) completed the survey work and research in 2010, which resulted in a searchable database designed to inform future interviewing work to round out the historical record, which serves as an open-access educational resource for scholars and members of the public. Former AFS Executive Director Tim Lloyd wrote and published a thorough account of the project in 2013.

This project is an outgrowth of the Civil Rights History Project Act (PL 111-19) passed by the US Congress in 2009, which assigned responsibility for this effort as a whole to both the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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