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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Houston oral history project

Repository: Houston Public Library. Special Collections

Collection Description (Extant): The Houston Oral History Project is an effort to record and preserve the dynamic history of Houston through the stories and experiences of its residents. It is a collaboration among the Mayor’s Office, the Houston Public Library and the University of Houston. The Project consists of several parts:

The Mayor Bill White Collection: Mayor White commissioned 100 initial interviews, directing that it include well-known political, business and civic leaders as well as witnesses to the events that shaped our city. Historians from the University of Houston, Texas Southern University and Rice University offered guidance and helped develop the initial list of interviewees. Extensive research was done for each interview, professional recording equipment was used and, in many cases, renown community members acted as interviewers.

The mayor also wanted to make these living histories more useful and accessible to students, academics and historians, so searchable transcripts have been included. All of the interviews have been entered into the digital archives of the Houston Public Library System, under the direction of Dr. Rhea Lawson, copies will also reside with the University of Houston. The library thanks David Goldstein who managed this project.

The Neighborhood Voices tapes: In the summer of 2008, citizens came to Houston Public Library locations throughout the city to record their own brief recollections about life in Houston.

HMRC Oral Histories: The Houston Metropolitan Research Center of the Houston Public Library recently digitized more than 200 oral histories from the 1970's and 1980's. Created under the direction of Louis Marchiafava, the collection contains interviews with artists, musicians, civil rights activists, politicians and civic leaders who helped define the growth and history of the city.

Digitization of the collection was funded by a TexTreasures grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission with matching funds from the Friends of the Texas Room, the Houston Oral History Project , and the Houston Public Library Foundation.

Access Copy Note: All of the transcripts in the Mayor Bill White collection and part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center collection are available in the Houston Area Digital Archives.

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1970s-2008

Digital Status: Partial

Language: English

Interviewees: Lee Brown, L. E. Chamberlain, Jane Ely, Paulette Grant, Anthony Hall, Fred Hofheinz, Frances Farenthold, Howard Jefferson, Edith Irby Jones, Otis King, William Lawson, Gene Locke, Quentin Mease, Vic Samuels, Marvin Taylor, Louie Welch, Kathy Whitmire, Hazel Young, Christie Adair, Mary Jourdan Atkinson, Ethel Bocock Bringhurst, Asberry Butler, Richard L. Card, Joseph Carper, Billie Carr, Lloyd Choice, Robert Bigmill, Everett Collier, Ben C. Connally, Edsel Cramer, Arenia Edwards, Felicia Jeter, Naomi Lede, Moses Leroy, George T. Nelson, David Newman, Merline Pitre, Cliff Richardson, Jr., Judson Robinson, III, Alvia Short, Herman Short, I. H. Smalley, Campbell Tolbert, Bert H. Tunks

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American political activists--Texas
African Americans--Texas
Civil rights movements--Texas
School integration--Texas--Houston
Texas--Race relations




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   May 15, 2015
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