The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
On the line digital history project
Repository: Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) Educational Studies Program
Collection Description (CRHP): Scheduled to be released in 2011-2012, this digital history project includes oral history interviews (conducted since 2003), mostly with city and suburban residents discussing why they stayed or moved to the suburbs, real estate agents, and students who participated in city-suburban voluntary busing. All have been transcribed and include consent forms and will be add to the website. Additional interviews with civil rights activists are planned. Some of the newer recordings are digital, while others were recorded on cassette tapes (which may or may not be digitized).
Collection Description (Extant): We are creating On the Line, both a book and a digital history project, to explore how struggles over schooling and housing boundary lines have increasingly shaped the Hartford, Connecticut metropolitan region over the past century.
The "long civil rights movement" is also a spatially widening one, and our city and suburban histories are connected by the very lines that separate us. Our past has been shaped by real estate agents who maintained the color line, mortgage lenders who engaged in redlining, elected officials who drew exclusionary zoning lines, and homebuyers who shopped for better public schools across attendance area lines. As the privileged relationship between public schooling and private housing grew stronger over time, civil rights activists fought for the power to cross over, redraw, or erase these lines.
The Digital History Project, a freely accessible website that features: Web-based interactive maps, to explore the changing geography of inequality, with downloadable GIS files for further research. Historical source materials to examine the evidence, such as online photographs, primary documents, oral history interviews, video clips, and data visualizations. Future public history with Hartford-area residents will add more content from experiences of living and learning on different sides of the lines.
The Book and Digital History Project are distinct products that are designed to accompany one another. Readers will look to the book text for historical narrative and interpretation, and interact with the online maps and source materials for historical discovery and further investigation. Web resources will refer viewers to the appropriate page of the book, in the same way that the book links readers to specific items on the free website.
Readers using the enhanced e-book format will have the advantage of moving instantly from the main text to the digital history resources, to explore the author's analysis through first-hand examination of the evidence. Educators may choose to structure their lessons in the opposite direction, by assigning students to begin an evidence-based historical inquiry on the website, then formulate their own interpretation and compare it to the author's analysis in the book.
Collection URL: http://ontheline.trincoll.edu/
Digital Status: Partial
Extent: 95 transcripts; audio cassettes; digital audio recordings; video recordings; manuscripts; maps
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
Busing for school integration
Civil rights movements--Connecticut
Civil rights workers--Connecticut
Discrimination in housing