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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Town-gown relations in DeKalb

Repository: Northern Illinois University. Regional History and University Archives

Collection Description (Extant): "Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb, 1955-1980" was an oral history project sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council, under the auspices of the NIU Libraries and the Northern Illinois Regional History Center, and conducted from November 1980-April 1981. [. . .] The interviews in this oral history series focus on the relationship between the DeKalb community and Northern Illinois University during a period of tremendous expansion (1955-1965) and conflict (the Vietnam Era, in particular 1968-1972). Respondents discussed their personal viewpoints on DeKalb's cultural resources, the impact of university expansion on economic growth, political changes, intergroup relations, and the future of town-gown relations. Major topics include Ellwood House, the Arboretum controversy, the fluctuating voting and drinking age, student housing, responses to an influx of Black and foreign students, the city manager form of government and the student's role on governmental boards, student unrest in the late 1960's, city planning and zoning, and downtown development. Only a few of the interviews touch on how the 'average' DeKalb citizen viewed the effects of university expansion during this period.

Date(s): 1955-1980

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: OH-2

Extent: 43 interviews, 60 audio cassettes (39 hours)

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Interviewees: Howard Nelson, Keith McDonald, McKinley (Deacon) Davis, Harold Husa, John Gardner, George Boyle, Tom McCabe,

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


African American college students--Illinois
College students
Illinois--Race relations
Northern Illinois University
Student movements


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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