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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

WGBH Educational Foundation, Vietnam project: records

Repository: University of Massachusetts Boston. Archives and Special Collections

Collection Description (CRHP): This collection has interviews that address the civil rights movement, including those of the following: David Dellinger, this major social justice activist addresses the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Samuel 'Sam' W. Brown, this anti-war activist addresses the civil rights movement; Ralph C. Thomas III, this administrative clerk addresses racism and the civil rights movement; and William Sloane Coffin, the chaplain at Yale University during the civil rights era addresses the civil rights movement and his support of the anti-war movement.

Collection Description (Extant): In 1977, television director-producer L. Richard Ellison received funding to begin to research and develop The Vietnam Project, which first aired on PBS in 1983 as a thirteen part series entitled Vietnam: A Television History. WGBH, a Boston public broadcasting station, housed the Project and provided some financial support. Vietnam was produced by WGBH-TV; Antennae-2, a French channel; and Associated TV, a British program service (which became Central Independent TV). The Project was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and others.

The archives of Vietnam: A Television History includes most of the material collected and created during the development and production of the television series. The collection falls into 13 series, which are broken into two groups: production and administration; and sources consulted and research materials. The series titles in the production and administration group include Executive Producer, Archivist, Producers, Interview Transcripts, Interview Audiotapes, Editing Room, and Educational Outreach Materials. The series titles in the sources consulted and research materials group include Project Consultants, Film Research, Still Photographs, Veterans Research, Vietnamese Literature Workshop Material, and the Sully Collection (a discrete collection). Several of these series have been arranged and described. Complete box lists are available for those not yet processed. Descriptions of the series, their titles in boldface, appear below.

The collection also includes 280,000 feet of 16mm film and corresponding sound track outtakes of original material shot by the Project (some not in synch), and 228,000 feet of 16mm film and corresponding sound track, and a number of videotape masters of stock footage workprint outtakes from 65 sources. None of this material (housed in 170 transfer cases) was included in the final version of the television programs, and much of it needs to be reconstituted. There are only a few indexes to the audio-visual portion, so access to it is complicated.

Origin Info: David Dellinger, Samuel W. Brown, Ralph C. Thomas III, William Sloane Coffin

Access Copy Note: Digital versions of the interviews and transcripts are available at A list of the interviewees and brief description of topics covered by their interviews is available at:

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1946-1985

Digital Status: Yes

Extent: 53 cartons, 22 file boxes, 7 oversize boxes, 3 card file boxes

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

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


Peace movements
United States. Civil Rights Act of 1964
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans


Sound recordings


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

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   May 15, 2015
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