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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

OH! Park Forest oral history project

Repository: Park Forest Public Library

Collection Description (CRHP): "OH! Park Forest: Oral History of Park Forest" was a 1980-1981 project directed by Elizabeth Ohm; it collected memoirs of residents of Park Forest (a post-WWII planned community that was integrated in 1959). The project was funded by the Illinois Humanities Council and includes 80 interviews conducted by Glenda Bailey-Mershon. All have been transcribed and edited.

Access Copy Note: Call the Park Forest Public Library Head of Adult Services, Mary Van Swol, at 708-748-3731 to check on availability at the library.

Audio excerpts may be heard on "OH! Park Forest: WCGO radio programs August/November 1981" (monoaural cassette, call #977.3 O). These are narratives and oral history interviews from the Oral history of Park Forest programs presented in 13 segments on WCGO Radio. The programs were aired on Mondays from Aug.17-Nov.30, 1981. (See Shields 1982, below, for transcripts.)

Photos and transcripts of the full interviews are available online at the Illinois Digital Archives; go to Browse "Collections" (choose "Park Forest: An Illinois Planned Community" from the drop-down menu on the browse page).

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1980-981

Digital Status: Partial

Existing IDs: 977.31, Cass 977.3 O, Video/ 977.3 O

Extent: 80 interviews

Language: English

Related Archival Items: At the Park Forest Public Library, see also

Whyte, William Hollingsworth. "Park Forest, 20 years after," an audiotaped speech given in 1976. Cassette917.731/WHY/

Shields, Chip. Oh Park Forest: Oral history of Park Forest : an interpretation (Park Forest, Ill. : Park Forest Public Library, [1982?]). The 13 sections of this booklet first appeared in installments in the Park Forest Star during May-August 1981. See also the 28-minute video "Oh! Park Forest : a work in progress" (Park Forest, IL : Cox Cable Communications, 1981; sd. b&w). PFPL call # Video/ 977.3 O.

Scott, Jacqualine F. Park Forest African-American pioneers, 1958-1968: When and How we Entered (Park Forest, Ill.: The Village, 1999). Includes copies of original documents from historical files of the Village of Park Forest.

"How integration came to Park Forest" (YesVideo, 2007), a 98-minute videodisc (sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in) that documents a 2007 panel discussion about the peaceful integration of Park Forest, Ill. Discussion focuses on the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Park Forest.

Interviewees: Barbara Folb Amster, Ivan Baker, Ellen Barthoff, Julius Barthoff, Richard Bennett, David Berger, Etel Billig, Lynn G. Brenne, Harold Brown, Linus Carroll, Larry W. Clark, Elmer Coogan, Maureen Cribbs, Bernard G. Cunningham, Leona DeLue, Ross DeLue, Robert Dettbarn, Henry X. Dietch, Robert A. Dinerstein, Gerson Engelmann, John J. Flaherty, H. Laurance Fuller, Elaine Garretson, James L. Garretson, Peter Garretson, Adele Glassner, Alvin Glassner, Harriet Marcus Gross, William Hamby, Dewey Helmick, Doris Hill, Art Hodes, Harriet Kaage, Minard Klein, Philip M. Klutznick, Jerry Knight, Alberta Kunde, Anna Leweling, Henry F. Leweling, Thomas McDade, Josephine A. Maeyama, James E. Marzuki, J. Ron McLeod, Jack Meltzer, Stanley Moore, Philip Mundt, Beverly Myrow, Blaine (Bud) Osterling, James Patterson, Char Priest, Alice Racher, Jack Rashkin, Georgiana Raygor, Joan L. Retzlaff, Leona Ringering, Yvonne Robinson, Edward P. Sainsbury, James D. Saul, Anthony Scariano, Sr., Jacob Schlenker, Florence McCoy Schumacher, Roy C. Schumacher, Connor B. Shaw, Betty Showalter, William Simpson, Mayer Singerman, Eleanor Sloane, Lucille (Sue) Sonduck, Jack Star, Carroll F Sweet, Jr., Clarissa Stanis Sylvester, Priscilla Turnbull, Robert Tweedell, Edward L. Waterman, Shirlee Wheeler, Harold Yost

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


Chicago (Ill.)--Race relations
Civil rights movements--Illinois
Civil rights--Religious aspects
Discrimination in housing--Illinois
Unitarian Universalists


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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