The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Wayne State University. Walter P. Reuther Library
5401 Cass Avenue
Email: [email protected]
Repository URL: http://www.reuther.wayne.edu/memory
Repository code: midwal
Repository description (CRHP): The Walter P. Reuther Library holds original audio or video for several interviews relevant to the civil rights movement, including those in the Detroit WestSiders Oral History Project and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists collection.
The archives also holds many transcripts (only) of other important oral histories, including those in the following collections:
Interviews with labor leaders in the automobile industry (in 1959, the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University conducted oral history interviews with Michigan labor leaders who played a key role in the development of unionism in the automobile industry. Major subjects covered were: UAW organizing efforts, sit-down strikes of the 1930's, and policies of the Union during World War II. Transcript copies are also held by the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library).
"The Twentieth Century Trade Union Woman: Vehicle for Social Change Oral History Project" (in 1978, the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University conducted oral history interviews with trade-union women. Major subjects covered were: women in trade- unions, wages and benefits, working conditions, and social issues. Transcripts are also available at the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library).
The African American Trade Unionism Collection (from 1968-1970, Herbert Hill, Roberta McBride and Norman McRae conducted oral history interviews with 32 African-Americans who played a role in trade-unionism in the United States. Major subjects covered were: Afro-American employment, civil rights organizations, trade-unions and organizing, UAW black caucus, discrimination, race relations, segregation, strikes and lockouts, and wages).
"Untold Tales, Unsung Heroes" Oral Histories (115 interviews conducted by Elaine Latzman Moon for her oral history of Detroit's African American community, 1918-1967. Individual interviews can be located by searching for "untold tales" in the Michigan Oral History Database, http://xserve2.reuther.wayne.edu/SPT--Home.php).
See also the Civil Rights Congress of Michigan Papers, a manuscript collection of 49.5 linear feet. It includes transcripts of interviews with Fr. Djuik and Miss Clara Swieczkowska in "Survey of Racial and Religious Conflicts in Detroit" (1943).
Repository description (extant): The Oral History Collection at the Walter P. Reuther Library contains individual interviews regarding American labor history and Detroit urban affairs. Conducted in the 1950s -- 2000s (bulk 1970s-2000s), major topics include working women; local, state, and national politics; radical social and labor movements; education; Detroit African-American communities; and union leadership and rank-and-file experiences. Oral histories may be accessible as sound recordings, video footage, or transcripts.
Repository Notes (CRHP): Catalog records for oral history collections that do not include audio have been compiled and attached as uploads.
Also attached is a listing of all interviews in the oral history collection, as well as a database record indicating the oral histories for which audio or video is available (interviews on Hi-8 video were inaccessible in fall 2010 due to lack of playback equipment).
Repository type: University Special Collection
Paul Schrade oral history
Walter Bergman oral history
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists records
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) collection
Detroit African-American history project
Detroit WestSiders oral history project