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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

George Mason University oral history program

Repository: George Mason University Libraries. Special Collections & Archives

Collection Description (CRHP): This collection includes an oral history of Roger Wilkins, who has been a leader of the NAACP and was assistant attorney general during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration; he was one of the highest ranking African Americans to serve in the executive branch up to that time. He also has been a journalist and professor. He is the nephew of Roy Wilkins, the former long-time executive secretary of the NAACP.

Collection Description (Extant): The scholarly significance of oral history is in documenting people's memories and life experiences, which otherwise might never have been recorded as written documents. From an educational perspective, oral histories add richness and personal perspective to the historical record and can engage students and scholars in a lively study of history. The voices and reflections of some of the founders of George Mason University, the student and his future wife who built Mason's first campus telescope, the life history of Stalin's long-time physician, the reflections of the man whose vision created Reston, Virginia - all of them are to be found in SC&A's oral history collections.

The George Mason University Oral History Program records and preserves oral histories of members of the GMU community. We interview long-time faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Mason. The interviews capture unique personal perspectives on Mason's creation, development and growth.

The Oral History Program formally began in the fall of 1999 and is an ongoing endeavor. The program has gathered information on the growth and changes of the student body, the development of academic departments, Mason's separation from the University of Virginia, the extraordinary growth of the GMU campus, among other topics. The oral history program has interviewed faculty and staff from the departments of History, Philosophy, English, Psychology, Music, Theater, Physics, Computational Sciences, Biology and Mathematics, as well as staff from Fenwick Library. Most recently, the Oral History Program has collected interviews documenting the phenomenal year of the men's basketball team, including interviews with Jim Larranaga, Liz Larranaga, Alan Merten, Sally Merten, Tony Skinn, Lamar Butler, Will Thomas, Folarin Campbell, and others.

Access Copy Note: The oral histories are a combination of audio cassette and videotaped interviews on DVD. Some of the audio only interviews have been digitized as part of an ongoing preservation project the archive is undertaking. There are transcripts available for some, but the majority of the recordings do not have a transcript.

Collection URL: External Link

Digital Status: Partial

Extent: approximately 100 recordings (audio and video formats)

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Interviewees: Roger Wilkins

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


African American civil rights workers
George Mason University
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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