skip navigation  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
AFC Logo
The American Folklife Center
Connect with us:   Blog Blog  |  Facebook Facebook  |  Podcasts Podcasts   RSS RSS  | Video Webcasts
 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

The civil rights oral history project collection [of the Nashville Public Library]

Repository: Nashville Public Library. Special Collections Division

Collection Description (Extant): In 1957 a handful of African American parents and their first-grade children led the way in integrating the Nashville public schools as part of the nationwide response to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Then in 1960, Nashville was a principal training ground for some of the nations most influential leaders in the civil rights movement, many of whom were schooled in the techniques of nonviolent protest. Along with the Nashville community, a group of young Nashville college students organized the Nashville sit-ins, city marches, and an effective downtown store boycott that led to the desegregation of public accommodations in the city. The Nashville protests came to serve as models for later protests throughout the South, and its leaders went on to make pivotal contributions to the success of the civil rights movement, including the Freedom Rides of 1961, the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Student Organizing Committee, historic protests in Selma, Alabama, and the 1963 March on Washington.

In 2001, Nashville philanthropists Robin and Bill King funded the development of the Civil Rights Room, located in the Special Collections Division. The gift enabled the library to establish the collection and to launch the Civil Rights Oral History Project as a supporting collection to the division.

The Civil Rights Oral History Collection contains a series of interviews done by library staff members and volunteers with people who were involved in the Nashville and national movement. Interviews cover general life experiences and include discussions about race relations, civil rights, education, economics, social life, family life, and other topics. Each interviewee has at minimum an interview summary; and in some cases, biographical information from clippings, newspapers, photographs or other printed sources. Complete transcribed interviews exist for many of the interviewees. This is an ongoing project.

In addition to collection oral histories, manuscript materials, ephemera, photographs, and other materials relating to the civil rights movement are also being collected. These materials, combined with the Civil Rights Oral History Project interviews, form the Civil Rights Collection.

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 2002-

Digital Status: Partial

Extent: 28.41 cu. ft.

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Civil Rights Collection of the Nashville Public Library.

Interviewees: Gladys Abernathy, Theodore Acklen, Dr. Archie E Allen, Rev. Charles E. Allen, Rev. Fred A. Allen, Rev. Williams Barnes, George Barrett, Marion Barry, Rev. Donald F. Beisswenger, Dr. Albert Berry, Dr. Mary Frances Berry, James Bevel, Judge Adolpho A. Birch, Charles Blackman, Jr., Patricia Blackman McClain, Eural T. Blackman, Frankie Blakely, Dallas Blanchard, Arnette H. Bodenhamer, Don Boner, Reber Boult, Norman Braden, Cecil Branstetter, Larry Brinton, Catherine Burks Brooks, Carolyn Bush, Angeline Butler, Bobby Cabknor, Bobby Cain, Margo Cain, Reverend Will Davis Campbell, Guy Carawan, Candie Carawan, Malcolm Carnaham, Joe Casey, Eleanor Chippey-Greir, Robert Churchwell, Mary Churchwell, Helen Clark, Don Cravens, Dr. Nathaniel A. Crippens, Inez Crutchfield, Eleanor Dore, Mansfield Douglas, Dr. Landson Drummond, Charles Elder, L.M. Ellis, William A. Emerson, Rabbi Randall Falk, Dr. Robert Fisher, Richard Fulton, Dr. Nelson Fuson, Marian Fuson, Carrie Gentry, Maxine Walker Giddings, Melvin Gill, Thomas Gray, Erroll Groves, Iridell Groves, Jack Gunter, Nellie Carter Hall, William Harbour, John Hardcastle, Lajuanda Harley, Harold Street, Canzada Hawkins, Frankie Keeling Henry, King Hollands, Vercen Horsley, Joseph C. Hough, Ola Hudson, Beverly Jacobs, Ben Jobe, Oscar Jobe, Donzell Johnson, Matthew Jones, Henderson Kelly, Dr. Matthew Kennedy, Dr. Charles Kimbrough, Dave Kotelchuk, Rhonda Kotelchuk, Bernard Lafayette, Paul LaPrad, Peggi Alexander Latons, Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr., Andy Lipscomb, Jane Lipscomb, Harold G. Lowe, Rev. Bruce Maxwell, M. Salynn McCollum, Viola McFerren, Rev. Louis J. Miller, Roy Money, Charles Tony Moorman, Curtis Murphy, Dr. Charles B. Myers, Robert Newbrough, Silas T. Newsom, Betty Nixon, Rev. Inman Otey, William Miles (Billy O.) Owens, Mary Parrent, Earnest Rip Patton, Dr. Rodney Powell, Dick Reavis, Harold Reis, Melvin Ridley, Rev. J. Metz Rollins, Charles Roos, Rev. Ed Sanders, James Scandrick, Adele Schweid, John Seigenthaler, Alice Smith, John Streator, Jr., Sorena Street, Ed Temple, Henry "Hank" Thomas, Lillian Thomas, Rev. Everett Tilson, Zulee Ursery, Eddie Frierson, Dr. C. T. Vivian, Octavia Vivian, Matthew Walker, Jr., Perry Wallace, Audrey Bryant Watkins, Wallace Westfeldt, Rev. Andrew White, Jr., Booker White, Jr., DeLois Wilkinson, Dr. Dogan Williams, Dorothy Bond Wilson, Wilson Yates, Robert M. Young, James Zwerg

Rights (Extant): Some tapes are restricted by interviewee.


African Americans--Civil rights--Tennessee
Busing for school integration--Tennessee--Nashville
Civil rights demonstrations--Tennessee
Civil rights movements--Tennessee
Civil rights workers--Tennessee
Race discrimination--Tennessee
School integration--Tennessee
Southern Student Organizing Committee (Nashville, Tenn.)
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
Tennessee--Race relations


Sound recordings


  Back to Top


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

  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
   September 26, 2018
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:
Ask a Librarian