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

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

University of Illinois at Springfield. Archives/Special Collections

Brookens Library, Room 144; One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield, Illinois 62703

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 217-206-6520

Repository URL: External Link

Repository code: ilsfu

Repository description (CRHP): Relevant oral history collections include World War II Conscientious Objectors Project, Black Community Project (1974-75), Springfield Race Riot 1908 (1971-72), Illinois General Assembly Oral History Program, and several individual interviews.

Repository description (extant): Archives/Special Collections contributes to the public service and teaching functions of the University of Illinois at Springfield by supporting and promoting the research use of primary source materials. Its goal is to locate, acquire, preserve, and make available for research the most significant historical records of Sangamon State University (1969-1995) and the University of Illinois at Springfield, as well as regional history records and manuscripts whose research strengths support the University's mission. As a member of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD), administered by the Illinois Secretary of State/Illinois State Archives, UIS Archives serves as one of seven depositories in the state for local government records useful for historical and genealogical research. Special Collections includes non-circulating library material such as rare, valuable and fragile books and periodicals. The UIS Archives also houses a significant oral history collection, and a growing online collection of digitized resources.

[...]The Oral History Office at Sangamon State University opened under the direction of Cullom Davis in 1971 and closed in the summer of 1991. Students in Davis' oral history classes collected many memoirs, as did a number of volunteers, but grant-funded personnel also created several series of memoirs, notably the interviews of coal miners and Illinois political figures. While many regions of the U.S. and many other nations are represented in the collection, the lives of most of the narrators are centered on Springfield and central Illinois. Donations of material from individuals and institutions, such as John Knoepfle's "River Tapes" and Columbia University's Adlai Stevenson Project and Institute of Inter-American Affairs series, significantly enriched the collection.

Most of the tapes, memoirs, and collateral files making up the office's collection were transferred to the UIS Archives in 1990-91. When it was received by the Archives, the collection consisted of 1,135 interviews on 2,960 hours of audio tape, and 97,165 transcribed pages. In the twenty years of its existence, the office collected the memoirs of an impressive array of people including: coal miners; members of the African-American, Italian-American, Jewish, and other ethnic communities in and around Springfield; Illinois legislators and politicians; farm families; WWII conscientious objectors and prisoners of war; members of Springfield churches and clubs; teachers in rural one room schools; and many others. The collection is a vital record of life in Illinois and beyond from the late 19th century to the present, and preserves the memories of many individuals whose experiences would not otherwise be recorded.

Repository Notes (CRHP): A searchable guide to the oral history collections at UIS, with links to transcripts, is available online at See the Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) for abstracts,full digitized text of memoirs, and digitized audio:

Repository type: University Special Collection


World War II conscientious objectors project
Illinois General Assembly oral history program
Black community project
Michael Rice memoir
Larry Goldon memoir
Don Hickman memoir
Ralph Stone memoir


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   September 26, 2018
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