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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


1900 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60616

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 312-674-1900

Repository URL: External Link

Repository code: ilchhm

Repository description (extant): The HistoryMakers is a national, 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized archival collection of thousands of African American video oral histories.

The purpose of this archive is to educate and to:

* show the breadth and depth of this important American history as told by the first person;
* highlight the accomplishments of individual African Americans across a variety of disciplines;
* showcase those who have played a role in African American led movements and/or organizations; and
* preserve this material for years and generations to come.

The HistoryMakers is committed to creating and exposing its archival collection to the widest audience possible using collaborations as well as the Internet, a digital archive and other new technologies.

[ . . .] The HistoryMakers is the single largest archival collection of its kind in the world. Our goal is to complete 5,000 interviews of both well-known and unsung African American HistoryMakers. In doing so, we want to include the stories of individual African Americans along with those of African American organizations, events, movements and periods of time that are significant to the African American community. To date, our oldest HistoryMaker is 105 years old and the youngest is 29 years old. We have done interviews in over 80 cities and towns as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and Norway. Our collection presently houses 8,000 hours of African American testimony on videotape. [. . . ]

Historical research has focused largely on slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, music, sports and entertainment. The HistoryMakers' focus is to capture the stories of accomplished African Americans across all walks of life and to use video and new technologies to create an accessible digital collection to serve as a resource for students, teachers, scholars, documentary producers and the media.

In recording messages of leadership, achievement and perseverance embodied in the life stories, The HistoryMakers has plans to disseminate its holdings traditional and interactive media as well as through public programs, special events, an interactive website and a unique digital archive. The HistoryMakers hopes to enrich the lives of all ethnic groups, both young and old.

[. . .] [per website, June 2010] In 2002, The HistoryMakers archives were designated a special collection as part of the Illinois State Library System. The archives are presently not open to the public as we are in the process of reorganizing the collection.

Repository Notes (CRHP): Some videos do appear to be cataloged in the Illinois State Library system.

Repository type: Non-profit organization


The HistoryMakers® African American video oral history collection


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   September 26, 2018
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