Mississippi Humanities Council
Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Columbia University
Oral History Research Office

Mailing Address: 801 Butler Library, Box 20
New York,, NY 10027
Contact person/title: Mary Marshall Clark
Telephone: 212-854-7083
Fax number: 212-854-5378
E-mail: mmc17@columbia.edu
Web site: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/indiv/oral
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Services/Restrictions: The collection is open to the public with some restrictions. The office staff provides limited research service and limited copying services. The staff will ship duplicate tapes of interviews on cassettes. Inquire about costs. The staff will also copy up to 25 pages of any unrestricted transcript at a cost of 50 cents per page plus shipping and handling. Inquire about fees for photocopying on-site.


Guides to the collection include the following:

The Oral History Collection of Columbia, edited by Elizabeth B. Mason and Louis M.  Starr. New York: Oral History Research Office, 1979.

Oral History; Oral History at Columbia: American Craftspeople Project, Projects and  Interviews, 1987-1992. New York: Columbia University, 1992.

This pamphlet describes various collections and lists recent individual interviews within collections' Web site (address given above).

Lists all interview series but does not list individual interviews within a given series.

Has descriptions of the contents of some of the interview series.

Includes instructions on how to use the collection, including some hours and telephone numbers to call Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN).

The Oral History Research Offices project identification number is NXCP and the interviews are catalogued in the AMC format.

The Oral History Research Office has very good interview abstracts for all processed interviewed. They also have a biographical catalogue for all interviews.

The staff is familiar with many of the interviews and willing to help researchers.

In order to use the collection, researchers must call ahead and make an appointment. Researchers who live outside the New York metropolitan area must go to the Library Information Office (234 Butler Library) with a photo ID and ask for a research card that affords free reading privileges for up to 14 days during a semester. Specific interviews must be requested at the Oral History Research Office using a form and a photo ID. After checking for restrictions, requests are filled and interviews can be read in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Library Information Office, the Oral History Research Office, and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library are all located within the larger Butler Library.

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Library Web site, http://www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/indiv/rare, lists hours. The phone numbers is 212-854-2231. Briefcases, book bags, and outer clothing must be left in lockers that are provided. Notebooks, pencils, and a computer may be taken into the reading room. No pens are allowed.

Columbia Collections and Interviews

1. Student Movements of the 1960s

About 60 interviews with people who were involved in the various student movements of the 1960s, including the civil rights movement. Below are listed 15 interviews from that collection that related to the movement in Mississippi:

Fay Bellamy James Farmer Martha Prescod Norman
Heather Booth Steven Fraser John O'Neal
Anne Braden J. Eugene Guerrero Judy Richardson
Cathy Cade Harlon and Barbara Joye Mario Savio
Karen Duncanwood

John Lewis

Elizabeth Sutherland


2. Black Women Oral History Collection

In 1976 staff members at the Schlesing Library at Radcliffe College recorded the memoirs of black women who were at least 70 years old and who had had an impact in their home communities. The women came from all walks of life, including nursing, teaching, and entertainment, and from all areas of the country, including Cambridge, Boston, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Seattle. Only one of those recordings, an interview with Margaret Alexander Walker, pertained to the movement in Mississippi.

Margaret Walker Alexander


3. Allard K. Lowenstein Project

This collection comprises more than eighty interviews conducted by William Chafe, professor at Duke University, for a biography of Allard K. Lowenstein, who was involved in most major reform campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s, including the civil rights movement. There are cassettes for most of this collection. Transcripts were processed with funding from the Allard K. Lowenstein Fund, Inc. Copies are available at the Allard K. Lowenstein Archives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We found 17 of these interviews to be about Mississippi.

Bob Beyers Barney Frank John Lewis
Julian Bond Susan Goodwillie Jack Newfield
Nicholas Bosanquet Lawrence Guyot Joseph Rauh
Sam W. Brown Jr. Gary Hart  Franklin Delano Roosevelt III
Geoffrey Cowan Harold Ickes William Taylor
Constance Curry Edwin King

This page created by Instructional Media Unit Webteam, and maintained by Charles Bolton.
The University of Southern Mississippi
http://www.usm.edu/crdp | Last updated
03 February 1:37 PM AA/EOE/ADAI