• Identificationhttp://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/eadafc.af0040##
  • TitleCSC Oral History Research Program papers
  • LanguageEnglish
  • OriginationChicago State College Oral History Research Program
  • Date1937-1974
  • Physical Description9 boxes (6 linear feet)
  • RepositoryChicago State University, Archives and Special Collections, Chicago, IL 60628
  • AbstractThe CSC Oral History Project conducted a Chicago-wide oral history program in the late 1960s. The collection is composed of tapes, transcripts, and preliminary research and contact information.

Items donated by the Chicago State University Department of History, which administered the program.

Bin #0204218B (Cartons 4-6) and 0204230B (Cartons 1-3); reels in 0204225B Cartons 6-9) and 0204231B

Each interviewee defined access to his or her interview in different terms. Most are open to anyone for research purposes; others are open only to CSC/CSU students or faculty. Some become available on a stipulated date. The collection does not however include consent forms for any of these interviews, so that would have to be received from interviewees or their heirs before material could be reproduced or digitally recorded.

CSC Oral History Research Program, Chicago State University Archives and Special Collections.

Between 1967 and 1969 the Chicago State College Oral History Project attempted to write a comprehensive oral history of the city of Chicago. As a letter to prospective interviewees stated, “We are engaged in the compilation of an oral history of Chicago covering all aspects of the city’s life and growth as far back as the memories of our interviewees will take us.” The hugely ambitious project attempted to cover “the whole scope of our city’s endeavors.” It was directed initially by Henry E. Simmons, a member of the history department at CSC known for his writings on the Civil War. In 1968 Simmons was replaced as director by Thomas DePasquale. More interviews were conducted in 1968 but soon after the project became dormant. Others closely involved included the African-American Studies scholar Arvarh Strickland, Bernard Johnson, and Margaret Burroughs of the DuSable Museum. By late 1967 the project claimed to have amassed 150,000 feet of taped interviews. Particularly remarkable are the extensive newspaper clippings on prospective interviewees and subjects of the oral history. The collection represents the remnants of a difficult but valuable effort to record Chicago’s history through the voices of people who helped make it.

  • Subject
    • Chicago (Ill.)--History
    • Oral History
    • Chicago State University
  • Names
    • Simmons, Henry E.
    • Burroughs, Margaret Taylor, 1917-

The papers include dozens of interviews with Chicagoans of all walks of life, including politicians, social workers, police officers, and educators. Many of the interviews have been edited into seamless narratives without interviewers’ questions. The collection also includes correspondence with prospective interviewees and extensive files of newspaper clippings on potential targets, many of whom were never interviewed.

Boxes 1-3 are arranged alphabetically by subject name. Box 4 includes only interviewed subjects, again arranged alphabetically. Box 5 includes both interviews and background material, such as writings and speeches by the subjects. Related material is in box 6. There are a total of 34 interviews, as well as a number of speeches. Some material has apparently disappeared, and some interviews were never transcribed. Boxes 1-3 are located in bin# 0204225B; boxes 4-5 in bin# 0204218B; and boxes 7-9 in bin# 0204230B.