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Symposium commemorates 50 years of Oral History Program

UNT’s Oral History Program will celebrate 50 years of “capturing the stories of the ‘man on the street’ in their own words” with a symposium Nov. 13-14 in the Willis Library Forum (Room 140). 

This symposium will feature a keynote address at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13, delivered by Donald A. Ritchie, historian emeritus of the U.S. Senate and long-time leader of the worldwide oral history movement.

Panels will explore the rich resources of UNT’s oral history program and the opportunities they provide for research Nov. 14, and the symposium will conclude with a round-table panel, “Oral History on Campus,” featuring five past presidents of the Oral History Association.

  • What: UNT Oral History Program 50th anniversary symposium
  • When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14
  • Where: Willis Library Forum. Parking is available in the Highland Street Garage.
  • Contact: Mandy Rausch at 940-565-2499

Nov. 13

  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.  – Refreshments
  • 6:30 p.m. – “Looking Back: An Over-the-Shoulder Review of Oral History,” keynote address by Donald A. Ritchie

Nov. 14

  • 8:30 to 10 a.m. – “Military History in the UNT Oral History Collection” panel with Kelly Crager, The Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University; Glenn T. Johnson, Stevenson University; Amy Hedrick, UNT
  • 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. – “Civil Rights History in the Oral History Collection” panel with Chelsea Stallings, Independent Scholar and Karen Wisely, University of North Texas.
  • 1 to 2:30 p.m. – “Oral History on Campus: A Round Table” with Mary Larson, Oklahoma State University; Ron Marcello, a UNT history professor emeritus and former director of the program; Todd Moye, a UNT history professor and the director of the program; Anne Ritchie, National Gallery of Art; Donald A. Ritchie, U.S. Senate historian emeritus; Stephen Sloan, Baylor University

The Oral History Program is affiliated with the Department of History, UNT Libraries, and the College of Arts and Sciences, and was established in 1964 by H.W. Decamp. The intent of this group was to preserve the oral recollections of Texas politicians and business leaders and, in the 50 years since its genesis, has expanded to include the oral histories of many communities including Holocaust survivors, New Deal projects participants, and pioneers of African American, LGBTQ and women’s history.

As of 2015, the collection includes more than 1,800 oral histories consisting of 150,000 pages of transcribed oral interviews, which have been edited, bound and stored in UNT’s Willis Library, where they are available to scholarly researchers and members of the general public.

—Mandy Rausch, UNT Libraries

Posted on: Mon 09 November 2015

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