Indiana University South Bend Archives
1700 Mishawaka Ave. P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, Indiana 46634
Creator: Civil Rights Heritage Center
Title: Oral History Collection of the Civil Rights Heritage Center
Extent: Six (6) bankers boxes totaling 7.5 cubic feet.
Dr. Les Lamon formed the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center in 2001 with the intent to better research and document the history of the African American community and civil rights movement in and around South Bend, Indiana. Among their first and most fruitful efforts was the establishment of the Oral History program. Students and Civil Rights Heritage Center staff and volunteers, all under the guidance of IU South Bend professors, began recording and transcribing the stories of many people who lived through and worked for the civil rights movement - Helen Pope, Dr. Bernard Streets, Barbara Brandy, John Charles Bryant, Willie Mae Butts, Dr. Roland Chamblee, and dozens more. Interviews were conducted wherever students and subjects could get together and talk – at the subjects’ homes, in restaurants, on the IU South Bend campus, etc. Although the bulk of the interviews were conducted during the first few years, the program continues through this writing.
For more information about the early formation of the Civil Rights Heritage Center and its Oral History program, see materials stored in the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center Institutional Records Collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection is organized alphabetically by the last name of each individual. Each folder contains materials collected for each individual – recordings (original and subsequent copies, or born digital), release forms, printed transcripts, and occasionally floppy discs containing a digital version of the transcript. In some cases, individuals were interviewed on more than one occasion. In those cases, seperate folders for each interview were made. Many of the original recordings were made on standard analog audio cassettes, most of which were transferred to recordable compact disc (CD-R). On a few occasions, video recordings were made using a camcorder and stored on digital video disc (DVD). A number of those recordings contain an alphanumeric code, beginning with the letter “A” for audio or “V” for video, followed by a three-digit number. This code refers to the first attempt at digitization by IU South Bend’s Instructional Media Services. The original analog cassettes were recorded onto compact disc (CD-R) in standard 44.1khz/16-bit quality. MP3s were made of those recordings and accessible through an on-campus shared computer storage.
In some cases, legal release forms were not included with or not obtained for the interview. In addition, the link between the forms and the original interviews aren’t always a logical match (e.g. dates not included, different dates signed on the forms, etc.). For questions about the legal status of a particular interview, please contact IU South Bend Dean of Library Services Vicki Bloom at the email address or telephone number listed above.