Oral History Collections Available Online

Oral History Collections Available Online

Thanks to special IU funding, the audio-visual material that was housed in the IU East archives was digitized as part of the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI Project).  We are working on moving them into IU’s publicly accessible Media Collection Online (MCO), which is the campus wide platform for all of IU’s digitized AV material. We are building collections and transitioning them to MCO from Dark Avalon, which is a read-only, restricted access site.

IU East currently has five collections available:

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes from 1995-2004

The Faculty Senate serves as a legislative body of the university, comprised of all faculty members. They share in the responsibility of creating and recommending academic policy within curricula and other general operations related to the university.

Oral History Project Collection

The oral history project started in 1975 as part of the celebration of the American Revolution Bicentennial. Students from IU East and staff from the City of Richmond Mayor’s Office began the first interviews and transcriptions. At first it was a group of interviews about the 1968 explosion in downtown Richmond. More recently, the interviews are about the lives and memories of Richmond community members. The collection has grown slowly since that time to include several collections focused on different populations of the community.

 

Starr-Gennett Oral Histories

This collection was started in honor of Richmond’s 200th birthday in 2006 and made possible through the Wayne County Foundation grant and a matching grant from the Indiana Humanities Council in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. IUE worked in collaboration with the Starr-Gennett Foundation. The Starr Piano Company started in Richmond in 1872. Starr Piano’s factories were located in the heart of Richmond, in the Whitewater Gorge. The company sold thousands of pianos, but in 1915 they decided to start making phonographs and records, creating the Gennett Record label. Many famous jazz, blues, gospel, and country musicians recorded here, including one the most famous of all jazz players, Louis Armstrong. The Starr Piano Company stopped putting out records in 1934 and the last pianos were made in 1949. The company was sold at auction in 1952. Many of the oral histories are former employees of the Starr Piano Company/Gennett Records or relatives of former employees, individuals who had some dealings with the Gennett or Starr families, or recorded music there.

African American Oral History Project

Like the Starr-Gennett Oral Histories, this collection was part of an exhibit in honor of Richmond’s 200th birthday in 2006 and made possible through the Wayne County Foundation grant and a matching grant from the Indiana Humanities Council in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. African Americans have been living in Richmond since the early 1880’s and have had a major influence on the community. Richmond and Wayne County was also part of the Underground Railroad.

Women’s Oral History Collection

Like the Starr-Gennett Oral Histories and the African American Oral Histories, this collection was part of an exhibit in honor of Richmond’s 200th birthday in 2006 and made possible through the Wayne County Foundation grant and a matching grant from the Indiana Humanities Council in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. This collection contains the accounts of local women and recognizes their achievements as housewives, full time mothers, and career women.

We are working on publishing more content, such as nursing pinning ceremony and IU East video advertisements. If you know we have something in our AV collection and it’s not available yet in MCO, just contact IU East Archivist Beth South at eabrockm@iue.edu and we can set you up quickly with access.

Figure 1Dark Avalon, content not yet published

You can access these collections and others from Media Collections Online here: https://media.dlib.indiana.edu/. You can search by collection name   or by unit (IU East Libraries) to see all of what we have available at IU East.

While a lot of our AV material has been digitized, this project is not over. We have most of our older formats digitized (VHS, 45’s and 78’s, betacam, various mm of film, eight track tapes, u-matics, laserdiscs, etc.), but we still have our DVDs from the Athletics Department that is currently in the queue to be digitized. Once they are returned, we’ll get to work to add the athletic videos to Media Collections Online.

If you have any questions about accessing these materials or about the IU East Archives, please contact Beth South at eabrockm@iue.edu.

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