Biographical files of the Black Women Oral History Project, ca.1879-2011
Articles, resumes, ephemera, and photographs providing additional biographical information about women interviewed for the Schlesinger Library's Black Women Oral History Project. Materials relate to family background, childhood, education, careers, and professional and voluntary accomplishments.
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Black Women Oral History Project as well as copyright in other records in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent3.8 linear feet ((5 file boxes, 1 oversize box) plus 1 folio folder, 2 folio+ folders, 68 photograph folders, 1 supersize folder)
The biographical files of the Black Women Oral History Project consist of research material collected by the project about the oral history interviewees. The files include legal agreements, letters, newspaper and magazine articles, book chapters, organization publications, family trees, resumes, manuscripts, ephemera, posters, Clementine Hunter paintings, and photographs related to the personal and professional lives or family history of the oral history interviewees. These materials supplement the oral histories and offer additional biographical information on interviewees in the form of primary and secondary documents.
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL FILES, 1896-2011, n.d. (#1.1-5.16, 6OB.1-6OB.5, FD.1, F+D.1-F+D.2, SD.1), includes oral history legal agreements, oral history worksheets (lists name and address of interviewee, interviewer, dates of interview, restrictions, number of tapes, etc.), brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, newspaper and magazine articles, family trees, resumes, manuscripts, ephemera, invitations, posters, and awards related to the personal and professional lives of the oral history interviewees. There are also five original paintings by Clementine Hunter. These paintings have been digitized and can be searched through Hollis. There are files for all interviewees except Merze Tate. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Series II, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1879-1992, n.d. (#PD.1-PD.68), includes photographs and photo negatives of oral history interviewees, their family, and friends. There are photograph files for all interviewees except Minnie Fisher, Audley Moore, and Merze Tate. There are very few original photographs; most are copies of originals retained by the interviewees. Additionally, there are copies made of photographs held by other archival repositories. Original photographs and negatives include portraits by Judith Sedwick of many of the interviewees for the 1984 photograph exhibition, Women of Courage.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.
Under the auspices of the Schlesinger Library, the Black Women Oral History Project interviewed 72 African American women between 1976 and 1981. The project recorded a cross section of women who had made significant contributions to American society in the first half of the twentieth century. Many interviewees had professional careers in fields such as education, government, the arts, business, medicine, law, and social work. Others combined care for their families with volunteer work at the local, regional, or national level. During the interviews women discuss childhood, education, family background, influences affecting their primary career or activity, professional and voluntary accomplishments, and ways in which being a black woman affected their opportunities.
Additional research information was collected on the backgrounds and histories of interviewees. This information makes up the biographical files of the project.
The collection is arranged in two series:
- Series I. Biographical Files, 1896-2011, n.d. (#1.1-5.16, 6OB.1-6OB.5, FD.1, F+D.1-F+D.2, SD.1)
- Series II. Photographs, ca.1879-1992, n.d. (#PD.1-PD.68)
Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 79-M281, 86-M5, 97-M73, 2001-M107, 2012-M194
The Biographical files of the Black Women Oral History Project were transferred to Schlesinger Library between June 1997 and October 2012 by the Black Women Oral History Project.
Clementine Hunter paintings (#6OB.1-6OB.3) were given to the Black Women Oral History Project as supplementary material in December 1979 by Thomas Whitehead. Additional Clementine Hunter paintings (#6OB.4-6OB.5) were given to the Black Women Oral History Project in January 1986 by Robert Ryan.
The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:
- A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund. Negro Pioneers in the Chicago Labor Movement. n.d.
- California Museum of Afro-American History and Culture. Positive Images. 1983.
- Holmes, Estelle, et al. Here's Zelma. 1971.
- Howard University Gallery of Art. Twentieth Annual Faculty Exhibition 1990: Howard University. 1990.
- Jones, Virginia Lacy. Reminiscences in Librarianship and Library Education. 1979.
- Mckenty, Beth. Faces of Milwaukee: Ardie Halyard. 1978.
- Meridian House International. The World of Lois Mailou Jones. 1990.
- Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists. Lois and Pierre: Two Master Artists. 1983.
- Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists. Reflective Moments. 1973.
- National Urban League. Ever Widening Horizons. 1951.
- National Urban League. The National Urban League: Yesterday and Today. n.d.
- National Urban League. Negro Heroes: Trues Stories Told in Full Color, No.1. 1947.
- National Urban League. Tomorrow's Scientists and Technicians. 1958.
- National Urban League. Womanpower is Vital to Victory! 1943.
- National Urban League. Working Together for Tomorrow's Jobs. 1952.
- Peters, Russell M. The Wampanoags of Mashpee. 1987.
- Tanneyhill, Ann. From School to Job: Guidance for Minority Youth. 1953.
- Tanneyhill, Ann. Guiding Negro Youth Toward Jobs: The Color Line Series. 1938.
- Tanneyhill, Ann. Program Aids. 1950.
- Tanneyhill, Ann. Program Aids for the Vocational Opportunity Campaign. 1945.
- Tanneyhill, Ann. Vocational Guidance Bibliography. 1940.
- Waddles, Charleszetta. Understanding Self: Self Awareness According to the Holy Scriptures. n.d.
Processed: March 2017
By: Jehan Sinclair, with assistance from Margaret Dalton.
- African American civil rights workers
- African American social workers
- African American women
- African American women artists
- African American women political activists
- African American women teachers
- African American women--Education
- African American women--Employment
- African American women--History
- Carver, George Washington, 1864?-1943
- Civil rights--United States
- Springer, Maida
- United States--Race relations
- Black Women Oral History Project. Biographical Files of the Black Women Oral History Project, ca.1879-2011: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.
3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA