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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

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Collection Overview
Creator:Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Oral History Office.
Title:Dept. of History, Oral History Office records
Dates:1976-1994
Call Number:A21
Location:26/1-2
Volume:7.5 cubic ft. (33 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract: The Oral History Collection consists of material pertaining to oral history projects that Wayne Anderson and his students conducted under the auspices of the Northeastern University Department of History from 1977 to 1991. Oral History Office records pertain to the development and organization of the oral history program at Northeastern and include lecture notes, book lists, curriculum materials, correspondence, and book reviews. Oral History Project records include original and duplicate audio tapes, partial or complete transcripts of interviews, and support documentation for interviews, including correspondence, narrator biographical data, legal releases, copyright information, interview schedules, users' guides to the interviews, and interview outlines. There is also collateral material for some interviews, including reproductions of photographs, maps, brochures, newspaper articles, and personal effects such as photocopied diaries and letters. Oral History Projects included the American China Mission Project, Cambridge School Crisis Project, Immigrant Voyages Project, Lynn Shoe Industry Project, Massachusetts Port Authority Project, Merchant Marine Project, New England Fishermen Project, Professions and Society Project, the Sixties Project, Town Histories Project, Transportation Project, and Vietnam War, World War I, and World War II Projects.
Historical Abstract:Wayne Anderson, a lecturer in the Northeastern University Department of History, introduced the oral history program as an independent study course at the graduate level in 1977. From 1977 to 1990, Anderson and his students participated in a variety of oral history projects, which generally focused on themes of regional interest. For example, between 1978 and 1990, projects included interviews with Massachusetts residents regarding the following topics: a race-related shooting within a Cambridge public school, the lives of New England fishermen, experiences of Episcopal missionaries in China, histories recounted by twentieth-century immigrants to America, descriptions of work in the Lynn shoe industry, and interviews with World War I and II veterans. Anderson also undertook several projects that were not directly affiliated with Northeastern University, including work with the Cape Ann Historical Association, the Lincoln Historical Society, the Newton Free Library, and the Winchester Archival Center. As director of the Oral History Program at Northeastern, Wayne Anderson's responsibilities included developing, implementing, and managing interviewing projects; editing transcripts; supervising research; preparing users' guides for the interviews; and caring for the tape collection. While the program enjoyed popularity for a few years, it was not strong enough to sustain itself within the history department. His death in 1991 also contributed to the demise of the program.
Arrangement:The collection is organized into three series: Series I. Oral History Office; Series II. Oral History Projects; and Series III. Audio Tapes.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Anderson, R. Wayne, 1941-1991

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Dept. of History.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Oral History Office.
  • Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

  • Massachusetts--History, Local.
  • Immigrants--United States.
  • Fishers--New England.
  • Missionaries--China.
  • Shoe industry--Massachusetts--Lynn.
  • Nineteen sixties.
  • School violence.
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Veterans.
  • World War, 1914-1918--Veterans.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Meg Moughan, Staff, November 1997