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  • The primary mission of Center is to document the history of LSU. Because the history of the state and university are closely intertwined, many broader Louisiana subjects are documented as well. Interviewees include war veterans, former governors, congressmen, state and local officials, and other political figures.

    Documenting the Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana and the diverse cultures that comprise our state are also high priorities. In addition to these large projects, individuals or groups of individuals who possess unique knowledge about the state's culture or history are also of interest.

    Public outreach is an important aspect of the Center's mission. Through training workshops, consultations, and collaborations with individual researchers, community groups, classes, and institutions, we enhance oral history collections throughout the state. Often, the collections that result from these collaborative efforts are donated to LSU Libraries for preservation and public access; in many cases copies are provided to libraries, schools, museums, providing access for members of the communities in which the oral histories were collected.

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    The Center conducts, collects, preserves, and makes available to scholars oral histories--primary source documents of Louisiana's social, political, and cultural history. The collection to date is comprised of over 40 series and contains over 2,500 tape-recorded interviews totaling more than 3,000 hours of tape.

    The Center sponsors and directs several on-going projects. The Center works to collect and preserve, through the use of tape-recorded interviews, unique and valuable information about Louisiana history that exists only in people's memories and would otherwise be lost. We accomplish this through interviews conducted by Center staff, paid interviewers, and volunteers, and by encouraging and assisting those who wish to carry out their own oral history projects. All interviews are prepared for deposit in the LSU Libraries Special Collections.

    But the work of the Center goes beyond simply recording interviews. All tapes that enter our collection are eventually transcribed or indexed by student and contract workers. Staff members edit the transcripts and prepare topical abstracts of the interviews. Ultimately, all tapes and transcripts are deposited into the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) housed in LSU Libraries Special Collections at Hill Memorial Library. Barring any restrictions placed on them by the interviewee or the interviewer, the tapes and transcripts are made available to researchers.

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The T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History | LSU Libraries Special Collections
Hill Memorial Library | LSU Campus, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3300
Telephone: (225) 578-6577
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Last Updated: Friday, 13-Dec-2013 11:10:03 CST