The Smithsonian Institution’s magnificent Archives of American Art contains wonderful treasures. We will highlight two of them: oral history interviews and digitized collections of papers. The former site is comprised of hundreds of interviews with those connected with the arts, from administrators to educators to painters. There is a brief biographical note, collection summary, and transcript appended to each entry; in certain cases, an audio excerpt is also available. Currently, the latter site houses 110 artists’ collections online; these range from the letters of Albert Bierstadt to Charles Scribner’s Sons Art Reference Department. Hundreds of thousands of documents/texts/images, etc. are freely available. GREAT resources for art history or history researchers.
Archive for Interviews
The BBC’s World Book Club is a monthly podcast where leading authors get to discuss their favorite book and answer questions from listeners and the studio audience. The latest episode features Neil Gaiman talking about American Gods. This program spans the world: interviews with Maya Angelou, John Grisham, Gunter Grass, and Amit Chaudhuri are some of the notables here. The program also features special presentations, such as discussions on the Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, and Pride and Prejudice. Originally a half an hour in length, each episode now lasts almost an hour. This is a delight for book lovers (you know who you are).
World War II ended almost sixty years; those who were part of that global struggle are disappearing very rapidly, and all we have left are their thoughts/memories. These repositories have captured what they experienced. The Cornelius J. Ryan Collection at Ohio University has a digital exhibit containing dozens of eyewitness accounts. It is a little awkward to navigate, but a patient researcher will find much of value here. The Drop Zone concentrates on America’s elite services: Raiders, paratroopers, glidermen, Rangers, etc. The Rutgers Oral History Archives has a special section on World War II interviews; hundreds are available. The Library of Congress hosts the Veterans History Project that holds over 2400 World War II interviews, some containing sound and video recordings. The National World War II Museum features two dozen taped interviews. Rosie the Riveter World War II Homefront Project details through numerous interviews life in the San Francisco area during the war. The Georgia World War II Oral History Project contains many recorded interviews, some over an hour long. The New York State Military Museum’s Veteran Oral History Program also offers interviews on a more local level. Thousands of oral histories from the British perspective can be found at BBC WW2 People’s War
From jazz to gospel, rock to folk, over two hundred interviews were conducted with such luminaries as Artie Shaw, Tom Jones, Sting, and Tina Turner. The first batch of twenty-five have been made public featuring Graham Nash, Herbie Hancock, and Tony Bennett; the rest will be released over time. This disclaimer is attached to the collection by the Library of Congress: “Some contain adult language and touch on mature themes such as drug use and sexuality. They are presented as part of the record of our culture. They are historical documents which reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of the time in which they were recorded. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these recordings, which may contain content offensive to users.”
This past weekend was a busy one for Governor Christie; he appeared on three separate Sunday news programs. He can be seen on: Face the Nation (at the 2.08 mark with numerous links to newspaper articles here and a transcript here); Meet the Press (transcript here); and This Week with George Stephanopoulos (at the 1.43 mark with the transcript here).
Membership for scientists in the National Academy of Sciences is “ … in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.” There is an ongoing project called InterViews that features some of these members; among them are Paul Ehrlich, Michael T.Clegg, and other luminaries. Each interview features background or biographical information along with “highlights” of the interview. Searching can be done by person or subject area.
These 80+ interviews are primarily with civil rights attorneys who battled against discrimination and segregation through the legal system. A fuller explanation of the project can be found here. Definitely a primary source of information concerning those contentious times.
Dozens of interviews on numerous topics are featured in this collection. Based on over twenty-five years’ worth of interviews, subjects from Kofi Annan to U Thant reflect on the founding of the UN, the Congo question, Cuba, and many other significant international occurrences. Audio downloads and transcripts are available. A great primary resource.
His Face the Nation interview of February 27 features his thoughts on collective bargaining, the education sector, and social security.
These sites deal with United States black leaders: Frontline: The Two Nations of Black America (Henry Louis Gates interviews pivotal figures); Black Leadership: Oral History Interviews (from the University of Virginia, concentrating on civil rights leaders); Interview with John Hope Franklin (Documenting the American South); HistoryMakers (interviews with 310 prominent black leaders from all segments of life; free registration required); National Visionary Leadership Project (hundreds of interviews); and Black American Musicians (from the University of Michigan; 150 interviews of legendary artists).
The December 19 airing of 60 Minutes included a segment on the fiscal difficulties many states are facing called State Budgets: Day of Reckoning; Governor Christie’s interview starts at 6:47 into the program. He says nothing new, and repeats his assertions that public sector benefits packages are part of the current problem. The prgram also contains “Web Extras” – two short pieces with the Governor as well as a transcript of the program.
The Paris Review has introduced readers to some of the foremost writers of our time. Poets, novelists, playwrights, and short story writers have graced its pages for almost six decades.(For more history, come here.) But one of its greatest gifts to literature are its interviews with writers under the umbrella Writers at Work. This continung series features such luminaries as Woody Allen, Arthur Miller, William Styron, Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner, Lillian Hellman, and two of our favorites: Patrick O’Brian and Ray Bradbury. All interviews can be searched by author or by decade.
A transcript and video are here. Some of his actions are supported by a Quinnipiac University poll released today that indicates a majority support state worker layoffs, furloughs, and salary freezes.
With interviews ranging from Alan Alda to Henry Winkler, EmmyTVLegends provides great insights into not only the early days of televison, but allows a glimpse into the making of present-day shows. With more than 600 interviews totaling over 2000 hours, this site allows the movers and shakers to recount their experiences in chronological fashion. Included on this site are rather lengthy examinations of specific TV shows as well as an accounting of every show mentioned in the interviews. For a behind-the-scenes-look at this most influential medium, EmmyTVLengends is the place to go. This site can also be supplemented by the comprehensive Encyclopedia of Television; the first edition is sponsored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications which, with free registration, permits you, gentle reader, access to over 7000 hours of digital radio and TV shows.
We had previously posted on this topic, but have since found another site sponsored by the University of Michigan at Dearborn’s Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archives. Hundreds of interviews reside here with more than fifty available online; you can listen to the interviews as well as read a transcript of them. Each posting is accompanied by maps and photos. Newer interviews are added occasionally.