In advance of Black History Month, the UMass Amherst Libraries are reminding the campus community about the availability of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, the nation’s largest collection of African American video oral history archives. The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is a unique reference tool that provides easy access to an internationally recognized archival collection of thousands of video oral history interviews with African Americans from all walks of life, capturing the personal testimonies of African Americans since the 1930s Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) recording of former slaves.
Currently, the archive boasts more than 148,000 stories from life oral history interviews with nearly 2,700 historically significant African Americans, representing a rich network of historical connections that are easily searchable by image, text and thematic references. It focuses on American history, oral history and education in general, and more specifically, on African American history, education, music, law, the arts, science, technology, media, medicine, entertainment, fashion and beauty, business, the military, politics and sports.
The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is available on-campus to anyone within the campus’s IP ranges, and off-campus to those with UMass Amherst NetIDs and passwords.