Campus Folksong Club

The Campus Folksong Club was active on the University of Illinois campus from the early 1960s through the early 1970s. During its height in the 1960s, the CFC had over 500 members. The University of Illinois Campus Folksong Club Oral History Project was developed by Tracie Wilson, the 2006-2007 Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Fellow and folklorist with technical assistance by Tabatha Becker, Reference and Web Resources Graduate Assistant. Additional interviews were conducted by Annie Paprocki, Anthropology and Sociology Librarian.

COVID-19 Documentation Project

The COVID-19 Documentation Project seeks to document the administrative and scientific responses to the COVID-19 pandemic at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Illinois at Springfield, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Illinois System. A major portion of this project included conducting oral histories with various administrators, scientists, faculty, staff, and external stakeholders from each institution. Notable interviewees include President Timothy (Tim) L. Killeen and Ron Watkins of SHIELD Illinois.

Delta Sigma Theta

The Alpha Nu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was chartered at the University of Illinois on May 16, 1932. In May 2018, members of the Champaign-Urbana Alumnae Chapter returned to campus for a reunion held in the Illini Union where several members were interviewed. Interviewees discuss their experience as African American students at the University of Illinois and as members of a Black Greek Letter Organization in the 1960s.

The Great Depression

During the 1930s, the state of Illinois suffered the effects of the Great Depression, just like the rest of the country. Students at the University of Illinois felt the effects of the economic downturn in a number of ways. This collection of oral histories was compiled from a series of interviews conducted by the Student Life and Culture Archival Program in 2000 and 2001 in an effort to document student life at the University of Illinois from the years 1928 to 1938

Krannert Center 50th Anniversary

Krannert Center first opened its doors in 1969 – the manifestation of a dream that began with two remarkable individuals, Herman and Ellnora Krannert, whose philanthropy has profoundly influenced the University of Illinois through gifts supporting both Krannert Art Museum and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Widely considered the nation’s leading university-based performing arts center, for five decades Krannert Center has served as classroom, laboratory, and public square for the campus,community, and region. Krannert Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary in a two-season celebration, 2018-19 and 2019-20. University of Illinois students, staff and faculty and the general public share their stories of this remarkable facility.

Project 500

Project 500 was the first extensive effort by the University of Illinois to offer equal educational opportunities for all of the residents of Illinois. The details of the project were poorly carried out, and miscommunication led to a protest at the Illini Union on September 10, 1968 which resulted in the arrest of 240 black students. This collection consists of both audio recorded by Assistant Dean David Eisenman during the years of Project 500 and recordings of oral interviews with students and administrators involved in the program conducted by Joy Ann Williamson.

UI Centennial Project

In the 1960s, a series of oral histories were conducted to mark the University of Illinois Centennial. This was a collaborative effort between the University Archives and the WILL public broadcasting station to record sessions with faculty and alumni capture their experiences at the University of Illinois.

The Vietnam Era

In 2008 and 2009, Dan Raymond and Chris D’Arpa of the Student Life and Culture Archival Program conducted interviews with former administrators at the University of Illinois. These administrators were active at the University during the late-1960s and early 1970s when the campus was active with various kinds of student protest. The administrators discuss how the University responded to the changing needs of the student body by providing more opportunities for student organizations on campus.

ACES Student Advancement Committee (UI-02-151210-243.JPG)

ACES Student Advancement Committee (UI-02-151210-243.JPG)

Voices Now

Voices Now features oral history interviews with both alumni and faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A variety of student experiences are covered including campus life in the 1960s, the lasting impact of the University of Illinois, the Daily Illini, and reflections on how campus has changed over time.

Women in Computing

The Women in Computing and Information Technology Oral History Project includes oral history interviews with women faculty, alumnae, and students in the Department of Computer Science as well as IT professionals at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The interviews capture a diversity of experiences of women involved in various facets of computing – from network engineering and computational phylogenomics to multimedia and tele-immersive systems. These interviews were conducted by Bethany Anderson for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)-grant funded project “From Margin to Center: Reframing the History of Women in Computing and Information Technology through Oral Histories” (2017-2018).

World War II

World War II brought massive change to the University of Illinois. As thousands of male students were drafted, enrollment declined precipitously, and the men-women ratio on campus changed almost overnight from 3-1 to 1-4. In what was perhaps their biggest challenge, the administrators had to make room for thousands of Army and Navy men dispatched to the University for specialized training. When the veterans flocked back to the campus after the war, they found a University that had survived the crisis and that had begun to gear up for a new world offering higher education to more and more people.

University YMCA Building c.1960s

University YMCA

Coming Soon!

Cover of student publication Geek, Feb. 23, 1970. (RS 41/66/969, #0008297)

Student Protest Reunion

Inspired by the recently published book, Radicals in the Heartland: The 1960s Student Protest Movement at the University of Illinois by Michael Metz, University of Illinois Press hosted a series of panels and presentations in October 2019 exploring the past and present of student activism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Student Life and Culture Archives conducted oral history interviews with alumni who participated in the demonstrations during their time on campus.