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Library of Congress Receives African American Oral History Collection

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A photo of the massive amount of archived material the FTA curates

The Archive is renowned for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media. It is dedicated to ensuring that film history is explored and enjoyed for generations to come.

The Library of Congress recently announced the donation from The HistoryMakers of thousands of hours of video oral histories, focused on African American history, life and culture.

The HistoryMakers is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999 and is the nation’s largest African American video oral history collection. The collection notably features perspectives from unsung African Americans, as well as from well-known figures in the community, with 2,600 interviews already recorded.

Those interviewed include Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, Alonzo Pettie, the oldest living black cowboy, and prima ballerina Ayisha McMillan—and oral histories are continually being added to the growing archive.

—Staci Hogsett, UCLA Moving Image Archive Studies