Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Oral History Program
The ALPL Oral History Program is dedicated to preserving the stories and memories of Illinois‘s citizens, not just the famous and prominent among us, but of people from all walks of life. Oral history combines the most ancient way humanity has preserved history—through the spoken word—with modern technology.
Oral history preserves the first-hand accounts of people who have lived eventful lives, giving voice to those who are too often overlooked by traditional historians and recording stories and experiences too rarely preserved.
The ALPL Oral History Program is organized into the projects listed below. Our top priority projects are Illinois Statecraft (IL politics), Agriculture in Illinois, and Veterans Remember, but we believe there is something of interest for everyone. Explore our site and discover for yourself the richness and diversity of our growing collection.
To find out more about a particular interview, visit the Library. Many of our interviews include additional documents, photos, and related materials that are preserved in the oral history archive maintained in the Library’s Audio-Visual Department. For further information, or for making an appointment, call the reference desk at (217) 524-6358.
Library hours are Monday – Friday: 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Oral History Projects
Alphabetical Listing of Interviews
Agriculture in Illinois
African American Chronicles
Education is Key
Organizations and Agencies
People of Faith
Go to Oral History Teacher Lesson Plans
The oral histories presented here are the result of the hard work, commitment, and generosity of many people and organizations. We are especially thankful for the continuing support of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and the tireless efforts of the Information Technology staff. Dedicated and talented volunteers have unselfishly offered their time and skills in conducting, transcribing, auditing, and editing the interviews. The ALPL Oral History program has been fortunate to receive several grants from public and private institutions. Our granting institutions include the Tawani Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, which supports the Veterans Remember project, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, whose grant supported the Oral History of Illinois Agriculture project. The Springfield African-American History Foundation (SAAHF) transcriptions have been funded in part by an Illinois Humanities Council grant to the SAAHF. We are indebted to Dr. Cullom Davis, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois-Springfield, formerly Sangamon State University. A pioneer in the field of oral history and a former president of the Oral History Association, Davis is a mentor and informal advisor to the program.
Additional oral history collections found in the Library's Audio-Visual Archives:
Adlai E. Stevenson III Christian County Coal Mining Department of Aging Homemaker's Project Italians in Chicago Starved Rock Oral Histories WW II Veteran Histories Available by appointment only: Call: (217)785-7955.
Copyright, Usage, Linking Disclaimer, and Privacy Concerns
Having problems with one of our interviews? Do you have suggestions for future interview candidates, or need advice for doing your own interview project? We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Director of Oral History
ALPLM 112 North 6th Street
Springfield, IL 62701