Digital Projects


Andrew Carnegie

The Carnegie Corporation of New York Oral History Project has been a forty-year undertaking. It was conducted in two phases. Phase One of the projects began in 1966 and was completed in 1974. The 479 hours of testimony and 9,948 pages of transcript gathered in this phase reflect the thinking of Corporation officers, staff members, and grantees and offer a rich portrait of the Corporation's evolution over the first 58 years of its existence. The interviewees discuss the organization's work in adult education, cognitive research, educational testing, library science, music education, national security, teacher education, and social-science research generally. Phase Two of the project, begun in 1996, traces the continuity of many of these programs across the second half of the twentieth century and the Corporation's expansion into global funding strategies in the areas of peace, scientific research, and international cooperation. Phase Two of the project covers the period between 1966 and 1997 of the Corporation's history. Phase Three of the project is not yet available online. This most recent phase was conducted between October 2011 and September 2013 and produced 150 hours of interview, including a significant amount recorded on video. Focusing on Dr. Gregorian's fifteen-year tenure as President of CCNY the project provides a close examination of the growth and development of the programs and initiatives that represent the Corporation's philanthropic work, including its ongoing efforts to develop libraries and library resources in Africa, support individual scholarship on global topics, and strengthen civic education and immigrant integration in the U.S.

Frances Perkins

Notable New Yorkers offers audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with ten influential New Yorkers, drawn from the Columbia Center for Oral History Archives. These interviews, conducted between 1955 and 2001, open an imaginative portal into twentieth-century New York City and the ways in which it has deeply affected the culture and history of the United States and the world beyond. With three background essays and a briefer methodological introduction for each oral history, this site also provides a revealing look at the art of the biographical interview—a methodology developed by the Columbia Center for Oral History—in which individuals who have shaped history reflect upon their lives and accomplishments.

IRWGS: Feminist Graduate Students Unite!

Institute for Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWGS) Oral History Project: In celebration of its 25th anniversary in 2012, IRWGS sought a way to trace its contributions to feminist scholarship and its role within the larger context of Columbia University as a source of intellectual leadership.The IRWGS Oral History Project was guided by a set of research questions, which emphasized the role of IRWGS as an political actor within the broader context of Columbia University, agitating for the inclusion of feminist analysis and practice, and working to do so, in its early years, without much institutional support from the university. As the project progressed, questions expanded to explore issues of generation, activism, the developments within feminism(s), evidence of increasing support of IRWGS by the university, and the challenge of addressing diversity, sexuality and other forms of social difference theoretically and as professional practice.

Guantanamo Bay Prison

The Rule of Law Oral History Project was initiated in 2008 to explore and document the state of human and civil rights in the post-9/11 world. In its first year, the project conducted a series of interviews with attorneys in order to document legal challenges against capital punishment in the United States. Recognizing important intersections between litigation challenging the administration of capital punishment and the legal architecture of post-9/11 detention policies and practices, the Rule of Law Oral History Project expanded in 2010 to study the statutory and constitutional challenges of the use of the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project: In an effort to preserve the legacy of Rauschenberg’s life and work, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, in collaboration with the Columbia Center for Oral History, has undertaken the Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project. This collection of firsthand accounts, as told by the artist’s family, friends, and many collaborators, will be housed on the foundation website. Upon completion of the project in 2016, transcripts will also be available at the Columbia Center for Oral History Archives.

Archibald Cox

Archibald Cox Oral History: Archibald Cox stands out in American legal history as a leader of tremendous courage, expertise, and integrity. Widely known for his role as special prosecutor during Watergate, Cox served in a variety of federal-government positions from the 1940s to the mid-1960s. He later taught at Harvard Law School and led Common Cause, a citizens lobbying group focused on government accountability.

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The Columbia Center for Oral History Research maintains an active grant portfolio.

Learn more about current projects here.