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DC Public Library Oral History Project

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: OHP003

Scope and Contents

Between 1972 and 1992 the Library conducted 29 oral history interviews with individuals who had a long association with and knowledge of Washington D.C. Topics include childhood experiences, segregation, religion, neighborhoods, education, communities, employment, demographics and social life. The interviews were organized and conducted by Marcia M. Greenlee and Roxanna Deane.


  • Creation: 1972 - 1992


Conditions Governing Use

D.C. Public Library holds copyright for all items in the collection with a signed release. Reproduction of oral histories without a release is not permitted

Biographical / Historical

The D.C. Public Library was founded in 1896 by an act of Congress “to furnish books and other printed matter and information service convenient to the homes and offices of all residents of the District."


7.5 Linear feet

7 Boxes

Language of Materials



Series 1: Transcripts
Materials in this series include transcripts for most interviews. There is no transcript for 03-54.

Series 2: Bound Editions
Materials in this series consist of bound transcripts of two individuals, Nora Drew Gregory and G. R. F. Key. Additional copies of this series have been added to the Washingtoniana Book Collection.

Series 3: Interviews
Materials in this series include master and patron access copies of the oral histories on audio cassette. There are two copies of each audio cassette except for the following: 03-01, 03-02, 03-03, 03-05, 03-16, 03-17, 03-18, 03-19, 03-29, 03-30, 03-31, 03-39, 03-40, and 03-56.

Custodial History

D.C. Public Library conducted these oral histories between 1972 and 1992. Deposit into the Library's collection occurred at the time the interview was conducted.

Processing Information

In 1982, the Washingtoniana Division established the Oral History Research Center (OHRC). The Center was funded in part by the D.C. Humanities Council. Since then, the Library has conducted its own oral histories as well as acquired tapes recordings and transcripts from individuals or groups who conducted their own oral histories to OHRC to enhance public access. The collection was arranged by date of interview shortly after is conclusion. All files were foldered and placed in a filing cabinet. Tapes were duplicated by the Library with the original being placed into off site deep storage, and patrons given access to the use copy. Transcripts from two interviews in this collection, those of G.R.F. Key and Nora Drew Gregory, have been bound and cataloged with the Washingtoniana book collection. All known tapes and transcripts for this collection were digitized in 2014. There are no tapes for interview 03-59 and no transcript for interview 03-54. In 2017 the collection was reprocessed with all materials being placed in new folders and boxed. administrative materials were moved to the control file. Master tapes and use copies were placed in interview order and boxed.

DC Public Library Oral History Project
An inventory of the DC Public Library Oral History Project at DC Public Library
DC Public Library, Special Collections Department
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001