The Old South Baton Rouge Community Dreaming website is including several of the Center’s interviews that belong to the McKinley High School Oral History series. Select interviews from the collection are available via OSBR for audio streaming and patrons can read along with the accompanying transcription. To find out more about the McKinley project and how to access or order copies of the interviews, please visit the collection description or contact the director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The McKinley High School Oral History Project was co-sponsored by the LSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Community University Partnership (CUP), and the LSU Libraries T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Grants from the Baton Rouge Job Training Partnership Act Office (JTPA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funded the various summer youth oral history projects, which resulted in the creation of 210 collections, including tapes and transcripts. The collections were deposited at the Williams Center, where they have been digitized; processing is nearly complete and this includes transcribing, auditing, editing, abstracting, and cataloging. The collections are housed with LSU Libraries Special Collections, where they are made available to researchers for access and duplication. Upon final completion all available collections will be found online at LOUISiana Digital Library.
To make this community history more readily accessible within Old South Baton Rouge, the Center has made its copies of recordings available the Carver Branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library. Continuing this trend of providing multiple points of access, the Williams Center recently provided OSBR Community Dreaming selected interviews to stream on their website.
The McKinley High School Oral History Project ran for five summers in the mid 1990s. Each summer, McKinley High school students with the assistance of faculty and students from the Williams Center and the College of Education conducted interviews on the African American experience in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Topics include the history of McKinley High School, African American businesses during the period of segregation, the history of black churches in Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, and African American social organizations.