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The Roots of Community project has completed oral history interviews with several former users of the twelve segregated Carnegie libraries. A complete list of these interviews appears at the bottom of this page, along with a transcript and embedded audio file.

Immediately below is a longer list, alphabetically by community, of oral history interviews related to the history of segregated Carnegie libraries and their communities. It includes all six of the Roots of Community interviews (labeled “ROC Project Collections”) plus interviews from other collections (made available online by those repositories). These additional interviews focus mainly on the history of African Americans in each community; a few nonetheless discuss their community’s segregated Carnegie library, albeit briefly. Their inclusion here is merely for the benefit of researchers; any questions about those interviews should be addressed to the appropriate repository.

The Roots of Community’s oral history component is ongoing. If ever you used one of the project’s twelve libraries, and you would be interested in sharing your memories of the library by donating an interview to the project, please contact the Project Director, Dr. Matthew R. Griffis, either via email or through the project’s Contact and Communications page.

Atlanta and the Auburn Branch Library:
McPheeters, Annie L. (1992-06-08, GSU Special Collections)

Greensboro and the Carnegie Negro Library:
Chavis, Vance H. (1973-05-28, 1979-11-21 and 1988-12-06,UNCG Collections)
Dowdy, Lewis (1975-01-21, UNCG Collections)
Sims, Sheila Cunningham (2012-04-12, UNCG Collections)

Houston and the Colored Carnegie Library:
Bryant, Thelma Scott (1981-10-21a, 1981-10-21b and 2007-08-03, HPL Collections)
Hartwell, Willie (2018-06-02, audio, ROC Project Collections)
Ross, Myrtle (2018-07-16, audio, ROC Project Collections)

Knoxville and the Free Colored Library:
Daves, J. Herman (1972-02-13, U of M Collections via Internet Archive)

Louisville and the Western Colored Branch Library:
Baker, Houston A. (2017-02-27, audio, ROC Project Collections)
Edwards-Hunter, Karen (2017-04-25, audio, ROC Project Collections)
Hutchins, Walter T. (1999-00-00, KHS Collections)

Meridian and the 13th Street Colored Library:
Turner, Maxine (2017-01-12, audio, ROC Project Collections)
Wilson, Jerome (2016-11-19, audio, ROC Project Collections)


Submissions from 2018


2018-06-02 Oral History with Willie Hartwell, Matthew R. Griffis


2018-07-16 Oral History with Myrtle Ross, Matthew R. Griffis

Submissions from 2017


Oral History with Houston A. Baker, Matthew R. Griffis


Oral History with Karen Edwards-Hunter, Matthew R. Griffis


Oral History with Maxine Turner, Matthew R. Griffis

Submissions from 2016


Oral History with Jerome Wilson, Matthew R. Griffis