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Oral History

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Campus Unrest at NIU

Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb

Farming and Farm Families in DeKalb County

NIU Biographies

History of NIU Foundation, February 7, 1987

Workers at Wurlitzer During World War II

Burlington Railroad Strike Collection

NIU Centennial Histories

Regional Histories



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Oral History, 1979-2008 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Oral History, 1979-2008

Predominant Dates:1979-2008

ID: RHC/UA/53/

Extent: 3.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1979

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Oral History Collection is comprised of ten separate oral history projects.  Some of the oral history projects are quite large, such as Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb (OH-2, containing 43 interviews) and Farming and Farm Families in DeKalb County (OH-3, containing 34 interviews).  Two collections, NIU Biographies (OH-4) and Regional Histories (OH-9), contain only one interview each, as of 2009.

In most cases the original oral history cassette interviews are available for listening.  In other cases, such as the Burlington Railroad Strike Collection (OH-7), only the transcripts are available [and these are located in RC 217].  Many of the other oral history interviews have only abstracts which highlight and summarize the questions and answers.  A reference assistant will aid researchers who wish to listen to the interviews on the tape recorder.

In some instances the researcher can find supplemental materials included with the collections.  Addition information may also be found in other University Archives and Regional History Collections  – please ask a staff member for assistance.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: The Regional History Center holds all property rights; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Glen Gildemeister

Acquisition Method: Glen Gildemeister began the acquisition of the oral histories in this collection during his tenure as University Archivist, 1979-2007.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Campus Unrest at NIU],
[Series 2: Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb],
[Series 3: Farming and Farm Families in DeKalb County],
[Series 4: NIU Biographies],
[Series 5: History of NIU Foundation, February 7, 1987],
[Series 6: Workers at Wurlitzer During World War II],
[Series 7: Burlington Railroad Strike Collection],
[Series 8: NIU Centennial Histories],
[Series 9: Regional Histories],
[All]

Series 2: Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb

INTRODUCTION

“Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb, 1955-1980,” was an oral history project sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council, under the auspices of the NIU Libraries and the Northern Illinois Regional History Center, and conducted from November 1980 to April 1981.  Co- sponsors of the project included the DeKalb County Historical Society, the DeKalb Human Relations Commission, the DeKalb Landmarks Commission, and the DeKalb Public Library.  Eleven volunteers interviewed DeKalb area citizens on various aspects of town-gown relations.  The project ended with a public forum on April 4, 1981 to provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss the problems, benefits, and future status of town-gown relations as revealed in the interviews.

Property rights in the series belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.  There are no restrictions on access to these materials.

DESCRIPTON

The interviews in this oral history series focus on the relationship between the DeKalb community and Northern Illinois University during a period of tremendous expansion (1955-1965) and conflict (the Vietnam Era, in particular 1968-1972).  Respondents discussed their personal viewpoints on DeKalb’s cultural resources, the impact of university expansion on economic growth, political changes, intergroup relations, and the future of town-gown relations.  Major topics include Ellwood House, the Arboretum controversy, the fluctuating voting and drinking age, student housing, responses to an influx of Black and foreign students, the city manager form of government and the student’s role on governmental boards, student unrest in the late 1960's, city planning and zoning, and downtown development.  Only a few of the interviews touch on how the “average” DeKalb citizen viewed the effects of university expansion during this period.

File Drawer 1
Folder 2a: OH 2 Inventory
Folder 2b: "Town-Gown Relations, DeKalb, Illinois, 1955-1980" - Final Report, October 1981
Folder OH 2.1: Patricia D. Canon, interviewed by Eleanor Price, January 5, 1981
Canon's interview focuses on the impact of university growth on DeKalb during the 1950's and the efforts of faculty members to promote informational, educational, and cultural programs throughout the community.  [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 50 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.2: Clara Sperling, interviewed by Susan Bowen, November 25, 1980
Sperling arrived in DeKalb in 1936 to work in the university president's office.  In her interview she discusses the Arboretum controversy, the university's contribution to the city, off-campus housing, politics, and university, government and industry cooperation. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 45 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.3: Judge Carl Swanson, Junior, interviewed by James Jarvis, December 6, 1980
DeKalb City Attorney from 1953-1956, Judge Swanson con-centrates on DeKalb politics, the voting age, drinking age, and the city manager form of government. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 25 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.4: Eleanor Huntzicker, interviewed by Eleanor Price, January 21, 1981
Huntzicker describes her family's response, as local merchants, to university expansion during the 1950's.  She also discusses the Ellwood House Project, the Page Museum Collection, the Arboretum, and NIU administration.  [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.5: Jack Arends, interviewed by Eleanor Price, December 10, 1980
Arends describes changes made on campus during the university's expansion and his position as Chairman of the Art Department from 1962 to 1972.  Major topics of discussion include the NIU Art Department, student radicalism in the 1960's, and local art resources. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.6: Mavis Williams, interviewed by Eleanor Price, January 9, 1981
Williams reveals her views on students as a housemother during the late 1940's and as an apartment owner since the 1950's. Ellwood House and its programs are also discussed. [abstract, transcript, 2 tapes, 80 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.7: Ruth Haddock, interviewed by Eleanor Price, December 30, 1980
Former Dean of Women at NIU from 1954 to 1974, Ruth Haddock's interview focuses primarily on student adjustment to campus life. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 50 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.8: Pete Taylor, interviewed by James Jarvis, November 14, 1980
Taylor focuses on the university's impact on the DeKalb City Airport from 1948 to 1980. [abstract, transcript, 1 tape and a duplicate tape, 20 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.9: John Lloyd, interviewed by Eleanor Price, January 22, 1981
Former Professor of Social Science at NIU, Lloyd presents his views on university growth and its effects on social and economic elements in the community, 1954 to 1980. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.10: Jessie Glidden, interviewed by Lucille Aikins, January 30, 1981
This interview presents Jessie Glidden's response to the university's growth and impact upon the economic, political, and cultural aspects of the community including the Arboretum controversy, DeKalb city government, and student representation, local business trends, and departmental changes on campus during the 1950's and 1960's. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 50 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.11: Joseph Katz, interviewed by Carol Logue, January 20, 1981
Katz's interview focuses on local support for university expansion and his involvement in land development during the 1960's. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.12: Howard Nelson, interviewed by Carol Logue, January 9, 1981
Nelson, a DeKalb banker since the 1930's, discusses university and community economic growth and changes in business trends.  He also describes the students of the 1960's, minorities, the administrations of three university presidents, and local politics. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.13: Edward Diedrich, interviewed by Martin Dubin, February 7, 1981
This interview concerns events beginning in the 1960's when Diedrich opened his law practice in DeKalb.  Major topics discussed include the impact of university growth on businesses, criminal justice, politics, and fine arts. [abstract, transcript, and 3 tapes, 140 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.14: Mark Thackaberry, interviewed by Bill Callahan, January 28, 1981
Thackaberry, Foreign Student Advisor, discusses NIU's Office of International Programs from 1969 to 1980, and community reaction to the ever increasing influx of foreign students. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.15: Jane Bradt, interviewed by Lucille Aikins, January 13, 1981
Mrs. Bradt describes her long-time interest in NIU and her family's involvement in both on and off-campus activities during the 1950's and 1960's.  [abstract, transcript, 1 tape, 45 minutes, sound is poor]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.16: Keith McDonald, interviewed by Susan Bowen, November 24, 1980
The McDonald interview spans the years 1962 to 1980.  Major topics include student housing, on-campus regulations, political agitation and the Vietnam War, and student/community relations. [abstract, transcript, 1 tape, 50 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.17: McKinley (Deacon) Davis, interviewed by Bill Callahan, February 2, 1981
The Davis tape spans the years 1968 to 1980 and includes major discussions of the CHANCE program and community reaction to minorities on and off-campus. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 40 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.18: Harold Husa, interviewed by Susan Bowen, February 4, 1981
Husa focuses on the changing social trends of college students during the 1960's and 1970's.  He discusses student race relations, student disturbances, and students in government. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.19: Ernest Hanson, interviewed by Susan Bowen, January 26, 1981
Former Dean at NIU, Hanson concentrates on the years 1941 to 1966, and the following topics: student housing and regulations, faculty-community relations, the CHANCE program, and student reaction to the Vietnam War. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.20: John Gardner, interviewed by Susan Bowen; and follow-up interview, February 2, 1981; February 16, 1981
Gardner describes his position as Assistant to NIU Presidents Rhoten Smith and Richard Nelson from 1968 to 1978.  He specifically details the faculty's response to racial tensions on campus and the student anti-war movement of the late 1960's. [abstract, transcript, and 2 tapes, 100 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.21: William Monat, interviewed by Martin Dubin, Early 1981
This interview focuses on Monat's return to NIU in 1976 as Vice President and Provost, and his years as President (1978 to present).  Monat also discusses his early years at NIU (1969-1971) when he served as Chairman of the Political Science Department. [abstract, transcript, and 2 tapes, 80 minutes, 2nd has poor sound]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.22: Stanley Johnson, interviewed by Robert Hutcheson, February 26, 1981
Johnson discusses his role at the Illinois Constitutional Convention,  the campaign for home rule, and taxation laws.  He also speaks about the DeKalb County Board (1972), Kishwaukee Community Hospital, and the Committee for Legislative Reform. [abstract, transcript, and 2 tapes, 75 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.23: George Boyle, interviewed by Victor Schormann, February 26, 1981
Boyle describes his role as Community Relations Officer at NIU, 1968-1973.  He discusses his views on campus and city police response to campus radicalism and protest, NIU involvement in state and local politics, and the decline of campus unrest and town-gown tensions. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.24: James A. Gherity, interviewed by Victor Schormann, February 26, 1981
A former member of the DeKalb City Council, and Professor of Economics at NIU, Dr. Gherity describes city planning policies and town-gown cooperation during the 1960's.  Specific topics include re-zoning, the City Planning Commission, DeKalb City Council, and NIU campus disturbances. [abstract only, and 2 tapes, 75 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.25: Donald E. Bruer, interviewed by Ruth Cavan, December 25, 1980
Bruer's interview primarily focuses on the student disturbances of the late 1960's, and his role as Director of the NIU Security Office 1960-1969. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 40 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.26: Robert Graham, interviewed by Glen Gildemeister, March 5, 1981
This interview is divided into three topical segments: 1) Graham's years as a full-time graduate student (1969-1974); 2) his work as a construction laborer (1974-1978); and 3) Field Representative for the Regional History Center at NIU (1978-1981). [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 50 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.27: Bradley Manning, interviewed by Susan Bowen, March 4, 1981
Manning describes the effects of university growth on the automobile industry in DeKalb from 1956 to 1980.  He also discusses his impressions of former NIU administrators, and his involvement in community politics.  [abstract only, and 1 tape, 50 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.28: WITHDRAWN
Folder OH 2.29: Philmore Iskowich, interviewed by Carol Logue, February 18, 1981
Iskowich describes DeKalb in the 1940's and 1950's, and the effects of university expansion on local businesses, banking, transportation, housing, and city politics.  [abstract only, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.30: Warren Osenberg, interviewed by Bill Callahan, March 9, 1981
Osenberg comments on the social, economic, and political response to university growth in the 1950's, and specifically discusses public transportation, drinking regulations, and politics. [abstract only, and 1 tape, 45 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.31: George Gutierrez, interviewed by Lucille Aikins, March 16, 1981
The Gutierrez tape spans the years 1961 to 1980, and focuses on the CHANCE program and the Latin American migrant ministry program in DeKalb. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.32: Tom McCabe, interviewed by Robert Graham, March 19, 1981
McCabe's interview expresses a businessman's views on the changes forced upon DeKalb by the rapid growth of the University from 1955 to 1980.  Major topics include minorities, politics, the drinking age, economics, and the student protests of 1969-1970. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 40 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.33: Raya Garbousova, interviewed by Lucille Aikins, March 4, 1981
Covering the years 1950 to 1980,  Garbousova discusses the NIU Music Department, the Vermeer Quartet, and the NIU Artist and Lecture Series.  [abstract only, and 1 tape, 35 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.34: Charles Bradt, interviewed by Carol Logue, February 15, 1981
Bradt, a long-time DeKalb resident, discusses the economic impact of the university on DeKalb from 1950 to 1970, as well as zoning laws, transportation, university administration, expansion, service clubs, and state and local politics. [abstract only, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.35: Luis Balli, interviewed by George Gutierrez, February 24, 1981
Balli's interview covers the years 1968 to 1981, and discusses Latin American migrant families in DeKalb, and the CHANCE program at NIU.  [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 20 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.36: Aristeo Mancha, interviewed by George Gutierrez, March 24, 1981
Mancha describes his personal experiences as a minority in the DeKalb community from 1967 to 1980. [abstract, transcript, and 1 tape, 20 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.37: Earl Sullivan, Junior, interviewed by Robert Graham, March 24, 1981
Sullivan, a local tavern owner, discusses town-gown relations from 1955 to 1980, with emphasis on population growth, the student unrest of May 1970, economic growth, and democratic politics. [abstract only, and 1 tape, 40 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.38: W. Dee Palmer, interviewed by Lucille Aikins, March 26, 1981
Musically, Palmer has played a vital role in the DeKalb community.  In this interview Plamer describes the impact of the university on public school music programs, the DeKalb municipal band, NIU's economic impact, and the growth in population. [abstract, newspaper clippings, and 1 tape, 40 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.39: John Castle, interviewed by Martin Dubin, April 8, 1981
Castle, a DeKalb lawyer, discusses the changes in city government and zoning, county government, his responsibilities as chairman of the county board, and how these were affected by the university from 1955 to 1980. [abstract only, and 2 tapes, 100 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.40: Joseph Ebbesen, interviewed by Martin Dubin, April 11, 1981
Ebbesen, a former mayor, describes the structure and activities of DeKalb City government in the 1960's, and his role as a member of the state legislature. [abstract only, and 2 tapes, 120 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.41: Charles F. Raymond, interviewed by James Jarvis, March 30, 1981
[1 tape, No abstract or transcript]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.42: Robert Greenaway, interviewed by Nelson James, June 2, 1981
Former editor of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle from 1951 to 1969, Greenaway presents his views on changes made in the community as the result of university expansion.  [abstract only, and 1 tape, 60 minutes]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Folder OH 2.43: C. Edward Raymond, interviewed by James Jarvis, June 8, 1981
[1 tape, No abstract or transcript]
Other Information: The Oral History Cassette Tapes are located in the UA 53 area in the basement stacks.
Item 1: Additional Town-Gown Relations Tapes: Town Gown Evaluation Meeting (2 tapes), April 9, 1981
Item 2: Additional Town-Gown Relations Tapes: Roundtable on Economic Impact, April 4, 1981
Item 3: Additional Town-Gown Relations Tapes: Roundtable on Political Relations, April 4, 1981
Item 4: Additional Town-Gown Relations Tapes: Roundtable on Social & Cultural Impact, April 4, 1981

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Campus Unrest at NIU],
[Series 2: Town-Gown Relations in DeKalb],
[Series 3: Farming and Farm Families in DeKalb County],
[Series 4: NIU Biographies],
[Series 5: History of NIU Foundation, February 7, 1987],
[Series 6: Workers at Wurlitzer During World War II],
[Series 7: Burlington Railroad Strike Collection],
[Series 8: NIU Centennial Histories],
[Series 9: Regional Histories],
[All]


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