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ORAL HISTORY

 Welcome to the ALPL Oral History Program. Illinois Statecraft Project Agriculture in Illinois Veterans Remember

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Oral History Program

  • The ALPL Oral History Program is dedicated to preserving the stories and memories of Illinois‘s citizens, not just the famous and prominent among us, but of people from all walks of life. Oral history combines the most ancient way humanity has preserved history—through the spoken word—with modern technology.  It preserves the first-hand accounts of people who have lived eventful lives, giving voice to those who are too often overlooked by traditional historians, and recording stories and experiences too rarely preserved.
  • The Oral History Program is organized into the projects listed below. Our top priority projects are Illinois Statecraft (IL politics), Agriculture in Illinois, and Veterans Remember, but we believe there is something of interest for everyone. We invite you to explore our site and discover for yourself the richness and diversity of our growing collection.
  • Patrons who would like to find out more about a particular interview are encouraged to visit the Library.  Many of our interviews include additional documents, photos and related materials that are preserved in the oral history archive maintained in the Library’s Audio-Visual Department. For further information, or for making an appointment, please call the reference desk at (217) 524-6358.
  • Library hours are Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

ALPL Oral History Projects

  • African American Chronicles
  • Agriculture in Illinois
  • Community Stories
  • Education is Key
  • Family Memories
  • Historians Speak
  • IHPA Legacy
  • Illinois Statecraft
  • Immigrant Stories
  • People of Faith
  • Sport Stories
  • Veterans Remember

Volunteers

Copyright, Usage, and Privacy Concerns

Acknowledgments

The oral histories presented here are the result of the hard work, commitment, and generosity of many people and organizations. We are especially thankful for the continuing support of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and the tireless efforts of the Information Technology staff.  Dedicated and talented volunteers have unselfishly offered their time and skills in conducting, transcribing, auditing, and editing the interviews. 

The ALPL Oral History program has been fortunate to receive several grants from public and private institutions. Our granting institutions include the Tawani Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, which supports the Veterans Remember project, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, whose grant supported the Oral History of Illinois Agriculture project. The Springfield African-American History Foundation (SAAHF) transcriptions have been funded in part by an Illinois Humanities Council grant to the SAAHF.

We are indebted to Dr. Cullom Davis, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois-Springfield, formerly Sangamon State University. A pioneer in the field of oral history and a former president of the Oral History Association, Davis is a mentor and informal ad​visor to the program.

Contact Information

  • Having problems with one of our interviews? Do you have suggestions for future interview candidates, or need advice for doing your own interview project? We welcome your comments and suggestions.
  • Email address: mark.depue@illinois.gov
  • Mark DePue
    Director of Oral History, ALPLM
    112 North 6th Street
    Springfield, IL 62701
    (217) 558-8949