June 24, 2021

New Digital Archives Online: Fordham University Launches “Bronx Black History Archives”

The following digital archive formally launched online about five weeks ago.

From Fordham University:

The stories of hundreds of Bronx African Americans who have transformed the borough’s character since the 1930s have been made public through a new digital archive at Fordham’s Bronx African American History Project.

The archive, made available through the Department of African and African-American Studies and Fordham Libraries, consists of downloadable audio files and verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted by researchers from 2002 to 2013.

This took years of incredibly hard work,” said Mark Naison, PhD, professor of history and African and African-American studies and principal investigator of the project. He said that the transcriptions were completed over the past two years by Fordham undergraduates, with the exception of a handful of people from outside of Fordham, who helped when interviews were conducted in French.

hose French-language interviews represent the organic nature of the project as it grew from an American focus to one that encompassed recent immigrants from Africa—both Anglophone and Francophone. Naison said that the African diaspora in the Bronx also included Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino immigrants.

The archive also includes interviews with white families who stayed on as neighborhoods went through demographic transformations. Naison said that in the 1940s and 1950s, the Bronx was “incredibly diverse” as the borough transformed. White flight didn’t happen in a flash.

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The project moved from gathering oral history to organizing and uploading the transcripts and recordings, with an eye toward preserving the borough’s history for the long haul, said Damien Strecker. A doctoral candidate in history, Strecker worked with Fordham Libraries to archive the project.

Read the Complete Fordham Announcement

Direct to Bronx African American History Project Digital Archive

Learn More: Direct to Bronx African American History Project Digital Archive

Intro Video

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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