In response to the challenges brought on by the onset of the pandemic, the Queens College Special Collection and Archives (SCA) created the “Student Help: Lived Experience” student fellowship, designed to be completely remote. The project is an initiative to further document the activities of Queens College students who participated in both the Virginia and South Jamaica Student Help Projects in the early to mid-1960s. The Virginia Student Help Project was an intensive education effort during the summer of 1963 in Prince Edward County, Virginia where public schools were closed for five years in massive resistance to integration. The Jamaica Student Help Project took place closer to home. Starting in schools near campus, it eventually engaged 500 Queens College student volunteers in tutoring more than one thousand educationally challenged, under-resourced students across New York City. For the proposed poster, the current fellow Victoria Fernandez will present the pros and cons of producing and archiving oral history interviews in a completely remote workspace while also using forms of participatory archiving that include the college’s alumni networks. The interviews that are part of the Student Help: Lived Experience oral history project further highlight the connection between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and the social rights demonstrations in the United States during the last year from individuals still active in similar initiatives, as well as demonstrating how the action of conducting oral histories benefit archival institutions as complements to existing collections, all while being produced under unique circumstances.
How to Cite:
Fernandez, V. & Tummino, A., (2021) “Amplifying Existing Collections with Oral Histories in a Virtual World: The Student Help Lived Experience Project at Queens College CUNY”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2021(1).