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About this collection

The Middletown Digital Oral History digital collection consists of audio and accompanying transcriptions for oral history interviews conducted with African American, Jewish and Catholic communities of Muncie, Indiana. In addition to the value of these "personal narratives" illuminating lives of Indiana citizens, the oral history collections selected for this digital collection provide research material on populations that were neglected in the seminal studies published by sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd in the 1920s using Muncie as Middletown, a representative American community. The following oral history collections are included in this digital resource:


Black Middletown Oral History Project Collection

The Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the Black Middletown Oral History Project digital collection consists of oral history interviews documenting the history of African Americans in Muncie, Indiana.

 

Topics discussed include segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, organized labor and the economic, social and religious lives of African Americans in Muncie, Indiana. The collection consists of digital audio and accompanying transcripts.

 

The interviews were conducted by Rutledge M. Dennis and Vivian V. Gordon from the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981 as part of the Middletown III project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In compliance with the original agreement between the interviewers and interviewees, the identities of the names of the interviewees are not included.

 

For information on publication or reproduction of this material contact the Archives and Special Collections.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsR 21 Finding Aid

 

 

Black Muncie Oral History Project Collection

The Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the Black Middletown Oral History Project digital collection consists of oral history interviews documenting the history of African Americans in Muncie, Indiana.

 

The Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the Black Muncie Oral History Project digital collection consists of oral history interviews documenting the history of African Americans in Muncie, Indiana.

 

Topics discussed include segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, organized labor and the economic, social and religious lives of African Americans in Muncie, Indiana.

 

The interviews were conducted between 1971 and 1978 with long time African American residents by Hurley Goodall, Professor J. Paul Mitchell, and graduate students from the Ball State University Department of History with a grant from the Muncie Human Rights Commission.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsDepartment of HistoryMSS 33 Finding Aid

 

 

Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I Collection

The Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I consists of oral history interviews documenting the Jewish community in Muncie, Indiana during the 1920s and 1930s.

 

The interviews were conducted between 1978 and 1979 under the sponsorship of Martin Schwartz, who commissioned Ball State University professors C. Warren Vander Hill and Dwight Hoover. Topics discussed include anti-Semitism, the Ku Klux, Klan, and the economic, social and religious lives of Muncie's Jewish population.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsR 14 Finding Aid

 

 

 

Middletown Jewish Oral History Project II Collection

 

The Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the Middletown Jewish Oral History Project II consists of oral history interviews documenting the Jewish community in Muncie, Indiana.

 

The interviews are a follow up to the original Middletown Jewish Oral History Project. Topics discussed include anti-Semitism, the Ku Klux, Klan, and the economic, social and religious lives of Jews in Muncie, Indiana.

 

The interviews were conducted by C. Warren Vander Hill between 2003 and 2004 under the sponsorship of Mr. Martin Schwartz.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsR 63 Finding Aid

 

 

Muncie Economic Development Oral Histories

 

The Muncie Economic Development Oral Histories, also known as Muncie's Response to Economic Change: An Oral History, includes oral history interviews with local civic and business leaders involved in past and current efforts to address long-term economic change in Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana.

 

Funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, the interviews were conducted as part of the Center for Middletown Studies' effort to document recent economic changes in the region.

 

The interviews were conducted by C. Warren Vander Hill and J. Paul Mitchell between January and September 2008 and are housed in Archives and Special Collections.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsCenter for Middletown StudiesCommunity Foundation of Muncie & Delaware CountyR 256 Finding Aid

 

 

Muncie Labor Oral History Project Collection

 

Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the Muncie Labor Oral History Project consists of oral history interviews with former labor union members in Muncie, Indiana.

 

Inspired by former Indiana State Legislator Hurley Goodall and funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, the interviews were conducted as part of the Center for Middletown Studies' effort to document recent economic changes and the history of labor unions in Muncie. The interviews were conducted by C. Warren Vander Hill between December 2005 and February 2006 and are housed in Archives and Special Collections.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsCenter for Middletown StudiesThe Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware CountyR 76 Finding Aid

 

 

Other Side of Middletown Oral Histories

 

The Other Side of Middletown Oral Histories digital collection consists of oral history interviews documenting the African American community in Muncie, Indiana.

 

Topics discussed include: the economic, social, and religious lives of African Americans in Muncie, Indiana. The collection consists of digital audio and accompanying transcripts.

 

The interviews were conducted by Professor Eric Lassiter and a group of students as part of a collaborative ethnographic project on Muncie's African American community. The project was sponsored and funded by the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry at Ball State University. The project resulted in an award-winning book, The Other Side of Middletown: Exploring Muncie's African American Community.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsAfrican American Resources GuideThe Other Side of Middletown, MSS 254 Finding Aid

 

 

St. Mary Catholic Church Oral History Project Collection

 

The St. Mary Catholic Church Oral History Project digital collection consists of oral history interviews with members of the St. Mary Parish of Muncie, Indiana.

 

Trained volunteers from the parish conducted the interviews in 2006. Topics discussed in the interviews include the role of the church in the lives of the interviewees, memories of the church, discrimination against Catholics, and the future of Catholicism in Muncie, Indiana.

 

St. Mary Parish was founded in 1930 and became part of the newly created Lafayette -in-Indiana Diocese in 1944. The first church building was built in 1930 on the corners of West Jackson and Nichols Street. In 1968, a new church was consecrated at 2300 W. Jackson Street.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsR 80 Finding Aid

 

 

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Oral History Project Collection

 

The St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Oral History Project digital collection consists of oral history interviews with members of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish of Muncie, Indiana.

 

Topics discussed in the interviews include the role of the church in the lives of the interviewees, memories of the church, discrimination against Catholics, and the future of Catholicism in Muncie, Indiana.

 

In 1938, three Ball State University students founded the Newman Center as a club to serve Catholic students attending the university. In 1972, the Lafayette-in-Indiana diocese formerly established the Newman Center an official parish - St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish. The church is located at 1200 West Riverside Avenue.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsR 77 Finding Aid

 

 

St. Lawrence Catholic Church Oral History Project Collection

 

The Middletown Digital Oral Histories from the St. Lawrence Catholic Church Oral History Project consists of oral history interviews with members of the St. Lawrence Parish of Muncie, Indiana.

 

Trained volunteers from the parish conducted the interviews in 2006. Topics discussed in the interviews include: the role of the church in the lives of the interviewees, memories of the church, discrimination against Catholics, and the future of Catholicism in Muncie, Indiana. The collection consists of digital audio and accompanying transcripts.

 

The first Catholic mass in Muncie was celebrated in 1853 at the home of Patrick Tuhey. Construction began on the first permanent Catholic Church in Muncie in 1869. The church was founded by Rev. Lawrence Lamour and St. Lawrence was chosen as the patron saint. The first church building was constructed on lots located at the corner of Charles and Hackley Streets. The parish school was founded in 1891 and construction on the current building at 820 East Charles Street was completed in 1893.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsR 79 Finding Aid

 

 

 

The Middletown Digital Oral History Collection also includes two additional collections, the Muncie Labor Oral History Collection and the Muncie Economic Development Oral History Collection, also known as "Muncie's Response to Economic Change: An Oral History." These collections, funded through grants from the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, provide research materials on the history of organized labor and the past and current efforts to address economic change in Muncie and Delaware County.

Audio recordings require Windows Media Player to access.

 

This project is part of the Indiana Memory Digital Library and is made possible by a grant from theU.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

 

This original project was funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant for 2006-2007. The grant project included collaboration between Ball State University Libraries, the Center for Middletown Studies, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, St. Lawrence Catholic Church, and St. Mary Catholic Church.

 

Archives and Special CollectionsCenter for Middletown StudiesCommunity Foundation of Muncie and Delaware CountyInstitute for Museum and Library ServicesIndiana Memory


This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

Institute of Museum and Library Sciences


 
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