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About WashU Archives

This guide will help you navigate University Archives' more than 300 unique collections, most of which document the history of Washington University from 1853 to today. Other collections are related to 20th century St. Louis history.


American Culture Studies Program Oral History Collection (WUA00342)

In the spring of 2003, the American Culture Studies (AMCS) Program received a grant from the University's Sesquicentennial Committee to create the "American Lives Project" which included interviews, archival documents, and articles.  The oral histories presented here were documented as part of this effort. The original American Lives site was a custom built database, which was online 2003 - 2015.  During 2015 - 2016 staff of AMCS and the Special Collections department worked up migrate these files to a stable and accessible format compatible with current internet technology. 

Conditions Governing Use
Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.  If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or
The collection is ordered alphabetically by person interviewed.

Oral Histories

Each link below opens a folder with audio files (usually in several clips) and a typed transcript if available.  Users are provided access to these recordings and transcripts for educational or personal use only. They may not be reposted without permission (although sharing links is certainly encouraged). For further questions about copyright, usage, or to access recordings not available online, please contact

About the finding aid

Finding aid published: 2016; updated 2020 December

Finding aid author: Miranda Rectenwald