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About WU 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.


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.  Phase one of this process went online in Februrary 2017.

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