Samuel Proctor Oral History Program earns two major awards

November 2, 2015
uf news

The Society of American Archivists and the Oral History Association each recently recognized the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at UF.

The SAA, North America's oldest and largest archival professional association, presented the SPOHP with the annual Diversity Award for its social justice research initiatives. The presentation took place at the annual meeting in Cleveland. The SAA's Diversity Award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record, as demonstrated by significant achievement in the form of activism, education, outreach, publication, service, or other initiatives. The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program was recognized for ongoing work documenting community organizing and social change, including the Latina/o Diaspora in the Americas Project.

LDAP coordinators Génesis Lara and Brittney Mejia accepted the award on behalf of SPOHP on August 21, 2015. Lara is a SPOHP alumna and graduate of the University of Florida History Honors program, beginning doctoral study in history at the University of California - Davis in September. Mejia is a senior studying history at the University of Florida.

The Oral History Association, the national professional organization for oral history practitioners, honored the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and George A. Smathers Libraries Mississippi Freedom Summer Oral History and Library Curation Project with the Elizabeth B. Mason Small Project Award at its annual meeting in Tampa.

The award recognizes an outstanding oral history project of noteworthy scholarly and social value, and is offered biennially in memory of one of the association's original founders. The theme of this year's OHA meeting, "Stories for Social Change and Social Justice," focused special attention on the power of oral history to uncover links between political and cultural change and to inspire civic engagement.

Organized jointly between SPOHP and the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries, the Mississippi Freedom Summer Oral History and Library Curation Project processed 100+ interviews from SPOHP's Mississippi Freedom Project between 2013-2014. The Mississippi Freedom Project, an archive of oral histories with civil rights veterans and notable residents of the Mississippi Delta, has been conducted since 2008 with the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization, and brings undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff to the Delta on annual field research trips to conduct interviews.

Since its founding in 1967, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program has conducted nearly 7,000 interviews. Its mission is to gather, preserve, and promote living histories of individuals from all walks of life. Oral histories are available online through the University of Florida Digital Collections.

To learn more, please visit or call 352-392-7168.

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