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Video Interviews to Highlight African American Achievements

ProQuest will be adding a collection of one hundred oral history videos from The HistoryMakers, the nation's largest African American video oral history archive to its Black Studies Center.  Each video is two to three hours in length and accompanied by complete, searchable transcripts.  Black Studies Center, the first resource of its kind for the academic community, creates a framework for undergraduate and graduate level Black Studies courses and provides information that cannot be found elsewhere.

"Black Studies Center offers outstanding breadth of coverage on current and historical aspects of Black Studies,  and it provides a central point of access for the most sought-after information to chronicle and analyze the Black experience," said Mary Sauer-Games, vice president of publishing for ProQuest.  "The addition of video interviews will not only give researchers powerful stories from notable African Americans, but will also offer unique insight about the events that have impacted the lives of remarkable African Americans and encouraged them to make a difference in the world around them." 

The interviews present full accounts of the person's early life, family history, education, and professional work.  The interviews are of contemporary African Americans, many of whom were the first to break various barriers in business, science, medicine, education, and government. Black Studies Center's The HistoryMakers collection includes interviews of Barack Obama, Reverend Al Sharpton, Gordon Parks, John Lewis, John H. Johnson, Julian Bond, Nikki Giovanni, John Hope Franklin, Terry MacMillian,, Isaac Hayes, Alvin Poussaint, and many more.   Each oral history video will include a transcript that is subject-indexed.   Videos will also be browseable by name of interviewee, occupation, subject, and theme. 

The HistoryMakers video oral histories will add an exciting new dimension to the Black Studies Center, from ProQuest's Chadwyck-Healey brand, allowing cross-searching with other unique content sets focused on the African American experience.  Founder and Executive Director of the The HistoryMakers Julieanna Richardson says, "We are so pleased to have this collaboration with ProQuest and look forward to this material finding use in libraries and universities around the globe." 

Black Studies Center is organized around Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, a core collection of studies from the foremost academic experts, summarizing the current state of research and scholarship on important themes such as African-American religion, the slave trade and slavery; performing arts and popular culture, and the African-American family.  Extensive bibliographies, multimedia, and selected full-text, primary research materials are also included.  To further enrich the resource,  Black Studies Center also offers the entire Chicago Defender newspaper from 1910 to 1975 and full-text, academic journals from the International Index to  Black Periodicals, with a journal index back to 1902 . Users may easily explore relationships between themes, people, and events, through scanning rich and diverse content that supports a vast array of disciplines.

About ProQuest
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.

More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.

For more information, visit or the ProQuest parent company website,

Founded in July 1999 as a national 501 (c ) (3) not for profit organization, The HistoryMakers represents the single largest African American archival collection in the world. The purpose of this collection is to educate and show the breadth and depth of the African American experience through first person narratives of both well-known and unsung African Americans. In doing so, The HistoryMakers is capturing American history one person at a time, giving those involved their special place in history to educate the world about African American determination and achievement as well as about the importance of African American-led institutions, movements and  organizations. The HistoryMakers is focused on the contributions of African Americans to history, education, music, law, the arts, science, technology, media, medicine, entertainment, business, the military, politics and sports.  The goal is to preserve this material for years and generations to come, creating an unprecedented digital collection that will be accessible to museums, libraries and schools  as well as in the media using print, radio, television, cable television and the Internet.


18 March 2008

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