The HistoryMakers and Chicago Public Library Celebrate African American History Month and Announce Free Access to Nation's Largest African American Video Oral History Archive

2/8/2017, noon | Updated on 2/8/2017, noon
Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp joined Chicago Public Library (CPL) Commissioner Brian Bannon and The HistoryMakers Founder & Executive Director Julieanna ...
Pictured are the HistoryMakers in attendance at the event.

for construction until late 2017). Notable archival collections

include The Congress of Racial Equality, Chicago Chapter;

Timuel J. Black, Jr. Papers; and the Rev. Addie and Rev. Claude

Wyatt Papers.

" Rev. Clay Evans Archives: In February 2016,

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPL announced that the African

American pastor and founder of Chicago's influential Fellowship

Missionary Baptist Church would be donating his archives to

CPL. The collection, which documents Rev. Evans' 50 years of

leadership, his civil rights commitment and work with Dr. King, his

pioneering radio and television broadcasting

and his contribution to Gospel

music, will be featured in an exhibit

coming in late 2017.

Anyone with internet access can visit

the archives at www.thehistorymakers.

com and read more 2,000

HistoryMaker biographies. Over a 17

year period, 500 of those interviewed

for The HistoryMakers Collection came

out of Chicago, including President

Barack Obama, while he was still an

Illinois State Senator; CPL board member

and early education expert

Barbara Bowman; and CPL board

president and Johnson Publishing

Chairman and CEO Linda Johnson


About The HistoryMakers

The HistoryMakers, a 501 (c) (3) national

non-profit organization headquartered

in Chicago, Illinois, is dedicated to recording and preserving the

personal histories of well-known and unsung African Americans.

It is the largest video oral history archive of its kind, and the only

massive attempt, since the WPA Slave Narratives of the 1930's,

to record the African American experience in the first voice. In

2014, The HistoryMakers Collection became a permanent part

of the Library of Congress. To date, the organization has interviewed

over 2,700 HistoryMakers, with the goal of creating an

archive of 5,000 interviews (30,000 hours) for the establishment

of a one-of-a-kind digital archive. The HistoryMakers Digital

Archive-which makes the entire collection accessible and

searchable online-has users in 51 countries across the globe

from Afghanistan to Norway, Nigeria and China. For more information,

visit The HistoryMakers website at www.thehistorymakers.

com and The HistoryMakers Education page at


About Chicago Public Library Since 1873, Chicago Public

Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all

people and offering equal access to information, entertainment

and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as

well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the

Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both

physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions,

exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.

CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago

Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services

from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named

the first-ever winner of the National Summer Learning

Association's Founder's Award in recognition of its Summer

Learning Challenge; and was ranked number one in the U.S.,

and third in the world, by an international study of major urban

libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf

in Germany. For more information visit www.chipublib.org.