Welcome to the online home of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida!
Featuring over 5,500 interviews and counting, SPOHP is one of the most diverse and widely used oral history collections in the world. We invite you to explore this website where you may watch and listen to stories of people who lived many of the great turning points of modern history.
Keilani put in an outstanding two years as a volunteer with
SPOHP. She did everything from transcribing, doing oral histories on the women's social
movement project, helping with our public programs, and more recently, assisting
the Pleasant Street Historic Society. Keilani personifies that SPOHP spirit!
A short interview with Peter H. Wood just before his lecture at the University of Florida on February 7, 2012. He shares his thoughts on African American history with interviewer and Samuel Proctor Oral History staff member Marna Weston.
SPOHP brought Peter Wood to the University of Florida
in 2012 to give a public lecture on his book Near Andersonville:
Winslow Homer's Civil War.
Remembering With Honor: One Quilter Salutes the Military and Other Heroes From the War on Terrorism.
Don Beld delivered a lecture on the history of quilt making, demonstrating his lecture with many quilts brought in for the occasion. As founder of the Home of the Brave project, a national organization that creates quilts to honor the fallen, Beld also hosted a moving presentation of quilts to the North Central Florida military families of those who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Introductions by Dr. Paul Ortiz, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, and Sandra Kay Haile. Dawn Kucera, coordinator of the Florida Home of the Brave Quilt Project, presented the quilts to the families.
Also in attendance was the family of Medal of Honor recipient Robert Miller, US Army, to meet Robbie, a police dog. Alachua County Deputy Tommy Wilcox named his police dog Robbie to honor Robert Miller, who served with his wife's brother. Robbie was also in attendance.
You can learn more about the Home of the Brave Quilt Project by viewing their WEBSITE.
Public Programs 2012-2013
SPOHP’s Public Programs highlight scholars and activists who use oral interviews in their work. These free events also give our community an opportunity to share their ideas with these noted individuals.
Since 2008, we have featured scholars, military veterans, civil rights activists and authors whose work mirrors our commitment to using history to inform our understanding of the great social issues and questions of our time. Our 2012-2013 public program series reached audiences in Gainesville and abroad via live streaming and our collaboration with the Bob Graham Center. This year we were honored to feature several high-profile speakers, and we were humbled by the record audience turnout from our Gainesville community.
In March 2013, marriage and family historian Stephanie Coontz spoke on the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique in a lecture titled, “Mad Men, Working Girls, and Desperate Housewives.” Revisiting the book fifty years later, Coontz confessed that she found Friedan’s writing dry and outdated. It was only when she interviewed over 250 women about the book’s impact that she recognized its paramount importance to expanding women’s rights. Coontz also pointed out that today’s “women’s issues” are really issues that affect everybody, and the audience of over 400 was extremely receptive to this message.
In February 2013, Alan Rosen gave a public lecture on his book about the first series of interviews conducted by David Boder with Holocaust survivors in 1946. Using a wire recorder, the first device capable of capturing hours of audio, Boder returned to the United States with the first recorded Holocaust testimonials, and also the first recorded oral histories of significant length. The audience was powerfully silent and contemplative as Rosen shared interviews from survivors of modern history’s greatest human rights atrocity.
In November 2012, Dr. Larry Rivers, historian and president of Fort Valley State University gave a lecture on his book, Rebels and Runaways: Slave Resistance in 19th Century Florida
If you missed any of these programs, you can watch them on our YouTube page, which also features some of our latest interviews. SPOHP wishes to thank all of the supporters who were able to attend our public programs in 2012 and 2013, and all of the co-sponsors who made these events possible. We had some of our largest audience turnouts this past year, and we’re looking forward to everything next year has in store.
The University of Florida's Samuel Proctor Oral History Program sent a team of students and program staff to the Mississippi Delta for its fifth annual research trip in September 2012. Learn more...
Researchers conducted oral history interviews for SPOHP's Mississippi Freedom Project, an archive of oral histories taken with veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. Program participants will share their reflections and experiences in photos and presentations at the Civic Media Center at 6 p.m. on January 15.
Read the UF news release about this exciting presentation....HERE!
Military Veterans History
Our collection features interviews with military veterans from the
Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Afghanistan, as well as other
wars and peacetime eras.
From the The Second Seminole War to the Tallahassee Bus Boycott and the 2008 Presidential Election, Florida has witnessed many of the momentous events of African American history. This repository brings to light these stories and many more. Funded by a generous grant from the UF Office of the Provost,
we are building one of the premier collections on African
American life in the Gulf South from Jim Crow to Civil
Rights, Black Power and beyond.
Paul Ortiz talks about how oral history
illuminates the African American
experience as well as recent
trends in Latino history as
part of UF Library's Authors@UF
Environment and Society
Explosive growth after WWII has made Florida a premier place to study the intersections of environmental policies, conservation, and economic development.
The Everglades Oral History Collection explores these phenomena.
Buddy Blain discusses water management in Florida. You can hear his discussion......HERE.
Karen Chadwick discusses the importance of the natural history of the Ocklawaha River region. Watch her discussion on YouTube.........HERE.
Native American Culture
This collection features oral history interviews with Seminoles, Creeks, Catawba, Lumbee, Cherokee and other peoples. These
narratives offer powerful stories of changes and continuities in Native American life in the South.
Dr. Julian Pleasants, former director of SPOHP and co-author of "Seminole Voices" did a series of interviews with more than two hundred members of the Florida Seminole community. Some of those interviews, now showcased in this volume, shed light on how the Seminoles’ society, culture, religion, government, health care, and economy had changed during a tumultuous period in Florida’s history.
This rich repository includes an interview with Martha Barnett, the first female chair of the American Bar Association House of Delegates as well as interviews with Dr. Madelyn Lockhart, the first woman academic dean
of the University of Florida.
Melinda Wiggins, the executive director of Student Action with Farm Workers was recently honored by President Obama. More...
Latino History in the Global South
SPOHP and technology coordinator Deborah Hendrix have been providing educational and technical support to students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese over the past two years in that department's Service Learning Class. Students in this class conduct oral histories on aspects of the Latin American immigration experience in Florida and these narratives are woven together into a final film project.
We recently spoke with Sonja Diaz about the rise of Latina/o activism
in the United States.
SPOHP's growing Latino history collection includes an interview with Governor Bob Martinez, Florida's first American governor of Spanish descent.
“Siempre Adelante” is a SPOHP film that features the first-person narratives of four new immigrants from Latin America in Alachua County. You can view the trailer above, or visit the SPOHP YouTube Channel!
Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974
by Gordon K. Mantler
Against the Tide: Immigrants, Day Laborers, and Community in Jupiter, Florida
By Sandra Lazo de la Vega and Timothy J Steigenga
The Beast In Florida: A History of Anti-Black Violence