Reichelt Oral History Collection

Enjoy this guest post by Special Collections Oral History Graduate Assistant Adam Hunt:


Wallace Reichelt, circa 1940
Wallace Reichelt, circa 1940

The Reichelt Oral History Collection in FSU Special Collections and Archives is a rich and unique collection of over 2,100 oral history interviews and transcripts created throughout 1969-2014. The Reichelt Oral History Program was created under Dr. Edward F. Keuchel and University President D’Alamberte in 1969 with the help of a generous endowment by Wallace Ward Reichelt. In 1996, Dr. Robin J. Sellers undertook the directorship of the program. In 1998, the Program expanded to include oral histories of veterans in various military conflicts. These interviews offer rich historical insight into various subjects including but not limited to FSU/FSCW history, Tallahassee and Florida history, the Florida Highway Patrol, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. After the departure of Dr. Robin J. Sellers, the Director and Archivist of the Reichelt Oral History Program from FSU in 2014, FSU Libraries undertook the preservation of their oral history collection.

One exciting project involving the Reichelt Collection at Special Collections and Archives aims to facilitate the use of these oral histories. During the Fall semester of 2017, the collection has been inventoried for restrictions and access information. With this information, portions of the collection have entered the process of electronic distribution and digitization for research purposes including the creation of administrative metadata for 450 interview transcripts, around 21% of the collection, and the identification of existing digitized material related to these 450 interviews.

Other projects involving the Reichelt Collection this semester oversaw the identification of several new interviews to be added into the collection. Additionally, physical objects relating to interviewees have been identified and incorporated into the collection’s physical administrative files, which are available to be requested in the Special Collections reading room. Finally, several interviews lacking corresponding transcripts have entered the transcription process, of which several have already been completed. Special Collections and Archives is excited to share this news and the Reichelt Oral History Collection with you.

Further Reading:

Reichelt Oral History Collection, Special Collections & Archives, Florida State University Libraries, Tallahassee, Florida. http://purl.fcla.edu/fsu/HPUA-2015-00R

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