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Immigrant Oral History

Historical Information

The Immigrant Oral Histories Collection was conceived as part of the Oral History Project of Rhode Island, begun under the auspices of the Rhode Island Department of State Library Services (DSLS) in 1970. When DSLS discontinued its participation in the project in early 1974, it transferred the tapes and all related materials (transcripts, signed release forms, biographical sketches) to the History Department of the University of Rhode Island. The History Department, under the direction of Dr. Valerie Quinney, continued the project for the next several years. Dr. Quinney was the Associate Director of the State Oral History Project while it was still under the direction of the state Department of State Library Services.

In the spring of 1976, Dr. Quinney’s undergraduate history students began conducting interviews with immigrants living in the Providence, RI area. Additional interviews were conducted by Dr. Quinney’s students in 1977 and 1978.