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Guide to Voices of Crown Heights oral histories 2016.027

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 19, 2017 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Oral histories can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of BHS. Please see the Oral History Note for guidelines on using Brooklyn Historical Society's oral history collections. For assistance, please consult library staff at

Preferred Citation

[Narrator Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer First Name Last Name], [Month day, YYYY], Voices of Crown Heights oral histories, [Object ID]; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Materials

Brooklyn Historical Society has oral history collections and other records related to the Voices of Crown Heights oral histories.

• The Crown Heights History Project collection includes thirty-three interviews conducted from 1993 to 1994 (1994.006)

• The West Indian Carnival Documentation Project Records includes thirty-four interviews dating from 1994 to 1995 (2010.019)

• The Listen to this: Crown Heights Oral History collection includes forty-three interviews conducted in 2010 (2010.020). Narrators Karim, Camara, Richard Green, Constance Lesold, Evangeline Porter, and Meredith Staton were also recorded for this collection.

• 959 Park Place Tenants' Association records (1978.009)

• Eastern Parkway Coalition records, 1952-2007 (2007.016)

• Mark Naison papers, 1931-2011 (2016.021)

Collections related to the community activism referenced in these oral histories include:

• Arnie Goldwag Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) collection (ARC.002)

• Bob Adelman photographs of Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) demonstrations (V1989.022)


Oral History note

Oral history interviews are intimate conversations between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share these recordings with the Brooklyn Historical Society archives and with researchers. Please listen in the spirit with which these were shared. Researchers will understand that:

1. The Brooklyn Historical Society abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association (2009) and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.

2. Every oral history relies on the memories, views and opinions of the narrator. Because of the personal nature of oral history, listeners may find some viewpoints or language of the recorded participants to be objectionable. In keeping with its mission of preservation and unfettered access whenever possible, BHS presents these views as recorded.

3. Transcripts commissioned by a party other than BHS serve as a guide to the interview and are not considered verbatim. The audio recording should be considered the primary source for each interview. It may contain natural false starts, verbal stumbles, misspeaks, repetitions that are common in conversation, and other passages and phrases omitted from the transcript. This decision was made because BHS gives primacy to the audible voice and also because some researchers do find useful information in these verbal patterns.

4. Unless these verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator's speech while editing the material for the standards of print.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The oral histories that make up this collection were conducted by staff or consultants for Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Movement Center, or Weeksville Heritage Center. Preparation took place in 2016 and the bulk of the oral histories were created in 2017.

Processing Information

Voices of Crown Heights oral histories were processed by Brett Dion, Oral History Project Archivist, in 2017. Interviews in each series were processed to the item level. Due to privacy concerns, the specific dates of birth of all narrators or other named individuals were redacted from the digitized transcripts and audio recordings.


Goldschmidt, Henry. Race and Religion Among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006.

Gregor, Alison. "Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Where Stoop Life Still Thrives." New York Times. (New York, NY), June 17, 2015.

Shapiro, Edward S. Crown Heights: Blacks, Jews, and the 1991 Brooklyn Riot Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2006.