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Guide to the Listen to This: Crown Heights Oral History collection 2010.020

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the interviews is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and, in some instances, online on the Oral History Portal. Original summaries and biographic materials are accessible at the Othmer Library.

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, contact

Preferred Citation

[Narrator Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer First name Last name], [Month day, YYYY], Listen to This: Crown Heights Oral History collection, [Object ID]; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Materials

In addition to this collection, Brooklyn Historical Society has oral history collections and other records related to the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

- 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)  - Also narrator Constance Lesold, the community activist recorded for this collection, is documented in the Eastern Parkway Coalition records, 1952-2007. (2007.016)

- 959 Park Place Tenants Association records (1978.009)

For more information on these collections please visit our online finding aid portal.


Oral History note

Oral history interviews are intimate conversations between people, all 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. 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.

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

Alex Kelly donated copies of the oral history recordings and summaries to Brooklyn Historical Society in October 2010.

Processing Information

Collection 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 audio recordings. Recordings were compressed for streaming, uploaded and indexed by BHS, 2015-2016.


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.