The Bridgeport History Center has several collections of oral histories in audio and/or transcript formats. Several of these collections were produced as a part of larger community projects. The BHC has an ongoing oral history program and expands its collection of interviews each year. Additional material will be added to this page in the coming months.
Afro-American Educators Association: Oral History Project
From 1982-1983, Bridgeport’s Afro-American Educators’ Association conducted interviews with black residents of Bridgeport as part of a project funded by the Connecticut Humanities Council. The project aims to examine the social and economic impacts on Bridgeport’s African-American residents during World War I, the Depression, World War II, and the 1960s.
Bridgeport Cultural Arts Center, 1970-1986
Full audio and transcripts: Michelle Black-Smith Tompkins; Ralph Williams; Yohuru Williams; Wendy Bridgeforth; Richard Stamats; Cyril Lamont Williams; Teddy Daniel Gardner; Lucinda Anderson; Patricia Carey; Ryan Grant
Bridgeport Working: Voices from the Twentieth Century
The ”Bridgeport Working: Voices from the Twentieth Century” was the concept of former BHC Department Head, Mary K. Witkowski. As Director of the History Center, Witkowski understood the important role that labor has played in Bridgeport’s history. Witkowski wanted to create a website that would provide researchers with valuable information on the City’s varied economy and the diverse group of citizens who have driven it. The site’s oral histories link individuals with historic events and trends and give voice to the people who actually witnessed and participated in them.
[note: this site is undergoing a major reconfiguration in the winter/spring of 2019]
Bridgeport Working: selected interviews with full audio and chapter transcripts
A selection of interviews taken from the “Bridgeport Working” labor history site with complete audio and transcripts divided by subject and chapter for easy access to specific topics.
Please note that the Bridgeport History Center may not have appropriate audio playback devices, depending on the format of the oral history!