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Archives & Special Collections: Oral Histories

Guide to BCC's Archives & Special Collections

A Place Among the Greats: BCC Oral History Project

Photo credit:

The Archives’ purpose for this oral history project is to collect the vivid and provocative memories of BCC from students, faculty, staff and alumni. This collective effort will include several voices: from the student who struggled against all odds to get their degree, to the instructor who recognized the potential of teaching nontraditional students, and alumni on their college experience and how it helped shape them into the people they are. The focus of our oral history work will be to document the era of 1970s when BCC moved into the University Heights campus to the present day. We will capture the history of political and cultural ferment, progressive and retrogressive changes, the antiwar movement, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the feminist and gay liberation movements, immigration and the Dream Act, and diverse challenges and success to these moments as experienced by members of the BCC community. We are also interested in collecting stories from student groups and clubs, department chairs, retired faculty, and past and current administrators. 
To view our current interviews, visit our site at 
Students, faculty, alumni or staff wishing to schedule an interview session can contact Professor Tobar at 718.289.5436 or at

Raising Ourselves Up

Photo credit: EOC Graduation, 2014, Bronx Community College

“Raising Ourselves Up”: Oral Histories from First-Generation College Students at BCC is a Collaborative Experiential Learning Pilot Project to build a video oral history archive to document the stories of first-generation college students on our campus. Each student’s time at BCC is unique, yet all students are bound to each other by the shared sense of struggle towards achieving a college education. Using video oral history interviews, students will examine the challenges faced by low-income, working-class groups of peer students from various ethnic, racial, and immigrant backgrounds, groups that BCC is dedicated to serving and who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. Our project will be a team effort, combining resources provided by the Archives (Prof. Cynthia Tobar) and Student Support Services/General Counseling Department (Dr. Nelson Reynoso). Beginning with interviews collected in Fall 2016, this project will help inspire resiliency among BCC students by showing positive examples of overcoming adversity to attain a college education. 

To view the interviews we've collected so far, visit our site at

This project is made possible by a Presidential grant by Bronx Community College, CUNY.



Photo credit: The Laundromat Project

StoryBlock is an oral history and visual community archive that celebrates the cultural richness of Kelly Street residents living in the Longwood section of the South Bronx.‚Äč This project who was commissioned by The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Program and is now currently archived at Bronx Community College’s Archives. StoryBlock was the result of a collaboration between artists Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Alison Hall Kibbe, as a continuation of their Hunts Point Create Change Fellows 2014 Field Day project. These narratives shed light on the past, present and future of Kelly Street, the South Bronx, New York City, and the diversity and beauty of our individual and collective stories.

The StoryBlock oral history collection is published and available for research use on JSTOR: