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Sunday, August 14, 2022

For its 50th anniversary, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is showing its highlight reel.

Since 1967, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program has collected nearly 7,500 interviews and transcribed more than 150,000 pages of history notes.  

To celebrate the program’s golden anniversary, the director, Paul Ortiz, and student volunteers put together a campaign to commemorate some of their favorite recorded interviews, public programs and oral historians, Ortiz wrote in an email. Ortiz said they don’t know the exact date of the anniversary but know it is this year.

Ortiz said it’s hard to pick his favorite story, but he loves the stories from Samuel Proctor and Joel Buchanan, two historians from UF.

“These two remarkable men dedicated their lives to fighting racism and anti-Semitism in Florida, and they were the foremost oral historians at the University of Florida for decades,” Ortiz said.

The anniversary program, called “50 Years, 50 Faces,” is on the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program’s Facebook page. Free access to all of the program’s processed oral histories, videos, photographs, transcripts and more can be found online through their website.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to remember landmark public programs at UF,” Ortiz said.

Anupa Kotipoyina, a 22-year-old UF graduate student in the social studies ProTeach program, helped put together the promotion.

“It introduces you to, like, a kind of diversity that you wouldn’t really find in the classroom,” she said.

Kotipoyina said she feels very lucky to be involved with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program in its 50th year, because few other universities have similar programs.

“It’s such a unique organization and when it was created, it was really unique because oral history was kind of developing then,” she said. “It was sort of a new methodology, a new practice, and I still feel like it’s evolved so much.”


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