National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
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Oral Histories

Recording Voices & Documenting Memories of Czech & Slovak Americans

Recording Voices & Documenting Memories of Czech & Slovak Americans is an oral history project started by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in 2009. The project captures and preserves the stories of Czechs and Slovaks who left their homeland during the Cold War and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area,  Chicago, ClevelandNew York City and Washington, D.C. During the second phase of the project, the NCSML recorded the stories of immigrants who came to the United States after the fall of communism in 1989 as well. By the conclusion of the project in August 2013, the NCSML had collected over 300 oral histories.

On the project’s website, you can watch video extracts from interviews, look at photos and other archive materials, and read biographies of Czechs and Slovaks who began a new life in the United States.

Full length interviews are available for further research at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. For more information, contact Katie Shaffer, Library Collections Manager, at kshaffer@ncsml.org or Dave Muhlena, Library Director, at dmuhlena@ncsml.org.

Now you can search the oral history database using keywords. Follow this link to search interviews by name, place and subject. If you are unfamiliar with a term or a person mentioned by one of our interviewees, then check out our oral history glossary here.

WHAT'S NEW?

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was born in Prague and grew up in London, Prague and Belgrade due to her father's diplomatic career. In 1949, she and her family claimed political asylum in the United States following the communist coup in Czechoslovakia.In this clip, Secretary Albright discusses how her father, in particular, embraced life in the United States:



High school civil defense exercise, circa 1967
High school civil defense exercise, circa 1967
High school civil defense exercise, circa 1967 [5]Poster calling for an end to one-party rule, Prague, 1989[5]Carnegie Hall program, 1952[5]Melania Rakytiak in 1970[5]Jerri Zbiral in Murnau refugee camp[5]
Recording Voices & Documenting Memories of Czech & Slovak Americans is supported by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Office of Slovaks Living Abroad, the Government of the Czech Republic and people like you.
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