Oral History Project

The legacies of those who fought to promote equality, civil rights, and social justice in our community is too important to lose. The Civil Rights Heritage Center preserves and shares Michiana’s civil rights history, as well as the history of the African American, LGBTQ, and Latino experiences here. Photographs, documents, and physical artifacts each tell the story of how our communities have overcome obstacles and continue to face new ones.

Much of our vast archival collection is available online, for free, through a partnership with the St. Joseph County Public Library. The Michiana Memory: Civil Rights and African American History section contains thousands of photographs and documents, searchable and downloadable, for free. Students, teachers, scholars, and people interested in history are encouraged to explore and use this resource available any time of day or night.


The physical collection is stored in Special Collections at Indiana University South Bend’s Schurz Library. It is open to students, scholars, and people interested in researching our civil rights struggle.


For access to the physical collection, set up an appointment by contacting Alison Stankrauff, IU South Bend Archivist, by phone at (574) 520-4392, or by email at