The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
The UW-L Oral History Program was founded in the mid-1970s by Howard Fredricks, who had taught in the La Crosse State Teachers College Campus School and was, at this time, teaching in the History Department. He also read the news nightly on Channel 8 television in La Crosse. True to its origins, and to the origins of the UW-L program, oral history has rich, at time quirky, and always interesting history. The UW-L collection, which is archived in Special Collections in Murphy Library, includes a series of interviews featuring members of 1970s and 1980s high school garage bands, it includes the best documentation of La Crosse womens' history, one hundred interviews with UW-L alumni, and a large collection of interviews focusing on the environmental history of western Wisconsin. It is a large, eclectic, fascinating collection.
The UW-L Oral History Program has the longest record of active interviewing in the state of Wisconsin. The program is governed by a board of directors, featuring members from both the campus and community. Paul Beck (Murphy Library) is president of the board. Charles Lee (History Department) is Executive Director of the program. The program is supported by an annual university budget and an endowment, The Fredricks' Fund for Oral History which is held by the UW-L Foundation.