Columbia Center for Oral History Receives Third Round of Funding From Carnegie Corporation

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Funding to support continuation of multi-decade project documenting Carnegie Corporation’s evolution, how philanthropy influences the public good  

The Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH), a unit of Columbia University Libraries, has received $500,000 in funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York to conduct an oral history project of the largest institution established by the Scottish immigrant industrialist Andrew Carnegie. 

This funding builds upon two previous phases of support from Carnegie Corporation that enabled the Center, formerly known as the Oral History Research Office, to undertake The Carnegie Corporation of New York Oral History Project. This third phase is focused on exploring the grantmaker’s most recent 14 years, which coincides with the arrival and leadership of current President Vartan Gregorian. The interviews that will be collected will add new perspectives to the already vast archive of Carnegie Corporation’s 100-year history held at Columbia University. 

“We are thrilled and eager to undertake this project, especially at this important point in the organization’s history,” said Mary Marshall Clark, Director of CCOH. “It is a real opportunity to capture the history of one of the key philanthropic organizations in American history, at a time of well-deserved contemplation and reflection on a century of work.” 

The first two phases of the Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project, which began in 1966 and was completed in 2000, resulted in more than 700 hours of audio interviews, 60 hours of video interviews, and 14,171 pages of transcript covering Carnegie Corporation's evolution and expansion into a global philanthropy in the areas of teaching and education, international peace, and science and technology. CCOH anticipates completing 150 hours of additional interviews during this third phase.  

The oral history project has already covered a wide range of social and cultural developments in the United States and abroad - from the birth of the children’s television show Sesame Street to the Carnegie Corporation’s sustained support of antiapartheid efforts in South Africa.

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic foundation created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to do "real and permanent good in this world." 

Columbia Center for Oral History was founded in 1948 as a center for conducting biographical interviews on political history. CCOH is renowned both for the breadth of its holdings and its vision for developing oral history as a field of study and practice. Scholars consistently turn to CCOH not only for its collections, but for guidance in how to teach and practice oral history. Increasingly, through the development of educational programs and innovative research projects, CCOH serves as a laboratory for the continual development of oral history methodologies across the disciplines. In turn, students and scholars trained by CCOH produce new scholarship and create new interviews, enriching the archive and expanding the breadth of oral history as a field of study and practice. CCOH is home for over 20,000 hours of recorded conversations, and over 8,000 interviews conducted on almost every subject in American history, in addition to the history of science, medicine, philanthropy, public health, and the arts. For more information, please visit

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: