Home Digital Collections

Howell Smith Oral History Recordings

Special Collections & Archives

The collection's logo
J. Howell Smith was raised in Farmersville, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree from Baylor University (1959), a master's degree from Tulane University (1961), and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1968) with funding from a Rockefeller Foundation program to send more scholars to the American South. He also completed coursework at Howard University, in 1969. Smith joined the WFU History Department in 1965 and remained until his retirement in 2007, when he became a professor emeritus. He began teaching about non-southern history topics in his first few years at Wake Forest, including African-American history; in 1968, English professor Dr. Thomas Gossett and Smith began offering January term trips to Washington, D.C., and New York City’s Harlem neighborhood centered on African-American life. The oral histories in this collection were conducted by WFU students as part of Smith's class offerings. The interviews appear to have been conducted primarily between 1992 and 2004, though a few items mixed into the interview tapes, transcripts, and administrative materials are from earlier dates.

Recent Additions

Below are a few recent additions in the Howell Smith Oral History Recordings collection.