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Emory First-Generation Oral History Project: Home

This is a guide to resources on the Oral History Project at Emory.

Share Your Story!

If you're a first-generation college student at Emory, we'd like to hear your story!  

In partnership with the Emory First-Generation Low Income Partnership and the the 1915 Scholars Program, Emory Library is collecting short video interviews with first-generation students about their experiences being the first in their family to attend college.  These videos can then be donated to the Emory University Archive, to be preserved as part of the history of the university.  

Sign up to record a video here.  

University of Northern Colorado Oral History Project

This project is inspired by a similar initiative by the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Libraries.  Below, you can watch a video of UNC students discussing their experience being first-gen. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in this project?

We're looking for members of the Emory community - undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff - who were the first in their family to attend college.  If your parents did not attend college, but you had an older sibling graduate from college before you, we'd like to hear your story too.  If you're currently a graduate student, faculty, or staff, you did not have to attend Emory as an undergraduate to participate.

What will I talk about in the video?

We'll give you a list of questions that can help you get started talking about your experience.  But, we encourage you to talk about anything that interests, troubles, excites, or inspires you about the first generation student experience.  This is your video legacy, so have fun with it!

Where will I record the video?

To make sure that the video is of high quality and can be preserved for future generations, we ask that you record your video in the Student Studio on the first floor of the library. 

When can I record my video?

You can sign up for a time slot to record your video here.  A member of our staff will meet you at the Student Studio to help you record.  

How long will the video be?

Your video can be as long or short as you'd like, but we expect that most people will record videos that are between 10 and 20 minutes long.

Can I record a video with my friends?

Sure!  We encourage students to record a video with a friend.  If you'd like to record a video alone, that's also fine.  We ask that no more than two people record together at one time, so that we can see and hear both of you clearly in the video.  

How do I donate my video to special collections?

After you record your video, you will fill out a Deed of Gift.  This document gives your video to Rose Library (i.e. special collections) to be preserved as part of the Emory University Archives.  

Can I place use restrictions on my gift?

Yes.  At the time of donation, you can decide if you want your video to be available immediately or at a future date you designate.  For example, you can specify that your video is only viewable 100 years from now.  You can also ask that your video never be displayed on a public facing website and/or that your donation not include your name.  You can also choose to record audio only.  

Do I have to donate my video to special collections?

No.  You do not need to donate your video and you can contact us to ask that your video be destroyed at any time.  

What will my video be used for?

Your video will become part of the Emory University Archives, which are accessible for research and education purposes.  So, your video might be seen by a researcher studying ways to support first gen students, a student writing a paper for a course on higher education, or future activists who want to learn about the experiences of Emory students, among others.  

How do I sign up?

If you're interested in participating, please send an email to Nidia Bañuelos ( or Jonathan Coulis ( and we can help you get started!  You can also sign up for a recording slot here.  

Contact Us

Interested in recording your own video?  Sign up here.  Questions?  Please contact us!


Jonathan Coulis

Woodruff Library Graduate Fellow

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