Audio/Visual Archives

The library holds a very few recordings of local presentations on Indian and local history and culture, and is in the process of identifying and acquiring more, especially material from Alvin himself.  As materials are acquired and cataloged they will be made available to the public; currently, any material in hand is available for library use.


To view our video archives of brown bag cultural lectures & other events, click here.


Alvin Josephy Tapes

Alvin Josephy (1915-2005) lived near the center of many of the 20th century’s most important cultural and political events. He worked with writers, movie stars, revolutionaries, environmentalists, American presidents, and many American Indians. This collection includes extensive interviews with Alvin Josephy, covering his early years growing up in New York through a lifetime in which he donned many different hats—

  1. reporter during the Depression;
  2. Marine combat correspondent during World War II (including an encounter with a group of Navajo Codetalkers, who spurred him to think in new ways about American Indians);
  3. feature writer for Time magazine during the 1950s (which lead to his first contact with Nez Perce, a meeting that changed the trajectory of his life’s work forever);
  4. government advisor on Native American affairs during the Nixon administration;
  5. historian, writer, and advocate for the American Indian. This collection also includes
  6. interviews with people who worked with Josephy during these different periods;
  7. footage from a variety of events where Josephy was present (the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian; the annual Chief Joseph Days in Joseph, Oregon; academic and non-academic conferences, etc.);
  8. other filmed interviews with Josephy;
  9. samples of Josephy-related material collected from the National Archives, and other collections;
  10. informal footage of Josephy and others recorded at his homes in Connecticut and Oregon, in New York City, etc.

Please see the project index for more information.

Click here for the archived video listing and to watch the media.

Click here to view the details catalogue listing on University of Oregon Manuscript Archives. 


Newberry Sioux Indian Tapes

Recorded interviews made by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., historian of American Indian affairs, and also war correspondent, screenwriter, and government consultant. Includes 40 cassette tapes of interviews conducted during 1982 and 1983 with reservation Sioux Indians in Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, and with urban and off-reservation Sioux in such places as Oakland, Los Angeles, Rapid City, Pierre, and Tucson. Interviews were undertaken for a National Geographic Magazine article on the Sioux, and cover interviewees’ biographical information as well as all facets of their contemporary lives. They show a moment in Sioux and American Indian history, Many of the interviewees have passed on.
The tapes are held at the Newberry Library in Chicago and are directly accessible at this site:


Mythweaver: Nez Perce Return to Wallowa

Rich Wandschneider recounts the history of the Nez Perce and their Wallowa Homeland o.

The Nez Perce people are returning to the Wallowa. Who are they? Why and how did they leave? And what does their return look like?

On this segment from the Idaho Mythweaver’s podcast series called “Voices of the Wild Earth,” Rich Wandschneider answers those questions by delving into the history of the Nez Perce and distilling that rich background into a single half hour.

Wandschneider has lived in the Wallowas for 50 years and is one of the most knowledgeable people in the non-Native world about the Nez Perce. He was the protege of Alvin Josephy, one of the most heralded authors and historians of the Nez Perce, and inherited his library. The Josephy Center of Arts and Culture was created around that centerpiece.

Click here to listen!


Live Guam NBC Broadcast reported by Sgt. Alvin Josephy

The Library of Congress lists 62 audio recordings Josephy made in the Pacific as a WW II Marine journalist, and another dozen concerning Tammany Hall criminal affairs made in 1938—presumably for WGN Radio in New York. Here is a live radio broadcast from 1944. 


Alvin Josephy Canyon Fieldtrip

Alvin Josephy and Biden Tippett on a “field trip,” largely exploring Joseph Canyon together with the tape recorder running. The Tippetts ranched there for decades, and Biden points out places where Indians fished, where he moved sheep, etc. It is a good listen!

Jack McClaran and the Liberation of Buchenwald –

Jack McClaran grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch in Snake River country in Oregon, and graduated high school in Lewiston, Idaho in the spring of 1944. Just nine months later he was a US Army tanker involved with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald.

Jack came home after the war, went to college at the University of Idaho, and came back to the Snake River to the family ranch. The sheep are now gone, and three granddaughters–the fourth generation–are now running the cattle ranch.

Jack and Marge McClaran met Alvin and Betty Josephy while Alvin was researching his book on the Nez Perce. The Josephys bought a small ranch near Joseph, Oregon, and the friendship grew. It was a long and important friendship, and I know that one of the reasons that Jack decided to tell his story to a rapt audience of more than 100 in the Oddfellows Hall in Enterprise was that Alvin had written a memoir that included details of his war in the Pacific. Alvin told Jack there were holocaust deniers out there, and he and their generation needed to get their experiences on the record now.

Jack, Marge, Alvin and Betty are all gone now, but that record of a young man’s searing experience of the death and destruction at Buchenwald are not. And Jack’s words are as haunting now as they were on that night on April 14, 2009 at the Oddfellows Hall in Enterprise, Oregon.