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The Barnard Class of 1971 Oral History Project


The Barnard Class of 1971 Oral History Project will examine the moment when the world changed for everyone – but most particularly for the young. It will capture the essence of the head-spinning sixties and
their impact on a class of young women who had no idea they were entering a virtual time machine.

Now in their 60’s, the women of the Class of 1971– a remarkable and talented group of women – will reflect on their college years -  a time like none other. They will examine the impact of these seminal years on the lives they have led – and perhaps even on the futures they envision for themselves from here.

The Barnard Class of 1971 Oral History Project will compile a total of 60 one-on-one interviews with class members, ultimately creating a collection of high definition videotapes to become a permanent part of the Barnard College and Columbia University Archives. These collections will be invaluable to social historians now and in the future.

Ultimately, we hope to turn this precious material into a documentary film,  drawing on the hundreds of hours of stories we collect.

We will accomplish our goal in 3 phases.

To date, we have completed Phase 1– interviewing 17 classmates and creating a 15 minute mini-doc from their stories.

During phase 2, we will re-record our first set of interviews in high definition videotape and further interview and record the individual stories of at least 43 more class members. We wish to interview any and all classmates who would like to share their life experiences.

During Phase 2, we will raise funds from individual donors through our association with New York Women In Film and Television.

NYWIFT will collect, administer and provide tax exempt status for donations from alumni and other interested persons. At the same time, with Barnard’s help, we will raise money from foundations and corporations.

During Phase 3, we will continue to raise funds for the production of a full length documentary. This extraordinary piece will ultimately take its place beside other ground-breaking documents of social history, such as Henry Hampton’s “Eyes on The Prize,” Ken Burns’ “The Civil War,” and Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s “Prohibition.”


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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts
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