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Rosa Parks' Stanford press conference recording now accessible online

December 18, 2019
Josh Schneider
Bernard Lee and Harry Belafonte consult with Rosa Parks and friend

Image: Bernard Lee and Harry Belafonte consult with Rosa Parks and friend, Martin Luther King, Jr. Funeral, 1968. Bob Fitch photography archive (M1994). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


The Stanford Archives is excited to share that an audio recording of a Rosa Parks press conference, held at Arroyo House at Stanford University on February 18, 1990, was recently digitized and is now accessible worldwide via Stanford Libraries' discovery platforms.

Parks spoke briefly the following day before a packed audience in Memorial Auditorium. The visit of Rosa Parks was organized by John and Angela Rickford, Resident Fellows at Arroyo House, Wilbur Hall, and their Resident Assistants (Eric Loh, Matt McLeod, and Ashley Ryan).

The 1/4" Open Reel Tape was digitized by Geoff Willard, Stanford Media Preservation Laboratory (SMPL), part of Stanford Libraries’ Digital Libraries Systems and Service (DLSS). 

The Rosa Parks press conference recording was donated to Stanford Libraries by Professor John R. Rickford, the J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics and the Humanities at Stanford University, as part of the John R. Rickford papers. That collection has recently been processed by Stanford student employees Jennifer Xiong and Hana Tadesse, under the supervision of Presley Hubschmitt, Processing Archivist. The collection also includes photographs that have now been digitized and described covering events in East Palo Alto, including the Collard Green Cultural Festival (2004) and East Palo Alto, Nairobi Legacy Reunion (2004). 

John Rickford

Rickford was recently interviewed by the Stanford Historical Society’s Oral History Program. See this blogpost by summer intern Zoe Wallace:

Stanford Archives welcomes donations of materials by Stanford faculty and other community members, including coverage of activism at Stanford. Please contact us at with any questions or to offer materials.