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Uncrowned Queens Digital Oral History project

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0114

Scope and Contents

Each oral history interview includes a digital audio file for access, a digital audio file for preservation, a paper and electronic version of the transcript, a Consent Form and Memo of Understanding, letter of invitation, and a biography print-out from the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc. website. A digital website biography is also available.


  • 2004


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Uncrowned Queens Digital Oral History Project is open for research. At this time, the digital files for the oral history interviews may only be accessed onsite in the library with 3-5 business days advanced notice. Please contact the University Archives at for more information.

Special Viewing Instructions

Access to portions of digital material is provided via the University Archives’ Digital Archives online repository. At this time, the digital files for the oral history interviews may only be accessed onsite in the library with 3-5 business days advanced notice. Please contact the University Archives at for more information.


Please refer to the Oral History Consent Form and Memo of Understanding for individual interviews' copyright. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Below are excerpts from the Uncrowned Queens website. See the collection for full print-outs of the biographies.

Georgia Burnette

Georgia Mackie Burnette was born and raised in Buffalo. After graduating in 1955, as one of the first black students in the University of Buffalo nursing program, she continued her education and obtained a Master of Science degree in Nursing from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Master in Education from Niagara University. She continues to audit courses in areas of interest at local institutions of higher learning.

From 1960 through 1965, she was employed as Instructor of Nursing at Cook County School of Nursing and Provident Hospital School of Nursing, an all-black facility, in Chicago, Illinois. She later returned to Buffalo and was appointed to leadership positions at prominent healthcare facilities in Western New York, including Associate Director of Nursing, Buffalo General Hospital; Assistant Professor of Nursing, Niagara University; Director of Nursing, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Director of Nurses, Buffalo Psychiatric Center. In each instance, excluding Roswell Park, Georgia Burnette was the first black nurse in the position.

Georgia Burnette is a recipient of the Mary B. Talbert Civic and Cultural Club award for Outstanding Contributions to the Buffalo Community; New York State Department of Health, Outstanding Service Certificate for Work on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women's Issues, and the Ruth T. McGrorey Award for contributions to the Advancement of Nursing.

Gwendolyn Greene

Gwendolyn Greene is a native Buffalonian who attended local public schools. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia State University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Greene has also completed additional coursework at both the University of Michigan and University at Buffalo.

Ms. Greene is a member of the Trustee Board of the American Red Cross, Buffalo Chapter, and the Board of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, Inc. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers; and is past Director of the YWCA Youth Department that served all area high school clubs.

She [also] served as a board member of the Child Care Council, the YWCA, the Council of Churches, Gateway Home for Children, Camp Fire Boys and Girls (President), the National Board - Camp Fire Boys and Girls, the National Board - American Red Cross Retirees Association, and the Trustee Boards of Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and Humboldt Parkway Baptist Church.

In addition to being listed in Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who of American Service Professionals, Ms. Greene has received numerous service and appreciation awards.

Thelma Hardiman

Thelma Ayers Hardiman, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, received her Bachelor of Arts degree from LeMoyne College in Memphis and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. She has been a trailblazer in many of her accomplishments. She was one of the first African American females to receive a Master's degree in Public Health, which stemmed from her interest in tuberculosis because of a family member's affliction. She later received postgraduate credits from the University at Buffalo in Education. A retired educator, she was the first African American female assistant principal to be appointed as acting principal in the City of Buffalo, and was among the few African American school principals at the time of her appointment. She has been cited for her work with special students and for her innovative disciplinary methods that emphasized reward rather than punishment.

Mrs. Hardiman has served on many boards including Studio Arena Theater, Buffalo Arts Commission, Hallwalls, Health Systems Agency of Western New York, Inc. , and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) where she served as Board President. She was the first African American elected to serve as the President of a metropolitan YWCA.

In recognition of her service, Mrs. Hardiman has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Mayor Anthony M. Masiello proclaimed October 23, 1998, Thelma Ayers Hardiman Day in recognition of her "tireless efforts and much appreciated contributions to a very grateful community."

Eva M. Noles

Eva Malinda Noles is a nurse, an educator, a volunteer, an author and a community leader. The first black nurse to train in Buffalo, Mrs. Noles has retired twice only to return to train people to provide various levels of health care. She was with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute for some thirty years, serving in many capacities including Director of Nursing. She was also with the Medical Personnel Pool for seven years training nurses aides and helping educate more than one hundred others as family planning nurse practitioners.

After completing the three-year course of instruction and practice at the Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1941, Mrs. Noles went on to become the first African American nurse in Buffalo. Later in 1965 and 1967 respectively, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the State University at Buffalo and the Master of Arts degree in Education.

Mrs. Noles is the author of Black History: A Different Approach - A Compilation (Buffalo, NY Noles Publishing, 1988); Buffalo's Blacks: Talking Proud (Buffalo, NY Noles Publishing, 1986); and Six Decades of Nursing at Roswell Park, 1914-1974 (Buffalo, Roswell Park, 1975).

Garnet Hicks Wallace

Garnet Wallace came to Buffalo to become the Superintendent of the Buffalo Friendship Home in 1947. A graduate of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, she began her career working with youngsters at the Dunbar Nursery School in Syracuse, New York. After leaving Dunbar, she took a position at the Albion Training School for developmentally delayed youngsters. This was during World War II and that position terminated when the former teacher returned from service and reclaimed her position. The loss of this job prompted her move to Buffalo.

Following positions at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and the Western Reformatory in Albion, New York, Ms. Wallace accepted a position as an institutional parole officer with New York State in 1965. She progressed within the department, being promoted to field parole officer, senior parole officer, and ultimately was selected as the first female to supervise males in the Buffalo area. Eventually, she supervised parole officers in New York City, Manhattan, and North Territory. She retired in 1979 after thirty-two years of service in New York State.

Several groups have honored her for volunteerism and community activism including the Sojourner Truth Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. and the Dr. M. Joan Cousin Humanitarian Award from the Ministers Wives, New York Conference Branch.


.5 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box, 1 DVD case)

24 Gigabytes (Approximately 30 files)


Oral histories of Georgia Burnette, Gwendolyn Greene, Thelma Hardiman, Eva Noles, Garnet Hicks Wallace conducted by Peggy Brook-Bertram and Barbara Seals Nevergold of the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc.

Related Digital Material

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Digital files were transferred to the University Archives on various types of storage media including compact discs and digital versatile discs. Where possible, digital content saved on storage media was migrated from the storage media, normalized to standard preservation and access formats, and transferred to a stable preservation environment following the University Libraries' Digital Preservation guidelines. Some folder titles were altered and file arrangement reorganized to assist researchers in locating and identifying digital content.


Finding Aid for the Uncrowned Queens Digital Oral History project
Under Revision
Finding aid prepared by Jessica Tanny.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
The oral histories were made possible in part by a University at Buffalo Educational Technology Grant, 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)