EDHE 6064 Catalano: Oral History Collections
Locating oral histories
Below is a list of most manuscript collections that contain significant oral history content or are exclusively oral histories AND are related to the history of education, the history of higher education, or Virginia Tech university history in some way. You can search our collections for those containing oral histories on ArchivesSpace or Virginia Heritage.
Suggested oral history collections
- Blacksburg Oral History Project (Ms1985-005)A project of the University Libraries at Virginia Tech to collect information on the history of Blacksburg, Virginia. The Collection contains taped interviews, most with transcripts, of various Blacksburg residents, many with connections to Virginia Tech.
- Black Women at Virginia Tech Oral History Project (Ms1995-026)The Black Women at Virginia Tech History Project is a multi-phase research and educational project that involves identification of the first black women students, staff, and faculty at Virginia Tech and the collection of their oral history narratives. The interviews focus on the entry experience and the interviewees' perceptions of the climate and attitudes within the university community particularly as pertains to race and gender.
- College of Education History Records (Ms1990-026)Oral history interviews regarding the history of the College of Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Interviews were conducted in November-December 1989. Materials consist of cassette tapes and transcripts of interviews, interview notes, correspondence (1970-1972), and reports.
- Denim Day 40th Anniversary Oral History Collection (Ms2019-001)This collection includes oral history accounts of the first Denim Day LGBTQ+ awareness event at Virginia Tech in January 1979.
- Department of Biochemistry Oral History Collection (Ms2003-009)The oral history interviews in the Department of Biochemistry Oral History Collection were conducted by current and retired faculty as part of the department's 50th anniversary celebration. Interviews were conducted in the period from October 2001 to June 2002 with department heads, faculty, and staff who played an important role in the founding and development of the Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
- Marvin Blecher Audiocassette Tape (Ms1998-017)Oral history interview conducted by Virginia Tech student Christina Roemer with Marvin and Freda Blecher of Blacksburg, Virginia, about their involvement in the Jewish community in the town and the Hillel student organization at Virginia Tech. Dr. Marvin Blecher served as faculty advisor for Hillel from 1973 to 1983. Also includes information about the Blacksburg Jewish Community Center and other Jewish communities in the region.
- Multicultural Diversity Oral History Project (Ms2002-001)This collection includes oral history accounts from people of various backgrounds with experience at Virginia Tech and/or in the Blacksburg area.
- Talking About Work Oral History Interview Project (Ms2012-005)Oral history interviews with interviewees who worked on or near the Virginia Tech campus. Interviews explore the particular jobs of the interviewees and the issues related to working for these interviewees. The collection also contains annotated bibliographies and reflections papers created by students about their interview experience. There are images of some of the interviewees.
- Virginia Tech Black History Oral Histories (Ms2003-011)This collection includes oral history accounts from Black people with experience at Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg area between the 1950s and the early 2000s.
- Virginia Tech LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection (Ms2015-007)This collection consists of oral history interviews with influential members of the LGBTQ+ community at Virginia Tech, both past and present.
- VT Stories Oral History Collection (Ms2016-015)Initiated in 2015 by the President’s Office and managed by faculty and staff in History, English, TLOS, VT Libraries, and the Alumni Association, the VT Stories Oral History Project collects and examines stories, memories, tall tales, tragedies, and triumphs of all members of the Hokie community to help us know our shared history and to make sense of it. At the heart of the project is Hokies interviewing Hokies—largely student-staffed and trained by oral historians, interviewers engage with VT Alumni to learn their history and to make mentoring connections that go beyond the student experience. As we seek to understand why Virginia Tech is top rated in its success in engaging alumni, we highlight the exciting, memorable, historic moments in Hokie lives that have forged strong and enduring connections.
About Special Collections and University Archives
Special Collections and University Archives is currently open Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm.
Appointments are not required, but strongly encouraged (**see below)
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Land Acknowledgement & Labor Recognition
Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo / Monacan People’s homeland and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that legislation and practices like the Morrill Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands, both locally and in western territories.
We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo / Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.
We must also recognize that enslaved Black people generated revenue and resources used to establish Virginia Tech and were prohibited from attending until 1953. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
This guide was adapted with permission from a course LibGuide originally created by Kira Dietz.