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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 Appalachia in some way. A full list of our collections with oral histories is available online.
About Special Collections and University Archives
Suggested Oral History Collections
Appalachian Oral History Project, 1986-1991 (Ms1993-025)
Collection contains oral history interview cassette tapes and tape logs for 23 interviews conducted by students with 25 interviewees in the local community. Most interviews were collected as part of a 1991 Appalachian Community Studies class of Professor Jean Speer of the Department of Humanities at Virginia Tech. Unless noted, interviews have not been transcribed. For some interviewees, there is a student paper based on the interview.
Appalachian Quilt Project Cassette Tapes, 1978-1979 (Ms1981-097)
Oral history project conducted by the Department of Clothing, Textiles, and Related Art at Virginia Tech. Collection consists of recorded interviews with forty-three quilt makers in Floyd and Washington counties, Virginia. Transcripts available.
Black Appalachians Oral History Project, 1991 (Ms1991-019)
The Black Appalachians Oral History Project consists of approximately twenty-five taped interviews conducted by Dr. Michael Cooke of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University concerning black life in Appalachia, especially in Montgomery County, Virginia. The interviewees represented communities such as Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Elliston, Riner, Shawsville, and Wake Forest. Transcripts are currently available for six of the interviews.
Black History Oral Histories, n.d. (Ms2003-011)
Full text of interviews with some of those who have shaped the history of the university and of the New River Valley. http://spec.lib.vt.edu/archives/blackhistory/.
Blacksburg Oral History Project Records, 1984-1985 (Ms1985-005)
Project of the University Libraries of Virginia Tech to collect information on the history of Blacksburg, Virginia. Collection contains taped interviews, most with transcripts, of the following Blacksburg residents: Cliff Busby, Georgia Croy, S.H. Kessinger, Lucy Lee Lancaster, George Litton, Howard Price, Carrie T. Sibold, and Ellison A. Smyth.
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklore Project Records, 1978-1979 (Ms1986-009)
The collection includes records from an oral history project conducted by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Park Service. Project surveyed folk cultural traditions along the Blue Ridge Parkway, particularly along a hundred-mile stretch from Rocky Knob, Virginia, to Doughton Park, North Carolina. Field coordinator for the project was Charles K. Wolfe of Middle Tennessee State University. The collection consists of taped interviews with residents, photographs, field notes, and some administrative records from 1978 and 1979.
Crown Cotton Mills [Dalton, Georgia] Oral History Tapes, 1984-1985 (Ms1988-023)
Oral history tapes of employees at the Crown Cotton Mills in Dalton, a textile town in the Appalachian Valley of northwest Georgia. Most of mill hands interviewed worked for Crown from the 1920s-1960s. All interviews conducted by J. Douglas Flamming, formerly a history professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in 1984-85. Unprocessed.
Newport and Clover Hollow, Giles County History Collection, 1904, 1973-2006 (Ms2013-086)
Please note: Oral history and transcripts are currently not open for use. Contact Special Collections for more information.
The Newport and Clover Hollow, Giles County History collection contains oral history interviews, transcripts, notes, newspaper clippings, historic district survey forms, a video tape, and a geological survey map related to the creation of the Greater Newport Rural Historic District. The collection dates from 1973 to 2009, although it does include a typed copy of a 1904 Giles county will. The materials in this collection not only reveal information on the history and people of Giles county, but they also document the community's efforts to get Newport designated as a rural agricultural historic district. Most of the newspaper clippings concern the threat of AEP building a new powerline that would have cut across the Newport area.
Patrick County [Virginia] Oral History Project Records, 1980 (Ms1983-007)
Please note: This collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.
The collection consists of taped interviews; transcripts; biographical information about the interviewees; a subject card index to the interviews; a film, "Up and Down These Roads: a Rural County in Transition"; slide/tape programs; and such project documents as the original proposal, the final report, photographs, publicity clippings, and program posters. For a published guide to the collection, available in Special Collections, see Patrick County Oral History Project: A Guide by Thomas D. Perry.
Talking About Work Oral History Interview Project, 2008-2011 (Ms2012-005)
Please note: There are some access restrictions on this collection. Collection is open for research with the exception of Box 3, which contains restricted materials not available to the public. Restricted materials include release forms and catalog sheets which contain personal contact information. Also restricted for varying periods of time are three other interviews, which will be released upon the designated date.
Oral history interviews conducted by students of Dr. Emily Satterwhite's HUM 2504 Introduction to American Studies class with interviewees who work 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.
Washington County Oral History Transcripts, n.d. (Ms2015-023)
The Washington County Oral History Transcripts were compiled by four Abingdon High School students. The transcripts detail interviews with Washington County residents Evelyn Campbell, Emma Josephine Poland Surber, and Nancy Johnson. The interviewees discuss their childhood activities, childhood fashion, schooling, and what their household was like in southwest Virginia. The students also inquire about the change in gas, cars, and houses since the interviewees were kids. Lastly, the students ask the interviewees to describe the impact of desegregation of their lives and communities.