Appalachian Oral History Project

Description

The Appalachian Oral History Project (AOHP) was begun in 1973 and developed through a consortium involving Emory & Henry College, Appalachian State University, Alice Lloyd College, and Lees Junior College, now known as Hazard County Community College. Over the course of many years, students and faculty conducted and recorded personal interviews with thousands of citizens across the region. The primary goal was to create a trove of data for scholars across multiple disciplines interested in studying and researching the Appalachian region. Each institution took final responsibility for the curation and storage of the audio tapes and interview transcriptions conducted by their respective students. The coordination of the interviews and other related work was overseen at Emory & Henry by longtime History professor, Dr. George Stevenson.

Emory & Henry’s share of the AOHP includes well over 1,000 audio tapes and printed transcripts. Two particular needs related to the collection are of paramount importance: the long term preservation of the tapes and transcripts and making the collection accessible to students and scholars. The audio recordings are stored on magnetic cassette tapes, the physical integrity of which, as time continues to pass, will become less and less certain.

The Appalachian Center for Civic Life has embarked on a project to digitize the oral history collection. The purposes of this effort are to protect the integrity and usability of the interviews in perpetuity through digital preservation and to create a digital collection of the material that is fully accessible, searchable, and made widely available online. Furthermore, the project is being integrated into the learning objectives of multiple courses within the Civic Innovation major, other courses across the curriculum, and into other community engagement programming overseen by the center.

Collection Items

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