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Oral Histories: Appalachian Region, in the Berea Sound Archives
From 2005-2016, the Sound Archives Fellowship program supported both the scholarly use of Berea's non-commercial audio / video collections and the conducting of cultural documentation projects that produced new material for future research use.
Fourteen oral history interviews recorded to contribute to the documentation of combined food and dance gatherings in eastern Kentucky. This effort is part of the East Kentucky Food and Dance Trail Program at Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky. The program is directed at highlighting east Kentucky venues that encourage community building, cross-generational learning, and entrepreneurship through culinary and dance traditions. The program promotes regional network building, as well as cultural education and tourism opportunities.
Berea College student researchers conducted these interviews in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Dotson of the College's Child and Family Studies program.The project’s purposes were to learn about Appalachian foodways, gain understanding of how foodways have changed overtime, and collect stories so that they can be studied in order to preserve the history of Appalachia. Geographic coverage included southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky and western North Carolina.
This oral history collection consists of interviews with elder (over 65) Appalachians about their recollections of the forest in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. While the interviews focus on their experience of the forests, their stories also intersect with other aspects of their experience and contributions such as music and art.
The project was initiated by Jo Crockett Zingg with the purpose of documenting key figures in the Appalachian Volunteers organization who had not been interviewed as part of previous oral history efforts. Zingg recorded eleven of the interviews over an approximate two year period, 2008 - 2010. Former AV worker Jeanette Knowles continued the project after Jo Zingg's death in 2012. Additional interviews were recorded at various times by historian Tom Kiffmeyer, Women's History scholar Jesse Wilkerson, and Berea College Archivist Harry Rice.
Twenty six video recorded interviews with Black Blount County, Tennessee residents who helped shape the community during and after the integration of the schools in 1969. Their idea for collecting interviews was formed in 2007 by Charles Pride, Dorothy Kincaid, and Jo Davenport when they identified an urgency to preserve, in an accurate and positive way, Blount County’s rich black history. Andrew Baskin recorded 36 additional interviews during 2017
The collection is comprised of a series of 16 audio recordings of interviews with former Buckhorn School students and staff from the early to mid-1900’s when the Perry County, Kentucky, school was known as Witherspoon College.
Audio recorded interviews with transcripts relating to the social reform efforts of the Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM) during the period 1970-1989. Interviewees include the former CSM executive director, other staff, board members, and elected officers.
Thirty-one audio cassette recordings and transcripts of interviews that document the development of traditional square and related dance activity in southeastern Kentucky. The interviews were with mostly elderly residents of Harlan, Letcher, and Leslie Counties and were recorded by Peter Rogers in 1975.
Thirty audio recorded interviews with performers and others who were associated with the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and other radio programs produced by JohnLair, first in Cincinnati, Ohio and later in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, 1937 through much of the 1950s. Most of the interviews were conducted during the period 1994-1999, by Hutchins Library Sound Archivist, Harry Rice. Additional interviews in the collection were conducted at various earlier times by Loyal Jones, Wayne Daniels, and Reuben Powell.
These are interviews recorded by dance scholar Susan Spalding as part of her study of the history of square dancing in Berea and surrounding counties. Also included are selected audio and video excerpts of local dance groups and callers. The dancing in question is the type done in a big circle that divides into smaller “squares” of two couples. The time period covered is from the beginning of the twentieth century through about 1970.
Audio and video recorded interviews (with transcripts) and performances with Kentucky traditional musicians and singers some of whom had radio performing careers mainly during the 1930s and 1940s. The interviews were conducted at various times over the period 1969-2008, by Reubein Powell, Ray Nemec, Loyal Jones, Stephen Green, Susan Eacker, and Harry Rice.
This collection consists of seventeen audio recorded interviews that document the practice of scheduling planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops based on moon phases and astrological signs. Interviewees were active gardeners residing in Barren, Clark, Franklin, Gallatin, Harlan, Lee, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, and Rockcastle counties.
The interviews were recorded by Dr. Sarah Hall, of Berea College's Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Meg Wilson was a collaborator and photographer for the project.
A diverse selection of more than 750 oral history interviews, personal reminiscences, historical presentations, music performances, and radio programs recorded between 1994 and 2006 in an area that stretches from Parkersburg, West Virginia to the coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. These recordings document regional history and personal life experiences in neighborhoods, religious congregations, businesses, factories, mines, farms, ethnic social clubs, singing societies, and music ensembles.
This collection consists of audio recorded interviews with 22 southeastern Kentucky military veterans who served in combat during the Vietnam War. Generally, the interviews focus on the personal, social, and emotional aspects of wartime military service instead of technical accounts of battles, logistics, and military operations.
This collection consists of video recordings of interviews and community dance activities in eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and east Tennessee recorded at various times between 1988 and 2002. Communities represented in the collection include: Carcassonne, Slade, and Berea College in Kentucky; Dante, Fancy Gap, and Chilhowie in Virginia; and Fall Branch in Tennessee. The three types of Appalachian dance that are documented in the collection include: old-time square dancing, flat-footing and clogging, and two-stepping.
Thirty three interviews of Kentucky and West Virginia community organizers, politicians, journalists, and scholars related to federal government funded anti-poverty programs in the 1960s and 1970s. The interviews were recorded by Gibbs Kinderman in connection with the production of four public radio documentaries: The "Appalachian Volunteers," "Maximum Feasible Participation," "Strip Mining," and "Fair Elections.” Copies of the documentaries are included in the collection.