Skip to main content

Berea College Sound Archives

Appalachian Region Oral Histories Finding Aids

Appalachian Foodways Oral History Collection, SAA 164
This collection consists of audio recordings and typed transcripts of interviews recorded during the summer of 2012 by then Berea College students Katie Bills and Chelsea Bicknell as part of a foodways internship project with Berea faculty member Margaret Dotson. Foodways is the study of the interactions among food, culture, environment, and history. Twenty seven persons were interviewed for the purpose of documenting foodways in Pleasants County, West Virginia and Estill County, Kentucky. Interviewees were mostly in their 70s. A few were 90 years old or older. The interviews provide first-hand accounts of how foodways in two widely separated areas of the Appalachian region have developed and changed over the last 60 to 85 plus years. Specific subject areas described include gardening, farming, preparing food, preserving food, eating habits and preferences, and food related traditions.
Disputanta Oral History Collection, 1978-1979, SAA 30
Twenty-eight (28) audio recordings, transcripts, and published material resulting from an oral history project documenting the Disputanta community in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, that was conducted 1978-1979 by Berea College student, Terry Allebaugh.
Appalachian Volunteers Oral History Collection, 1982, SAA 39
Audio recordings and transcripts of interviews recorded by Marie Tyler McGraw with former Appalachian Volunteer workers who were assigned to West Virginia and then settled there after their service ended. An in-house database is available.
Appalachian Oral History Collection, 1972-1973, SAA 59
Audio recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted by Berea College students under direction of History professor, Richard B. Drake. Subjects include Pine Mountain Settlement School, John C. Campbell Folk School, Christian Appalachian Project, the Civilian Conservation Corps in Pike County, Kentucky, and Berea College’s Christmas Country Dance School.
“Voices From the Sixties” Oral History Collection, 1985-1987, SAA 87
Audio recorded interviews of Kentucky and West Virginia activists, politicians, and scholars relative to government funded anti-poverty programs in the 1960s and 1970s. The interviews were the bases for four public radio documentaries titled respectively, “Appalachian Volunteers,” “Maximum Feasible Participation,” “Strip Mining,” and “Fair Elections.”
John Lair - Renfro Valley Barn Dance Oral History Collection 1994-1999, SAA 95
Audio recorded interviews with performers and others who were associated with the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and other radio programs produced by John Lair, 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.
Council of the Southern Mountains Oral History Project Collection, SAA 110
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.
Eastern Kentucky Folk Dancing Oral History Project, SAA 116
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.
Kentucky River Oral History Project, SAA 125
One hundred fifty-one audio recorded interviews and detailed content summaries (not verbatim transcripts) that document the economic and social conditions of people who have lived or worked on the Kentucky River. The interviews were recorded by Berea College students in 1989 and 1990 as part of an oral history project administered by the Kentucky Folklife Program.
Twenty-two audio recorded interviews with military veterans from southeastern Kentucky 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. The interviews were recorded between May and September 2011 by Jerry L. Clark, a Vietnam combat veteran who grew up in Whitley County, Kentucky and worked as a clinical social worker for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
The collection consists of video recorded interviews of individuals involved, both before and after, the integration of public schools in Blount County, Tennessee.  Also included in the collection are photographs and other records documenting the project and Blount County black history.