From tenant farmers and lay midwives to political leaders and nationally acclaimed authors, the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) reaches across the state to record and preserve the diverse stories that are a part of Kentucky’s rich and colorful history. Since 1976 the Kentucky Oral History Commission has:
- Awarded more than $1 million to more than 600 grants to individuals, colleges, universities and community organizations, resulting in the collection of more than 35,000 interviews located at repositories throughout the state.
- Established a collection of nearly 9,000 interviews, one of the largest in the United States, at the Kentucky Historical Society.
- Conducted a multi-year project to document the civil rights movement in Kentucky and to produce educational programs based on the oral history collection. More than 200 interviews have been collected and transcribed. The award-winning project also produced eight radio programs, two performance pieces, and the documentary “Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky“ which periodically broadcasts on Kentucky Educational Television. The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky online database launched in 2005.
The Kentucky Oral History Commission is made up of 12 governor-appointed members. The KOHC advisory board is made up of at least 10 KOHC appointed oral history advisers.
Current KOHC Members are:
Fred Joseph, Chair (Louisville)
Sharon Kemper Hackworth, Vice-Chair (Shelbyville)
Anna Armstrong (Harrodsburg)
Duane Bolin (Murray)
John Hardin (Bowling Green)
Nathan Lynn (Paducah)
Tom Meng (Lexington)
Kim Lady Smith (Frankfort)
Richard Taylor (Frankfort)
Wayne Onkst, ex-officio (Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Library and Archives)
Kent Whitworth, ex officio (Director, Kentucky Historical Society)
Current KOHC Advisers:
Brent Bjorkman, Director, Kentucky Folklife Program, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Doug Boyd, Director, University of Kentucky Nunn Center for Oral History, Lexington
Jackie Couture, Co-director, William H. Berge Center for Oral History, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond
Lynn David, independent oral historian and folklorist, Maysville County
Arwen Donahue, independent oral historian, Carlisle
John Klee, history professor, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Maysville
Lynwood Montell, folklorist, author and lifetime KOHC adviser, Bowling Green
Sarah-Jane Poindexter, Co-chair, Oral History Center, University of Louisville
Anne Ryckbost, manuscript processor, Northern Kentucky University
Lil Press, former KOHC chair, co-founder of the Kentucky Women’s Network, Lexington
Michael Ann Williams, Director, Folks Studies and Anthropology Department, WKU, Bowling Green
Jim Klotter, ex-officio (state historian)
Al Smith, ex-officio (KOHC co-founder)
Oral History Administrator position is unstaffed. Please direct all questions to the Reference Staff of the Martin F. Schmidt Library at firstname.lastname@example.org .