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Kentucky Oral History Commission Announces New Grant Recipients

Grant Review Panel

The Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) has awarded $55,700 in fiscal year 2015-2016 in new grants to support oral history projects ranging in topic from Bosnian immigrants in Bowling Green to the Kentucky Chili Bun Trail in Eastern Kentucky, public art in Louisville to the African American experience in Hopkinsville.

Grants support both new projects and the transcription and indexing of existing oral history interviews, and are intended to encourage statewide collection, preservation and making accessible historically valuable interviews.

New oral history project grant recipients are:

  • Capital City Museum Oral History Project: $1,750 to capture the memories and experience of living community members as they related to the political and economic development of Frankfort in the 20th century.
  • Kentucky Springs: Narratives on Localized Water Knowledge, Community and Stewardship: $2,129.37 to collect oral histories about roadside springs in Kentucky, natural resources that often mark very early human settlements.
  • Louisville Underground Music Archive Project Oral Histories: $1,800 to document the history of Louisville’s rock/indie/punk/hardcore music scene from the late 1970s through the current era.
  • Louisville’s Public Art: Creators, Collaborators and Consumers: $3,150 to record stories and recollections about the creation and history of Louisville’s public art collection.
  • Oral Histories of the Kentucky River at Frankfort: $2,900 to document the changing relationship between Kentucky’s capital city and the Kentucky River.
  • The African American Experience in Segregated Hopkinsville: $3,584.75 to capture the African-American experience in the years before desegregation and the era when racial barriers were being challenged and broken down in Hopkinsville’s public life.
  • The Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: $3,040 to document the lives of Eastern Kentucky through the lens of the chili bun, a working-class food with ties to the Great Depression, pool halls, the intricate railroad system and the coal mining industry of the 20th century.
  • The Musical Legacy of South Central Kentucky: $3,073 to document the experiences of men and women who have been involved in the musical scene of South Central Kentucky.
  • Voices of the Forgotten War: Northern Kentuckians in the Korean Conflict Oral History Project: $1,280 to collect the personal narratives of Northern Kentucky military veterans who served during the Korean War.
  • Stinking Creek Stories Oral History Project: $5,000 to gain insights into Stinking Creek residents, their experiences with changing agriculture practices and the impact of the Lend-A-Hand Center, a small nonprofit organization on the creek.
  • Appalachian Horse Oral History Project: $3,228.75 to document the Rocky Mountain horse’s origin in Eastern Kentucky and its roles on the farm, as transportation and for recreation.
  • Centre Goes to War: World War II Experiences of the Centre College Community: $5,000 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 200th anniversary of Centre College by conducting oral history interviews with people who worked or studied at Centre and also served during World War II.


Projects that received transcription/indexing grants are:

  • A Harlan County Legacy: $3,600 to improve and develop the public access and use of the SKCTC Oral History collection.
  • Being Loretto amid the Needs of the Late 20th Century: $2,650 to collect and transcribing individual oral histories to capture the stories of Loretto members meeting the needs of our times in the last half century.
  • Kentucky Craft History and Education Association Indexing Grant: $2,340 to index the Craft Luminary Project, 78 hours of recorded video interviews with craft artists, craft organization representatives and craft conservationists who have had an impact on craft development in the state.
  • Kentucky County Judge Project: $2,580 to index a collection of oral history interviews of Kentucky County Judges which spans the state and focuses on the judicial referendum of 1975.
  • Small Towns Indexing Project: Burgin, Junction City, Ravenna, and Silver Grove: $1,707 to index 66 interviews that cover such significant historical themes and topics as the Great Depression; World War II; military service; education trends and practices; religious life; and local governments, businesses and industries.
  • The Bosnia Project: $1,590 to (transcribe or index) interviews the Kentucky Folklife Program conducted from September 2015 to February 2016 and which document the Bosnian-American community of Bowling Green both before and after their arrival.
  • Lincoln County Oral History Transcription: $1,920 to transcribe the oral history collection of the Lincoln County Public Library.
  • Folklorist-in-the-Park at Mammoth Cave National Park Transcription: $3,378 to transcribe 32 interviews from an ethnographic survey of the Mammoth Cave National Park region.

The Kentucky Historical Society administers and houses KOHC, the only commission of its kind in the United States dedicated to providing financial and technical assistance to oral history repositories and oral historians, KOHC has positioned Kentucky historical organizations, libraries and archives to lead the way in collecting and preserving oral histories. The commission is commemorating its 40th anniversary this year.


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