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Kentucky Oral History Commission

Preserving the stories that are a part of Kentucky’s history.

The Kentucky Historical Society houses the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC), the only state commission in the nation committed to statewide oral history documentation through granting programs and outreach. KOHC reaches across the state to record and preserve the diverse stories that make up Kentucky’s rich and colorful history.

Since 1976 KOHC has:

  • Awarded over $1 million to more than 600 individuals, colleges, universities, and community organizations, resulting in the collection of more than 35,000 interviews in repositories throughout the state.
  • Secured nearly 10,000 interviews within the KHS Collection, making it one of the largest in the U.S.

Pass the Word (Oral History Searchable Online Database)

Oral History Grants

Twice per year, the Kentucky Oral History Commission grant programs offer monetary, equipment, and training grants to assist amateur or professional oral historians with oral history research projects on topics of particular significance to Kentucky. These grants encourage statewide participation in the collection and preservation of historically valuable interviews. Project grant application deadlines for FY2023 are October 2, 2023, and March 18, 2024.

KOHC also offers accreditation for archives that want to be permanent repositories for oral history collections which KOHC sponsors through grant awarded funds and resources.

Project Grant

Project grants support the creation of Kentucky oral history research projects. All projects must comply with the Oral History Association’s Principles and Best Standards.

Download the grant application

Transcription and Indexing Grant

Transcription and indexing grants support the transcription or indexing of existing oral history interviews located in Kentucky repositories.

Download the grant application.

Presentation Grant

Presentation grants support the use of existing oral history collections in a variety of media including traditional exhibit, online exhibit, film, print publication, radio and podcast.

Download the grant application.

Technical Assistance Grant

Technical assistance grants provide audio recording equipment, recording media, and applicant training for local and community oral history projects by individuals or organizations. 

Download the grant application.

Kentucky Oral History Commission Members

Kentucky Oral History Commission Members April 2023
(Appointed under the stipulations of KRS 153.380)


  • Amanda Bush Matthews

Vice Chair

  • Shana Goggins


  • Rebecca Jane-Maria Bailey
  • Brian Clardy
  • Bob Gates
  • Anthony Harkins
  • Sarah Frances Hubbard
  • Jillean McCommons
  • Mark W. Neff
  • Carolyn Noe
  • Scott Alvey, Executive Director, Kentucky Historical Society, Ex-Officio
  • Beth Milburn, Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Ex-Officio

Kentucky Oral History Commission Advisors

Kentucky Oral History Commission Advisors
(Appointed by the Kentucky Oral History Commission)

  • Brent Björkman, Kentucky Folklife Program
  • Delainey Bowers, Kentucky Folklife
  • Doug Boyd, University of Kentucky
  • Austin Carter, WKMS
  • Ann Ferrell, Western Kentucky University
  • Heather Fox, University of Louisville
  • Felicia Jamison, University of Louisville
  • Rebecca Johnson, Northern Kentucky University
  • Neil Kasiak, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Nathan Lynn, McCracken County Public Library
  • Joe Manning, Louisville Story Program
  • Brittany Sams, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc.
  • Sarah Schmitt, Kentucky Arts Council
  • Kopana Terry, University of Kentucky
  • DeBraun Thomas, WUKY
  • Bailey Vandiver, Kentucky State University

Upcoming Meetings

The Kentucky Oral History Commission, established under KRS 153.380, will hold its first 2023 biannual meeting on Friday, May 12, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. EDT at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History located at 100 West Broadway Street in downtown Frankfort, Kentucky. This meeting is open to the public. Please click on the links to see the Agenda for the May 12 meeting and the Minutes of the December 2022 meeting.

There is also a Zoom option for interested parties to view the proceedings who are unable to attend the May 12 meeting in person.  The link to this meeting is, and the password is 013619.


KOHC Archival Accreditation

Archives that want to be permanent repositories for oral history collections which KOHC sponsors through grant awarded funds should receive KOHC Archival Accreditation. The guidelines, which includes a series of standards, allows KOHC to be responsible stewards of the state resources for oral history documentation and to maintain support for Kentucky repositories which continue to grow and manage their oral history collections in a responsible manner. Contact the commission for details.

Grant Recipients

For a full list of recent grant recipients, click here.