Kentucky Oral History Commission

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

From tenant farmers and lay midwives to political leaders and nationally acclaimed authors, the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC), administered by Kentucky Historical Society, reaches across the state to record and preserve the diverse stories that are a part of Kentucky’s rich and colorful history. Nationally, KOHC is the only state commission committed to statewide oral history documentation through granting programs and outreach. Since 1976 KOHC 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 10,000 interviews, one of the largest in the United States, at the Kentucky Historical Society.


Oral History Grants

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.

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 May 2021
(Appointed under the stipulations of KRS 153.380)


  • Brian Clardy


  • Bob Gates
  • Mark W. Neff
  • William F. Reed
  • Shana Goggins
  • Carolyn Noe
  • Anthony Harkins
  • Amanda Bush Matthews
  • Zach Morgan
  • Theresa May Osborne


  • Scott Alvey, Executive Director, Kentucky Historical Society
  • Terry Manuel, State Librarian, Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives

Upcoming Meetings

PUBLIC NOTICE OF KENTUCKY ORAL HISTORY COMMISSION MEETING – Friday, December 3, 2021, @ 10 a.m. EST. via Zoom Webinar

The Kentucky Oral History Commission will hold its bi-annual meeting via Zoom webinar on Friday, December 3, 2021, at 10 a.m. EST.  The public is welcome to attend this meeting.  To access this webinar, please click on the following Zoom link and enter the password indicated:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android device:

    Please click this URL to join.

    Passcode: 294473

This webinar may also be accessed by telephone at the following numbers and conference code:


                               USA 713 353 0212 US Toll

                               USA 888 822 7517 US Toll-free

                Conference Code: 137633

Anyone wishing to present an item to this Commission should submit the same in writing by no later than Monday, November 22, 2021, to Dr. Amanda Higgins (, the administrator for the Commission.  This notice must include the complete details of the proposed item to be presented as well as the full contact information for the person presenting.

The agenda for the meeting on December 3, 2021, is attached here.

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.