Kentucky Oral History Commission

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.

Kentucky Oral History Commission Members

Kentucky Oral History Commission Members May 2021
(Appointed under the stipulations of KRS 153.380)

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

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

Upcoming Meetings

Per Executive Order 2020-243 § 3 The Kentucky Oral History Commission will hold its annual spring meeting remotely on May 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. via video teleconference.

Request for Proposals: Oral History Mini Grants

The Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) is offering ten, $1000 mini-grant opportunities to document historically significant topics identified as collecting priorities for the agency.

Click to learn more and download an application form.

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.

Oral History Mini Grants

The Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) is offering ten, $1000 mini grant opportunities to document historically significance topics identified as collecting priorities for the agency.

Click to learn more and download an application form.

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 (PDF)

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 (PDF)

Preservation Grant

Preservation grants provide funding to outsource digital preservation work for a collection at risk of information loss or irreversible deterioration.

Download the grant application (PDF)

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 (PDF)

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.

Technical Assistance and Preservation Assistance Grants

Two KOHC grants are not cash-based, but they provide equipment and/or training. Applications for these grants may be submitted at any time and will be acted upon within 30 days of submission.

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 (PDF).

Preservation Assistance Grant

Preservation assistance grants provide equipment for digital migration of specifically identified oral history collections and training in preservation standards and equipment use. Download the grant application (PDF).

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.

To check out Oral History Resources, click here.