Kentucky Oral History Commission Grant Recipients

SPRING 2018 (FY18-01)


Transcription Grant: The Sara Holroyd Oral History Project
Grant Award: $2,520
Project Director/Institution: Renee Collins, Room 17 Productions
Repository:  Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at University of Kentucky
Project Description: Room 17 Productions will transcribe interviews about Sara Holroyd, the retired director of choral activities at the University of Kentucky. Holroyd also served as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. She was one of few females who taught in public school districts and at the university level from 1950-1987, overcame gender-related issues in a tenure battle, and in the 1970s became one of only two female choral directors at the collegiate rank in the country.

Transcription Grant: Appalachian Horse Oral History Project Transcription
Grant Award: $3,133
Project Director/Institution: Dr. Stephanie McSpirit, Eastern Kentucky University
Repository:  William H. Berge Oral History Center, Eastern Kentucky University
Project Description: Eastern Kentucky University students will transcribe the Mountain Horse Oral History Collection. These histories were collected in 2016-2017 through a previous KOHC grant. The collection includes oral histories with 27 mountain horse persons (37 hours of recordings) and is currently being indexed through the OHMS system at the Berge Oral History Center. The full transcriptions are needed for academic publications that are slated to be completed for various books and journals that are scheduled to be completed through 2018-2019.

Indexing Grant: Mid-Century Kentucky Democrats Project
Grant Award: $4,980
Project Director/Institution: Crystal Allen-Daniels
Repository:  William H. Berge Oral History Center, Eastern Kentucky University
Project Description: The Mid-Century Kentucky Democrats Project (MCKDP) is a collection of interviews that focuses on Democratic leaders Carl Perkins, Bert Combs, and Marie Turner. MCKDP offers valuable insight into Kentucky politics in the mid-1900s. The interviews explore the careers of the three politicians and they also present a view of the influential men and women who were their contemporaries.

Transcription Grant: Louisville Story Program’s Young Author Series
Grant Award: $564
Project Director/Institution: Louisville Story Program
Repository:  University of Louisville Oral History Center
Project Description: Iroquois High School is the most diverse high school in Kentucky and currently has the lowest test scores in the state. During the 2017-18 school year, Louisville Story Program will work with a group of nine Iroquois students to produce a books that documents South Louisville with unprecedented depth and richness. Through rigorous creative writing workshops and in oral history fieldwork, they will develop ground-breaking portraits of their own communities. The all-female cohort is composed of two African-born students and six immigrant and refugee students from Pakistan, Kenya, Iraq and Cuba.

FALL 2017 (FY17-02)


Project Grant: Middletown Voices 1927-1963: Middletown Consolidated School Oral History Project
Grant Award: $4,578
Project Director/Institution: Sharyn Mitchell
Repository: Berea College Hutchins Library
Project Description: The Middletown Voices Oral History Project will document the stories of students who attended Middletown Consolidated School in Berea, Kentucky, from 1927 to 1963. A Rosenwald School, Middletown represents an essential piece of history of African Americans in Madison County. It will provide historical perspectives of the education and lifestyle of generations who experienced Jim Crow and racial segregation in Berea.

Project Grant: Lineage: An Oral History of Contemporary African American Writers of Kentucky
Grant Award: $3,703.01
Project Director/Institution: Shana L. Smith
Repository: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at University of Kentucky
Project Description: Lineage considers how home place factors in the work of 10 African American writers who are representative of a writing lineage of the past 50 years. It investigates how their lived experiences in the state – positive and negative – shape the literary work they do. It also investigates the impact of their work on readers, scholars, artists and activists beyond Kentucky’s borders.

Project Grant: Women in White: A Retrospective Look at Medical Education at One School in Kentucky before Title IX
Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director/Institution: Karen Clancy
Repository: Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History at University of Kentucky
Project Description: Women in White documents perspectives and memories of women who graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine during the 1960s and early 1970s, when women doctors comprised only 5 to 9 percent of the physician workforce. They were trailblazers who successfully pursued professional careers, defined their own domestic roles and brought a new dimension to medicine. They became leaders of medical associations, chairs of academic departments, discoverers and scientists and givers of compassionate and innovative care in their communities.

Project Grant: Stories from the Heritage Food and Dance Trail
Grant Award: $2,502
Project Director/Institution: Abby Huggins
Repository: Berea College Special Collections & Archives
Project Description: Recognizing the importance of preserving and promoting Appalachian food and dance traditions, Hindman Settlement School, in collaboration with the Appalachian Food Summit, is developing a Heritage Food and Dance Trail to highlight past and present foodways and dance traditions in Eastern Kentucky and cultivate regional relationships. This oral history project will deepen the narrative of the Food and Dance Trail by collecting and sharing stories from community members who are part of vibrant regional traditions.

Project Grant: Youth Activism in Different Generations in Appalachia
Grant Award: $4,151
Project Director/Institution: Tammy Clemons
Repository: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at University of Kentucky
Project Description: This oral history project considers intergenerational experiences of and reflections on youth, gender, civic engagement and activism and regional development in Appalachia. Interview participants will include different generations, both currently and formerly “young people,” who are and/or have been engaged in different forms of organizing in several mountain counties of Eastern Kentucky. This project will explore comparative perspectives on what it means to be young at different times and in different social contexts, and what people think is possible for young people in the region.

Project Grant: Exploring the Legacies of Appalshop Oral History Project
Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director/Institution: Jeffrey A. Keith
Repository: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at University of Kentucky
Project Description: Since 1969, Appalshop – located in Letcher County – has served as a media collective and a hub for artists, storytellers, journalists, thespians and documentarians working throughout Appalachia. The goal of this project is the creation of an oral history collection on Appalshop beginning with more than 70 interviews with “shoppers” and their subjects.

Indexing Grant: Kentucky School Superintendents Project
Grant Award: $5,370
Project Director/Institution: Crystal Allen-Daniels
Repository: Eastern Kentucky University Special Collections and Archives
Project Description: The Kentucky School Superintendents Project seeks to index oral history interviews of Kentucky school superintendents. The collection spans the state and includes interviews from all Kentucky counties. It contains 202 interviews and 179 hours of audio. The indexed interviews will be uploaded to Eastern Kentucky University’s Oral History Center site.

SPRING 2017 (FY17-01)


Project Grant: Endless Red Sandstone, Sweet Pockets, and Gentle Overhangs: An Oral History of Kentucky’s Vibrant Rock Climbing Community in the Red River Gorge
Grant Award: $4,185.54
Project Director/Institution: James N. Maples, PhD
Repository: William H. Berge Oral History Center at Eastern Kentucky University
Project Description: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge contains world-famous climbing areas and a vibrant global climbing community. Dating back to the 1950s, the story of this community largely exists in stories passed orally from climbing generation to generation. This project will interview 35 influential climbers and local residents to preserve the story of this amazing community, its formation, growth and change.

Indexing Grant: Kentucky Newspaper Editors Project
Grant Award: $3,750
Project Director/Institution: Crystal Allen-Daniels
Repository: Eastern Kentucky University Special Collections and Archives
Project Description: The Kentucky Newspaper Editors Project seeks to index oral history interviews of Kentucky newspaper editors. The collection is geographically vast and includes interviewees from all Kentucky counties. It contains 142 interviews to be indexed to Eastern Kentucky University’s Oral History Center’s site.

Transcription Grant: Kentucky Craft Luminaries: Sharing the Stories
Grant Award: $2,760
Project Director/Institution: Mary Reed
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society
Project Description: The Kentucky Craft History and Education Association (KCHEA) will transcribe 23 hours of 18 recorded video interviews with craft artists, a craft organization representative and a collector who have had an impact on craft development in the state. Fellow crafters, folklorists and educators who were knowledgeable of the subject matter conducted the interviews. A professional cinematographer video recorded the interviews using professional equipment. The transcripts and videos will be archived at the Kentucky History Society and made available for public use on the KHS website.

Indexing Grant: Small Towns Indexing Project: Crab Orchard, Pleasureville, Science Hill, Silver Grove and Walton Communities
Grant Award: $1,837.50
Project Director/Institution: Steven Marraccini
Repository: EKU Special Collections and Archives
Project Description: The Small Towns Project (STP) brings the memories of little known areas in Kentucky to light. The interviewees in the selected 74 interviews share their experiences during largescale events such as the Great Depression and the Second World War, as well as the day-to-day activities of small-town life. All of the selected interviews will be indexed using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer, and will subsequently be posted on William H. Berge Oral History website.