Kentucky Oral History Commission Grant Recipients

Project Grant Awards

Spring 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fall 2016

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.

Spring, 2016

Capital City Museum Oral History Project
Grant Award: $1,750
Project Director/Institution: Layne Wilkerson, Capital City Museum
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society and Capital City Museum
Project Description:
The Capital City Museum (Frankfort, Kentucky) Oral History project intends 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. Interviewees broadly represent Frankfort’s political, commercial and mercantile industries. As Frankfort’s stalwart residents continue to age, the museum seeks to document and archive their experiences in our town and perhaps capture the few remaining links of oral history to the 19th century town no living resident ever knew.

Kentucky Springs: Narratives on Localized Water Knowledge, Community and Stewardship
Grant Award: $2,129.37
Project Director/Institution: Kay Westhues
Repository: TBD
Project Description:
This project will consist of a collection of oral histories about roadside springs in Kentucky. These natural resources, which are found throughout the state, are surviving remnants of the public commons and often mark very early human settlements. They are filtered naturally and in some cases have been flowing for upwards of a century. The project will focus on two springs that are used for public water gathering: Nada Spring in Powell County and Asher’s Spring in Bell County. It will explore why people choose to gather water, and how these resources have been maintained for public use.

Louisville Underground Music Archive Project Oral Histories
Grant Award: $1,800
Project Director/Institution: Heather Fox, co-director, University of Louisville Oral History Center
Repository: University of Louisville
Project Description:
The Louisville Underground Music Archive (LUMA) Project seeks to document the history of Louisville’s rock/indie/punk/hardcore music scene from the late 1970s through the current era. Existing materials, including posters, ’zines, video and audio recordings, photographs and a limited amount of correspondence, do not adequately some aspects of this history. Underrepresented aspects of this history include the scene’s earliest days as well as such businesses as record stores, record labels and performance venues. Oral histories will help bridge this gap, while also documenting more clearly the human experience of being part of the scene.

Louisville’s Public Art: Creators, Collaborators and Consumers
Grant Award: $3,150
Project Director/Institution: Kristin King Gilbert, PhD, Louisville Public Art, Louisville Metro
Repository: University of Louisville
Project Description:
This project will involve interviews with artists, government employees and officials as well as conservators, patrons and members of the public to record stories and recollections about the creation and history of Louisville’s public art collection.

Oral Histories of the Kentucky River at Frankfort
Grant Award: $2,900
Project Director/Institution: Joanna Hay, Joanna Hay Productions
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society
Project Description:
The Kentucky River forms a four-mile S-curve bisecting Frankfort. Before the highway system, the river connected Frankfort to the region through a system of locks and dams. When that system became antiquated, a political controversy raged about the river’s future use. Now that the locks have been re-opened from Frankfort to the Ohio River, Frankfort is revisiting its heritage as a river city. While the role of the river in industry and transportation has diminished, its role as the recreational and cultural heart of Frankfort has expanded. This project will document the changing relationship between Kentucky’s capital city and the Kentucky River.

The African-American Experience in Segregated Hopkinsville
Grant Award: $3,584.75
Project Director/Institution: Alissa Keller, executive director, Museums of Historic Hopkinsville
Repository: Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky
Project Description:
This topic will capture the African-American experience in the years before desegregation and in the years racial barriers were being challenged and broken down in Hopkinsville’s public life. This project will include interviews with black residents who recall some of the important African-American institutions that existed in the first half of the 20th century, including businesses, professional offices, churches, social clubs and schools.

The Kentucky Chili Bun Trail
Grant Award: $3,040
Project Director/Institution: Sara Wood, oral historian, Southern Foodways Alliance, Center for the Study of Southern Culture
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society
Project Description:
The Kentucky Chili Bun Trail will 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. By interviewing past and present owners of establishments serving this Eastern Kentucky food tradition, the project examines the role of class and gender in Eastern Kentucky.

The Musical Legacy of South Central Kentucky
Grant Award: $3,073
Project Director/Institution: Sydney Varajon
Repository: Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky
Project Description:
This project is designed to document the lives and the experiences of those who have participated in and contributed to the vibrant and varied musical traditions across South Central Kentucky in order to provide information about the people and places of the region and the evolving histories that contribute to its status as an area with a rich musical legacy.

Transcription and Indexing Grant Awards

Spring 2017

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.

Fall 2016

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.

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.

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.

Spring 2016

Project Title: A Harlan County Legacy
Grant Award: $3,600
Project Director/Institution: Phyllis Sizemore and Theresa Osborne
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society
Project Description:
Transcription of the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC ) Appalachian Archives oral history collection so it ultimately can be made more accessible to the public through use of the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer system. One immediate impact will be the enhancement of the education programming and exhibits at the Kentucky Coal Museum, by making the collection available on its website.

Project Title: Being Loretto amid the Needs of the Late 20th Century
Grant Award: $2,650
Project Director/Institution: Eleanor Craig, SL, archivist, Sisters of Loretto
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society and the Sisters of Loretto Heritage Center
Project Description:
The Sisters of Loretto have been pioneers in education since the order started in Kentucky in 1812. The history of the order’s contributions to public and private schools is well documented. But the peace and justice works to which individual sisters have devoted themselves since Vatican II in the early 1960s are not as well documented. The Loretto Heritage Center is collecting and transcribing individual oral histories to capture the stories of Loretto members meeting the needs of our times in the last half century.

Project Title: Kentucky Craft History and Education Association Indexing Grant
Grant Award: $2,340
Project Director/Institution: Bob Gates, Kentucky Craft History and Education Association
Repository: Kentucky Historical Society
Project Description:
The Kentucky Craft History and Education Association will use OHMS 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 Kentucky. This will allow the collection to be shared on the Kentucky Historical Society’s website.

Project Title: Kentucky County Judge Project
Grant Award: $2,580
Project Director/Institution: Crystal Allen-Daniels
Repository: Eastern Kentucky University
Project Description:
The Kentucky County Judge Project will index a collection of oral history interviews of Kentucky County Judges. The collection spans the state of Kentucky and focuses on the judicial referendum of 1975. It contains 126 interviews and 86 hours of audio. The digitized files will be indexed and uploaded to Eastern Kentucky University’s Oral History Center site.

Project Title: Small Towns Indexing Project: Burgin, Junction City, Ravenna, and Silver Grove
Grant Award: $1,707
Project Director/Institution: Heather Hoskins
Repository: Eastern Kentucky University
Project Description:
The Small Towns Project (STP) consists of 377 interviews that were conducted in small towns across Kentucky. The grant will cover the indexing of 66 STP interviews totaling 56.9 hours. The interviews cover a wide range of significant historical themes and topics, such as memories of the Great Depression and World War II; military service records and experiences; education trends and practices; religious life; and, local governments, businesses and industries. All interviews will be indexed using OHMS and will be posted on the William H. Berge Oral History Center website.

Project Title: The Bosnia Project
Grant Award: $1,590
Project Director/Institution: Kaitlyn Berle
Repository: TBD
Project Description:
The Bosnia Project oral history project is a collection of interviews the Kentucky Folklife Program conducted from September 2015 to February 2016. The project aims to document the Bosnian-American community of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Nearly 10 percent of the city’s population is Bosnian-American. Oral history interviews center on the interviewees’ experiences of the Bosnian war, their refugee experience from Bosnia to the United States and their experience as Bosnian-Americans living in Bowling Green.