Since 1973, the Southern Oral History Program has worked to preserve the voices of the southern past. We have collected more than 5,000 interviews with people from all walks of life—from mill workers to civil rights leaders to future presidents of the United States. Made available through UNC’s renowned Southern Historical Collection online, these interviews capture the vivid personalities, poignant personal stories, and behind-the-scenes decision-making that bring history to life.
40th Anniversary Schedule of Events
Our 40th anniversary celebration is almost here, and we’ve finalized the special events of the day. Join us April 4 at Wilson Library for a panel discussion, walking tour of campus, student performance, cake, and more! Click on the image for details.
Tell Us Your Story
In honor of our 40th anniversary, we invite the people who have graciously shared and captured stories to now tell us about your experience. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2014 Interns
Interested in getting involved with the SOHP? We’re now accepting applications for our undergraduate internship! Learn more about the program and find the application here.
Featured Interview: Johnnie and Kathleen Bratten
During Hurricane Floyd, Johnnie and Kathleen Bratten, longtime residents of Tick Bite, NC, watched their community and their home ravaged by flooding. To make matters worse, the Brattens received virtually no government aid after the disaster, instead getting money, food, and supplies primarily from religious groups and volunteers. In this clip, Kathleen discusses the way in which her community was galvanized by the need to support one another.
In the rest of the interview, which can be read and listened to here, the Brattens illustrate some of the hardships caused by Hurricane Floyd and describe the relief efforts of volunteer and religious groups.
New Addition: N.C. Memorial Hospital Oral History Project
Oral histories from Dr. Raul Necochea’s fall 2013 seminar: The Revenge of the Sick: History of Medicine from the Patient’s Point of View are now online! This is the second year Dr. Necochea has donated materials from this seminar to our collection, and we are excited about this collaboration with the UNC School of Medicine. His students interviewed clinicians who worked at North Carolina Memorial Hospital from the 1950s to the 1980s. The interviews were guided by the question, “What was considered ‘good doctoring’ decades ago?” These interviews seek to provide perspective on how definitions of medical competence and professionalism change and remain over time by asking experienced clinicians for stories that illustrate their training and how they practiced in circumstances that may be different from those today. The interviews also contribute to the institutional memory of the UNCSOM by preserving testimonies of older practitioners familiar with the history of the University of North Carolina Health Care System.You can access the interviews in our database here.
SOHP Undergraduate Interns: Spring 2014
Meet our Spring 2014 undergraduate interns! Katie, Coco, Aaron, and Turner share their individual projects with the program and research interests for their oral history interviews. Take a look at their stories here.
The Civil Rights History Project
The Civil Rights History Project is a joint undertaking of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. Mandated by an Act of Congress in 2009, the project sought to inventory civil rights oral history collections around the country and then supplement those collections with a series of new interviews with civil rights veterans. The Southern Oral History Program was contracted to conduct those interviews, and we did, filming fifty interviews from Oakland, CA to New York City. We have begun a second phase group of fifty oral histories and will soon begin interviewing with a stellar team including historians John Dittmer, David Cline, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, and Will Griffin and filmmakers John Bishop and Petna Ndaliko.