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.
Introducing PRESS RECORD: the SOHP podcast
We’re so excited to introduce Press Record, a podcast about the joys and challenges of learning history by talking to those who lived it. In our pilot episode we discuss silence and power in oral history. Can oral history teach us to be better listeners? Can we learn how to pay attention–not just to what is being said, but to what isn’t? We’ll talk with Southern Oral History Program founding Director Jacquelyn Dowd Hall about a 1974 interview with Katherine DuPre Lumpkin that is shot through with silences; you’ll get tips on how to handle it a question you ask leads to a long silence; and we’ll hear clips from our collection in which three different women talk about the relationship between silence and their own activism. Learn more and listen here.
Kimber Thomas Receives Luther Brown Prize
SOHP Field Scholar and American Studies graduate student Kimber Thomas was recently awarded the second annual Luther Brown Prize for her paper and presentation, “Black Characterization in the Southern Soul-Blues,” at the International Conference on the Blues hosted by Delta State University in October. The prize is awarded to an emerging scholar whose paper and presentation advances greater understanding and appreciation of the Mississippi Delta’s cultural heritage. Congratulations, Kimber!
Evan Faulkenbury on “Oral History & Childhood Memories”
SOHP Field Scholar and History graduate student Evan Faulkenbury published an article on the Oral History Review’s blog, titled “Oral History and Childhood Memories.” In it he discusses the importance of starting oral history interviews with questions about the interviewee’s childhood, no matter how irrelevant it may seem to the topic at hand. Read more and listen to clips from interviews that Evan has conducted for SOHP here.
The Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Summer Research Fellowship
On September 20th, 2014, more than 120 people gathered at UNC to celebrate and honor the legacy of SOHP’s founding director, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, as she retires from the Department of History. Now, to honor Jacquelyn in a permanent way, we’re excited to announce a fundraising effort for the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Summer Research Fellowship Fund. Learn more about this fund, which will support graduate student research, at our donor page here.
40th Anniversary Digital Exhibit
Our digital exhibit commemorating the SOHP 40th Anniversary Celebration on April 4th, 2014 is live! Take a tour through decades of materials including old documents, interview clips, photographs, and even a video clip of our panel discussion with Howard Lee, Valeria Lee, Jacquelyn Hall, Jessie Wilkerson, and Bill Chafe. Check it out here.