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Past Projects

The Long Civil Rights Movement Initiative

This is a project intended to better understand how the South has been shaped by the black and women’s liberation movements, the Vietnam War, natural disasters, and conservative politics. To learn more about this prolific initiative, visit the project page and listen to the more than 1,000 interviews already completed.

The Long Women’s Movement in the American South

The next phase of our ong Civil Rights Movement Initiative, seeking to show how the modern American women’s movement was widespread, engaged women on various fronts, and occurred throughout the rural and urban South. Read more on the project page, and explore the interviews here.

The Civil Rights History Project

This project, mandated by an Act of Congress in 2009, 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. SOHP was thrilled to contribute to the project by conducting one hundred oral history interviews.

Service to the State of North Carolina: The Legacy of William C. Friday

In the spring of 2012, the Southern Oral History Program celebrated the remarkable life and achievements of William C. Friday, President Emeritus of UNC, and the conclusion of our oral history project dedicated to documenting that life and legacy. The “Service to the State of North Carolina: The Legacy of William C. Friday” project constitutes a remarkable resource for information and insight into the lasting importance of Mr. Friday, who, although he passed away in the fall of 2012, left behind a remarkable vision for UNC and for the state of North Carolina.

African American Credit Unions

This project worked to recover and preserve the history of early credit unions in North Carolina, in particular those established by and primarily for African-Americans as alternative means of saving and borrowing money during the Jim Crow era, when their fair access to credit was limited.

“Listening for a Change”

This statewide project sought to generate a fresh understanding of twentieth-century North Carolina history by working closely with community groups from start to finish. Its eleven sub-series, exploring such themes as race, the environment, demographic change, and the many impacts of a changing global economy, can be viewed on the project page here.

The North Carolina Business History Project

This initiative was dedicated to the task of collecting oral histories and archival materials from the state’s business leaders before foreign competition, globalization, vertical integration, mergers, and acquisitions permanently altered the face of North Carolina industry.

Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement

In 2008, we partnered with UNC Press, UNC Libraries, and the Center for Civil Rights to explore new modes of scholarly communication and publication, using long civil rights movement scholarship as a testbed. The result was a major conference, an online publishing platform, widescale digitization of oral histories and other scholarly materials, and a lasting cross-campus collaboration. Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of North Carolina. Read more about the project here.

Rural Electrification

These interviews were conducted in rural areas of North Carolina for the 50th anniversary in 1985 of the Rural Electrification Administration. Primarily collected by the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, this project explores the impact electricity made in the daily lives of rural people. Respondents described ways they completed household and farm chores, heated their homes, read and studied at night, and performed other everyday tasks before and after electricity. Most respondents also discussed the origins and development of their local electric cooperatives.

To learn more about and access interviews from other past SOHP projects, visit our finding aid or our online database.