Since 1993, The State Historical Society has had a full-time oral historian recording and transcribing hundreds of oral history interviews that preserve Missouri’s history, culture, and heritage.
The first project of the oral history program focused on artists from Missouri's Bootheel region. The project, a collaboration with the University of Missouri Folk Arts Program and Museum of Art and Archaeology, was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Missouri Arts Council. Researchers collected oral history interviews and other recordings, which resulted in Art and Heritage of the Missouri Bootheel: A Resource Guide (pdf, 8mb).
With over 4,000 interviews, the oral history program continues to actively produce and collect oral history interviews that represent Missouri’s culture and history. However, researchers will find our oral history collection reaches well beyond the Show-Me State’s borders.
For information about the Oral History Program, please contact:
Jeff D. Corrigan
The State Historical Society of Missouri
1020 Lowry Street
Columbia, MO 65201
African-American Healing Arts and Lore Collection, 1996, (S0749)
5 Folders, 2 Audio Cassettes
The collection contains detailed information about the African-American Healing Arts and Lore project, including project grant proposals, a publication of collected interviews, and correspondence of project leaders. The collection also contains audio recordings of group discussions concerning the healing arts conducted by Gladys Coggswell, a humanities scholar.
African American Pioneers In Journalism And Broadcasting, Oral History Project, (S0624)
15 Folders, Oral History Tapes And Transcriptions
"The African American Pioneers in Journalism and Broadcasting Project" document St. Louis' African Americans journalists, media and radio broadcasters.
Benton, Thomas Hart (1889-1975), Collection, 1962-2013, (C4113)
0.2 cubic feet, 2 audio tapes, 1 compact disc
The Thomas Hart Benton Collection contains an interview of the artist and related materials. The interview took place at Benton's home in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 6, 1962, and was largely conducted by Homer Brown of Pittsburg State University (formerly Kansas State College of Pittsburg). Brown published a very small portion of the interview as an article in The Midwest Quarterly.
Beta Phi Mu, Librarian Oral History Project, Records, 1980-1985 (C4071)
0.4 cubic feet, 25 audio cassettes, 6 video tapes
The Beta Phi Mu Librarian Oral History Project collection contains the audio, video, and transcripts of interviews with Missouri librarians and members of Beta Phi Mu. Also included are an interview guide, correspondence, the interviewers’ notes, and background materials on the librarians.
Boonville Women's Club, Oral History Project, Collection, 2007-2008, (CA6351), (CA6351)
1 folder, 20 audio cassettes, 20 CDs
The collection consists of oral history interviews conducted by Meredith Ludwig for the Boonville Women's Club. Ludwig compiled many of the interviews into a 2008 readers' theatre production, "Women's Words: Memories of Boonslick," and supporting material relating to the stage production is included.
Bootheel Project, Records, 1993-1997, (C3928)
3.2 linear feet, 161 audio cassettes, 9 records, 2 video cassettes
The records of the Bootheel Project document the art, culture and heritage of the Missouri Bootheel. The records include photographs, color slides, audio cassettes, transcripts, and video cassettes of interviews with Bootheel residents. Sound recordings, planning documents, field workers' notes, and miscellaneous items collected throughout the project are also included.
Bradley, Melvin (1920-2003), Papers, 1855-2003, (C3026)
13.4 linear feet, 167 audio cassettes, 1 audio tape, 1 video cassette
This collection covers Bradley’s work as a livestock specialist in the Cooperative Extension Office of the University of Missouri from 1968 through the 1990s. The papers consist of research materials, correspondence, clippings, photographs, drafts for books, articles, exhibits, and speeches, and interviews on audio cassette conducted for the Missouri Mule History Project.
Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) Records, 1880-2009, (K0670)
7 cubic feet
Organizational records and other research materials relating to the activities of CAJE and the history of the Jewish Community in Kansas City, particularly in preparation of the book, Mid-America's Promise: A Profile of Kansas City Jewry.
Communications Class Oral History Project, Tapes, 1987-1991, (S0512)
The Communications Class Collection consists of 11 oral histories with various individuals. This project was part of the class assignment in Elizabeth Kizer's interviewing class, Communications 242. The topics emphasize St. Louis and vary according to the interviewer's interest. The tapes were donated from September 20, 1990 to December 3, 1990. On August 10, 1991 eighteen additional tapes were added to the collection. An additional 13 tapes were added on June 1, 1992. An additional five tapes were included on November 3, 1992.
Confluence St. Louis Oral History Project, 1994-1995, (S0619)
5 folders, 42 tapes
Confluence St. Louis purports to improve the quality of life in St. Louis through broad-based participation by interested citizens in study and action on issues of importance to the region.
Curtis, Thomas B. (1911-1993), Oral Interview, 1978, (C1427)
An interview with a former Republican Congressman who served Missouri's Second district from 1951 to 1969 and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Dale, E.L. (1890-1969), Interview, 1965, (C3396)
3 folders, 1 audio tape
Tape and transcripts of an interview with the editor of the Carthage Evening Press. Topics include Dale's background, role of news, editor, government role in news media, civil rights, and contemporary issues in U.S. and Missouri.
Dial, Marshall, Oral History Tapes, (CA6033)
275 audio cassettes
Collection of taped interviews between Marshall Dial and various residents of the Bootheel for Dial's radio show, "Stories They Tell."
Douglass Family, Collection, 1838-1990, (C3978)
1.4 linear feet, 13 audio cassettes
The Douglass Family Collection consists of land deeds, personal and business correspondence, oral history transcripts, photographs, volumes, and other miscellaneous items dealing with farm life and agriculture in McBaine, Missouri. There are also records dealing with a flourmill belonging to Northcutt & Brothers in Mexico, Missouri, and an account book for the Oakdale Graveyard in Shelby County, Missouri.
Duff, William, Collection, c. 1968-1970, (CA6378)
17 audio tapes
Audio tapes largely consisting of oral history interviews concerning the last hanging in Texas County and bootlegging. Also includes songs of Nancy Pittman.
East Campus Neighborhood Survey, Columbia, Missouri, Records, (CA5868)
0.2 linear feet, 8 audio cassettes
Correspondence, proposals and other grant application material, resident contact information and other background material, and oral history recordings, notes and logs related to a University of Missouri, Department of Art History and Archaeology sponsored architectural / historic survey, 1992-1993.
Folklore Genre, Collection, 2013, (CA6374)
0.1 cubic feet, 1 CD, 1 computer disc
Collection of folklore oral histories done by students of MU English instructor Raymond Summerville includes transcripts and audio of oral history interviews. Also included in the collection is an ethnography of the Broadway Diner, Columbia, MO.
Frampton, Vendla Johnson (1899-1994) Collection, 1919-1988, (K0286)
Transcript of an oral history interview in which Mrs. Frampton describes many details of her life, including: Kansas City's "Swede Hill" community; family background and relationships; local Lutheran church history; and holiday food and traditions. Also a Westport High School Memory Book, 1919.
French Heritage Oral History Project, Records, 1989-1999, (CA5821)
.4 linear feet, 26 audio cassettes, 3 video cassettes
Audio and video recordings of interviews and performances, transcripts, correspondence, field notes, slides, and miscellaneous material related to French settlement and culture in Missouri and the Mississippi valley.
Hagood, J. Hurley and Roberta Roland, Papers, (CA6049)
12.45 linear feet, 77 audio cassettes
Subject files documenting the history of Hannibal, Missouri. Also oral history interviews with several prominent residents.
Hall, Durward G. (1910-2001), Oral Interview, 1979, (C1426)
An interview with a former Republican Congressman who served Missouri's Seventh District from 1961 to 1973 and was a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Italian Immigrant Oral History Project, 1973-1984, (S0511)
Mormino conducted interviews with Italian immigrants residing in the "Hill" neighborhood in south St. Louis as part of the research for his book, Immigrants On The Hill, Italian Americans in St. Louis 1882-1982.
International Women's Forum Oral History Collection, (S1148)
The International Women's Forum (IWF) Oral History Collection documents through interviews with members how they fulfill the mission of the organization to bring together women of significant and diverse achievements in the arts, business, civic activities, education, professions, public sector, and sciences in order to facilitate constructive communication and mutual growth.
James T. Scott Memorial, Collection, 2010-2011 (C4072)
0.1 linear feet, 5 CDs, 3 DVDs, 1 computer disc
The collection contains audio, video, and images related to the James T. Scott Monument Committee in Columbia, Missouri. The committee was created to raise funds to purchase a new headstone for lynching victim James T. Scott’s burial site in Columbia Cemetery.
Jewish Community Center Centennial Oral History Project, 2013, (K1286)
0.3 cubic foot
Oral histories of long standing members of the Jewish Community in Greater Kansas City, particularly relating to the Community Center.
Johnson, Niel Melvin (1931- ) Papers, 1830-2007, (K0963)
4 cubic feet
Research, oral histories, and manuscript materials collected and created by Johnson, archivist and historian, on Swedish-Americans in Kansas City.
Johnston, Louisa Poteet (1890-1979) Oral Interviews, 1975, (K0488)
Interviews with Johnston, granddaughter of Alexander Majors, and owner/promoter of the Alexander Majors Historic House and Museum.
Joplin Tornado Oral History Project, Records, 2011- , (C4095)
0.1 linear feet, 3 CD
The collection consists of interviews with people who experienced, were affected by, and/or were a part of the devastating EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, 2011. The focus of this project is to help document the community of Joplin both before and after the tornado, as well as the rebuilding of this community. The collection consists of digitally recorded interviews, transcripts (forthcoming), and ephemera.
Kansas City Monarchs Oral History Collection, 1978-1981, (K0047)
0.3 cubic foot
Oral history interviews and related correspondence and reports with eighteen persons who played with or were associated with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League.
Kansas City Neighborhood News Audio Tape Collection, 1983-1992, (K0635)
2 cubic feet
Interviews on Kansas City urban life conducted by Allen Simon for the Kansas City Neighborhood News show on community radio.
Keeley, Mary Paxton (1886-1986), Papers, 1830-1983, (C0848)
7.25 linear feet, 3 audio cassettes
Papers of the first woman graduate of the University of Missouri, School of Journalism, in 1910. She was active as a journalist, teacher, playwright, poet, fiction writer, and photographer. Material includes correspondence; diaries; manuscripts for Keeley’s articles, fiction, and poetry; clippings; audio cassettes; and photographs.
Kirkwood, Missouri, Oral History Project, 1995-1997, (C3962)
0.1 linear foot, 10 audio cassettes
The Kirkwood, Missouri, Oral History Project was an attempt to supplement Kirkwood, Missouri: The Greentree City. A Pictorial History, edited by Barbara J. Byerly and J.B. Lester, which was published in 1994. The interviews were to emphasize events after 1960.
Lance, Donald M. (1931-2002), Papers, 1938-2002, (C3992)
11.3 linear feet, 144 audio cassettes
The papers of a University of Missouri English professor, well-known for his lectures on the pronunciation of "Missouri" and other dialect research, contain extensive professional correspondence, research data, articles, presentations, teaching materials, and materials related to his work with professional organizations. Audio cassettes include interviews with Germans in Missouri and with decorated U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Byrl D. Taylor, Missouri folk musicians, and examples of English language dialects.
Lift Every Voice And Sing Oral History Project, (S0609)
100 Folders, Oral History Tapes, Transcriptions And Photographs
The exhibit text and photographs comprised components of the documentary exhibit and book, Lift Every Voice and Sing: St. Louis African Americans in the Twentieth Century.
Lift Every Voice And Sing Research File, 1999, (S0760)
47 Folders, 4 Tapes
Doris Wesley gathered the information in this subject file as part of Lift Every Voice an Sing, a collection of oral histories with St. Louis area African Americans published in 1999. In addition to containing information on various St. Louis African Americans, the collection includes an evaluation and the mailing list for the project.
Miller, James L. (1897-1989), Interview, 1965, (C3397)
3 folders, 1 audio tape
Tape and transcripts of an interview with the editor of the Washington Missourian.
Missouri Desegregation and Civil Rights Oral History Project, Records, 2013-, (C4116)
0.2 cubic feet, 33 CDs, 1 computer disc
The collection consists of interviews with people who attended Douglass and/or Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri. The collection consists of digitally recorded interviews, audio logs, and photographs. The collection is ongoing and open to interviews concerning any school and/or civil rights topic in Missouri.
Missouri Environment Oral History Project, Records, 1998-, (C3966)
Interviews with Missouri land use and natural resource protection professionals. The records include audio cassettes and transcripts.
Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000-, (C3975)
Interviews with ex-prisoners of war (POWs). The records include audio cassettes and transcripts.
Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Oral History Project, (CA4650)
0.8 linear feet
Oral history interviews with members of extension clubs commemorating the 50th anniversary of the organization.
Missouri Mule History Project, Records, 1980-1993, (C3954)
2 linear feet, 148 audio cassettes
Records produced by a University of Missouri project to document the history of the state's mule industry. The records consist of oral history recordings and transcripts of interviews with men and women concerning their experiences with the Missouri mule, project produced publications, and promotional materials.
Missouri Newspapers Oral History Project, Records, 1996-, (C3965)
Interviews with Missouri newspaper people regarding the history and evolution of newspapers in Missouri. The records include audio cassettes, transcripts, logs, notes, correspondence, and related ephemera.
Missouri River Folk History Project, Records, (CA6109)
0.2 linear feet, 37 DVDs
Oral history interviews of Missourians who have lived and worked along the Missouri River. Meredith Ludwig conducted the interviews.
Missouri Veterans History Project, Oral History Records, 2010- (C4052)
2.4 cubic feet
The records of the Missouri Veterans History Project contain the local copy of veteran oral history interviews recorded for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. The records include audio, video, interview logs, and some transcripts.
Missouri Veterans Oral History Project, 2006-, (C4020)
Interviews with Missourians who served in the armed forces. The collection includes compact discs, audio cassettes, DVDs, and transcripts of the interviews, as well as biographical information on the interviewees.
Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation, Oral History Project, Records, (CA5780)
2.5 linear feet, 62 audio cassettes, 100 audio tapes
Records of a project to document the history of veterinary medicine in Missouri, consisting of audio recordings of interviews with retired Missouri vets, 1975-1976, interview records, and related material.
Missouri, Boone County, Home Rule, Interviews, (CA4434)
4 linear feet
Interviews conducted by students in a Political Science class with Boone County officials and others regarding the home rule issue.
Missouri, Wayne County, Collection, (CA3132)
2 audio cassettes
Audio recording of Wayne County, MO residents concerning the settlement, education, business, transportation, religion, Civil War, and other aspects of the history of the county.
Monhollon, Rusty, Collection, (CA5896)
0.2 linear feet, 8 audio cassettes
Audio recordings and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted by students for a University of Missouri course on post-1945 U.S. history, 2001.
Monroe, Haskell M., Jr., Oral History, Collection, 1994-1996, (C3980)
483 audio cassettes, 1.8 linear feet
Interviews produced by Haskell Monroe and University of Missouri students to document Columbia, Missouri, in the 1930s and 1940s. The collection includes audio cassettes, transcripts, and miscellaneous material.
National Federation of Press Women, Inc., Records, (CA6205 and CA6205.01)
6.5 linear feet, 9 audio cassettes, 1 compact disc, 2 DVDs, 3 computer discs, 3 rolls of microfilm, 2 video cassettes
Publications, conference materials, meeting minutes, membership rosters, and other records of an organization founded in 1937 that promotes the professional development of journalists. Includes transcripts and audio recordings of past presidents' oral histories. Addition of oral history with President Meg Hunt, convention and meeting materials, Education Fund materials, lists of contest winners, and historical information.
One-room Schoolhouse Oral History Project, Records, 2008- (C4051)
0.9 cubic feet, 33 CDs
The collection consists of interviews with people who attended or taught at one-room schoolhouses. The collection consists of digitally recorded interviews and transcripts of the interviews, photographs, textbooks, as well as some biographical information on the interviewees.
Oral History Collection, (S0829)
11 Boxes, 800+ Audio Recordings
The Oral History collection consists of reels, cassettes and transcripts of oral histories of influential St. Louis citizens. These interviews fall into general categories such as Immigrants, Black Community Leaders, and Labor Leaders.
Politics in Missouri Oral History Project, Records, 1996-, (C3929)
1.8 linear feet
Interviews with Missouri legislators, politicians, aides, and other participants in Missouri politics. The records include audio cassettes, compact discs, and transcripts of the interviews.
Puchta, Randolph E. (1928-2006), Interview, 1998, (C2521)
1 folder and 3 audio cassettes
An interview with Puchta, a resident of Hermann, Missouri. In the interview Puchta discusses his early life, German ancestry, wine making, local customs and leisure activities, and transportation. Of note are his descriptions of photographs from the Edward Kemper Collection.
Rainey, Homer P., (1896-1985), Interview, 1968, (C2542)
The papers contain an interview with a former president of Bucknell University, Stephens College, Franklin University, and the University of Texas. Interview concerns his theories of education, college administration, his Texas presidency, and his gubernatorial campaign.
Rogers, Harrison Lang (1919-2002), Interview, 1965, (C3395)
2 folders, 2 audio tapes
Tapes and transcripts of an interview with the editor of the Joplin Globe and Joplin News Herald.
Ryan, William James (1940- ) Papers, 1914-1996, (K0457)
10 cubic feet
Research material, draft manuscripts, and oral history interviews and transcripts related to Ryan's book and other writings on the history of radio and television broadcasting in the Kansas City region.
Schmidt, Liz, Interview, 2010, (CA6352), (CA6352)
Oral history interview conducted with Liz Schmidt by Doug Hunt concerning her activism in Columbia, Missouri, during the 1960s. Collection contains audio only.
Schroeder, Adolf E., Papers, (CA5349)
6.5 linear feet, 117 audio cassettes, 1 audio tape
Additions to professional papers of a University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies chairman. Contains correspondence, teaching materials, departmental papers, oral histories of German-Americans in Missouri, and student materials.
Schroeder, Adolf E., Papers, (CA5536)
42.45 linear feet, 160 audio cassettes, 1 film
Addition to papers of a University of Missouri professor of German. Includes correspondence, research materials, files relating to grant projects, conferences, exhibits, an oral history project and miscellaneous.
Shopmaker, Sylvia Minkin (1912-1996) Oral History Transcription, 1985, (K1213)
Transcription of oral history of Shopmaker, daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, lifelong resident of the Greater Kansas City area, and active in the Jewish community.
St. Louis Living Treasures, Ethnic Artists, Oral History Project, Records, 1983-1985, (S0456)
32 Folders, 29 Oral Histories
The collection documents the lives and folk art of the thirty-one ethnic artists who participated in the St. Louis Living Treasures, Ethnic Oral History Project from 1983-1985. Arranged alphabetically according to country of origin, the collection contains questionnaires on the family history of the artists and origin of their craft work, tapes of oral history interviews, photographs and slides of the artwork.
State Historical Society of Missouri, Audio Cassette Collection, 1976-2000, (C3963)
0.3 linear feet, 34 audio cassettes
The State Historical Society of Missouri Audio Cassette Collection is a collection of miscellaneous interviews, lectures, and speeches collected over the years.
State Historical Society of Missouri, Records, 1989-1996, (CA3151)
1 linear foot, 4 audio cassettes
Addition of director's correspondence and meeting materials, 1989-1996; and audio recordings of interviews with former SHS employees.
Steinkuehler, Leland German Dialect Collection, (CA6096 and CA6096.01)
0.25 linear feet, 2 CDs
Compact disc recording and accompanying paperwork of interviews done with Missourians of German heritage. Includes a comparison of dialects between the three interviewees from Concordia, Loose Creek, and Westphalia, Missouri. The interviews were conducted by Leland Steinkuehler in 2005. Addition of interview of Lorraine Volmert Kliethermes and Flavian Volmert recorded by Leland Steinkuehler on 4 September 2007 in St. Elizabeth, Missouri.
Stewart, Norm, Collection, (CA5854)
Scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photographs, awards, certificates, programs and other material related to the life and career of the longtime University of Missouri men’s head basketball coach, 1950s-2000s. Includes episodes of the Norm Stewart Show and various recordings of MU basketball games, interviews, and events.
Stornello, Joseph A. (1951- ) Oral History Collection, 1995, (K0426)
Oral history interviews of four Kansas City area Italian-Americans talking about the nature of Italian-American assimilation, acculturation and education. Includes indexes for each interview.
Stockwell, Ryan, Collection, (CA6110)
0.25 linear feet, 2 audio cassettes
Oral history interview of Richard M. Collins, active member and employee of the Missouri Farmers Association. The interview was conducted by Ryan Stockwell in 2005 as part of the Farming in Missouri After WWII Oral History Project. Includes transcript and biographical information sheet.
Symington, Stuart, Jr., Interview, 1994, (C4159)
1 folder, 4 audio cassettes
Interview of Stuart Symington, Jr. about his father, Stuart Symington, covering his life and political career. The interview was conducted by Dr. Linda G. McFarland in 1994.
Talking Tapes/Textbooks On Tapes, Records, (SA0997)
This collection is unprocessed. Please view the inventory for more information on the collection contents.
Tolson, Fannie Marie (1911-2005), Papers, 1890s-2005, (C1704)
2.3 linear feet, 3 audio cassettes, 2 video cassettes, 1 dvd
Fannie Marie Tolson was the first African-American educator to teach in the desegregated schools of Fayette, Missouri. Her papers include family correspondence and photographs, memorabilia from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, teaching aids, documents concerning St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Fayette, and recordings of two interviews conducted with Tolson.
University of Missouri, School of Journalism, Honor Medalists, Interviews, 2007-2009 (CA6159), (CA6159)
0.2 cubic feet, 5 audio cassettes, 13 CDs, 1 DVD, 2 video cassettes
The University of Missouri School of Journalism awards honor medals to the school's outstanding journalists. The collection contains oral history interviews conducted with the honor medalists by graduate students from the school. Included are transcripts, supporting material, audio, and video.
USS Schley Oral History Project, Records, 1997-1998, (C4068)
0.1 linear feet, 7 audio cassettes, 1 CD, 1 computer disc
The records of USS Schley Oral History Project contain the audio files and transcripts of interviews with four veterans of the USS Schley. The crew of the USS Schley consisted largely of Missourians. Also included is related documentation on the USS Schley.
Veterans History Project, Cass County, Missouri, Collection, (CA5974)
1.2 linear feet, 42 audio cassettes, 1 video cassette
Taped oral history interviews and transcripts of Missouri veterans conducted as part of the Veterans History Project in Cass County, Missouri. Collection also includes some photographs.
Washington Press Club Foundation, Women in Journalism Oral History Project, Records, 1987-1993, (C3958)
4.4 linear feet
Records of the Washington Press Club Foundation, Women in Journalism oral history project. The records consist of transcripts from oral history interviews of 53 female journalists. These papers are part of the National Women and Media Collection.
Watkins Woolen Mill Oral History Project, 1987, (K0826)
Interviews with Lee Oberholtz, secretary and one of the founding members of the Association. Also correspondence, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and essays for the research of Watkins Mill, and the Association.
Werner, Merle McDougald “Doug” (1913-2004), Interview, 2000, (C3034)
1 folder, 4 audio cassettes
The collection contains cassettes and a transcript of an interview with a war correspondent and foreign service officer who was one of twenty journalists to land at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
White, Ann Peppard (1893-1982) Papers, 1870s-2009, (K0652)
10 cubic feet
Personal papers and writings of White, one-time columnist for the Kansas City Star, and her daughter Kate who did interviews with her mother and edited the stories. Included is correspondence, postcards, scrapbooks, publications, newsletters, books, photographs, oral history transcriptions, and audiocassettes.
White, Robert M., II (1915-2008), Interview, 1965 (C3398)
The records of Robert M. White, II, include one tape and one transcription of an interview with the editor of Missouri’s Mexico Ledger. Also included is a pamphlet from the 1965 memorial services for Douglas MacArthur. The interview includes White’s background, experiences with Harry Truman and Douglas MacArthur, and views on being editor of New York Herald Tribune compared with being editor of Mexico Ledger. General reminiscences about people White knew in politics and news reporting is also included. In text “C” indicates Mike Coogan, the interviewer; “W” indicates White. The text is unedited.