Oral History Program

Current Projects

The following are active collections, in which we are currently interviewing, transcribing, editing, and adding to continuously.

Please check back often for new additions.

Joplin Tornado Oral History Project, Records, 2011-
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.

Missouri Desegregation and Civil Rights Oral History Project, Records, 2013-
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 Ex-POWsFinding Aid
Since 2000, the Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project has sought to record, preserve, and honor the personal histories of the state's former prisoners of war. Most interviewees were prisoners of either the German or Japanese military during World War II.

The initial phase of the project concentrated on members of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, Heart of America Chapter based in Kansas City, Missouri. The American Ex-Prisoners of War (AX-POW) is a national, non-profit organization of American citizens who were captured by the enemy. Researchers will note that some of the interviewees, although members of the Missouri-based chapter, were living in Kansas at the time of the interview.

Missouri Environment
The Missouri Environmental Oral History Project began in 1997, was placed on hold the following year, but has started back up as of April, 2011. The project seeks to document the history of conservation, preservation, environmentalism, land and natural resource use in Missouri. Given the recent surge in interest of important state, national, and global environmental issues it was important to revive this program.

The interviews fall under the following subject areas:

Missouri Newspapers Oral History Project, Records, 1996-
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 Veterans
The Missouri Veterans Oral History Project, begun in 2008, builds on the Ex-POWs Oral History Project, expanding the scope for collecting, documenting, and preserving the personal histories of Missourians who served in U.S. military conflicts and war. Currently, the project focus is on veterans of World War II, but will eventually include oral histories of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as more recent Middle Eastern conflicts.

One-room Schoolhouse Oral History Project, Records, 2008-
Interviews with people who attended or taught at one-room schoolhouses.

Politics in Missouri
Begun in 1996, the Politics in Missouri Oral History Project is the longest continuous effort of The Oral History Program. Mid- to late-twentieth century Missouri political history remains under-studied, and we hope to address this void by making a large new resource available to the public and the scholarly community. Currently, the collection contains over 160 oral histories.

The project continually seeks interviews with former Missouri legislators, governors, state-wide elected officials, aides, lobbyists, and various political participants.