About the Oral History Center

The Oral History Center currently holds over 2,000 interviews with university personnel and students, community leaders, members of ethnic communities, workers, and business executives, dating from 1968 to the present. Our mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to interviews that document the history of the greater Louisville area as well as the University of Louisville. We initiate oral history projects and support projects undertaken by community groups in a variety of ways.

Finding and Accessing Oral Histories

Most of the interviews we hold are listed in our searchable online guide to oral histories.

Additionally, lists are available for two interview series: the Main Street Association interviews and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad interviews.

The Oral History Center has a small and growing number of interviews (audio and transcripts) available online. The first group to be made available are from a series of interviews conducted in the 1970s with members of Louisville's African American community. In addition, a growing number of interviews conducted with Congressman Romano (Ron) Mazzoli, members of his family, staff, campaign volunteers, and colleagues are available online.

Transcripts of interviews with Harlan Hubbard, Mike Barry, Bert Combs, Charles Farnsley, and Thelma Stovall are also available electronically.

Interviews that are not available online can be accessed in the Archives and Special Collections research room on the lower level of Ekstrom Library. The research room is open from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday; no appointment is required.

Ordering Copies

Tapes and CDs of interviews from the Oral History Center's collection may be obtained, unless prohibited by the donor agreement, for a fee of $10 per tape. Many interviews consist of several tapes so the total cost varies. Transcripts, when available, can be ordered for a fee of 10 cents per page for electronic delivery and 25 cents per page for paper copies. Please contact the Oral History Center by email email or telephone (502-852-6752) with questions or to place an order.

How Can We Help You With Your Oral History Project?

The Oral History Center can assist oral history projects initiated by individuals or community groups in several ways. We provide training in preparing for and conducting interviews, as well as recording and preserving them. We advise groups who are looking to purchase their own recording equipment, and can often lend audio recording equipment, as well. In addition, we are happy to preserve these interviews and make them available for future generations of researchers, including community members. For more information, please contact the Oral History Center by email email or telephone (502-852-6752).

Please also note that the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) provides some grants to help pay for the costs of conducting interviews, and of transcribing them. They also provide technical assistance grants, which can include lending audio recording equipment. The Oral History Center often works with community groups who are applying for financial support from the KOHC, so these forms of support are not mutually exclusive.

Other links

Co-Directors:

Dr. Tracy K'Meyer, Department of History

Sarah-Jane Poindexter, University Archives and Records Center

Contact Information:

Oral History Center
University Archives and Records Center
Archives and Special Collections
Ekstrom Library
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
(502) 852-6752
Fax: (502) 852-6673
Send us an emailemail