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.

International Women's Forum-St. Louis (IWF), Oral History Collection, 2013-2015 (SA1148)
The International Women's Forum-St. Louis Oral History Collection (IWF) is a project conducted by the State Historical Society of Missouri-St. Louis. The forum, founded by Elinor "Elly" Guggenheimer in 1974 began with the intention of bringing women in leadership together to share their experiences and today has grown into building, "better global leadership across careers, continent and cultures by connecting the world's most pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement." The collection began in 2013 by video recording members of the St. Louis forum and was brought to the Historical Society by fellow member Dr. Blanche M. Touhill (Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis) and seeks to document who these women are and how they established themselves as successful, enterprising leaders in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Joplin Tornado Oral History Project, Records, 2011- (C4095)
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- (C4116)
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, 1997- (C3966)
The Missouri Environmental Oral History Project began in 1997. The project seeks to document the history of conservation, preservation, environmentalism, land and natural resource use in Missouri.

The interviews fall under the following subject areas:

Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000- (C3975)
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 Lives, Oral History Project, Records, 2014- (C4249)
The collection consists of interviews with a wide array of Missourians who have had an interesting personal history and life. The collection consists of digitally recorded interviews, transcripts, and ephemera.

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 Veterans Oral History Project, 2006- (C4020)
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.

Missouri Veterans History Project, Oral History Records, 2010- (C4052)
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. The former Western Historical Manuscript Collection, a joint collection with the State Historical Society of Missouri, was a founding partner of the Veterans History Project in 2001.

One-room Schoolhouse Oral History Project, Records, 2008- (C4051)
Interviews with people who attended or taught at one-room schoolhouses.

Politics in Missouri Oral History Project, Records, 1996- (C3929)
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.

Women as Change Agents, Oral History Collection, 2015-, (SA1207)
Due to the successful participation and interest in the International Women's Forum-St. Louis (IWF) Oral History Collection a new collection of interviews called Women as Change Agents began in 2014 and is an on-going project developed by the State Historical Society of Missouri-St. Louis in collaboration with Dr. Blanche M. Touhill. Where the IWF-St. Louis Collection left off the Women as Change Agents Oral History Collection began and features women outside of the forum who are viewed as leaders and agents of change in their professional and personal lives within the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County. These notable women contain valuable experiences in leadership in numerous vocations including civil engineering, law, economics, education, medicine, community organizing and non-profit creators during times of great political drama and a changing social landscape.