Guide to the Oral History Collections
APPALACHIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. RECORDS, 1986-1991. 1.25 cu. ft. Oral history interviews conducted by students of Dr. Jean Speer and Dr. Bohland in the Department of Humanities at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Interviewees include Frank W. Bannister, Lillie A. Beavers, Julia T. Bratton, Thomas Cartmel Brown, Carol M. Caldwell, Freeman A. Cockram, Virginia B. Creger, Robert and Josephine Dolinger, Ora Evans, Donald R. Fessler, Anne W. Frame, David H. Halsey. Mildred S. Richardson, Judith C. Sale, Elizabeth M. Weatherford. Restricted interview materials include Georgia Croy, Carlton Harmon, Jack and Lillian Minnick, Ellison A. Smyth, and Keith Webb. Materials consist of audiocassette and mini-cassette tapes, tape logs, and student photographs and essays about some interviewees. Transcript available for the Hamblin interview. Finding aid available in EAD on the Virginia Heritage Project database. Ms1993-025.
APPALACHIAN QUILT PROJECT. CASSETTE TAPES, 1978-79. 0.8 cu. ft. Oral history project conducted by the Department of Clothing, Textiles, and Related Art at Virginia Tech. Collection consists of recorded interviews with forty-three quiltmakers in Floyd and Washington counties, Virginia. Transcripts available. Ms81-097.
BLACK APPALACHIANS ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. CASSETTE TAPES, 1991. 0.2 cu. ft. Oral history interviews (22 on 25 tapes) conducted by Dr. Michael Cooke of Virginia Tech of and about blacks in Appalachia, predominantly in Montgomery County, Virginia. Interviewees include Frank Bannister, Leola Burns Alexandra Burford, Roxie Ida Byson, Rice Dobbins, James E. Dow, Rosa Thomas Holmes, Charles A. Johnson, Thompson V. Lester, Elizabeth Lester, Walter H. Lewis, William Burrell Morgan, W. Waymon Pack, Cora Pack, J. Homer Pack, Christine P. Price, Valerie Scott, Mason Scott, Homer C. Sherman, James E. Sherman, Ellison A. Smyth (transcript available), James C. Wade, and Sarah J. Wade. Finding aid available in EAD on the Virginia Heritage Project database. Ms91-019.
BLACK WOMEN AT VIRGINIA TECH ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. RECORDS. 1995-. 0.6 cu. ft. The Black Women at Virginia Tech Oral History Project is a multi-phase research and educational collaborative program of the University Libraries and the Women's Center at Virginia Tech. This on-going program involves the identification of the first black women students, staff, and faculty at Virginia Tech and the collection of their oral history narratives. The interviews focus on the entry experience of the individual into the Virginia Tech community and the intervewees' perceptions of the climate and attitudes within the university community particularly as pertains to race and gender. Collection includes interviews with some of the first black women students at Virginia Tech (Jacquelyn Butler Blackwell, Marguerite Harper Scott, and Linda Edmonds Turner); Marva Felder Davis, first black homecoming queen; Cheryl Butler McDonald, first black woman in the Corps of Cadets; and Elaine Carter, catalyst of the project and doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech. Interviews were conducted by Elaine Dowe Carter and University Archivist Tamara Kennelly. Transcripts of interviews with students are available. Transcripts of interviews with two staff members, Cora McDaniel Pack and Rhonda Miller Rogers, also are available. Materials consist of cassette tapes, DAT tapes, and interview transcripts. Finding aid available in EAD on the Virginia Heritage Project database. Ms95-026.
BLACKSBURG [VIRGINIA] ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. RECORDS, 1984-85. 0.2 cu. ft. Project of the University Libraries of Virginia Tech to collect information on the history of Blacksburg, Virginia. Collection contains taped interviews, most with transcripts, of the following Blacksburg residents: Cliff Busby, Georgia Croy, S.H. Kessinger, Lucy Lee Lancaster, George Litton, Howard Price, Carrie T. Sibold, and Ellison A. Smyth. Ms85-005.
BLAIR, STREETER (1888-1966). ORAL HISTORY TRANSCRIPT, 1975. 0.4 cu. ft. American artist, born in Cadmus, Kansas. Collection consists of a transcript of an oral history interview by Elizabeth I. Dixon and Donald J. Schippers entitled, "Primitive Painter of the West." Project completed under the auspices of the Oral History Program at the University of California at Los Angeles. Ms75-008.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY FOLKLIFE PROJECT. RECORDS, 1978-79. 14.0 cu. ft. Oral history project conducted by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Park Service. Project surveyed folk cultural traditions along the Blue Ridge Parkway, particularly along a hundred-mile stretch from Rocky Knob, Virginia, to Doughton Park, North Carolina. Field coordinator for the project was Charles K. Wolfe of Middle Tennessee State University. Collection consists of taped interviews, photographs, and field notes. Ms86-009.
BOOKS THAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE PROJECT. RECORDS, 1980-86. 5.0 cu. ft. Project was conducted by Gordon A. and Patricia Sabine, who interviewed people across the country--celebrities as well as ordinary Americans--asking them what book made the greatest difference in their lives, and what was that difference. Responses were collected for a book, Books That Made the Difference: What People Told Us, (Shoe String Press, 1983). Based on a concept by Ann Heidbreder Eastman and coordinated by the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Collection contains subject files, clippings, correspondence of Eastman and the Sabines, manuscript drafts, and tape-recorded interviews. Noteworthy people consulted about their most significant book include Alan Alda, Daniel Boorstin, Walter Matthau, Andy Rooney, Studs Terkel, and Barbara Tuchman. Ms85-003.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION HISTORY. RECORDS, 1970-1990. 0.6 cu. ft. Oral history interviews regarding the history of the College of Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Interviews were conducted in November-December 1989 by the students of Dr. Patrick Carlton, Associate Professor of Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Interviewees were Karl T. Hereford, first dean of the College of Education; Fred J. Brieve; Lyle Kinnear; Richard L. Lynch; Carl McDaniels; and Wayne H. Worner. Materials consist of cassette tapes and transcripts of interviews, interview notes, correspondence (1970-72), and reports. Included are the report "Developmental Goals and Priorities of the College of Education 1972-1976" and reports by Adriane Robinson about her interview with Dr. Worner. Ms90-026.
CROWN COTTON MILLS [DALTON, GEORGIA]. ORAL HISTORY TAPES, 1984-85. 19 tapes. Oral history tapes of employees at the Crown Cotton Mills in Dalton, a textile town in the Appalachian Valley of northwest Georgia. Most of mill hands interviewed worked for Crown from the 1920s-1960s. All interviews conducted by J. Douglas Flamming, formerly a history professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in 1984-85. Unprocessed. Restricted access. Ms88-023.
DEPARTMENT OF BIOCHEMISTRY ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION. RECORDS, 2001-2002. 0.8 cu. ft. Oral history interviews conducted with faculty and staff of the Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the department, which was founded in 1952. Interviews were conducted in the period from October 2001 to June 2002 with current and former department heads, faculty, and staff who played an important role in the founding and development of the department. Oral history interviewees included: Juel Albert by Robert R. Schmidt, Bruce M. Anderson by Thomas O. Sitz, Ruben W. Engel by George Edwin Bunce, Robert Smibert by John L. Hess, Everett L. Wisman by Lewis Barnett, and Roderick Young by Robert R. Schmidt. Full text of most of the interview transcripts as well as sound clips and other documentation are available at the "50-Year Celebration of the Department of Biochemistry 1952-2003." Finding aid available in EAD on the Virginia Heritage database. Ms2003-009.
DILLARD, MARTHA. AUDIOCASSETTE TAPES, 1992. 0.2 cu. ft. Oral history interviews (3 on 3 cassette tapes) conducted by artist Martha Dillard in connection with "Watershed," an exhibition of Dillard's paintings of the Ellett Valley in Montgomery County, Virginia. Interviewees include T. Cartmel and Liz Brown, Anna Laura Tribble, and Josie Shotts about the valley of the North Fork of the Roanoke River. Collection also includes postcards and flyers relating to the exhibition. Interviews untranscribed, notes available. Ms98-027.
HIDDEN HISTORY: THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN THE ROANOKE VALLEY. CASSETTE TAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS, 1992. 1.5 cu. ft. Oral history project designed to interview African-American residents of Roanoke, Virginia, on the cultural, social, and political history of blacks in the city. Collection consists of approximately sixty-five interviews. Transcripts available for each interview. Ms92-049.
MARSHAK, ROBERT E. (1916-92). PAPERS, 1947-88. 66.0 cu. ft. Sub-atomic particle physicist. A.B., Columbia University (1936); Ph.D., Cornell University (1939). Instructor and professor of physics, University of Rochester (1939-70). President of City College, City University of New York (1970-79). University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1979-86). Chairman, Federation of American Scientists (1947-48); president, American Physical Society (1983-84). Recipient of the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize (1982) for his work on nuclear forces and of the Clark Kerr award (1987) for contributions to the advancement of higher education. Papers consist of Marshak's files on the Shelter Island Conferences (1947-49); and his administrative and correspondence files on the Rochester Conferences on High-Energy Physics (1950-57), which he founded. After 1957 the conferences were held under the sponsorship of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and Marshak's files from the conferences from 1958 to 1970 are also included. The collection also includes correspondence files on IUPAP (1953-73) and on the Commission on HighEnergy Physics (1958-63); photographs (1950-70); and a photocopy of an oral history interview done by Charles Weiner (1970). Also includes correspondence, notes, reports, files, speech texts, newsclippings, autographs, photographs, transcripts, and other personalia. Topics include the national and international development of high-energy physics, meetings and symposia, and scientific committees; awards and prizes, administration and education, science in the Eastern Bloc and Third World, and the scientist as social activist or citizen-scientist. Inventory available. Ms88-060.
"ORAL HISTORY OF THE PRINCIPALSHIP." RECORDS, 1987-97. 8.0 cu. ft. Ongoing project designed to interview retired elementary, middle, and high school principals for their views, reminiscences, and accumulated wisdom. Most of the interviewees are from the Southeast (mainly Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, and West Virginia), with representative materials from Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The Project Director is Dr. Patrick W. Carlton, Associate Professor of Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Materials consist of cassette tapes and transcripts of over 230 interviews. Ms89-040.
PANDAPAS, JAMES J. (1915- ). AUDIOTAPE and PAPERS, 1966-88, 1997. 0.2 cu. ft. Resident of Blacksburg, Virginia, born in Peabody, Massachusetts. Played a large role in the development of business and residential housing in Blacksburg by establishing Blacksburg's first industry, Electro-Tec, in 1947, and Poly-Scientific Corporation, in 1953, both manufacturers of electroplated slip-rings for radar antannae. Also developed various neighborhoods in Blacksburg, including Airport Acres (established in 1942) and Highland Park (1945). In 1948 Pandapas purchased a 500 acre track of land on Poverty Creek in Montgomery County, Virginia, as a recreational area for the employees of Electro-Tec. By the time he sold this land to the National Park Service in 1987 it was called Pandapas Pond. Collection consists of audio-tapes of an interview conducted on July 16, 1997, in which Pandapas talks about his life and career as a businessman in Blacksburg. The collection also includes a transcription of the interview with corrections and additons done by Pandapas, newspaper clippings (1966-88) of editorials written by Pandapas and interviews conducted with him, and a self-published book entitled "Early History of Poly-Scientific by its Founder James J. Pandapas." Transcript of interview available. Ms97-011.
PATRICK COUNTY [VIRGINIA] PROJECT. RECORDS, 1980-82. 19.0 cu. ft. Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Regional Library and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to explore the theme of "Continuity and Change in a Rural Community." It was coducted between September 1980 and August 1982. The project began by presenting a series of folklife programs on local traditions of music, dance, verbal art, history, and material culture; continued by collecting and transcribing taped oral histories of families and communities, building a collection of photographs of the county's past and present, and expanding the public branch library's and the University library's collections in regional literature, folk culture, and history; and then combining these activities as resources for producing a series of public programs which pursued the basic theme of "continuity and change" in this rural Southwest Virginia county. The collection consists of taped interviews; transcripts; biographical information about the interviewees; a subject card index to the interviews; a film, Up and Down These Roads: a Rural County in Transition; slide/tape programs; and such project documents as the original proposal, the final report, photographs, publicity clippings, and program posters. Ms83-007.
PULASKI THEATER ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. RECORDS, 2003-04. 0.75 cu. ft. Collection consists of interview cassette tapes and transcripts of local oral history interviews conducted in 2003 by a Ph.D. candidate in the Interior Design Program within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Finding aid available in EAD on the Virginia Heritage Project database. Ms2004-007.
WOMEN'S BIOGRAPHY PROJECT. RECORDS. 1994. 0.6 cu. ft. Collection of oral history interviews regarding the stories of individual women from the local community. Interviews conducted in the fall of 1994 by students of Dr. Kathleen W. Jones, assistant professor in the Department of History at Virginia Tech. Interviewees were Thelma Booth, Rose Burnett, Kate Huff Bruce, Thelma Eaves, Wenona S. Gardner, Dot Humphries, Agnes Hurt, Esther Jones, Herta Lopez, Leola Pearce Pearson, Pauline Pitsinger, Marge Robinson, Dorothy Shueler, Laura Scott, Alison Sulloway, Nelle Trent, Bernice Weston, Minnie Williams, and Glenna Yeatts. Materials consist of cassette and mini-cassette tapes and student essays about their interviewees. Transcripts available for the Humphries, Jones, and Weston interviews. Ms95-028.
Other sites of interest:
- Oral History Association home page
- Oral History Internet Resources from the Michigan Oral History Association
Send questions or comments to
P. O. Box 90001
Blacksburg VA 24062-9001