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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Southern Oral History Program

410 East Franklin St., CB #9127
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-9127

Email: sohp@unc.edu

Phone: 919-962-5931

Repository URL: http://www.sohp.org/ External Link

Repository description (CRHP): Many other repositories hold copies of interviews from the Southern Oral History Program.

Repository description (extant): Our Mission
"You don't have to be famous for your life to be history."

The words of a Depression-era millhand remind us of the extraordinary significance of ordinary lives. Since 1973, the SOHP has worked to preserve the voices of the southern past. UNC students and faculty have interviewed more than 4,000 men and women—from mill workers to civil rights leaders to future presidents of the United States. Freely available at UNC’s renowned Southern Historical Collection and increasingly online, these interviews capture the vivid personalities, poignant personal stories, and behind-the-scenes decision-making that bring history to life. Start searching our collection to begin your research project, or learn more about what we do.

The SOHP’s mission is to

• Create an unparalleled archive of sound recordings documenting life in the 20th-century South.
• Provide students with research opportunities and encourage them to combine scholarship with public service.
• Make history accessible through community-based workshops and collaborations with the public schools.
• Produce publications and documentaries that offer a fresh understanding of southern history.

People make sense of their lives through story. The South is especially rich in storytellers, yet many of them leave no written record, and modern forms of communication have made personal letters and diaries virtually obsolete. A sense of urgency therefore informs our work, for the memories we preserve in sound and on paper might otherwise be lost. Oral history allows us to use those stories to explore the private dimension of public careers, add new voices to the historical record, track the creation and re-creation of historical memory, and present history to the public in creative new forms.

Since 1973, the SOHP has worked to preserve the voices of the southern past. UNC students and faculty have interviewed more than 4,200 men and women—from mill workers to civil rights leaders to future presidents of the United States. Made available through UNC’s renowned Southern Historical Collection and, increasingly online, these interviews capture the vivid personalities, poignant personal stories, and behind-the-scenes decision-making that bring history to life.

Repository type: University Special Collection

Collections:

North Carolina politics
Bass-De Vries interviews
Southern liberalism
Individual biographies
Notable North Carolinians
Civil rights unionism
Fellowship of Southern Churchmen
Southern women
Legal professions
Listening for a change
University of North Carolina
Black high school principals
Special research projects
The long civil rights movement: the South since the 1960s

 

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   July 11, 2011
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