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African American Primary Resources in the Special Collections Research Center: ORAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS

Sources found in the University of Kentucky Libraries.





(859) 257-8611


(859) 257-6311

Oral History Collections

Appalachia Oral History Project

  • Series Title: Family and Gender in the Coal Community. Social and cultural history of coal communities in eastern Kentucky, with emphasis on Auxier and Van Lear. Includes African American coal miners.
  • Series Title: Civil Rights Project. This project consists of interviews with Rev. Hugh Cowans and Julia Cowans concerning the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky and the Appalachian Region.

Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

  • These interviews concern the educational, political, economic, and social opportunities for Blacks in Lexington during the Twentieth Century.

Charles T. Wethington University of Kentucky Oral History Project

  • Series Title: African American Alumni Project. These interviews document the experiences of African American alumni at the University of Kentucky.
  • Series Title: Extension Service. Interviewee: John H. Finch. Interviewer: Mike Duff. February 15, 1985. Accession number 1985OH033 A/F 194. John H. Finch, a retired African American cooperative extension agent, was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky in 1906. He was an assistant county agent in Negro Work in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1931. After 1941, Finch was responsible for the extension service in Barren County. From 1960-1961, he was an extension agent in Fayette, Bourbon, and Woodford Counties. He worked with African American farmers only, until 1961.
  • Series Title: General. Interviewee: Lillian G. Delaney. Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell. June 11, 1997. Accession number 1997OHO20 A/F 567. Lillian G. Delaney was born on March 1, 1925 and is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. She discusses how segregation affected her family and recalls they learned at home how to deal with segregation outside of the Black community. She taught at Douglas High School from 1947-1963, and describes the process of desegregation of the schools during this period. Delaney later transferred to Tates Creek High School where she was the first African American instructor.

John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project

  • John Sherman Cooper (1901-1991), born in Somerset, Kentucky, served as a United States Senator (1947-1948, 1952-1955, and 1957-1973). Cooper and his associates discuss the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Vietnam War, education, War on Poverty, etc.

Kentucky History Oral History Project

  • Series Title: Kitty League Baseball History. This project focuses on the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee Baseball league (KIT), nicknamed the "Kitty "League. Founded in 1903, it existed as a Class D Minor League until 1955. Includes African American baseball players in the mid-1900s.
  • Series Title: Oliver Torch Project. Oliver's, named for the Oliver family, was a village located in Clark County, Kentucky, near Winchester. This project focuses on African Americans in this region during the early 20th Century. 

Oral History Database (Online)

Contact the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center for more information about the many other Oral History Collections.


Phone: (859) 257-8611

Fax:  (859) 257-6311


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