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Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage

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Mississippi Oral History Project

The Mississippi Oral History Project is a statewide initiative to record Mississippians talking about their experiences, from daily life to extraordinary events, with family, work, politics, churches, community. Over the past ten years the Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC) has awarded over half a million dollars in grants to collect over 3500 of these histories. 

 Highlights

  • Hurricane Katrina Over 400 interviews with storm victims, first responders, relief workers, political leaders, and healthcare professionals.
  • Audubon Society's Strawberry Plains Preserve Oral histories of folk healing and traditional plant use.
  • Veterans Ongoing interviews with veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the First Gulf War, and the Global War on Terror.
  • McComb Railroad History Interviews with railroad workers from the Illinois Central shops in McComb, Mississippi.
  • Civil Rights Documentation Project USM Libraries cooperated with the USM Center for Oral History to offer more than 60 oral history transcripts on the civil rights movement, such as those by civil rights leaders Charles Cobb, Charles Evers, Aaron Henry, and Hollis Watkins. This collection also includes oral histories of race-baiting governor Ross Barnett, national White Citizens Council leader William J. Simmons, and State Sovereignty head Erle Johnston. Audio excerpts were added to several of these transcripts. The project was expanded in 2001 by the addition of twenty-two letters from the Joseph and Nancy Ellyn Freedom Summer Collection and four diaries of Freedom School teachers in 1964.
  • Vietnamese Americans of the Gulf Coast Ongoing interviews with Vietnamese Americans living in the Gulf South.   

Ongoing Projects Archived in the McCain Library

The following list is a representative sample of Mississippi interview collections available in transcript form and in digital audio format in the McCain Library. 

  • Agriculture
  • Arts and literature
  • Theodore Bilbo
  • Business and industry
  • Hurricane Camille
  • Civil rights movement
  • Clark County history
  • Courts and law rulings
  • Education
  • Ethnic groups
  • Mississippi River Flood of 1927
  • Gay and lesbian life
  • Turn-of-the-century Mississippi
  • Gulf Coast history
  • Hattiesburg history
  • Paul B. Johnson Jr.
  • Journalism and journalists
  • Labor
  • Local government
  • Medicine and health
  • Pearl River Flood of 1979
  • Prisoners of war
  • Religion
  • Republican Party
  • Sports
  • State government
  • Stennis Space Center
  • World War II
  • University of Southern Mississippi

Contact Us

Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage
Mclemore Hall (MCL)
118 College Dr. #5175
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Campus Hattiesburg

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Email
cohch-bouncesFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4574