Oral History Collections
The Gore Center houses hundreds of oral histories covering a variety of subjects, including veterans and the home front, university history, Middle Tennessee regional history, and much more. We are currently working on updating our oral history database to make it more accessible to the public. Unfortunately, this means that all audio and video have been removed from our website, and will only be available for on-site listening through digital formats in our research room. Guides are provided where possible. Transcripts or logs for many of the oral histories are also available upon request. Some donor restrictions may apply. Please contact us if you wish to access any of our oral histories.
Middle Tennessee Oral History Project
The Middle Tennessee Oral History Project seeks to record the memories of people who live in or have roots in the region. Topics of particular interests include Middle Tennessee State University, Black community leadership in Murfreesboro, veterans, state and local politics, women's organizations, farming and farm organizations, planning and economic development, and medical history. The project consists of audio, as well as some video, interviews conducted by Gore Center staff, faculty, or students. Interviews have been recorded in both analog and digital formats, although all are now available in digital format. Many have been transcribed, and logs are available for most of the other recordings.
Quantity: Over 500 interviews
Click here for a guide to MT Oral History Project interviewees. Entries with a (V) next to their name means that they were a veteran and discussed portions of their military career in the interview.
Q.M. Smith Oral History Project
The Q.M. Smith Oral History Project is comprised of 138 recordings collected by Regina Forsythe in the last half of 1995 from people associated in some way with Middle Tennessee State University. If the participant had been a student, then the interviewer asked about classes, professors, campus buildings, and student life. If the participant had been faculty or staff, the interviewer focused on departments, administration, and co-workers. Participants were asked specifically for stories and insights about President Smith.
Quantity: 138 interviews
military conflicts collection
This collection consists of interviews focused on United States military conflicts, and it documents the views of veterans, the home front, protests, and other members of the public. MTSU students conducted the interviews as part of a history course on the Vietnam War, so many of the interviews are exclusively about that era. Content logs are available for most of the recordings, and transcripts are available in some cases. These oral histories predate the Gore Center's Middle Tennessee Oral History Project.
Quantity: Over 130 interviews
Conflicts Covered: Vietnam War, World War Two, Persian Gulf, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
"Narrating Katrina Through Oral History" was a documentation initiative under the direction of Dr. Lisa Pruitt, Associate Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University, while she was the director of the Gore Center. In all, 53 interviews were completed. Twenty-seven of those were with people directly or indirectly affected by the hurricane, five with individuals in Middle Tennessee who sheltered family members, two with students from middle Tennessee who were attending college in New Orleans, and twenty-six with responders.
Quantity: 53 interviews
The Gore Center houses oral histories related to Old Jefferson, Tennessee, and Jefferson Springs, Tennessee. Old Jefferson was the first county seat for Rutherford County, and Jefferson Springs served as a resort area for many Middle Tennessee residents from the late 1800s to the early 1960s. The interviews were conducted by Dr. Ron Kates, an English professor from Middle Tennessee State University, and Kates' Honors English class in the Fall of 2000. There are 11 interviews open for research.
Quantity: 27 total interviews, 11 of which are open for research
PARQ Readyville Mill
The organization PARQ (Preserve the Area's Rural Qualities) conducted these oral histories to preserve the local memory of Readyville Mill in Cannon County, Tennessee. This project includes documentation of both the history of the mill, and the process of preserving and restoring the site. PARQ donated these materials to the Gore Center in 2012.
Quantity: 17 interviews