Oral History Collections Highlight Women’s History Month

(March 17, 2011 Stillwater, Okla.) – Great resources for Women’s History Month with an Oklahoma focus are just a click away. The Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP) at the Oklahoma State University Library hosts three online digital collections documenting the contributions of women in Oklahoma.

“Gathering oral histories provides an opportunity to pursue answers to questions left silent in what little archival material exists for these women, said Juliana Nykolaiszyn, assistant professor, OOHRP. “We invite you to explore the following websites and meet women who blazed trails, overcame obstacles and continue to inspire a new generation of women in Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame Oral History Project

Since 1982, the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame has recognized women who served as pioneers in their fields, made significant contributions to the state of Oklahoma, championed other women or women’s issues, or served as public policy advocates for the issues important to women. In 2007, the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the OSU Library started interviewing inductees of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in order to fill a gap in primary source documents concerning women in Oklahoma. This website includes brief biographies, interview transcripts, interview audio, video selections and links to other resources.

Women of the Oklahoma Legislature Oral History Project

During Oklahoma's first 101 years (1907-2008) only 77 women were elected to the Oklahoma Legislature. Forty-six of these remarkable women have now shared their stories as part of the project. Taken individually, these interviews reflect the careers and interests of the legislators; taken collectively they constitute a narrative of the role of women in the Oklahoma Legislature over time. This website includes lesson plans for teachers, transcripts of each interview, downloadable poster of women legislators and links to resources on women and politics.

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry: Oklahoma Women and the Dust Bowl

Prior to the start of this project in 2000, many interviews had been conducted with people who remembered the whirling winds of the 1930s, but they presented a primarily male perspective of this event. Again and again men spoke of their wives and their mothers as being the glue that held their families together during these incredibly hard days. Between 2000 and 2002, the OSU Library located and interviewed more than 100 women individually or in groups about what they recalled from living during the period of 1932 to 1940 in the area of Oklahoma typically identified as the epicenter of the Dust Bowl. This website includes interview transcripts, interview audio, along with a bibliography of the Dust Bowl era.

These oral history collections are projects of the OOHRP. Formally established in 2007, the OOHRP at the OSU Library has collected and preserved firsthand accounts from individuals who have played a part in Oklahoma’s history. The Program explores the lives and contributions of Oklahomans from all walks of life. To learn more about the OOHRP call 405-744-7685, email liboh@okstate.edu, or visit http://www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/.

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant system that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. OSU has more than 35,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 23,000 on its Stillwater campus, with students from all 50 states and 118 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 200,000 students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world.

Contact: Bonnie Ann Cain, APR
OSU Library


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