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 for the time being. 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. Our staff will be happy to send digital copies of audio files.

SEEKING INTERVIEWS: Middle Tennessee African American Oral History Project

The goal of the MTAAOH Project is to assemble and preserve a vast collection of local African American history by recording interviews that chronicle the lives and diverse experiences of African Americans who resided in Middle Tennessee during legal segregation through the implementation of integration. Furthermore, this archive will serve as a permanent celebration of African American families, communities, and achievements in Middle Tennessee. For more information on how to participate please visit: https://jasonmcgowan217.wixsite.com/mtaaoh 

Digitally Accessible Oral Histories

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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

Click here for a guide to Q.M. Smith Oral History Project interviewees.

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).

Click here for the subject guide for the Military Conflicts Collection.

Hurricane Katrina Collection

"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

Click here for a guide to the Hurricane Katrina interviewees.

Jefferson Springs Collection

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 Collection

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. Click here for a guide to the Readyville Mill interviewees.

Quantity: 17 interviews

  1. Robert W. Peay, Sr. - Listen to Peay audio. Click here for the Peay transcript.
  2. C. Ray and Henrietta Barker - Listen to Barker audio. Click here for the Barker transcript
  3. James N. Lassiter, Jr. - Listen to Lassiter audio. Click here for the Lassiter transcript.
  4. Eldger G. Jones - Audio missing. Click here for the Jones transcript
  5. Tomm Brady - Listen to Brady audio. Click here for the Brady transcript.
  6. Willie Brandon - Listen to Brandon audio. Click here for the Brandon transcript.
  7. Irving C. Stroop, Jr. - Listen to Stroop audio. Click here for the Stroop transcript.
  8. Elizabeth M. Barrett - Listen to Barrett audio. Click here for the Barrett transcript.
  9. Kathy and Alf Sharp - Listen to Sharp audio. Click here for the Sharp transcript.
  10. Teresa Tate - Listen to Tate audio. Click here for the Tate transcript.
  11. Joe Flipse - Listen to Flipse audio. Click here for the Flipse transcript.
  12. Normagine Haley and Polly Campbell - Listen to Haley and Campbell audio. Click here for the Haley and Campbell transcript.
  13. Bobbie Hayes - Listen to Hayes audio. Click here for the Bobbie Hayes transcript.
  14. Randle Branch - Listen to Branch audio.. Click here for the Randble Branch transcript.
  15. Jean Gilley - Listen to Gilley audio. Click here for the Jean Gilley transcript..
  16. Jane Rust and Thea Prince - Listen to Rust and Prince audio. Click here for the Jane Rust and Thea Prince transcript.
  17. Mable Helton - Listen to Helton audio. Click here for the Mable Helton transcript.

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Albert Gore Research Center

P. O. Box 193, 1301 E. Main St.
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132

Main: 615-898-2632
University Archives: 615-898-5202
Director: 615-898-2633


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