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Oral History Projects

The following projects are actively recruiting and recording narrators. For more information, please contact the designated staff member.

Oklahoma 100 Year Life
The Oklahoma 100 Year Life oral history project explores the historical memories and legacies of Oklahoma's oldest living citizens. This project is a joint effort between Tanya Finchum from the OOHRP and Alex Bishop from the OSU College of Human Sciences.
Inductees of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame
The Inductees of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame oral history project preserves the voices of women who have been inducted into this prestigious state-wide group awarded by the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. Project lead: Juliana Nykolaiszyn.
Oklahoma Centennial Farm Families
The Oklahoma Centennial Farm Families oral history project focuses on families who own and/or operate a farm designated as an Oklahoma Centennial Farm, having occupied and worked the land for at least 100 years. Project leads: Tanya Finchum and Juliana Nykolaiszyn.
Oklahoma Native Artists
Since 2010, the Oklahoma Native Artists oral history project has been documenting the lives and work of artists in the fine and traditional arts. Focusing on Native American practitioners who live in the state or have longstanding ties to it, this collection houses oral histories discussing individuals' first experiences in art, their training and awards, and their creative practices. Project lead: Julie Pearson-Little Thunder.
O-STATE Stories
The O-STATE Stories oral history project records interviews with alumni, administrators, faculty, staff and supporters connected to Oklahoma A&M College and Oklahoma State University as a means of preserving memories and campus history. Project lead: OOHRP Staff
Spotlighting Oklahoma
The narratives recorded as part of the Spotlighting Oklahoma oral history project will help to fill gaps in the written cultural and intellectual history by preserving the experiences of both ordinary and extraordinary Oklahomans. Project lead: OOHRP Staff
The “Big Top” Show Goes On: An Oral History of Occupations Inside and Outside the Canvas Circus Tent
This oral history project aims to preserve the voices associated with occupational culture and tradition of the American “Big Top” circus in the small town of Hugo, Oklahoma, historically referred to as the “Sarasota of the Southwest” and “Circus City USA.” Project leads: Tanya Finchum and Juliana Nykolaiszyn.
Women of the Oklahoma Legislature
Chronicling the lives of women involved in the legislative arena, the Women of the Oklahoma Legislature oral history project captures and records information about women who have served or are currently serving in the Oklahoma Legislature in their own voices. Project lead: Tanya Finchum.
Dust, Drought and Dreams Gone Dry: Oklahoma Women and the Dust Bowl
With the vast majority of Dust Bowl research focusing on the point of view of men, this oral history project profiles the plight of Oklahoma women from the Dust Bowl’s epicenter and their memories of this tumultuous time.
Remembering Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel:  Poet and Dust Bowl Emigrant*

Preservation of materials, historical documents and oral memories take center stage in this oral history project as friends and family tell the story of poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel. Project lead: Karen Neurohr.
Images of Kenton*
In this project, residents of Kenton Oklahoma provide background information for a
collection of historical photos housed digitally at the OSU Library. Project lead: Misty Smith
Rosie the Riveter*
This oral history project profiles Oklahoma women who supported World War II efforts on the home front by working in factories in Oklahoma, primarily at Tinker Field building B-52s.

*Affiliated oral history projects are joint efforts between researchers and the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program.  These projects may utilize the services and/or expertise of staff members.

Recordings and/or transcripts from interviews recorded by others, accompanied by appropriate documentation of ownership, will be reviewed for deposit. Please contact us at (405) 744-7685 for more information about donations of extant materials.

Dave Bray, Jr. Interview with Helen Knode
David Murl (Dave) Bray, Jr. was born in Erin Springs, Oklahoma, to David and Gladys Tye Bray in 1940. He married Jo Scoggins in 1960. After attending the University of Tulsa (1959), and Northeastern A&M in Miami, Oklahoma (1960-1961), he left school to start roughnecking for Rayna Drilling. Bray worked derricks and floors for several companies in Oklahoma and Texas, then began drilling in Alaska and Washington with Parker Drilling. He returned with his family to Oklahoma and worked with Parker Drilling in Tulsa and began pushing tools for them. He continued to drill and push tools for several other companies before retiring in 2005. He returned to pushing tools from 2006-2008 before retiring again. All interviews with Bray were conducted by Helen Knode as research for her book, "Wildcat Play."
Ida Saxon Campbell Smith Interview with Karen Smith Hunter
Ida Saxon Campbell Smith was born in Leighton, Alabama in November 1896. Ida and her husband Marsh lived six miles southwest of Wewoka, Oklahoma. In 1947, the family moved from Belle City to Ponca City, Oklahoma. In Ponca City, Marsh and Ida owned the Union Food Store, which they ran for eighteen years. In 1966, Ida and Marsh moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Together, they had six children: Elvis, Ollie Mae, Jeptha, Robert, Marshall and Manus. These interviews were conducted by Ida's granddaughter Karen Smith Hunter.
Nellie Mae Schockman Interview with Karen Smith Hunter
Nellie Mae Schockman was born in Ozark County, Missouri in June 1901 to John H. and Laura I. (Carroll) Manning. In 1912, her family moved to Sapulpa, Oklahoma where her father worked for the local refinery. She married Herman Schockman in 1926 and they later moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma in 1932. Nellie Mae was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Ponca City, a lifelong seamstress, loved flowers, and enjoyed conducting family research. She passed away on May 5, 1998 in Ponca City. These interviews were conducted by Schockman’s granddaughter Karen Smith Hunter.