Oral Histories


As a digital humanities lab that provides significant project support to the Museums, Heritage, and Public History program, we are particularly well-suited to support oral history work. We offer digital oral history project support by lending zoom audio recording kits, video cameras and tripods, and providing project archival support through the OHMS digital oral history platform. We can also help you plan out your project with support on interview script development, release forms, and other practical matters related to oral history work.

These oral history collections were created by UMSL students, faculty, and staff for a variety of community engagement projects. Each collection is described below. 

UMSL at 60

This collection was created in celebration of the University of Missouri St. Louis’s 60th Anniversary with Dr. Kelland’s HIST 4142/5142. Within this collection are interviews from UMSL alumni as well as a curated exhibit regarding UMSL’s history. 

Griot Museum/North St. Louis

This collection was created in partnership with the Griot Museum of Black History of St. Louis during Spring Semester 2021 with Dr. Kelland’s HIST 6132 class. Most of these interviews are in video format due to the class projects, which were documentary films.  

LGBTQ St. Louis 

This collection was created in partnership with the Missouri History Museum’s Gateway to Pride initiative during Spring Semester 2022 with Dr. Kelland’s HIST 4142/5142/4005. This collection contains three subcollections, noted below. 

Faith Communities:

This collection features interviews with LGBTQIA+ leaders of faith organizations in St. Louis.

Pride Festivals:

This collection highlights the array of leadership and memories from several pride festival organizations across the city. 


This collection documents the experiences of LGBTQIA+ students at UMSL. 

History of St. Louis Greek Community

This project was launched by Cosmopoulos in 2006 with the objective of preserving the histories of the Greek-American families in the major St. Louis area.  It consists of oral interviews of elderly members of the Greek community, as well as the collection of photos, documents, and artifacts relevant to the history of the Greek community.  As of summer 2013 more than 50 interviews have been conducted and archived in the Critzas Archives of the Greek Culture Center.

Puerto Rican Independence Movement

This collection documents the memories of activists and museum founders related to the 1950s uprising against U.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico. 

Closure of Normandy Hospital

This collection was created by multiple Ed.D candidates as part of a research project for a dissertation to fulfill the requirements for the Ed.D in Educational Practice 2022.

Language and the Shaping of Experience in St. Louis

This collection was created by UMSL English professor Lauren Obermark. The stories shared on this page are a version of oral history interviews called “literacy narratives.” The literacy narratives in this collection offer perspectives about how literacy, language, and other communicative practices shape activist, advocacy, and social justice work.