Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage

Hattiesburg, MS


Through the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, The University of Southern Mississippi has been collecting and preserving the stories of Mississippians since 1971. The collection is available in Special Collections in McCain Library & Archives and in the Center’s offices at USM.

The Center's collection has a recognized strength in the history of the civil rights movement and veterans' histories, yet the Center has collected broadly. The topics dealt with in the collection encompass the breadth of the state’s history. The oral history collection now contains well over four thousand interviews, by far the largest in the state and one of the largest in the South, and provides access to an increasing number of these histories online.

These materials are presented online for educational purposes only. The original recordings and bound manuscripts are deposited on campus at the university's William D. McCain Library and Archives and are available to the general public. Researchers may listen to any processed and unrestricted recordings. Audio recordings, however, may not be quoted, paraphrased, cited, or used in any way for publication. Quotations must come from deposited transcripts. Most transcripts have been approved by the interviewees, who were allowed to make minor changes. All transcripts and audio recordings are copyrighted and any reproduction or duplication beyond fair use requires written permission from the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, Box 5175, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001. If the person interviewed chose to retain literary rights, you must write for this permission from both the program and the interviewee. The user bears full responsibility for securing any and all appropriate permissions.


Browse all Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage Items


Oral History Collections

Since the program began in 1971, researchers have recorded more than four thousand interviews about Mississippi history and culture.

Topics include politics and government, organized labor, civil rights, ethnic experiences, agriculture, journalism, art, sports, natural disasters, and general life histories. We are always in the process of acquiring new materials. Please contact the Center for more information at 601.266.4574.