Oral History Association to Make New Home at Baylor’s Institute for Oral History

Institute for Oral History
Baylor University's Institute for Oral History is located in the historic Carroll Library on campus. The IOH will become the new home of the Oral History Association on Jan. 1, 2023. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)
Oct. 17, 2022

Libraries Contact: Eric Ames, Baylor Libraries, 254-710-1576
Follow Baylor Media and Public Relations on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Oct. 17, 2022) – The Oral History Association [OHA] has announced that Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History (IOH) will be the organization’s new home, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Since 2018, the Association has been headquartered at the Albert Gore Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University, led by co-executive directors and professors Kristine McCusker and Louis M. Kyriakoudes.

“We have navigated OHA successfully through the COVID-19 pandemic, won important grant initiatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities and are handing over to Baylor a healthy organization. It has been an honor to serve the organization and the field of oral history,” Kyriakoudes said.

Baylor’s Institute for Oral History (IOH) is a leader in the field, recording and archiving oral histories for more than 50 years. The institute is known for fostering oral history practice through its many workshops and for creating a widely used oral history style guide, among other accomplishments. The Institute for Oral History also hosts the Texas Oral History Association.

“After five successful years at Middle Tennessee State University, we’re looking forward to our new partnership with Baylor, which has one of the premiere oral history programs in the country,” said OHA President Amy Starecheski.

Under the new partnership, Baylor’s Institute for Oral History will provide office space, release time for incoming executive director Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Baylor, and assistant director Steven Sielaff, as well as additional program support. The Oral History Association will hire a full-time program associate to support the organization’s work.

“The Oral History Association has long been the nexus of my professional life, the place where both my passions and practice have been honed and energized,” Sloan said. “I am grateful for the community and guidance that OHA and its membership has provided me in so many profound ways and I relish the opportunity to facilitate that for other oral historians.”

“I am honored to be appointed assistant director, and I am excited to be able to provide this additional level of service to OHA and all oral historians as we venture further into the technological marvel that is the 21st century,” Sielaff said.

Outgoing OHA co-executive director McCusker and program associate Faith Bagley will oversee the transition of OHA operations to its new home at Baylor.

“These five years have gone by so quickly, and I’m looking forward to Professor Sloan and his outstanding team continuing to foster OHA’s growth and service to oral historians,” McCusker said.

The Institute for Oral History at Baylor creates oral history memoirs by preserving a sound recording and transcript of interviews with individuals who are eyewitnesses to history. Together with our interviewees, IOH documents memories representing the diversity of American society and encompassing varied topics of social and historical significance. The institute encourages oral history scholarship through fellowships, graduate assistantships and training workshops shares the outcomes of its oral history research through publications and public programming.

Located in the historic Carroll Library on the Baylor campus, IOH is an interdisciplinary research department within Baylor Libraries. Its oral history memoirs assist scholars whose research covers such specialized areas as religion and culture, civil rights, music and theater, historic preservation, rural life and women's studies, as well as selected topics in economics, law, education and politics. In addition, the institute’s oral history collection provides essential information for research on historical topics concerning Baylor University, Waco and McLennan County, Texas.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR ORAL HISTORY AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Through dynamic, recorded interviews, the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University preserves the stories of individuals who helped create the fabric of history and whose lives, in turn, were shaped by the people, places, events and ideas of their day. The Institute has recorded and preserved oral histories since 1970, earning along the way a strong reputation for multidisciplinary outreach to both academic scholars and community historians by providing professional leadership, educational tools and research opportunities. In 2019, the Institute joined the Baylor University Libraries, further strengthening the division for service to researchers and scholars. For more information, visit baylor.edu/oralhistory.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?