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Stories: Oral Histories and Interviews

A guide to oral histories and interviews in Archives and Special Collections at Davidson College.


Audiovisual materials are media including record albums, audiocassettes, videocassettes, music cds, cd-roms, and dvds. Most of our collection deals with campus events such as convocation, freshman orientation lectures, commencements, and reunions. There are also oral history tapes related to college and town history.

Listed below are select oral histories and interviews from our collection recorded on audiocassettes. If have questions or would like to view these materials in-person, please email for assistance. 

Audio 59-63: Vietnam War at Davidson College

Speakers: Several faculty and staff members, including President Samuel R. Spencer, Dean of Students William H. Terry, and Professor David Kaylor, among others. 

Description: Series of oral histories from faculty and staff members about the Vietnam War at Davidson College conducted by John P. Scherer '89 for his Kelley Honors Thesis "A Code of Civility : Anitwar Dissent at Davidson College During the Vietnam Era, 1964-1973."

Audio 105 - Audio 108: Common Ground Oral History Series

Speakers: Varied, see "Oral History" research guide.

Description: Oral histories about race relations in Davidson conducted by English 201 students in Spring 1997.

Audio 123: Common Ground Meeting - Ada Jenkins and Beyond, Ruby Houston, Marjean Torrence, Frances Houston Beale, 04/17/2000 

Subjects: Davidson, NC - history, Ada Jenkins School, Torrence-Lytle High School, African-Americans

Audio 164: Oral History/Interview, Evelyn Carr, 09/04/2002                       

Subjects: Davidson, NC 

Audio 238: Randy Nelson Interview, 1981            

           Subjects: Davidson, NC 

Audio 241: Interview with John Kuykendall, c.1997          

          Subjects: Davidson

Audio 285 and 286: Interview with James Gant, 06/10/2003       

          Subjects: Davidson, NC

Audio 292: James “Jimmy” Williams Impressions of Davidson, 09/30/1981                            

Subjects: Davidson, NC, Davidson College            

Audio 309: I Remember Davidson When, Rupert Barber, Blanche Parker, Mildred Alexander, 05/01/1987

Subjects: Davidson, NC - History

Related Archival Materials

Archival materials are the institutional records of Davidson College from its establishment in 1837 to the present day. Included within the collections are president's office records, academic department files, and student organization records. 

Listed below is a relevant collection related to the oral histories listed above, including a brief description of the collection's contents and a hyperlink to the collection's digital finding aid.

Student Work (RG 10-1)

Description: This collection consists of student papers donated by several academic departments, with most of these examples from the 1970s forward. Works include oral history interviews with members of the Westside Stakeholders, the Davidson Fire Department, the Ada Jenkins Center, and a handful of individuals associated with Davidson College in some way. There are also several student papers discussing racial barriers in the town of Davidson.

Related Manuscript Collections

Manuscript materials are largely unpublished documents such as diaries, letters, speeches and sermons. The collections may be about an individual, a family, or a group. The majority of our collections relate to students and alumni of Davidson College and to civic organizations in the town of Davidson, North Carolina.

Listed below are relevant collections related to the oral histories listed above. Collections are organized by manuscript number, along with a brief description of the collection's contents, and are hyperlinked to the collection's digital finding aid.

John Wells Kuykendall Collection (DC008)

Description: Dr. John Wells Kuykendall graduated from Davidson College in 1959. He later became the 15th President of Davidson College and served in this role from 1984 to 1997. This collection includes printed materials from Kuykendall's tenure as President, as well as materials from Kuykendall's time as a student at Davidson.

Common Ground, Records, 1995 - (DC056)

Description: Common Ground formed in August 1995 with the purpose of "promoting communication and understanding, and improve relations among people of all races in Davidson." Activities of the group included hosting monthly public meetings, organizing cross-town block parties, hosting candidate forums during election years and providing mediation services. A part of Common Ground, the Community Relations Task Force, was formed at the request of then mayor, Randall Kincaid. Originally a town committee, Common Ground took over the responsibilities of the re-formed Community Relations Task Force in 2001.

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