Focus of workshop is veteran stories

Oral history research assisting Veterans History Project

The News Enterprise
August 2, 2010

Because of the Fort Knox Army post, Hardin County is a fertile ground for people wishing to record military veterans' oral histories.

Those interested in preserving these stories— in a way they can be saved at places such as the Library of Congress and the local library— can attend a Thursday workshop sponsored by the Kentucky Historical Society.

"You're helping make history a little bit more democratic," said Sarah Milligan, administrator for the Kentucky Oral History Commission.

She means this isn't something a professor decided should be in a textbook.

Not only will researchers have access to the recordings, but family members years from now can get to know a relative they've never met, Milligan said.

Local veterans' stories can range from thrilling tales of battle to doing paperwork for draft boards— which gives a well-rounded account of the military.

With a recorded personal account, as opposed to a written one, a listener can hear voice inflection that conveys meaning.

Those who record these narratives don't have to be related to a veteran. And they may be able to volunteer to conduct interviews at the library's request, Milligan said.

She will instruct the two-hour workshop, which will include lessons on how to interview and about recording equipment— as well as issues such as ethics and legality.

Milligan's commission is working in conjunction with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. It's Veterans History Project has collected 55,000 intervie


The 5 p.m. workshop is at the Hardin County Public Library on Jim Owen Drive in Elizabethtown.

It's free and participants can show up without prior notification. For more information, call Milligan at (502) 564-1792 or the library at 769-6337.

John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.

This story, written by John Friedlein, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The News Enterprise. Read more stories from The News Enterprise at