Oral Histories

At the founding of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project in September 2015 we decided to focus on two core initiatives: Archives and Oral Histories. Recognizing that most LGBTQ history, especially here in Southwest Virginia, is not preserved within written documents, we decided that recording oral histories with a diverse cross-section of community members is an important methodology for saving our history before it is lost forever.

As of June 2023, we have recorded and transcribed hour-long interviews with over 50 community members.

First, check out our Subject Index, a comprehensive guide to the oral history collection!

Then, you can view and listen to the Entire Collection here!

Here are some stats on the project (as of June 2023):

-Of the 51 narrators in our collection, 30 (59%) are women or non-binary; 16 (31%) are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color); and 13 (25%) are transgender.

-a 45-page subject index

-approximately 50 hours of audio

-over 1,000 pages of written transcripts

-over 200 people have participated in this project as narrators, interviewers, and transcribers. Thank you to all!