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About this collection

To date, the Kent Oral History Project — started in the early 1980s by the Kent Historical Society as part of its mission to preserve the town’s history — consists of more than 200 recorded interviews with local residents discussing their personal experiences and perspectives on life in Kent, Ohio.

 

The project, begun by longtime KHS member and President Emeritus Sandy Halem, includes conversations with both townspeople who were recommended because of their contributions to the community and those who volunteered to share their everyday life experiences.

 

The stories shared by participants — in their own words, with their own voices — reveal personal, social, cultural and economic information not typically found in public records and other historical materials. Individuals provide personal stories about growing up in Kent, their families, school, jobs, participation in community events, clubs and religious groups, as well as their reactions to significant events such as major fires, May 4th, Kent State University and the Erie Railroad.

 

Thanks to Virginia Dressler, digital projects librarian at Kent State University Libraries, these unedited personal histories are in the process of being digitized, transcribed and shared here publicly as they become available for the benefit of friends, relatives, educators, students and historical/genealogical researchers.

 

The Kent Historical Society encourages participation by area residents from all walks of life in its ongoing Kent Oral History Project. Those who would like to share personal stories or suggest potential interviewees are asked to contact KHS (330-678-2712 or khs@kentohiohistory.org).

 

Click here to view the Kent Historical Society's Kent Tribune newspaper collection on Ohio Memory

 
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