Each person's voice is a valuable part of Grinnell's history.
Welcome to our wide range of oral history projects.
These collections vary widely in scope. Some are from as early as 1979, and some are still in progress. Some are short interviews done by students, like the Camp Fire Girls Project or the Intergenerational Project. Others are more extensive, like our 1992 gem, the Voices from the Past Project. Available documents may include PDFs, MP3s, YouTube videos, links to transcribed recordings of interviews in Digital Grinnell, and photos.
Below, you can explore our collection by project or by person:
- To explore by project, click on the name of a project to access a short description of it and a link to its individual project page. Each project page includes all those people involved and links to access their interview materials.
- To explore by person, you can see all individuals listed alphabetically with any photos and links to project page(s).
For help on viewing and downloading PDFs and MP3s in different browsers, visit the Downloading Documents page.
Explore by Project
February 1979 interviews of Grinnell senior citizens conducted by the clubs of the Camp Fire Girls
Our oral history treasure: twenty interviews of Grinnell residents on the Great Depression and World War II
Spring 1993 interviews by Grinnell College students for an American Studies course
2006 interviews of fifteen Mayflower residents by Grinnell College students during an alternative spring break
Video interviews with World War II veterans that were included with the book Our War: Stories from Poweshiek County’s Greatest Generation
Other oral histories collected as part of our ongoing Poweshiek History Preservation Project
November 2013 interviews by Frank Heath of Iowa farmers who grew up in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s
2015 interviews done for the 25th anniversary of Imagine Grinnell about the organization and its impact
Short stories by Mrs. Barger’s creative writing class based on interviews with individuals from the Grinnell Senior Center
Miscellaneous oral histories, including those with Jackie Collum, Rev. Leland Mann, and Edith Renfrow Smith