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Anniversary Event

Mark your calendars to join UK Libraries for a lively, five-course dinner at the picturesque Fasig-Tipton Farm, where we'll enjoy a farm-to-table, seasonally inspired menu provided by Holly Hill Inn and celebrate five decades of leadership in preserving Kentucky's story, one interview at a time.

Special guest speakers include award-winning Kentucky chef Ouita Michel, UK President Eli Capilouto, Vice Mayor Dan Wu, and more.

October 13, 2023
Fasig-Tipton Farm
Seattle Slew Room
Doors open at 6:30pm

Cost to attend: $150/person or $1200/table.

Reserve your tickets now: Individual tickets or table.

For more ways to show your support, consider a gift to the Terry L. Birdwhistell Endowment Fund.

Invitation for the Nunn Center 50th Anniversary Event.

50 Years Serving the Commonwealth

Over the last 50 years, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History has grown from a small grant and a dream into a world-renowned leader in the collection and preservation of oral histories. Along the way, the Nunn Center has empowered countless students, researchers, and community groups to discover the remarkable individuals, moments, and stories that make up the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Nunn Center’s 18,000 oral history interviews celebrate the incredible diversity that can be found in every corner of the state, from Civil Rights leaders and LGBTQ* Kentuckians to quilters, teachers, entrepreneurs, veterans, writers, coal miners, immigrants, and farmers. With continual improvements in interview quality and coverage, new stories are added to the collection daily.

None of this is possible without the active engagement of community and campus partners. The Nunn Center proudly partners with industries, institutions, and communities across Kentucky to collect the oral histories of bourbon distillers, horse trainers, returned Peace Corps volunteers, and bluegrass musicians. Collaborations with on-campus partners provide students with high-impact learning experiences, and growing faculty and student engagement has led to the increased use of Nunn Center resources and collections in learning environments. In its commitment to deep collaboration practices, the Nunn Center offers training in interview structure and technique and provides professional-quality interview equipment and studio space to its partners, empowering students and researchers to pilot their own projects.

A leader in the collection of oral histories, the Nunn Center has also been a pioneer in their access and preservation. The Oral History Metadata Synchronizer – a free, open source digital tool developed by the Nunn Center that improves user experience with online oral history by connecting word-level searches to precise moments within an interview – is now used by oral history repositories in 67 countries around the world and counting. Most importantly, OHMS has boosted usage of the Nunn Center’s archived interviews from 200 interviews accessed in 2008 to over 230,000 interviews accessed by researchers around the world in 2022.  

With over 50 ongoing interviewing projects and a dedicated team of oral history experts, the Nunn Center’s impact across campus and throughout the Commonwealth grows greater every day. With your support, the Nunn Center can continue to pursue its mission of engaging and empowering communities, creating connections and life-changing learning experiences, increasing access to oral histories the world over, and collecting and preserving Kentucky’s story.

Timeline highlighting a brief history of the Louie B. Nunn Center, from the first funded oral history project in 1973 to an all-time high interview accession number in 2022.
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18,000+ Accessioned Interviews

50+ Ongoing Interview Projects

60+ Countries Using OHMS

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Top 50 Countdown

To celebrate the Nunn Center’s 50th Anniversary, we'll be sharing some of our most treasured moments, milestones, and oral history interviews from our world-class collection. Like all good parents, we hate playing favorites, and if 18,000 posts didn’t seem like a little much, we’d happily share them all.

To let our oral history librarians get a little sleep, we’ll be bringing you one highlight per week throughout the year. See some highlights that we’ve missed? Post your own favorites on your social media channels using #NunnCenter50 to join the fun.