N.C. Women’s Stories to be Preserved


The State Archives of North Carolina is excited to announce the establishment of an Oral History Unit within its Special Collections Section. The unit is headed by oral historian Ellen Brooks, a graduate of the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University. She was previously the oral historian at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. 

Brooks’ first undertaking will be to record and preserve the stories and experiences of women living in North Carolina. As a part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ “She Changed the World: NC Women Breaking Barriers” campaign, this project will focus on North Carolina women who have made an impact in their community or in their profession. She will collect interviews with women of all ages, from across the state. Interviews will be accessible through the State Archives’ website.

“Oral history is the ideal way to share the stories that don’t often get told otherwise,” says Brooks. “A good oral history project seeks out underrepresented voices and helps find them a place in the historical narrative.” Narrators represent a variety of fields, diverse backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles.

Subjects addressed will include the history and current state of women’s rights in North Carolina, challenges and gender stereotypes faced professionally and socially, and misconceptions of gender equality. Although these unifying subjects will be points of discussion for all interviews, each interview will be particular to the narrator. The result will be a collection of interviews as diverse as the women sharing their stories.

If you know someone whose story should be shared, contact Ellen Brooks at Ellen.Brooks@ncdcr.gov or (919) 814-6847.

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