The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries has launched an online digital exhibit featuring three significant oral history projects documenting the life and career of author and poet Robert Penn Warren. This digital exhibit brings together the interviews conducted with Warren, over 30 interviews conducted with Warren’s colleagues and friends about Robert Penn Warren, as well as 43 of Warren’s interviews relating to the Civil Rights Movement conducted in 1964 for his book Who Speaks for the Negro?, which was published in 1965. This project includes interviews conducted by Warren with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, James Farmer, Vernon Jordan, Whitney Young, and many others.
All of these interviews can be searched and listened to utilizing the innovative OHMS system which connects the user from a textual search to the corresponding moment in the audio interview. If you search the 1964 interview Martin Luther King Jr. for the word “revolution” it takes you to the moment with Warren and Dr. King discuss the revolutionary aspects of the Civil Rights Movement. Visit the exhibit and search, listen, explore, and learn!
These three oral history projects are a significant component of the extensive collections pertaining to Kentucky authors preserved by the University of Kentucky’s Special Collections Research Center and the Nunn Center.