About the Program
The Reichelt Oral History Program strives to:
1. Collect, preserve, and share oral histories that provide diverse, coherent, and integrated resources for use by scholars and the interested public in accordance with the highest standards of the oral history community.
2. Emphasize regional voices representative of Tallahassee, Florida,
and Florida State University; national experiences of World War II, the
Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, and more recent United States
3. Play an active role in training graduate and undergraduate students in
the fields of oral history collection, preservation, and research.
4. Assist citizen groups and organizations within the state with the
identification and collection of oral history materials through training
workshops and lectures.
Reichelt Oral History Program
“Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving
and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and
participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of
historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most
modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st
century digital technologies.” 1
The Reichelt Oral History Program began in 1969 under the
auspices of Dr. Edward F. Keuchel, with the intent of teaching oral
history techniques to students while documenting FSU’s history. In
1996, with the encouragement of university president Sandy
D’Alemberte, the program was established permanently as an entity
within the History Department. The focus expanded to include not
only the unique aspects of the history of the University, but also the
rich heritage of Florida State College for Women, and
In 1998, at the request of Dr. William Oldson and the Institute
for World War II and the Human Experience, the program expanded its
mission to include oral histories with veterans of World War II, the
Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, and other military endeavors. 2
In 1999, the program was the beneficiary of a generous
endowment to the university, earmarked specifically for oral history,
that has permitted its collection and teaching mission to continue and
expand. The Reichelt Oral History Program currently contains more
than 2100 interviews, and provides oral history training and primary
source materials for students, faculty, and the general public.
The Reichelt Oral History Program obtains its subjects both as volunteers and by invitation. If you are interested in contributing your story to the collection, see the Contributing an Interview section for details.