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Voices of Women

Decorative graphicOhio State University women have played vital roles in shaping the university since its founding. Although we have the basic historical facts about the roles of university women students, faculty and staff, (a historical record of some of the women and their contributions can be found in The Wonen's Place's "An Encyclopedia of Pathbreaking Women at The Ohio State University") we are missing the stories of women as told in their own voices.

It is these stories, told from the context of the institution, that will provide the richness and insight we need to really understand their story and our shared history. These stories will help describe the legacy of the women's movement at Ohio State and its long lasting impact.

Given this, The Women's Place and University Archives are joining in an effort, coordinated by the two former directors of The Women's Place, Judy Fountain Yesso and Deb Ballam, to gather the voices of women who have worked to change the institutional systems.

This "Voices of Women" project will preserve women's stories through oral interviews with women students, faculty and staff about their years at the university. The voices will be documented both in text format and the actual voice of the woman interviewed and will become a permanent record as part of the University Archives.

You can listen to the recordings on the Knowledge Bank website.

In addition, the Knowledge Bank offers an episode of Buckeye History Live that combines excerpts from five oral histories from the Voices of Women project. The excerpts come from interviews with Deb Ballam, emeritus professor of business and former director of The Women’s Place; Rudine Sims Bishop, emeritus professor of education; Shirley Dunlap Bowser, 1956 OSU grad and former member of the Board of Trustees;Gay Hadley, former assistant vice president for Human Resources; and Susan Hartmann, emeritus professor of history and women’s studies and former director of the Center for Women’s Studies.

In addition, we would like to invite you to participate in the project both by being interviewed and by interviewing others. Keep in mind interviewees must have some kind of relationship with the university.

Here are the steps involved in recording an interview:

  • Come up with a few dates and times that you and the interviewee are available
  • Contact Kevlin Haire (haire.14@osu.edu) to record the interview and secure an available room
  • Interviewees will be supplied with a basic list of questions before the interview
  • The recordings are generally made in the University Archives conference room, 2700 Kenny Road
  • Once the recording is done, it will be transcribed and sent to the interviewee for review
  • The final step is putting the recordings into the Knowledge Bank

If you would like to get an idea of what the recordings are like before doing an interview, visit the Knowledge Bank link above. We hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to preserve women's history.