In November 2015, Northeast Alabama Community College received a State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) grant for the preservation and digitization of the oral history interviews conducted by Jackson County author Dr. Ronald H. Dykes. NACC was one of nineteen local government or local historical entities across Alabama to receive a SHRAB grant for 2015. SHRAB uses funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission State Board Programming Grant to identify, preserve, and provide access to Alabama’s Historical Records.
During the process of writing four books, which were sponsored by the Jackson County Historical Association, Dr. Dykes conducted audio interviews with Jackson County natives. The title of the books were Growing Up Hard: Memories of Jackson County, in the Early Twentieth Century; Fighting the Just War: Military Experiences of Jackson County, Alabama, Residents in World War II; Building Bridges and Roads in the Korean Conflict: History of Company B, from Scottsboro, Alabama, During the "Forgotten War"; and "They Wouldn't Let Us Win": Jackson County, Alabama, Veterans Relive the Vietnam War. Because many of the interviewees are now deceased, Dr. Dykes notes the importance of these audiotapes: “The voices on these tapes are the closest thing we have that offers some insight into how these individuals sounded and into their personalities,” he said.
Through this grant, NACC is able to make these interviews available digitally via its partnership with Alabama Mosaic (www.alabamamosaic.org). “Tapes are bulky and tend to deteriorate,” Dr. Dykes notes. “Fortunately, due to the efforts of Blake Wilhelm and Julia Everett at NACC, the tapes have been digitized, which will provide much longer-term preservation of the actual interviews and make them more widely available.” The interviews will be available on Alabama Mosaic beginning April 25, 2016.
For more information, contact Everett at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2226, or Wilhelm at ext. 2288. E-mail them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional college information, go to www.nacc.edu or download the college’s free App from the App Store or by going to www.naccmobile.com.