The Kansas Oral History Project, Inc. (KOHP) is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is collecting, transcribing, and making available to researchers and the public, oral histories of various aspects of life in Kansas, particularly public policy-making. KOHP’s work is supported by grants and donations. KOHP does not charge for use of any of the oral histories it collects. Funding for transcribing many of the interviews was provided by grants from Humanities Kansas, a nonprofit cultural organization connecting communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life. Collections also were supported by grants from Evergy and ITC Great Plains. Many generous individuals also have supported KOHP since its founding.
KOHP is uniquely qualified to conduct these interviews. Its Board of Directors includes former elected officials, educators and historians, community leaders and volunteers. Board members are actively involved in various KOHP efforts. A variety of volunteers with background in Kansas policy-making have been trained in oral history collection techniques and have conducted interviews for the KOHP.
The Kansas Oral History Project, Inc. began this work in 2015 and was incorporated in 2016. A systematic framework for collecting legislative oral histories was developed and documented using the best practices of oral history. Those practices include professionally transcribing the interviews, and placing transcripts and recordings in a repository where they are available to the public, such as the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Historical Society, and this website.
Looking to the future, the KOHP plans to use its oral history recordings to produce civic education materials for schools and the general public. Kansas Oral History Project’s interviews represent a wealth of information for understanding leadership, public policy and the process of law-making.