Under the direction of Delmar D. Gott, former Library Director, the library started the Oral History Collection, which is now one of the most significant collections in the Dixie State University Special Collections and Archives. This collection covers the contiguous geographic and cultural area of Utah’s Dixie, especially Washington County; Southeastern Nevada (the Big Muddy Region), and the Arizona Strip. The size and scope of the collection is thanks in large part to the generous donors and partners that have contributed to its expansion. The transcription of this large collection, which now includes over 1,000 audiotapes, continues and is accomplished with the assistance of generous volunteers.
Some highlights of the Collection include:
Voices of Remembrance Oral History Collection
(441 audiotapes) This oral history project, started in the late 1960s under the direction of Melvin Blomquist and the Voices of Remembrance Foundation, focused on recording mainly the spiritual memories of identified Washington County residents who were sixty years of age and above. Audiotapes of these interviews were donated by The Voices of Remembrance Foundation. The original reel-to-reel tapes are housed in the Special Collections Library, Sherritt Library, Southern Utah University. Transcriptions are available for the majority of these interviews, with the exception of a few due to poor audio quality. The tapes were transcribed in part through a grant from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University and community donations.
Delmar D. Gott Oral History Collection
(70 audiotapes) Delmar D. Gott, former director of the library, contacted local residents and community leaders and personally recorded 70 oral interviews between the years 1965–1990. This collection contains interviews with a variety of people discussing their lifestyles (ranching, farming, government, business, etc.) and the lives of their pioneer ancestors. Transcriptions for these interviews are available, due to grants from the Utah State Historical Society and the Utah Humanities Council.
Douglas D. Alder/Karl F. Brooks Oral History Collection
(80 audiotapes) This collection is a result of local interviews conducted during research for the Centennial County History Series book A History of Washington County: From Isolation to Destination. Transcriptions for these interviews are available due to grants from the Utah State Historical Society and the Utah Humanities Council.
Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Collection
This collection has been made available at Dixie State University Library through a partnership with the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, National Park Service/Bureau of Land Management Office, St. George, Utah. These interviews contain recollections about ranching on the Arizona Strip. Interviews include those conducted by GCPNM staff and a small, personal collection of interviews donated by a current rancher.
Dixie Pioneers and Storytellers Oral History Collection
(66+ audiotapes) This growing collection is consists of recordings of local history classes conducted by ICL through the auspices of Dixie State University for retirees in the local community. New recordings are added periodically (irregular). Transcriptions for these interviews are available in part due to grants from the Utah State Historical Society.
Santa Clara-Virgin River Flood (2005) Oral History Collection
(100 audiotapes) This collection consists of audiotapes and other ephemera collected by local community members to record personal memories of this event. The audiotapes were used in the compilation of the book Portraits of Loss, Stories of Hope created as a fund-raiser for victims of the 2005 floods. A grant from the Utah State Historical Society and Utah Humanities Council assisted with the organization, reformatting, and preservation of this collection.