A.J. Anderson interviewed by John Ericksen (December 24 1975)
A.J. Anderson interviewed by John Ericksen (December 24 1975)

Community Improvement Through Local History Project Oral Histories

The Community Improvement Through Local History Project was an initiative conceived by Charles S. Peterson of Utah State University’s (USU) Man and His Bread Museum (now independently run as the American West Heritage Center), History and Geography department head William F. Lye, and the Utah State Historical Society’s Coordinator of Collections and Preservation Jay M. Haymond. They received a grant for the project from USU’s Kellogg Quality of Rural Life Program in 1973. Later funding came from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The goals of the project were four-fold:

1. To more fully utilize local history as a resource by which the quality of rural life may be improved 2. To involve rural people in identifying their local history and applying it in such a way as will enhance the quality of life 3. To establish local organizations which will foster and facilitate the involvement of people and apply history to community needs on an ongoing basis 4. To train leaders in each target community in the methods by which local history is identified and applied.

This digital collection contains recordings from various oral history projects and events likely connected to USU’s Community Improvement Through Local History Project. These recordings were almost exclusively created in the 1970s or earlier, and many of the interviewees who talk about their early life experiences growing up in the West were born between the 1880s and 1920s.

Funding for the digitization of these materials was provided, in part, by the Utah Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement.