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Military Oral History Collection

Identifier: MS-0510
The oral history collection spans the World War II era through recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. One interview (Frank Buckles) covers World War I service. The majority of the interviews were conducted by VMI cadets taking courses in military history. The interview files and recordings are housed in the VMI Archives.


  • Interviews conducted 2003-2014; Periods covered 1940-2007 (bulk)


Conditions Governing Access

A small number of interviews carry donor access restrictions. Most are available without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


12 cubic feet

Biographical / Historical

The Military Oral History Project was orginally an initiative of VMI's John A. Adams '71 Center for Military History and Strategic Analysis. The Center's first Director, Dr. Kip Muir (served 2002-2011) initiated the oral history program, in which VMI cadets interviewed veterans as part of their military history coursework. The Center continues to see a significant advantage in involving VMI cadets as interviewers, in archival research, in conference presentations, and in publication. Cadets use oral history techniques as part of their classroom work, for capstone and independent research projects, in prize competitions, and for summer internships.

Subsequent cadet-conducted interviews were overseen by the Adams Center second Director, Bradley L. Coleman.

In addition, a 2015 collaborate effort between Dr. Coleman and journalist Lisa Tracy resulted in a number of interviews conducted by Ms. Tracy with VMI World War II alumni. Ms. Tracy is the granddaughter of the VMI Superintendent from that era, Gen. Charles E. Kilbourne.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Online Access

The bulk of this collection is available online. All interview transcripts are presented in complete full-text format and many interviews also include online audio excerpts.
Existence and Location of Copies Digital interview files are stored on the Electronic Archives network drive, MS 0510

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450