Oral Histories

Learn more about North Carolina nurses in their own words. There are oral history collections in archives and libraries across the state. Follow the links to discover oral history interviews with North Carolina nurses. Most of these interviews have audio recordings or transcripts available online.

Institutional Oral History Collections

Many institutions gather and catalog interviews and oral histories to help provide historical context and give voice to people and populations whose experiences would not typically be recorded in traditional records. Here are some selections from various collections across North Carolina institutions.

Oral History Collection Institution
HIS 5579 Project, 2010
Appalachian State University
Behind the Veil Collection
Duke University
DUMCA Oral History Collection
Duke University Medical Center Archives
Sarah Wahab Moore Oral History Interview
East Carolina University Joyner Library
Oral Histories of Public Health Nurses (2010)
NC Public Health Association
Southern Highlands Oral History Collection
UNC Asheville
Voices of Asheville Project
UNC Asheville
Jane Abernethy Plyler Papers, 1979-1980
UNC Chapel Hill
Southern Historical Collection
UNC Chapel Hill
Southern Oral History Program
UNC Chapel Hill
Voices of the New South
UNC Charlotte
Women Veterans Historical Project
UNC Greensboro

Selections from the Internet Archive

Audio Interviews

  • Margaret Baggett Dolan, 1964 - This recording contains Margaret Dolan's commencement speech to the graduates of the East Carolina College of Nursing. She is speaking on love, generosity and the role of nurturing in nursing. May 1964.
  • Lula Owl Gloyne, 1982 - Partial recording of an interview with Lula Owl Gloyne. The portion of Owl Gloyne's story that is available is fascinating. She discusses her training, her nursing exam, and the differences between her education and the ways in which nurses are trained now. She describes her early work in South Dakota: the health problems faced by her patients, her interactions with practitioners of traditional medicine, the language barrier between herself and her patients, local customs, and the scarcity of doctors in the area. She discusses her marriage, which she kept secret for some time so that she could continue working. Owl Gloyne recounts her return to the Qualla Boundary and discusses the health problems and health care on the reservation over the course of her time there. She talks about the opening of the first hospital in Cherokee, her experience delivering babies and providing patient screenings, and the advantages and disadvantages of traditional cooking. She also discusses the travel challenges, from learning to ride a horse to fording streams in her car, that she encountered in her public health career. Owl Gloyne was relatively isolated from other health care providers many times during her career, and she discusses the independence and the responsibility that these circumstances gave her.

Video Interviews