Salina Public Library has recorded and archived nontraditional, personal, oral histories from residents of Saline County.

“StoryCatchers: Recording the Stories of Our Community” is inspired by StoryCorps, a national oral history project. Equipment for StoryCatchers was purchased with a grant from the Earl Bane Foundation. Interviews were recorded using digital audio equipment. Interviews were conducted as a conversation in which the interviewee is asked questions by someone they already know.

Smoky Hill Museum was a partner on this project.


Recorded Stories

Mike Mattson
Kathy Mastin
Sandy Winters
2016 Smoky Hill River Festival
Harley & Fred Elliott

About Heritage ’76

In 1976, Salina celebrated the bicentennial of our nation. To mark the anniversary, Sally Lambert and Mary Jarvis led Heritage ’76, a project design “to preserve the historic past and to celebrate it through education, research, art, music, photography, and publications.” (The Salina Journal, July 6, 1975).

As a part of the Heritage ’76 Project, a Bicentennial Oral History Committee was formed and tasked with collecting oral histories of older residents by recording their stories on audio cassette tape. The Salina Public Library has housed these tapes for many years. In 2019 the library obtained a grant from the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to prepare to digitize these and other local history audio cassette tapes.

You may click on the button below to see the description of the tapes that resulted from the 2019 grant. If you are interested in listening to these tapes you are welcome to come to the library to do so. In 2020 the Salina Public Library will pursue a second grant that will enable us to complete the digitization of these audiotapes so those interested will be able to listen to them on our website.

Oral History Conversion Project

The oral history recording of Raymond I. Hagler was part of Heritage ’76. To accompany the StoryCatcher project, the library has made Hagler’s interview available below:

Kansas Stories of the Vietnam War

In 2018, Salina Public Library was one of 12 organizations that partnered with the Kansas Humanities Council for a statewide oral history project that collected the personal stories of Vietnam veterans. Collected oral histories were submitted to the Library Congress’ Veterans History Project in Washington, D.C.


Additional Resources

Learn more about the program that inspired StoryCatchers