LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2011) − Doug Boyd, director of the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, was featured on the June 15 episode of the NPR (National Public Radio) program "All Things Considered." In the wake of a Boston College court case that is attempting to keep secret interviews the college conducted with Irish and British paramilitary fighters involved in the conflict in Northern Ireland, Boyd reflects on confidentiality issues related to oral histories.
In the story "A Fight To Keep Northern Ireland Interviews Secret" by Tovia Smith, Boyd notes that interviewers will need to make their subjects aware of the risks they are taking sharing sensitive information in an oral history.
"It's very different when talking about rural farmers in Kentucky," Boyd says. "[You] might say something bad about a brother or neighbor that they don't want on the record. But when you're talking about stories that are going to contain criminal confessions, I think we need to take a very realistic look at what we can and cannot do."
To hear more about Boston College's case and Boyd's thoughts, listen to the story at: www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=137196876&m=137204598.
Boyd received a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University. Before taking the director position of the Nunn Center, he previously managed the digital program for University of Alabama Libraries, served as the director of the Kentucky Oral History Commission, and prior to that as the senior archivist for the oral history and folklife collections at the Kentucky Historical Society. Boyd serves as the co-general editor for the "Kentucky Remembered" series for the University Press of Kentucky, the media review editor for The Oral History Review, and serves on the oral history steering committee for the Society of American Archivists. Boyd received his undergraduate degree in history from Denison University in Granville, Ohio.
UK Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of nearly 8,000 oral history interviews with a large number of interviews available to the public online. Topics are wide-ranging from Appalachia, politics, veterans’ stories, as well as documenting important Kentucky industries such as the horse, coal and bourbon industries. To learn more about the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, visit the center online at www.uky.edu/libraries/nunncenter.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716; Whitney.Hale@uky.edu