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VIDEO: '5 Questions With … UK Libraries' Dean Terry Birdwhistell'

"5 Questions with ... UK Libraries' Dean Terry Birdwhistell"

Video produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2017) Working with his colleagues in the Commonwealth's premier research library to enhance learning and research and to preserve our history and cultural heritage is Terry Birdwhistell, dean of University of Kentucky Libraries and William T. Young Endowed Chair.

Over more than four decades at UK, Birdwhistell has served as associate dean for special collections and digital programs, university archivist, and director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. He helped found and previously served as co-director of the UK Libraries’ Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center. As a noted oral historian, he has conducted more than 800 oral history interviews with Kentuckians from all across Kentucky, as well as with such notables at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lady Bird Johnson.

In addition to his work with UK Libraries, Birdwhistell has served as co-general editor of "Kentucky Remembered: An Oral History Series," published by the University Press of Kentucky. His publications include: "Some Kind of Lawyer: Two Journeys from Classroom to Courtroom and Beyond," Kentucky Law Journal; "Divided We Fall: State College and the Normal School Movement in Kentucky, 1880-1910," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society; and "WHAS Radio and the Development of Broadcasting in Kentucky, 1922-1942," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. He has also been involved in the production of two documentaries broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television: “Kentucky's New Dealer: Ed Prichard Remembers” and “Long Road Back: Vietnam Remembered.” His dissertation, “An Educated Difference: Women at the University of Kentucky through the Second World War,” was completed in 1994. Birdwhistell is a past president of the national Oral History Association.

As you hear in our monthly feature, "5 Questions With….," Birdwhistell's love for the university and the work its library system does is undeniable. Considered the school's longtime historian, he has been instrumental in chronicling the UK story and loves to see how these types of library projects grow with time. "Being an archivist and an oral historian is like planting seeds and you don’t know when they’re going to germinate or what’s going to grow, but it’s fun."

The goal of the UKNow video series "5 Questions With …" is to learn more about the people leading, teaching, healing, discovering and learning at the University of Kentucky. If you think of someone in our community who you would like to see featured, please email us. Who knows? We might just choose your suggestion for our next “5 Questions with …” conversation on UKNow.

photo of Terry Birdwhistell from "5 Questions with ..."
Terry Birdwhistell, Dean of UK Libraries and William T. Young Endowed Chair

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