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Jason Holcomb Custom Harvester oral histories


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

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Jason Holcomb Custom Harvester oral histories, 1980-2010 | Morse Department of Special Collections

By Cynthia A. Harris

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Collection Overview

Title: Jason Holcomb Custom Harvester oral histories, 1980-2010Add to your cart.

Extent: 18.0 Gigabytes

Arrangement: The arrangement has been kept in the original order created by Jason Holcomb.  The collection includes six (6) DVDs containing WAV format interview audio files, PDF format transcripts of the interviews, PDF files of published articles, and scanned photo image files of interviewees with photo indexes between 2008 and 2010.  An index was created for eight (8) interviews in cooperation with the MHAM.

Date Acquired: 01/24/2017

Subjects: Kansas life and culture - Agriculture and rural life

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains oral histories of custom harvesters operating in Kansas and surrounding states. Twenty-five interviews of individuals and couples, some from Mennonite families, were conducted between 2008 and 2010 by Jason P. Holcomb, Associate Professor of Geography, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, in an oral history project partially funded by the Kansas Humanities Council and the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum (MHAM).

This collection consists of 58.7 hours of audio files and the accompanying transcripts of oral history interviews with custom harvesters. Those interviewed were all from the United States except for one participant from Saskatchewan, Canada. American participants were from Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, or North Dakota. The time period discussed in the interviews ranges from pre-World War II to 2010 with first-person accounts of harvest from the 1950s to 2010. All persons interviewed were retired or working custom harvesters, yet the project has a distinct group of interviews, 21.5 hours in length, exclusively with Mennonite custom harvesters. The interviews with Mennonite custom harvesters began when Mr. Schmidt recommended interviewing Waldo and Doris Froese of Inman, KS, one of the communities in the Mennonite settlement area of south-central Kansas. Other communities include Buhler and Moundridge. Dr. Holcomb then recruited others in this area for a separate project that included interview questions pertaining specifically to Mennonite custom harvesters. Dr. Holcomb received grant funding from the Kansas Humanities Council, with sponsorship from the Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum in Goessel, KS, which he used to pay for travel and transcription expenses for these interviews. There is a subject index of the transcripts of the interviews with Mennonites.

Dr. Holcomb obtained 244 complimentary photos and news articles from participants to augment the interviews. Photos were either from the personal collections of those interviewed or were taken by the research team. There are two photo keys that provide captions for the photos. All interviews were conducted between 2008 and 2010.  Questions asked fell into broad categories of family history and background, geography and sense of place, harvester identity and lifestyle, equipment, labor, and, in the case of the Mennonite participants, details about faith and the relationships between faith and the work of custom harvesting, pacifism, and conscientious objector status.

DVD 1 is comprised of Deeds of Gifts, scans of photographs and documents, transcripts and Jason Holcomb’s Oral History K-State Donation.  DVD1 contains two folders.  Folder one is about Waldo Froese and folder two is about Geral and Margie Schmidt.  DVD 3 contains digital wave files of interviews with Keith Albrecht, Jan Altendorf, Leon Bulgin, Keith and Della Dirks, Randy Ediger, Melvin and Vivian Eyster and Archie Franz.  Dvd 4 contains digital wave files of interviews with Rick Farris, Rick and Gary Farris, Larry Hancock, Tom Herberg and Meyer, Irene Hoffman, Perry and Candice Hoffman, Brent Johnson, Joyce Johnson, and Mike Matajcek.  DVD 5 contains digital wave files of interviews with Ken and Pam Pauls, Linda Pauls, Gerry Rattei, Orval Regier, Henry Stock, and Forrest Tupper. DVD 6 contains a digital wave file interview with Les White.

Subject/Index Terms

Kansas life and culture - Agriculture and rural life

Administrative Information

Repository: Morse Department of Special Collections

Access Restrictions: No restrictions.

Use Restrictions: The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Technical Access Note: The DVDs will require a computer or laptop to view.

Acquisition Source: Jason P. Holcomb

Acquisition Method: Donation.

Appraisal Information: Acquired because it documents oral histories of custom harvester families in Kansas.

Preferred Citation: [Item title], [item date], Jason Holcomb Custom Harvester Oral Histories, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Processing Information: Cynthia A. Harris, Library Assistant III, processed the collection and curator David Allen reviewed it, in March 2017.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by DVD:

[DVD 1],
[DVD 2],
[DVD 3],
[DVD 4],
[DVD 5],
[DVD 6],

DVD 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Froese - 1.43 GB, 2008, 2010Add to your cart.

Forese_2010.wav - 824 MB

Waldo Doris Froese 2008 Oral History.wav - 645 MB

Folder 2: Schmidts - 2.44 GB, 2008-2010Add to your cart.

Geral and Margie Schmidt 2009.wav - 1.02 GB

Geral Schmidt 6-30-09.wav - 94.9 MB

Geral Schmidt July 2008 Oral History.wav - 203 MB

Margie Schmidt oral history 2008.wav - 523 MB

Schmidt 2010.Wav - 631 MB

Browse by DVD:

[DVD 1],
[DVD 2],
[DVD 3],
[DVD 4],
[DVD 5],
[DVD 6],

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