The heart of the Multimedia Archives is over 2000 hours of recorded interviews conducted by historians and folklorists who have talked with men and women whose lives and stories provide in depth information about the Memphis/Delta Region.
These interviews have been recorded in homes and offices, juke houses and cafes, churches and festivals, television and radio stations where these people lived and worked lending them a unique documentary perspective.
Musicians and performers describe how they learned their music from rural harmonica players to contemporary urban poets. Artists talk about how family and neighbors became their subjects and how found objects from wood to cloth to bottle caps became their brush. Caterers and cooks talk about food preparation and regional and ethnic foods they use. People talk about how their religious experiences and communities provide emotional and physical balance for their families. People who have lived in the region for generations talk about the histories of their towns and communities while newcomers talk about their journeys to the American South.
While the majority of the narratives were conducted and directed by Center Staff, other tapes and cassettes in the collection were donated by community historians and researchers.