About the Author

Valerie Raleigh Yow

Valerie Raleigh Yow

Valerie Yow received a Ph. D. in history from the University of Wisconsin. Her first oral history project involved interviewing three generations of women mill workers in Carrboro, North Carolina. She trained interviewers and interviewed in the project on the history of clerical workers in Rhode Island, sponsored by the national organization Nine to Five. She taught history at the University of Rhode Island, at Brooklyn College, and Northern Illinois University. She teaches workshops on oral history and is a consultant on oral history projects.

Valerie has served the Oral History Association in different offices: she was Book Review Editor for the Oral History Review for seven years and recently served on the governing council of the Oral History Association. She is a member of the International Oral History Association. Her book Recording Oral History, was selected by The American Library Association for its list, “Outstanding Academic Titles of 2006.”

Valerie also pursues other passions, writing biography and plays and painting. Her play, In the Service of Others, won first place in the Great Chicago Playwrights Exposition and was produced at the Body Politic Theater in 1987.  Love Creek Productions, New York, produced her play,  Past Tense/Present Tense in February 1995. And her play Betty Smith Meets Carl Jung: Some Memories, Dreams, Reflections was produced in Chapel Hill in 2004. For information on biographies, click on Bernice Kelly Harris: A Good Life Was Writing and Betty Smith: Life of the Author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Valerie Yow appears in the 2009 edition of Who’s Who in America. And also World Who’s Who of Women (15th edition). She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Betty Smith: Life of the Author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Bernice Kelly Harris: A Good Life Was Writing

Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The History of Hera: A Women’s Art Cooperative

Patient Care: A History of Butler Hospital

Bryant College: The First Hundred Years


“Ethics and Interpersonal Relationships in Oral History Research,” Oral History Review 22: 1 (Summer 1995): 51-66.

“Do I Like Them Too Much?”: Effects of the Oral History Interview on the Interviewer and Vice-Versa,” Oral History Review 24: 1 (Summer 1997): 55-79.

“Una cooperativa de mujeres artistas,” Historia antropologia y fuentes orales (Universitat de Barcelona) 16 (1996): 115-121.

“Introduction,” an analysis of Bernice Kelly Harris’s novel Sweet Beulah Land in the 1999 reprint of the 1943 novel (Coastal Carolina Press, 1999).

“Women Clerical Workers” in Charles Stephenson and Robert Asher, eds. Life and Labor (State University of New York Press, 1986)

“Childhood in a Southern Mill Village,” International Journal of Oral History 3: 3 (November 1982) 167-192.

“Farm to Mill Village: Two Lives,” in Marc Miller, ed., Working Lives (1981).

“Textile Women: Three Generations in the Mill,” Southern Exposure 4:3 (1976).

“Workers’ Education: A Confrontation at Ruskin College,” American Journal of Education 92: 1 (November 1983): 52-78.

“In the Classroom and Not At the Sink: Education for British Working-Class Women in the Interwar Years,” British Journal of Education (1991).

“A Crisis in Rhode Island Mental Health Care: The Closing of Butler Hospital in 1955,” Rhode Island History 47:2 (May 1989).


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: