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Religious Experiences of Ozarks Women Archived In Database

An instructor of religious studies at Missouri State University has created a way to share the religious experiences of women throughout the Ozarks. KSMU's Jennifer Moore has details.

Lora Hobbs is founder of the archive known as The Religious Lives of Ozarks Women.In this oral history project, Hobbs says students and other young people interview women of various ages and faiths, emphasizing the spiritual journeys the women have been on."I think when people can tell their stories, that's meaningful to them. And they give value to things they might not realize are valuable," Hobbs says.There is also a focus on inter-generational story telling. The database of stories was launched in the fall of 2008, and Hobbs says she uses technology to preserve the women’s voices and memories.

"There's an online archive, and there's also a library archive at Meyer [Library]. And that contains typed transcripts of the interviews, the audio recordings of the interviews, summaries of the interviews, photographs and any other related material," Hobbs said.She said some of the most incredible stories have come from women in small towns like Gainesville or Blue Eye, and that many of the women being interviewed didn’t realize how significant their own stories were until they shared them with someone else.

The denominations and faiths of the women range from Baptist to Buddhist to Ba’hai.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.

(KSMU Reporter Emma Wilson contributed to this report).


Religious Lives of Ozarks Women Database