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Oral History

More than 300 oral history interviews have been conducted by faculty and students over a period spanning five decades.

These interviews can be accessed in multiple ways. See the links below to select names from a comprehensive alphabetical list, a list of names based on relationships to the university or the local community, or by a specific oral history project. 

Alternately, researchers may type a name into the search bar at the top right of this page; select the radio button for "this site" to search for a specific keyword within the Oral History collection.

Understanding historical context is an important part of using primary resources.  The University Archives strives to make our historical and digital resources openly available.  Some of these materials may include content that some viewers find objectionable, including images, language, and the presence of negative stereotypes.  It is essential to remember that these materials should be viewed in the context of the relevant time period in which they were created. 

All oral histories are protected by copyright; see the Copyright Statements page for specific information.

Alphabetical name index

The name index is a comprehensive list of all available oral history interviews, organized alphabetically by the name of the interviewee.

The majority of the oral history collection is focused on the University itself, including its people, programs, projects and events.  This list consists of selected interviews that are related to university history, either because of the individual's status as an employee or alumnus, or because the topics discussed include information about the university.

Many of the oral history interviews relate to the local community, from San Marcos to surrounding counties.  This list consists of select interviews by individuals who contributed to the community or because the topic discussed included information about the community.

Oral history projects

Oral history projects are often designed to capture histories related to a specific topic or time period.  Interviews recorded as part of discrete projects are grouped together to facilitate access to the body of work. And, of course, the names of all project-related interviewees are cross-referenced in the alphabetical name index.

  • Emmie Craddock Oral History Collection

* Coming Soon*

Long-time faculty member and two-time San Marcos Mayor, Dr. Emmie Craddock was dedicated to preserving history.  She and her History students conducted dozens of interviews with members of the community.  The subjects of these interviews were often older residents, who talked about their experiences growing up in the 1910s and 1920s. 

Twenty-seven oral history interviews were conducted in 1986-87, in conjunction with GVEC's 50th anniversary.  Long-time customers, board members, and employees were interviewed; topics include how electrical service impacted life in rural Texas, their experience with the co-op, and their hopes for GVEC's future.

What began as a term paper for a graduate historiography class in Fall 1991 soon evolved into a more comprehensive project to document the SWT History Department. Interviews were conducted and transcribed by graduate student Mary A. Allen.

The University collaborated with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Museum of San Marcos on the 100th anniversary of LBJ's birth to collect oral histories relating to Johnson's life and legacy. Forty-nine individuals, interviewed by historian Barbara Thibodeaux, recalled their memories of Johnson.

From 1999-2001, students in the History Department assisted the Johnson Space Center with its state-wide effort to collect oral histories of individuals related to the space program.  NASA maintains the official records; the University Archives holds copies of all interviews conducted by Texas State students.

Often referred to as the "Texas 150" interviews, this oral history project celebrated the State's 150th anniversary in 1986.  The interviewees shared their memories about the university and life in Central Texas, offering a glimpse into the important people, places, and events that define Texas State University and its place in the Lone Star State.

  • University Oral History Project

* Coming soon*

  • War and the Media project

In 1999-2000, journalism professor Gary Rice included oral history interviews in a course for the Honors College.  Students interviewed individuals who served in the military; this collection holds the results of their work.

* Coming Soon*

Throughout the years, a number of oral histories were conducted individually rather than as part of a larger project.

Processing of Oral Histories continues

Because of the unique preservation needs of analog recordings and a frequent lack of transcripts, organizing these interviews will be a long-term project for archives staff.  Recordings on reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes must be reformatted to digital files before transcripts can be created. 

Interviews will be added to the website when transcripts become available.  The inclusion of an audio clip generally indicates that a full audio recording exists; these audio recordings are available on request.  Please note that content and permissions to use these oral history recordings can vary depending on the terms of the agreements signed by individual interviewees.