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The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History Sound Archives contain some 100,000 recordings of both music and the spoken word in a variety of sound formats ranging from early cylinders to the modern CD. Many of these recordings are readily accessible to researchers at the Briscoe Center, while others will require transfer to a modern format.
The Center’s extensive collections of spoken-word recordings include formal oral history as well as reminiscences, speeches, and public events.
The collection documents the development of the Texas oil industry from the turn of the century to 1950. It includes 218 taped interviews of oral reminiscences recalled by pioneers in all phases of oil fields and oil booms--roughnecks, drillers, promoters, financiers, contractors, leasemen and law officers.
From November 2003 to April 2005, Briscoe Center historians Dr. Patrick Cox and Dr. Michael Phillips interviewed then-current Speaker Craddick and nine former Texas House speakers.
The Legacy of R.L. Moore Project helps advance studies of the mathematician Robert Lee Moore (1882-1974), thereby promoting the study of more effective methods of learning and teaching. The R. L. Moore Legacy Collection consists of oral histories, conference materials, student notes, reminiscences, photographic materials, theses, dissertations, administrative files, and articles.
Major oral history collections include three related to the petroleum industry: Oral History of the Texas Oil Industry, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalties Organization (TIPRO), and the milestone Pennzoil-Texaco Dispute Oral History.
Other major resources include:
Texas Business Oral History
Shirley Bird Perry University of Texas Oral History Project
Texas Speakers Oral History
U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project
Significant individual oral histories include those associated with archival collections. These oral histories and many more are accompanied by complete transcripts; some of them have formed the basis for publications by the Center. Examples include:
Many smaller oral history collections document the lives and activities of Texas pioneer descendants, musicians, artists, writers, homemakers, political and business leaders, sheriffs, military veterans, educators, and other individuals from many walks of life. Among these, the Allan Turner Oral History Collection deserves special attention for embracing both music and other subjects.
The Center houses almost 50,000 music and music-related sound recordings among its extensive resources documenting the musical history of Texas and the greater South and Southwest. Many of these recordings are components of larger collections that feature different kinds of materials, as in the case of the Townsend Miller Collection or Bob Johnston Collection. Some are field recordings made by various folklorists, as in the UT Folklore Center Archives, while many others are commercial recordings that document the output of the music industry in Texas and elsewhere, such as the Texas Music Collection. Still another category consists of music broadcasts, such as the series, “Live Set,” to be found in the UT KUT/Longhorn Radio Network Records. Again, the sound formats represented in all these music recordings embrace the history of recorded sound from early cylinders to modern digital technology. For full information on the Center’s music resources, consult the Music section under "Collection Strengths" on this Web site.