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The University of Texas at Austin


Briscoe Center Acquires Foodways Texas Oral History Archive
Oral history non-profit has documented the cuisine and culture of Texas

Foodways Texas Oral History Archive

October 15, 2013

The Briscoe Center has acquired the Foodways Texas Oral History Archive, a diverse collection of interviews that document the history and culture of Texas cuisine. The archive includes stories about craft breweries, barbecue restaurants, gardening and food co-ops, and iconic Texas restaurants.

"Current and future researchers will have access to the actual words and voices of the Texans who influence, synthesize, learn from, and pass on the state's diverse food culture," says Marvin Bendele, executive director of Foodways Texas.

Foodways Texas was founded in July 2010, to educate future generations about the stories behind the food we eat. The non-profit organization seeks to preserve the vibrant, multi-ethnic culture surrounding food in Texas through oral history projects, documentary films, recipe collections, and scholarly research. Foodways Texas also stages an annual scholarly symposium, supporting seminars, and promoting local food networks. Foodways Texas is an affiliated institute of The Division Of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University Of Texas at Austin.

"The oral histories in the Foodways Texas archive, will allow scholars, community members, and practitioners to talk in a substantive way about the foods we eat, the meanings they have, and the people who shape Texas food history and future," said Elizabeth Engelhardt, Chair of the Department of American Studies at UT.

The collection documents restaurant owners, pitmasters, brewers, farmers, ranchers, and grocers through over 75 hours of audio interviews; 7000 photos; documentary footage; and ephemera including menus, advertising materials, cookbooks, and posters. Social media posts have also been digitally preserved as part of an archive that will continue to grow.

"The Briscoe Center is home to the world's largest collection of Texas-related historical materials, so the Foodways Texas Oral History Archive is a natural fit for our collections," said Don Carlton, executive director for the Briscoe Center.

For more information on Foodways Texas visit:
Watch Foodways Texas video about Mama Sugar: