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Oral Histories - Houston History Project

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

African American Studies

Arts

Business

Culture

Disaster Response and Recovery

Education

Energy Development

Environmental Issues

Galveston (Tex.) History

Houston (Tex.) History

Immigration

Law

Medicine

Mexican American Studies

Native American Studies

Philanthropy

Politics

Religion

LGBTQ People

Sports

University Of Houston

Women's History



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Oral Histories - Houston History Project, 1996- | University of Houston Libraries

By Reddy Guntaka, Tanmay Wagh, Madhuri Keshavarao, Tai Luong

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Collection Overview

Title: Oral Histories - Houston History Project, 1996-View associated digital content.

ID: 07/2006-005

Primary Creator: Houston History Project

Extent: 25.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Oral histories are arranged numerically. Identifers include the Houston History Archives (HHA) number, interviewee's name, and subject module. Interviews consist of typewritten transcripts and audio interviews, presently available for reading and listening in the Special Collections Department of M.D. Anderson Library.

All formats for an interview are shelved by number in appropriate storage boxes.  Transcripts (typed pages) are housed in record cartons, audiotapes and CDs are housed in specialty boxes.  Each format includes sequential numbers appropirate  boxes. Because boxes and formats are configured differently, Box 1 in one format does not hold the same set of interview numbers as Box 1 in another format. However, searching for a specific interview number across formats will  produce all available interivew materials for that interviewee.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2005

Subjects: African-American studies, Arts, Business, Culture, Disaster response and recovery, Emigration and immigration, Energy development, Environmental issues, Medicine, Mexican Americans - Study and teaching, Native American studies, Religion, Sports, Women’s history

Forms of Material: Audiocassettes, Compact discs, Interviews, Sound recordings, Transcripts

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

When UH’s Center for Public History and the University Libraries collaborated to create the Houston History Archives (UH-HHA), part of their mission included a repository for oral histories that tell stories of the growth and development of the Gulf Coast region from multiple points of view.  To that end, the Houston Oral History Project in the Center for Public History trains history graduate students to research and interview Houstonians with recollections of the city’s civil rights, women’s, cultural, political, or medical past.  In furtherance of the mission, the UH Oral History Project entered into a collaboration with the City of Houston that will bring to the UH repository interviews of one hundred of Houston’s leaders from all walks of life.  Another large collection headed for the repository is the Offshore Energy Oral History Project, a collaboration among several UH professors and other universities to document  the growth of the oil refining industry along the Gulf Coast before and after World War II.  Topics available include interviews with Katrina emergency responders in Houston, a series of interviews with African American (black) generals, interviews with members of Houston's Indo-Asian population, and interviews from the Afro-American Physicians project, as well as a number of other topics.

Related Materials:

Oral Histories from the Houston History Project digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory)

Biographical Note

Joseph Pratt, Ph.D., in the UH Center for Public History, established the Houston History Project to expand and improve the research done on Houston and to serve as a learning laboratory for public history students.  Professor Pratt recognized the appropriateness of a publication supported by both  a research component and a repository for archival collections and oral histories to accomplish these goals.  All three elements – Houston History magazine, the UH Oral History Program, and the Houston History Archives -- reinforce one another and add to our understanding of Houston’s history by recording, reporting, and preserving the narrative of Houston’s past.  Together, the Houston History Project’s three components contribute to the University of Houston’s mission and realize the university’s strategic initiatives.

Subject/Index Terms

African-American studies
Arts
Business
Culture
Disaster response and recovery
Emigration and immigration
Energy development
Environmental issues
Medicine
Mexican Americans - Study and teaching
Native American studies
Religion
Sports
Women’s history

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electric form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collection staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyrights holders.

Related Materials: Oral Histories from the Houston History Project digital collection For more information please see http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory.

Preferred Citation: Oral Histories-Houston History Project. Courtesy of Special Collection, University of Houston Libraries.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: African American Studies],
[Series 2: Arts],
[Series 3: Business],
[Series 4: Culture],
[Series 5: Disaster Response and Recovery],
[Series 6: Education],
[Series 7: Energy Development],
[Series 8: Environmental Issues],
[Series 9: Galveston (Tex.) History],
[Series 10: Houston (Tex.) History],
[Series 11: Immigration],
[Series 12: Law],
[Series 13: Medicine],
[Series 14: Mexican American Studies],
[Series 15: Native American Studies],
[Series 16: Philanthropy],
[Series 17: Politics],
[Series 18: Religion],
[Series 19: LGBTQ People],
[Series 20: Sports],
[Series 21: University Of Houston],
[Series 22: Women's History],
[All]

Series 10: Houston (Tex.) History
Box 14
Item 798: 00798_Cooper, Holly_Women's History[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Debbie Harwell

Project: University Of Houston

Houston Pilot Holly Cooper discusses how she came to be a pilot, following her father’s suggestion to turn her love for the water into a career. After attending Texas A&M in Galveston, she began sailing on foreign-flagged ships working her way up from third mate, second mate, chief mate, to captain with an unlimited master’s ticket. Often the only woman on board a ship, she discusses the challenges that women faced getting into the profession both at sea and as pilots. A pilot’s job is local knowledge of the waterway, and Captain Cooper describes in detail the uniqueness of working the Houston Ship Channel, which is much longer, more narrow, and winding than other ports. In addition, it has become the nation’s largest port in terms of traffic. It requires specific procedures for pilots to follow, particularly when large tankers are passing in close quarters. Cooper details the steps to taking a boat out to sea, explains how pilot boats are used to transport pilots to and from their ships, the dangers of boarding and disembarking, and training protocols for new pilots. She also discusses the changes she has seen implemented along the channel over the last twenty years of her service.

Item 799: 00799_Cotham, Edward_Civil war[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Amado “Izzy” Yznaga

Project: University Of Houston

Civil War historian Edward Cotham discusses the personal and military history of Confederate hero, Dick Dowling. A Houston businessman and entrepreneur, Dowling owned several saloons in Houston , most notably the Bank of Bacchus, speculated in oil and gas leases in Harris and Jefferson Counties before the discovery of oil at Spindletop, and was recognized for his charitable efforts in the community. He is most well-known, however, for leading a group of Irish soldiers from Houston to victory at the Battle of Sabine Pass. Cotham explains the particulars of the battle, beginning with how the men practiced their artillery marksmanship, and moving on to the layout of battle area, Dowling’s strategy to let the men vote whether or not to engage the Union forces that out-numbered them a hundred to one, and the Confederates’ overwhelming victory. Cotham believes that the victory changed the way local people, at least thought about the Irish who previously had been considered inferior but had clearly saved Houston from certain Union invasion. Dowling returned to Houston a decorated war hero and reopened his bar but died just two years later at the age of thirty. He contracted yellow fever while staying in town to care for others who had contracted the disease. Confederate president Jefferson Davis spoke often of Dowling’s effort as the greatest military victory in history.

Item 803: 00803_Garwood, Susan Clayton_William Clayton[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Alex Colvin

Project: University Of Houston

Susan Clayton Garwood, the great-granddaughter of Houston cotton magnate, William Lockhart Clayton, (1880-1966) begins by discussing her childhood memories of Will Clayton and the numerous dinners at Clayton House, 5300 Caroline, in Houston. She also discusses her father, former Texas Supreme Court justice, Wilmer St. John Garwood, Jr. and her visits to Austin with her grandfather, Wilmer St. John Garwood, Sr., also, a Texas Supreme Court justice. The interview explores her early interest in Houston architectural perseveration, based on her experience with her inherited estate, the Clayton summer home in River Oaks, a miniature Mount Vernon, designed by Birdsall Briscoe. Her love of the property infused her with a lifelong passion for preservation. This later led her to try thwarting the demolition of a Birdsall Briscoe-designed home in her neighborhood, which had ties to her family. That effort, which was caught on camera by local news station, Channel 13, however, sparked her interest and drive to renovate Clayton House, in a three-year, multi-million-dollar private/public project that resulted in its restoration. In her quest to restore the gardens, which comprise a sizeable portion of the estate‟s block-wide lot, Susan Clayton Garwood researched the types of plants used in 1917 and likely flourished on the grounds when the home was built. The reintroduction of period fauna served as a capstone to the project‟s years-long restoration. Today, the home is part of the Houston Public Library‟s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. Garwood continues to visit the garden and plant flowers, demonstrating her dedication to the home she knew as a child.

Box 15
Item 00839: 00839_Lambert, Tom [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

interviewer : Ben Lueders

Project : University of Houston

Tom Lambert, the CEO of Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County discusses the history of transit in Houston, including popular modes of travel and the reasons for their popularity. The interview focuses on the period immediately preceding and since the creation of METRO in 1979 to reorganize public transit in Houston and the surrounding areas. The company quickly made a large impact on Houston’s transportation infrastructure, and drastically improved the state of public transit in the city. Mr. Lambert details METRO’s strategies for successfully reinventing transit in Houston, detailing several proposals, many of which were successful and others that were never implemented. Lastly, he discusses recent attempts by METRO to improve and streamline service in the Houston area, including the development of Houston’s METRO Rail service, which began service in 2004. Mr. Lambert also discusses numerous expansions that have occurred in the city of Houston, as well a number of future expansions that will help alleviate congestion. He discusses plans such as further developments to the METRO Rail system and a transition to a grid system that will tie METRO into more employers. Mr. Lambert also discusses METRO’s partnerships including those with TranStar and the Gulf Coast Rail District.


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: African American Studies],
[Series 2: Arts],
[Series 3: Business],
[Series 4: Culture],
[Series 5: Disaster Response and Recovery],
[Series 6: Education],
[Series 7: Energy Development],
[Series 8: Environmental Issues],
[Series 9: Galveston (Tex.) History],
[Series 10: Houston (Tex.) History],
[Series 11: Immigration],
[Series 12: Law],
[Series 13: Medicine],
[Series 14: Mexican American Studies],
[Series 15: Native American Studies],
[Series 16: Philanthropy],
[Series 17: Politics],
[Series 18: Religion],
[Series 19: LGBTQ People],
[Series 20: Sports],
[Series 21: University Of Houston],
[Series 22: Women's History],
[All]

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