We are so pleased that you are interested in the Southwest Collection's Oral History Collections.
All of our oral histories are available to be heard in-person, in the reading room of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. Newer interviews with release forms will have a link on their page if a transcript exists. Due to copyright, we are unable to stream or duplicate interviews for researchers who cannot travel to Lubbock. Exceptions: copies can be made for family members or for people who have the consent of the interviewee and/or the interviewee’s family. Please contact reference staff if you have any questions on this policy.
Visiting the Southwest Collection Procedures
For the safety and preservation of the original recordings, the Audio/Visual staff MUST digitize all interviews for patron usage and then will provide a CD to listen to in-house. If you travel to the Southwest Collection, you will not be handling the interview in its original format but instead will be listening to a digitized copy of the original interview. Because of our digitization workload, any researcher interested in listening to oral history interviews must make requests through our reference staff at least three weeks in advance. In your request, please include the name of interviewee and date of interview. Reference staff will check our holdings, confirm with Audio/Visual staff a more specific time frame for digitization, and then coordinate a time for you to visit.
Please note: the oral history collection is in a transitional stage. We are currently digitizing all of the 6,350 interviews in our holdings. This is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but the end result will allow patrons easier access. Roughly 3,415 of the interviews have been digitized at this point (March 2017), and it is possible that the interviews you are interested in have already been digitized. We hope to have completed the digitization process in the next four years, and the three week wait time will be eliminated completely to the normal one to two days advance notice requirement of archival materials. We thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.