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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.

Further Information on Usage and Citations

For information on our oral history interview usage and restriction rules, please check out Usage and Citing pages.

Visiting the Southwest Collection Procedures

For the safety and preservation of the original recordings, the Audio/Visual staff has digitized all interviews for patron usage and 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 digital copy of the original interview. All of our estimated 6,350 interviews have been digitized and can be accessed in our Reading Room at any time.

Please contact Reference Staff at least 72 hours prior to your planned arrival to the Southwest Collection to ensure that the interview is ready for you. In your request, please include the name of the interviewee and date of interview. Reference staff can then check our holdings, and confirm or clarify your research needs. Reading Room Information

Traveling to the Southwest Collection

Campus Map

Note on Recording Quality

Please recognize that almost 5,000 of our interviews were done in a pre-digital era and not recorded in professional sound studio environments. Oral histories are most often recorded “in the field”: in homes, offices, classrooms, and other places with small handheld devices. Especially with analog audio tape, there is high probability that the recording will have static, distortion, muffled voices, sudden stops/dropouts/interruptions, and other things that make the speakers sometimes not as clear as our modern ears are accustomed to. Our audio/visual technicians spent countless hours in the mid-2010s to digitize our entire analog oral history holdings and did everything in their capacity to make any difficult recording more audible for researchers. The recordings that you hear are the best of what our technologies can provide us at this time. We welcome further questions and clarifications but recognize that unfortunately, sometimes these interviews are difficult to understand.