Our Research

The research emphases of the Institute for Oral History have evolved since its founding in 1970. Over the years, various projects have grown to become collections, while others were absorbed or combined. The eleven collections below represent the broad rubrics under which discrete projects are currently underway by our faculty, staff, and students, by our Baylor Faculty Research Fellows, and by recipients of our Community and Charlton Oral History Research Grants.

• Arts and Culture: an investigation of the role of cultural expression, particularly music, art, and theater, in American society. Recent topics: Black Sacred Music, Modern Texas Artists, Southwestern Swing Bands, Texas Historical Pageants, Texas Orchestra Directors

• Baylor University: diverse subjects on the history of the university, with a current emphasis on the past twenty-five years. Recent topics: 9-11 Veterans, Army-Baylor MHA Program, Mayborn Museum, BU Senior Administrators, Independence, Texas

• Education: research on trends and developments in education. Recent topics: Black Intellectuals in Texas, WISD's Hillcrest Professional Development School

• Family Life and Community History: studies in social history, with particular emphasis on rural life. Recent topics: Arab Americans in the American South, Birome on the Blackland Prairie, Bremond Polish History, Crystal City, the Jasper Dragging Incident

• Historic Preservation: research on the programs and people dedicated to the cause of caring for Texas' material culture. Recent topics: Texas Courthouse Preservation Program, History of Mother Neff State Park

• Religion and Culture: topics relating to the role of religion in the world. Recent topics: Oral History of Preaching, Oyotunji Narratives, Race and the Church of Christ, Remembering Lynching, Shiloh Voices

• Special: a catch-all category for projects that do not fit into any of the other ten collections. Recent topics: Training Giants: Al Vermeil, the Chicago Bulls, and the Story of Strength, Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission: Texas Liberators

• Texas Baptist History: investigations into the denominational life of Texas Baptists. Recent Topics: South Texas Children's Home, Paisano Baptist Encampment

• Texas Economic History: interviews on the economic life of the state. Recent Topics: Texas Cotton Farmers, Labor Relations in Port Arthur, Texas In Situ Uranium

• Texas Judicial History: interviews with icons of the judicial history of the state. Recent topics: Jack English Hightower, Charles Wallace Barrow

• Waco-McLennan County: interviews related to any aspect of local city or county history. Recent topics: I Remember When: McLennan County before 1960, West, Texas Disaster, Junior League of Waco 


We welcome you to engage with these projects through general searches of our online database, or through the various curated exhibits presented on our website. These offerings are divided into sections based on their activity level, with recent or in-process content listed under "Current Research Projects." 

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Current Research Projects

Past Research Projects