TOHA’s joint session for the 121st TSHA Annual Meeting was Using Oral History to Document Rural and Dispersed Communities. The session was presided by TOHA President Perky Beisel.
Voices from Small Places – The Murvaul Creek Communities featured the work of presenters Linda Reynolds (Stephen F. Austin State University), Kelley Snowden (University of Texas at Tyler), and Kurt Terry (Stephen F. Austin State University). This team has created an effort to document the history of small communities (population at or less than 100) and uses photographs and stories that residents have deemed important to their community.
The second presentation, Hispanic Labor Communities Oral History Project, featured the work of Mark Robbins (Del Mar College) and Christine Reiser Robbins (Texas A&M University – Kingsville) which documented the history of farm labor communities like Flinn Farm and the Robstown Migrant Farm Labor Camp in south Texas—the latter featured in an article in the Summer/Fall 2015 issue of The Oral History Review.
Both presentations are evidence of the benefits of cross-disciplinary work and featured the method of conducting place-based oral histories. These presentations also emphasized the importance of building relationships with the community to ensure that the stories reflect the residents and buildings that once inhabited these communities.
To learn more about each of these projects, please visit their websites: