Structure and Agency: Learning about History through Processing TAVP's Archive
By Sharla Biefeld
Formatting, transcribing, auditing, syncing: rinse and repeat.
It would have been easy for TAVP to recruit interns, train them and then set them to work. However, this formulaic approach and slavish adherence to a set of rules goes against what an oral history archive stands for. An oral history archive strives to narrate pieces of history through individuals' lived experiences. However, no experience exists in a vacuum, and we are all shaped and driven by the structures of history we inhabit. Joyce Hazzard Easley, Keith Brooks, Kristin Houle, and David Atwood each narrate a unique experience, but through each we can also discern patterns, and each may be representative of the way Texans have experienced recent history.