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Audio: Disk, Tape and CD Sound Recordings

Oral Histories and Recollections
Over the last forty years Austin History Center staff, along with hundreds of volunteers, have made oral history tape recordings documenting the rich and colorful history of more than 400 local residents and public figures. This collection also includes audio tapes recorded during historical marker dedication ceremonies, as well as tapes of local radio interviews from the 1970s. In addition, researchers have donated interview tapes created during the course of studying Austin's history. For instance, Anthony Orum donated tapes he recorded in the process of writing his books, Power, Money and the People: the Making of Modern Austin and City Building in America.

Transcripts exist for a number of these oral histories and are available for use in the Reading Room. Some of the tapes also lead to manuscripts and other archival resources in the archives. Our staff can consult an in-house database to determine if we have an oral history for a specific person or on a specific topic.

Oral History Forms:

Photo of Kenneth Threadgill
Kenneth Threadgill. PICB 09271

The Austin History Center has two oral history audio tapes of Kenneth Threadgill. The transcripts of these 1976 interviews can be found in the Threadgill biography file. Our collection includes musical recordings of Threadgill. The photograph on this page is of Kenneth Threadgill at the Split Rail in 1971, and is one of several photographs we have of him.

Even before Austin declared itself the "Live Music Capital of the World," the Austin History Center began collecting and preserving examples of music from the local scene. Included in the sound recording collection are the recordings of artists such as Ken Threadgill, Joe Ely, the Grey Ghost, the Thunderbirds, Uranium Savages, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Recordings produced by local groups such as the Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir and Crockett High School are available in the music collection.

The Austin Music Network
The Austin Music Network began documenting live performances in clubs and venues around Austin in 1994. The Archives of the Austin Music Network are now part of the Austin History Center collection. Music & Entertainment Television, launched by Austin Music Partners, took over the channel in 2005, and many of their shows are available at the Austin History Center.

Government Documents
As the depository for archival City of Austin documents, we have audio tapes for many of the City's board and commission meetings. For instance, many of the Library Commission meetings, the Austin Tomorrow meetings, and the New Airport Temporary Task Force meetings are documented on cassette tape and are available for review here at the Center.

Video Tapes

Government Documents
City Council meeting videotapes from 1984 through the present are available to the public in the archives of the Austin History Center. Other government board and commission meeting videotapes are also available. The Parks and Recreation Board, the Planning Commission, the Charter Revision Committee, the Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, and the Telecommunications Commission are among the many government bodies whose meetings have been videotaped by Channel 6, the City of Austin government access channel, and archived here. Facilities are available for self-service duplication; just bring your own blank video tape.

Local News Broadcasts
Video recordings of television news from each of four local network affiliates--ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC--are archived here. These video tapes span the time period of 1983 to the present. Logbooks listing the stories from the daily broadcasts are available upon request in the Reading Room. Duplication of the broadcasts is available only from Teleclip Inc.

Productions Concerning our Local Community
Our collection also includes video tapes produced by government agencies and nonprofit groups to inform the public. We have, for instance, videos produced by the local Police Department and Bat Conservation International. In addition, the collection contains videos produced for pure entertainment by local individuals or groups. All of these videos produced to educate or entertain are listed on the Austin Public Library's online catalog.

Explore our other collections.