Oral History Project Brings Past to Life


(Abridged from original article)

In January 2009, Dr. James Tagg, Professor Emeritus of the history department, initiated a project to conduct, collect, digitize and make accessible interviews with individuals intimately connected with the early years of the University of Lethbridge.

According to the Oral History Association, “Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.”

The University Archives, together with the Department of History, has taken on the important role of ensuring that the collection is preserved and accessible to the University community.

While the project is largely complete, it is still a work in progress. It can be accessed on campus from the University Archives web page at digitallibrary.uleth.ca/cdm/singleitem/collection/oralhistory/id/44/rec/1.

Dr. Tagg joined the Department of History in 1969. During his tenure here, he served as assistant dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Tagg, who retired in 2003, devoted much of his time to the advancement of liberal education here at the University.

This oral history project provides the University with a distinctive and valuable way to capture the early history of our institution. Together with all the interviewees, Tagg has captured the lived experiences of individuals forever linked to the U of L. It will serve as an enduring legacy to our institutional memory.

Mike Perry is the University Archivist

The full story first appeared in the February 2012 edition of The Legend here.