Since January 2017 I have been spending most of my time recording oral histories for Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries. These histories capture the experiences of a cross-section of Tucsonans—what it was like to grow up in a Chinese grocery store, or be the second black graduate from the UA Law School, or move to Tucson to be closer to the Yaqui community. As an archive, we do have some old collections with deeply personal accounts like these, but the last generation of letter writers is vanishing and we're trying to take the initiative and start recording the stories that will never make it to paper, let alone to paper that miraculously finds its way into the archive.
This episode will give you a brief glimpse into these stories and, along the way, explain why I have been neglecting Tucsonense recently. I've left identifying information out of the piece because I wanted to focus on Tucson experiences rather than individuals but, rest assured, all of the details will be available when we start posting these stories through the Libraries. Until then, I hope this whets your appetite. I will be back with more Tucsonense episodes in a few months.
Thanks to Anthony Sanchez for the episode's music. He is a composer, modular-synthesizer connoisseur, and even a subject librarian at the UA. If you like his work, you can find more of it here. Thanks also to the University of Arizona Libraries and Special Collections for making all of these oral histories possible.