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About this collection

This collection is comprised of transcriptions of oral history interviews conducted with a group of Cheney women by the Women's Programs of Eastern Washington University. The final product of the project was a small book, Community Builders: The Women of a Small College Town, published in 1984. The interviews were conducted with a cross-section of women in Cheney, including home-makers, business women, professional women, teachers, and EWU faculty. A total of eighty-four women were interviewed.

The Transcriptions

The oral history interviews were not fully transcribed as part of the oral history project conducted by Women's Programs. The transcription process is usually the most labor-intensive aspect of any oral history project. The collection of cassette tapes, permissions, and summaries of the interviews were transferred to the University Archives in 1984. Gradually, the interviews are being transcribed and uploaded to the archival digital collections.

About the Project

The "Women of a Small College Town" project was undertaken as one of the many projects relating to the centennial of the founding of Eastern Washington University during the 1981-1982 academic year. A committee from the EWU Women's Programs developed the proposal in 1981 to conduct a series of oral history interviews to document the ways in which women have been involved in the community of Cheney. Funding from the Washington Commission for the Humanities was approved for the project in the spring of 1982. Project Directors Dixie Massengale, Norma Smith, and Lee Swedberg oversaw the interview process and collection of biographical data. Interviewers included students from the Communications Studies 304 course, Listening and Interviewing Skills, taught by Shawnna Stockton in winter of 1983. The project included the production of a 38-page book, Community Builders: Women of a Small College Town, utilizing the interviews conducted with a representative group of Cheney women. Following completion of the project, the cassette tapes and other materials generated by the project were transferred to the EWU University Archives in 1984.

Since 1984 the Women's Programs have evolved into the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. The records of the "Women of a Small College Town" project are open to use by researchers under the terms specified in the oral interview agreement. Most interviews are open and usable at this time in the Archives & Special Collections department of the University Libraries.

 
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