Will they or won’t they?

I am continuing to face obstacles in my quest to get back to UTK to listen to the rest of the oral histories. As you saw in the picture, the collection is substantial, and as there are no abstracts or other notes made of them,  I’m expecting that it will take me another eight to ten days to listen to them all.

The latest complication is that UT’s Special Collections are moving. I found that out over Spring Break, but they originally estimated that they would reopen in early July. With that date, I still had plenty of time over the summer to go back and listen to the rest of the tapes. Last week, however, they posted their new dates: May 6-July 31. That’s right; they’ll be closed almost all of summer.

My original plan was to pray that they reopened on time and then go to Knoxville for the first two weeks of August. Classes here don’t start until August 20, so as long as things on their end don’t get pushed back further, I could just squeak the trip in. Then today, a new option opened up. One of my friends at the Southern Historical Collection said that if UT would send them the boxes, the SHC would care for them. I know that it isn’t usual practice for an archive to lend out their materials, but the Interlibrary Loan representatives here at UNC said they would work on it.

So, will UT bend the rules in this instance, or will I be trying to go back to Tennessee next fall while TAing three days a week? Ah, the dramatic questions that structure the life of a history graduate student. 😐

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