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UW Tacoma Oral History: Founding Stories

The UW Tacoma Library began in late 2017 to collect oral history interviews with founding faculty, staff, and community leaders to document the founding history of University of Washington Tacoma. Now driven by a yearlong project (2019–2020), UW Tacoma Oral History: Founding Stories is a growing collection that captures the first-hand accounts and perspectives of individuals who played significant roles in the shaping of the campus community and identity. These individuals might belong to groups such as founding faculty members, the first graduating class, past active members of student organizations, former staff members, community leaders, and political figures.

The collection aims to present a rich and complex history of UW Tacoma, which was established with tremendous community support. Its presence in downtown Tacoma has transformed the post-industrial neighborhood and invites inquiries into urban development; historic preservation; public higher education; and the relationships between people, communities, and institutions. These oral history recordings serve as valuable primary sources to support future scholarly research and storytelling. The UW Tacoma Library collaborates with political science and labor studies professor Charles Williams on this project.

Browse the Collection
First Graduating Class
Mike Allen
Pratt Building
Founding Staff

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