About

About the Texas Czech Legacy Project

The Texas Czech Legacy Project (TCLP) in the Department of the Slavic and Eurasian Studies (DSES) at the University of Texas at Austin  aims to offer comprehensive information about the language and culture of Texas Czechs. Our first and most ambitious undertaking is the Texas Czech Dialect Archive (TCDA), the user interface and database with audio recordings collected from ethnic Czech Moravians in Texas. The Project is led by Lida Cope of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.  Currently, the TCLP team includes our web designer and four transcribers based in the Czech Republic. 

Ultimately, the Texas Czech Legacy Project will offer  a web-accessible database of audio and textual materials in and about Texas Czech. The holdings of the Texas Czech Dialect Archive will include audio recordings of sociolinguistic interviews conducted with ethnic Czech Moravians in Texas, of cultural events, and Texas Czech music. With time, we will add print (e.g. newspapers like Svoboda and Našinec), photographs (e.g. Texas Czech tombstone inscriptions courtesy of Professor Eva Eckert of the Anglo American University in Prague, Czech Republic & Connecticut College), personal photos, autobiographies, and diaries.

A multi-media resource, the TCLP will be a site to visit for reflection, scholarly research – planned and published – educational activities for school children and college students, and for genealogical work.

The goals and objectives of the Texas Czech Legacy Project

  • To give a permanent home to irreplaceable recordings of the Texas Czech dialect and to other materials relating to ethnic Czech Moravians in Texas
  • To serve as a community resource for heritage language learning, genealogical research, and other educational purposes
  • To render all collected recordings and materials accessible to a wider academic audience in order to promote further original research

The realization of these goals is guided by two primary objectives:

  • To archive these materials as digital records that can be stored and permanently maintained, and
  • To make these materials available in a manner that is guided by our responsibility to protect the intellectual and cultural property rights of the individuals and groups from whom these materials originate (cf. www.tgdp.org).

You will have to register and login in order to access any archive resources, but you can browse other parts of this website without registering. To get started, visit the Dialect Archive.

About the Texas Czech Dialect Archive

The first phase of the Texas Czech Legacy Project focuses on oral histories and other speech data. The Texas Czech Dialect Archive (TCDA) was started in April 2012. 

Four sources of Texas Czech data (1970s-2000s) will be gradually processed and added to the TCDA:

2000s (2007-2009): John Tomecek,15 hours of digitally recorded interviews 

1980s (1986): Karel Kučera, 18 hours of digitized audiocasette recordings.

1990s (1997): Lida Cope, 327 digitized audiocassette recordings with sociolinguistic interviews and language tasks.

1970s-1980s: Svatava Pírková-Jakobson’s Archive of which 97 audiocassette recordings have been digitized by LAITS. The remaining recordings and other artifacts are held at the Briscoe Center for American History in Austin and at the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange, Texas, waiting to be organized, identified, and processed. First steps toward this goal were taken in 1997. Making this vast and diverse collection accessible to the general public is the best way to honor the pioneering work of Professor Jakobson. Our work on this vast collection is in progress. The steps  accomplished thus far are chronicled under Our News.

Access Options to the Texas Czech Dialect Archive

You can explore the holdings of the Texas Czech Dialect Archive by using either the Browse or Search tools available at this site. You can access the holdings of the TCDA as follows:

If you are ready to listen to and view the materials available in the TCDA database, your computer will need to have RealAudio player and Acrobat Reader installed (Although other media players such as WinampQuicktime, or Windows Media Player may also be used to listen to the materials in the TCDA database, we recommend RealAudio player). The sound files accessed using this option are in MP3 format (easily accessible using a dial-up connection). The text files accessed using this option contain a word-by-word transcription as well as translation in HTML.

If you want to obtain access to more detailed information for research purposes, your computer will need to have ELAN (EUDICO Linguistic Annotator, developed at the Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) installed. Once ELAN is installed, you may download segments of interviews conducted with Texas Czechs, as well as access word-for-word transcriptions and translations. Since the sound files are in wav format, you will also be able to conduct detailed phonetic analyses on the Texas Czech data. This option requires a high-speed connection to the Internet (The access option information - courtesy of the TGDP).

Texas Czech Legacy Project User Rights and Responsibilities

By using the Texas Czech Legacy Project website and  database, I agree to the following conditions:

  1. I will not use any resource in the TLCP database for commercial purposes.
  2. I will provide full and accurate citation in any publication that appears either in print or online for all resources I use from the TCLP database.
  3. I will notify the TCLP of any significant research and/or findings that result from my use of resources in its database.
  4. I will archive with the TCLP any derivative materials I create from the site's resources  including transcriptions, translations, re-analyses, and similar materials.
  5. When using the Dialect Archive and Graded Access System or any other TCLP's database, I will act and interact with the TCLP group in good faith. If the TCLP group has reason to believe that I am not acting in good faith, the TCLP retains the right to alter or terminate the relationship between myself and the archive.
  6. I will respect the intellectual property rights and copyrights that pertain to the holdings of the TCLP to the fullest extent possible.
  7. If I have any concerns or questions regarding my responsibilities as a user of the TCLP website and database, I will contact the team at: texasczechproject@gmail.com.

Disclaimers concerning the TCLP website and database

  • As an integral part of the goals of the TCLP to both preserve and disseminate irreplaceable Texas Czech language materials, the TCLP will make available to you, the user, as many of its holdings as possible. Access levels for each resource, however, are set by the depositor and the co-creators of that resource, and may change if any of the creators of the resource request it.
  • The TCLP team makes every effort to respect the intellectual property rights and copyrights associated with every resource in its database. If you have any concern regarding the holdings of the TCLP or the policies pertaining to them, please contact the TCLP team at texasczechproject@gmail.com.
  • Like any library, the TCLP database is a safe, organized, and maintained repository for materials and functions as a resource for interested persons.
  • The opinions, beliefs, or assertions expressed in the content of any resource archived in the TCLP database do not represent the opinions or beliefs of the TCLP team or of the University of Texas at Austin.
  • The opinions or beliefs held by any depositor to the TCLP database do not represent the opinions or beliefs of the TCLP  team or of the University of Texas at Austin.
  • The TCLP is not responsible for and does not necessarily endorse the content of any website to which it provides a link, nor does the TCLP necessarily endorse the content of any website which provides a link to the TCLP.
  • The TCLP is not affiliated with or sponsored by any religious or missionary organization.
  • The opinions expressed at the TCLP website do not represent the opinions of the University of Texas. However, the TCLP team alone is responsible for the text posted at the TCLP website. Any concerns should be directed to : texasczechproject@gmail.com.

Acknowledgments

The Texas Czech Legacy Project has received financial support to begin the archiving work from the Czech Endowment in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and from the Humanities Texas media grant. The technical staff of the Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Center at the University of Texas at Austin have contributed their time and expertise to digitize and process our recordings. We are deeply grateful for their support.

We thank the Department for Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, specifically Professor Mary Neuburger, the Department Chair, for the expressed support for and commitment to this Project.

We are grateful for the technical assistance of the LAITS staff, namely Michael Heidenreich, Stacy Vlasits, Timothy Fackler, Suloni Robertson, and the teams they oversee, in digitization and processing of our recordings as well as launching our demonstration website.

Last but not least, we thank Hans Boas, the Director of the Texas German Dialect Project for inspiration and his continued guidance and support!