Our News

May 29-31, 2017            Lida Cope taught an intensive seminar on language and culture of Texas Czechs to a group of students from Charles University. Among the contributing lecturers were Dr. Eva Eckert of Anglo-American University, Drs. Robert Dittmann and Karel Kučera of Charles University, and Marie Štěpánová, a doctoral student of Charles University. Transcription of recordings from the late 1980s and 1990s and of letters from the 1880s, assigned to the attending students (guided by Alžběta Vítková of TCLP), will be integrated into the TCLP archive. The seminar is documented here

May 2017                      Did you know Svatava Pírková Jakobson? Are you curious about her role in documenting and promoting Texas Czech culture and language? Would you like to see her collection of photographs of Texas Czech kroje prepared in mid-1980s? We will kick off this year’s Májové Slavnosti at Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange with a roundtable on this fascinating teacher of the Czech language and culture, fieldworker, and scholar at the University of Texas at Austin (1968-1978). This roundtable with Lida Cope, Roger Kolar, Thadious Polasek, and Woody Smith will take place on Friday, May 19, 4:00-5:20pm at TCHCC and will be immediately followed by the opening of an exhibit of Svatava Jakobson's photographs of Texas Czech kroje from 1984 (TCHCC Bill Melnar Library). Then please join us to learn more about the Texas Czech Legacy Project and its place in the community's efforts to promote and maintain its cultural heritage (7-8 PM). We'll see you there! :)                                              May 23, 2017: A report on the event can be found here. A photo gallery (photos courtesy of Mr. John Sefcik of CEFT) can be found here. Presentation slides for the talks by Roger Kolar (including the paper) and Lida Cope are available. 

Nov. 2016                     Adrienne Harris (Baylor U, Waco), Eva Hruska (Baylor U, Waco) and Woody Smith (Texas Intensive English Program, Austin) joined forces with Lida Cope to discuss the language, culture, and organizations of Texas Czechs at a roundtable  Ethnicity, language, and mythologies in the Czech diaspora: The case of Texas Czech at the 2016 ASEEES convention in Washington DC.   

Spring 2016                 In Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, Marie Kopřivová and David Lukeš of the Czech National Corpus in Prague led a seminar training future  transcribers of Czech corpora also using our Texas Czech recordings. The Dialect Archive will receive more recordings as soon as they are ready to be published. If you are interested in helping us with this important  work, please contact us! You can also visit our Giving to TLCP page listing some ways in which you can help!

Jan. 2016                     Texas Czech Legacy Project: corpus building and language documentation and Applied digital linguistics: Dcumenting a critically endangered dialect of Czech in Texas presented by Lida Cope at annual meetings of AATSEEL and Modern Language Association in Austin.

Dec. 2015                     Svatava Pírková Jakobson and the Texas Czech Legacy Project presented by Lida Cope at the workshop "Tschechisch im Exil" (Czech in Exile) in Berlin, Germany. 

Nov. 2015                    Zajímáte se o hudbu? [Are you interested in music?]: Musical tastes, identity, and Czech-language ethnic press in the 1940s presented by Lida Cope at the ASEEES annual convention in Philadelphia. This work is based on the Svatava Jakobson archive, particularly her reader-driven column published in Nedělní new yorské listy [Sunday New York Gasette] in 1944-1945.

June 2015                    Lida Cope met with the colleagues at the Czech National Corpus Institute, Anglo-American University, and Charles University in Prague. Some of the major issues discussed included gaining more transcribers from amongst university students and completing transcriptions in Texas Czech as part of the training of transcribers for the Czech National Corpus. Many thanks to Marie Kopřivová, David Lukeš and Robert Dittmann of Charles University for their helpful suggestions and assistance with the Project! Last but not least, Dr. Eva Eckert of Anglo-American University in Prague donated her digital collection of the Texas Czech newspaper Svoboda, of private letters that once crossed both continents (first wave of immigration from Moravia to Texas), and of her tombstone photographs (Texas Czech cemeteries; see her book, Stones on the Prairie). We are thrilled to have this rich collection to help us start with the visual archive of the Project! (Our visual archive will be conceptualized and a piece of it developed in spring 2016.)

April 11, 2015              The book Centennial of Czech studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Na zdraví to the next hundred years! (edited by Lida Cope and Mark Hopkins, NorTex Press, sponsored by the Czech Educational Foundation of Texas) was published to commemorate the Centennial of Czech Studies (1915-2015) at the University of Texas at Austin. Fresh off the press, the book was sold at the Czech Centennial Symposium at UT Austin on April 11, 2015. This successful event, attended by nearly 200 guests, was sponsored by the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at UT, the Czech Endowment, and hosted by the Czech Educational Foundation of Texas (CEFT). The speakers traced the history of the program and highlighted its accomplishments. From our team, Christian Hilchey introduced the grant project in the Department developing an online textbook for Czech and Lida Cope spoke about the Texas Czech Legacy Project and its archive. Discussions took place about the ways to maintain and grow the teaching of Czech in middle grades, at high schools, and at community colleges. Lunch and dinner were provided by Pavla VanBibber's excellent catering and a dance with Kovanda's Czech Band concluded this memorable event. 

April 2015                     The TCLP team meetings took place during the week of the Czech Centennial. Plans for continuing the work on he audio archive and building the archive's visual section were discussed.      

March 2015                    Rediscovering Svatava Pirková Jakobson's Legacy for the Community, Education, and Research: Lida Cope receives the Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to prepare two articles about Svatava Pírková Jakobson (whose recordings form one significant section of our Texas Czech Dialect Archive).

January 2015                Our second media project grant proposal Texas Czech Dialect Archive for the Community, Education, and Research  to Humanities Texas partially funded, The Department of East European and Eurasian Studies (the Endowment  for Czech Studies) at UT Austin offers to fund the difference to support another year of the Project's development.

November 2014            Lida Cope presents at the Digital Humanities roundtable (TCLP) and folklore panel (Svatava Jakobson Archive) at the convention of the Association for East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in San Antonio, Texas 

September 2014           Fourteen recordings with transcripts are now available and more are in the works. Please send us your feedback!

September 15, 2014     The TCLP team submits another media grant proposal to  Humanities Texas.  The grant focuses on further development of our permanent website and additional hours for segmenting and transcriptions of our recordings.

September 9, 2014       The TCLP team submits the final report for the media grant Texas Czech Dialect Archive for the Community, Education, and Research funded in July 2013. If you are interested in reading about what we have accomplished under this grant’s tenure, email us. We’ll be happy to share the report with you.

July 2014                      Mark Hopkins presents TCLP: Documenting the Czech contribution to Texas Czech ethnocultural landscape at the 27th World Congress if the Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences (SVU), held by Západočeská Universita (University of West Bohemia) in Plzeň, Czech Republic.

April 8, 2014                  Mark Hopkins invites Lori Najvar and Dawn Orsak of PolkaWorks and Lida Cope to his Czech class at UT Austin. We all enjoy wonderful company and tasty Czech guláš (goulash) that Mark has prepared for his class! Later, Lori, Dawn and Lida have a chance to discuss the successes and challenges of their respective projects.

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April 7, 2014               Lida Cope presents  Immigrant languages in contact: The case of Texas Czech at the University of Texas at Austin (sponsored by Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Department of Germanic Studies).

April 6, 2014               Lida Cope has an opportunity to teach the Czech language class  and interview Mr. and Mrs. Hlavinka of East Bernard, both at the TCHCC in La Grange.

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April 5, 2014                  Lida Cope with Janis and J. G. Hrncir of Moravia  interview Joe and Lawrence Barcak on their farm near Schulenburg. With Mr. and Mrs. Patek of Novohrad, TX, Mr. and Mrs. Hrncir and Lida visit the legendary Moravia Store.

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March 2014                    Read Lida Cope's article on Texas Czech dialect and the Project in the Spring 2014 issue of Czech Language News (pp. 5-8).

February 17, 2014          Dr. Robert Dittmann of Charles University in Prague begins a course on Texas Czech as our first collaborative attempt to engage Czech students in the Project.  Students will use the transcription software & our transcription guide to prepare transcripts while learning about Texas Czech speech and preparing a paper on "their" speaker's language use. Svatava Pírková Jakobson's recording from 1983 and Karel Kučera's (Charles U.) recordings from 1986 will also be transcribed and used for comparative purposes. Finalized transcripts will be added on to our website.

January 22, 2014            An informational article Texas Czech Legacy Project:  Creating a Digital Archive of Texas Czech is published in Vestnik 102(4), 20-21.

November 2013              Lida Cope & Eva Eckert (Anglo-American University, Prague) present Digital Archives for Texas Czech: Design, Purposes, and Audiences at the annual meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Euroasian Studies (ASEEES) in Boston.

November 2013              First sample recordings with transcripts are available!

August & October 2013 News articles  on the TCLP as well as our work on Svatava Pírková Jakobson's materials published in the Daily Texan Online and Temple Daily Telegram.

October 2013                The TCLP team welcomes on board Ryan Miller, our web programmer and designer. Dr. Mark Hopkins continues to segment, transcribe and translate our recordings. Work supported by a combination of funds from the           Humanities Texas Media Grant and the Czech Endowment at the DSES.

September 2013           Lida Cope submits a Summer Stipend proposal Rediscovering Svatava  Pírková Jakobson's Legacy for the Community, Education, and Research to the National Endowment for the Humanities.  (March 2014 - Not funded).

August 2013                 Lida Cope returns to Texas for a two-week research trip, funded by her home department, to examine the contents of Svatava Pírková Jakobson's boxes stored at the Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange, Texas (cf. June 2013 below), bringing us yet closer to a more complete picture of Dr. Jakobson's legacy. Lida  introduces the TCLP at the GALA fundraiser for the TCHCC in San Antonio. Lida, Retta Chandler and Janis Hrncir visit the SPJST Library and Museum and spend a day at the Westfest. [Shared pictures]

July 2013                      Our media project grant proposal Texas Czech Dialect Archive for the Community, Education, and Research  to Humanities Texas funded.  

June 2013                     Additional 18 boxes from Svatava Pírková Jakobson's possessions will be moved to the TCHCC for safe-keeping and research. Thanks to Helen Oelrich, Roger Kolar (CEFT), Retta Chandler and Janis Hrncir (TCHCC).

April  2013                    Lida Cope (ECU) presents Creating the Texas Czech Dialect Archive: What, Why, How, and for Whom? as part of the Faculty Speaker Series at the English Department, East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

March 22-23, 2013         Lida Cope (ECU) conducts three additional interviews for the Project conducted with the residents of Moravia,  Komensky, and Novohrad, TX.

March 23, 2013             The Texans of Czech Ancestry (TOCA) Awards Dinner held at TCHCC in La Grange to bestow the annual award upon the most deserving members of each of the eleven historically ethnic Czech organizations in Texas. Arranged thanks to Retta Chandler, the Chairwoman of the TCHCC, and Arlene Cloyd, the President of TOCA, Lida Cope (ECU) shares the Project information with the audience (TOCA presentation re TCDP).

March 22, 2013             Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center (TCHCC), La Grange: Boxes 6 and 7  mysteriously identified! Donated by Woody Smith, the current president of the Czech Educational Foundation of Texas (CEFT), the contents beautifully complement the materials found at Briscoe earlier that week!

March 21, 2013              The Briscoe Center for the American History (UT Austin): Five boxes of Svatava Jakobson’s materials briefly examined by Lida Cope. The contents are extremely promising! Thanks to John Wheat and other employees of the Briscoe Center for their diligent assistance.

March 20, 2013             A follow-up meeting at UT Austin yields commitment of assistance from the LAITS web-design team to initiate the TCLP website. The basic site (work begun in late May 2013) slated for launch by the end of August 2013. The site will be developed in stages to achieve our ultimate goal, making available a searchable open-access archive for the community, education, and research.

March 15, 2013              Lida Cope (ECU) and Veronika Tuckerová's (DSES, UT Austin) media grant proposal, Texas Czech Dialect Archive for the Community, Education, and Research  ($8,640),  submitted  Humanities Texas.  The goals include developing the TCLP website and processing of an additional 8-10 hours of recordings.  --- Funded in July 2013

January 2013                 As the TCLP Director, Lida Cope becomes a University Research Affiliate-Research Fellow with the DSES at the University of Texas at Austin.

Spring 2013                  Mark Hopkins, a doctoral student in The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies (DSES) specializing in Czech Studies, hired to continue the segmenting, transcription, and translation work. Work supported from the Czech Endowment at DSES.

March 2013                   Lida Cope (ECU) presents Language Documentation and Applied Linguistics: Texas Czech Dialect Archive for Education, Community, and Research at the annual convention of the American Association for Applied Linguistics in Dallas, Texas.

January 2013               Lida Cope (ECU) presents Creating a Digital Archive for Texas Czech: Applied Documentation for the Community, Education, and Research at the AATSEEL convention in  Boston, Massachusetts.

December 2012            Five of the 14 boxes located and arranged to be moved to the BCAH. Thanks to Helen Oelrich and Roger Kolar, Svatava Jakobson's former student and activist involved in the Czech Educational Foundation of Texas, Roger Kolar.

December 2012           Jessica Vargas, an undergraduate student at UT Austin, funded from the Texas Endowment for Czech Studies to compile an extensive bibliography of sources on the language, culture, and history of Texas Czechs.

December 2012            Lida Cope (ECU) spends a week to work at the Briscoe Center for the American History (BCAH) to help identify Svatava Pírková Jakobson’s recordings. The trip was funded by the English Department at East Carolina University. 86 of 92 digitized recordings available at the BCAH were sorted and identified to the extent possible. Many of them are highly valuable as they include interviews with fully proficient speakers of Texas Czech from the 1970s-80s. The purpose of this work, as it continues, is two-fold: Help catalog these recordings enabling the BCAH to make them accessible to the general public; select recordings for full processing and inclusion in the Texas Czech Dialect Archive. Renewed effort has been made to locate the pieces of the extensive Jakobson collection to be sorted, identified, organized, cataloged and available for further research.

October 2012                Lida Cope’s 327 analog tapes are digitized, thanks to Mike Heidenreich of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services and his team. All half-hour files are inputted in the Digital Archive Services (DASe) database and ready to be processed.

May-August 2012          Hannah Calkins, a graduate student at UT Austin, with Lida Cope segment 7 hours of recordings. The first few are transcribed; 15 out of 16 ½-minute to 5-minute segments with corresponding transcriptions in draft completed.

April-May 2012             The UT Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (UT Austin) grant proposal, Topographies of meaning: Mapping Texas Czech dialects and oral histories ($76,950), to support the Project in 2012-2013 (Lida Cope, Mary Neuburger,  Veronika Tuckerová, Hans Boas),  not funded.

April 19, 2012             Lida Cope and Janis Hrncir visit St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Schulenburg, St. Michael Catholic School in Weimer, and the Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Hallettsville.  Lida Cope spoke about the importance of maintaining one's ethnic heritage and taught the kids a bit of Czech. Informal polling in all schools suggests that many children would take Czech or German in school if offered! Thanks to the schools' principals -- Ms. Gallia, Ms. Patek, and Mr. Smolik -- for allowing us to visit with their students!

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April 17-19, 2012         Lida Cope (ECU) presents “To uphold, protect, and revitalize: Future of Czech as a heritage language in Texas” at UT Austin (invited lecture). Encore presentations at the gatherings of the Travis Williamson County Czech Heritage Society of Texas and at the Blinn College in Schulenburg.

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April 16, 2012              First team meeting to establish the Texas Czech Legacy Project, with Lida Cope as the project's director, takes place at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

November 2012           An article Texas German Archive serves as the basis for the Texas Czech Archive  published in "Texas German Times", the TGDP Newsletter.

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January 2012                Lida Cope (East Carolina University, ECU) presents From documentation to revitalization: the case of Czech as a heritage language in Texas at the annual convention of  the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) in Seattle, WA.

Spring 2008                  John Tomeček, a graduate student of Hans Boas, summarizes his efforts to document Texas Czech dialect in a manner similar to the Texas German Dialect Project in a Kosmas 21(2) article.