The Texas Medical Center (TMC) Historical Resources Project records contain video oral histories of notable personalities associated with or visiting the TMC. Beginning in 1973, the initial group of interviews focuses on individuals involved in the founding or early days of the TMC. Later “video profiles” also include significant visitors to the TMC. Several of these feature national and international figures in cancer research on their visits to Houston. In total the collection features forty-seven unique recordings of interviews with thirty-eight different individuals. All forty-seven unique recordings have been digitized.
Don Macon, Director of the TMC Historical Resources Project, serves as interviewer in all but one of the recordings. The interviews are all staged as one-on-one conversations, with the exception of Macon's interview of Isaac Berenblum and Philippe Shubik. A typical interview begins with some biographical information about the interviewee, followed by accounts of their careers and, where appropriate, their involvement with the Texas Medical Center. Recordings each tend to be approximately 30-60 minutes long; the shortest interview is about 18 minutes, with the longest (Dr. Frederick Elliott's) being 2 hours and 18 minutes.
The bulk of the interviews took place from 1973-1978. There are also interviews from 1982, 1988, and 1991. Most if not all of the interviews were recorded in the studio at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Most are attributed to MDA-TV, Department of Medical Communications. Some later interviews are attributed to UT-TV.
While there are forty-seven unique recordings, the collection includes many duplications and totals nearly one hundred tapes. The videotapes are primarily 3/4" U-Matic, though there are also some VHS tapes. There are many original master recordings, as well as duplications on a variety of media--including a dozen interviews transferred to DVDs. Most interviews correspond to a single tape, but some speakers continue on to a second tape, typically labeled "part 2." Dr. Elliott's interview spans five tapes.
The level of detail in the descriptions varies across recordings. The collection includes contemporary typed transcripts for the first ten interviews from 1973. The MHC has created computer-generated transcripts for a handful of other interviews. Thirteen interviews have detailed descriptions with timecodes and summaries of content being discussed. The remaining interviews have paragraph-length descriptions transcribed from the original tapes or their cases.