The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Grad student helps preserve College Station history

Jared Donnelly, doctoral candidate in the Department of History, is extending his passion for history beyond Texas A&M’s campus as the head coordinator for Project HOLD — College Station’s digital archive, which chronicles its history through oral, written and photographic accounts from the public.
After more than a decade, HOLD is seeking to expand its oral history collection to include not only the testimonies of veterans of both WWI and WWII, the Korean war and Vietnam war, but also of those who served in more recent conflicts like Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The city of College Station believes that preserving the stories of local veterans is of particular importance,” Donnelly said. “Not only because these stories are a significant part of our community’s history, but also because they are examples of service and sacrifice that can be examples for future generations.”
One of Project HOLD’s most valuable assets, Donnelly said, is the preservation of College Station’s history through the attainment of oral interviews of those who’ve experienced it firsthand.
“A great deal of the items in Project HOLD have come from members of the community,” Donnelly said. “And without their contributions and support, the archive would not be what it is today.”
Donnelly said that Project HOLD preserves nearly 160 years of history and has records dating back to early settlements in the 1840s. While College Station is fairly young, Donnelly said it still has a rich history that will endure through the digital database.
“I am continually surprised by how much the city has changed over the last 75 years,” Donnelly said. “Community has existed in and around the university since the beginning of A&M, but the changes the city has seen since World War II are astounding. As A&M has become larger and raised its profile academically, the city of College Station has also grown and become a center of business and industry in the Brazos Valley. It’s been fascinating to study that development.”

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