A Guide to the Ransom and Sarah Williams Farmstead Project Records
The Williams Farmstead Project was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation to investigate the ways in which cultural resources are impacted by development. A team headed by University of Texas professor Dr. Maria Franklin conducted a multi-year project to perform archival research, oral history interviews, and archaeological investigations at the Ransom and Sarah Williams Farmstead site in southern Travis County, Texas. The site was occupied by an African American family from 1871, or perhaps earlier, through about 1905.
The project culminated with the 2012 publication of "I'm Proud to Know What I Know": Oral Narratives of Travis and Hays Counties, Texas, ca. 1920's-1960s, by Maria Franklin, 2 volumes, Texas Department of Transportation Environmental Affairs Division. The book contains a collection of oral histories gathered through interviews with people who grew up in the rural vicinity of the Williams Farmstead, and also in East Austin. Their recollections pertain to Travis and Hays Counties, mainly in the first half of the 20th century. Most of the interviewees are descendants of slaves--people whose lives were impacted by the legacy of slavery and who lived through the Jim Crow and civil rights eras.
Source: Adapted from "I'm Proud to Know What I Know": Oral Narratives of Travis and Hays Counties, Texas, ca. 1920's-1960s, Foreword, page xii.
The Williams Farmstead Project Records consist of oral history sound recordings, photographs of the interviewees and their families, research files, family tree diagrams, and project documentation. All of these records are stored in digital files at the Briscoe Center and can be accessed by contacting the Digital Archivist. In addition, the book "I'm Proud to Know What I Know": Oral Narratives of Travis and Hays Counties, Texas, ca. 1920's-1960s is held in the Briscoe Center's library collection.
The collection is open for research use.
Ransom and Sarah Williams Farmstead Project Records, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Detailed Description of the Records