Doctoral Researcher Seeks Community Assistance

Local Doctoral Researcher Seeks Help
of Laredo families for Dissertation

A Texas A&M University doctoral student enrolled in the University’s collaborative Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies with Texas A&M International University hopes fellow Laredoans can help advance her research.

Treasured letters from the past, perhaps tucked away in a drawer or stored with other family documents, will help bring her effort to life.

Conchita Hickey’s doctoral research focuses on historical linguistics. Her dissertation explores Spanish literacy and the attitude towards its use in the Laredo area from approximately 1880 to 1920.

Hickey said she is especially interested in locating letters written during this time period that will provide a view into Spanish use of the time.

“I am keenly interested in letters, preferably multiple letters from the same writer or family member, such as memoirs or family documents written during this time period -- or within 10 years before or after. I know many Laredoans cherish family mementos from the past and I am hopeful that they will provide me with an opportunity to review and return such documents to them intact. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of already reviewing memoirs that trace family ancestry or history and they’ve afforded me great insight. The different levels of Spanish usage based on the educational attainment of the writer are of special interest to me,” she explained.

Hickey said she has found the Special Collection of TAMIU’s Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library to be especially helpful.

“I’m not sure that many realize the treasure of local and regional history and culture that is included in the Killam Library’s Special Collection. I would also encourage those who have such documents in their possession to consider donating them to the Special Collection so that these historical riches can be shared with others, appropriately archived and preserved,” she encouraged.

To contact Hickey to share possible documents for her doctoral research, call 326.2605 or 337.5115 or e-mail chickey@tamiu.edu

“I greatly appreciate any assistance Laredo families can provide me and look forward to talking with them about my research and the importance of their help,” she said.

To learn more about the Killam Library’s Special Collection, contact Jeannette Hatcher, Special Collections librarian, at 326.2404, visit offices in the Killam Library, e-mail jhatcher@tamiu.edu or click on library.tamiu.edu/depts/sparc

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