Gus L. Seligmann, Denver, Colorado: an interview by Greg Smoak, 4 October 2012

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Title Gus L. Seligmann, Denver, Colorado: an interview by Greg Smoak, 4 October 2012
Alternative Title No. 704 Gustav L. Seligmann
Creator Seligmann, Gustav L.
Contributor Smoak, Gregory E., 1962-
Publisher Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Date 2012-10-04
Access Rights I acknowledge and agree that all information I obtain as a result of accessing any oral history provided by the University of Utah's Marriott Library shall be used only for historical or scholarly or academic research purposes, and not for commercial purposes. I understand that any other use of the materials is not authorized by the University of Utah and may exceed the scope of permission granted to the University of Utah by the interviewer or interviewee. I may request permission for other uses, in writing to Special Collections at the Marriott Library, which the University of Utah may choose grant, in its sole discretion. I agree to defend, indemnify and hold the University of Utah and its Marriott Library harmless for and against any actions or claims that relate to my improper use of materials provided by the University of Utah.
Date Digital 2015-07-08
Spatial Coverage New Mexico, Unites States,
Subject Seligmann, Gustav L--Interviews; Western History Association--History; Historians--West (U.S.)--Biography
Description Transcript (34 pages) of an interview by Greg Smoak with historian Gus Seligmann at Denver, Colorado, on 4 October 2012. Part of the Western History Association Oral History Project, Everett Cooley Collection tape no. U-3169
Abstract Gustav L. Seligmann, professor of history at University of North Texas and a lifetime member of the Western History Association, remembers his career and relationship with the WHA. A military brat, he attended school in Bremerhaven, Germany, Virginia, Oklahoma, and the New Mexico Military Institute. Dr. Seligmann´s family came to new Mexico in the 1850s and he remembers his father describing a scene when he was a boy, when Sheriff Pat Garrett was brought into town dead in the back of a wagon. However, he had little interest in Western history at the time, and even now claims he teaches history of political parties instead. He was recruited into a program at White Sands Missile Range out of high school, and soon revised his family's aim that he be a West Point graduate and a civil engineer by taking a history degree at New Mexico A and M and an ROTC commission instead. He credits his high school teacher in Germany, a Mr. Warren, and New Mexico historian Ira Clark with turning him toward history, which he loves. Indeed, Dr. Seligmann speaks highly of both Dr. Clark and his scholarship. A guided missile officer at Fort Bliss, he also became friends with Western historian John Porter Bloom, who taught in El Paso. He earned an MA in history at New Mexico A and M in one year with Ira Clark and Burl Noggle, then left the Army and pursued a PhD under Jack Carroll and Russell Ewing at the University of Arizona, receiving his degree in 1967.Dr. Seligmann remembers the first WHA conference in Santa Fe vividly, and relates both a lurid story and his amazement at meeting so many professors whose names he had encountered in bibliographies. He shares his views on Jack Carroll, whom he describes as a "polarizing figure" but nonetheless gives great credit for helping found the WHA. Dr. Seligmann was also active in the WHA´s administration, serving during the early 1980s on the site selection committee for future meetings. He observes that conferences must be held in large venues due to the organization´s size, though that means shutting out some significant but smaller Western venues. A founder of H-Net, he speaks at some length on its value as an online sounding board for the WHA and Western history issues in general. On his own approach to history, Dr. Seligmann sees himself as a New Mexico historian working in a larger region and nation. He comments on the increased professionalization, atomization and political bent of the WHA and bemoans its evident loss of touch with the "buffs," amateur historians he feels add color to the program. He emphasizes historians´ need to relate to ordinary people rather than a solely academic audience. Project: Western History Association. Interviewer: Greg Smoak
Type Text
Genre oral histories (literary works)
Format application/pdf
Language eng
Rights Digital Image © 2015 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.
Scanning Technician Niko Amaya; Halima Noor
Metadata Cataloger Daniel Patterson; Matt Brunsvik; Anna Neatrour; Ken Rockwell; Patrick Miller
Conversion Specifications Original scanned with Kirtas 2400 and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed TIFF. PDF generated by Adobe Acrobat Pro X for CONTENTdm display.
ARK ark:/87278/s6r8099v
Topic Western History Association; Historians
Setname uum_elc
Date Created 2015-11-10
Date Modified 2020-10-27
ID 838755
Reference URL
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