Posts Tagged Bayonne

The ExxonMobil Collection at UT Austin

Posted by on Wednesday, 21 October, 2009

Standard_Oil

I’ve gotten some interest in a post I made to the SLOVAK-ROOTS yahoo group about ExxonMobil historical records. In 2003, ExxonMobil began the process of shutting down its company archives and donated much of its historical data to the University of Texas at Austin. A massive amount of data is contained in the collection, covering well over a hundred years of history. What interested me¬†originally, is that the collection includes information on the Standard Oil company. Having a great-grandfather that immigrated to New Jersey to work for Standard Oil, I wondered if the collection might have any items of genealogical value.

The short answer is “probably not” for most researchers. While I have not consulted the collection directly (I am in Virginia), I have spoken to the graduate student assigned to it quite a few times. The index does make mention of personnel data in some sections, but it seems to be mostly general company policy information and not employee specific. That being said, some of the data could provide interesting insight into your ancestors life. And you never know, you could get a hit. The best thing to do is to look at the indexing guide they provide on their website:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/00352/cah-00352.html

When looking at the index, try to identify areas that might be of interest to your ancestor in terms of geography and time. Google seems to have indexed the site, so doing a google search with “site:www.lib.utexas.edu <term>” seems to help alot. For instance, doing a search of “site:www.lib.utexas.edu Bayonne” turns up a number of hits.¬†The University of Texas staff can’t do in depth searches into the data, but they will give you insight into what kind of data is contained in a particular section if you contact them. They can copy sections for a fee and ship it to you (http://www.cah.utexas.edu/services/photocopy_fees.php). You can give them a max number of pages to copy.

The reference email address there is cah.reference@austin.utexas.edu. If anyone has had any experience with this collection, I would love to hear from you.