The e-newsletter of UNT’s Portal to Texas History| October 2008
4th Field Artillery & Engineers Camp, 1914, Texas City, Moore Memorial Public Library
One digitization project now underway in the lab is from the Marfa Public Library. We have four boxes filled with folders containing research papers and reports written by high school history students between 1961 and 1989. These student reports tell the history of the West Texas area with numerous photographs accompanying them. Featured reports include papers about the “Raid on the Brite Ranch,” the “U.S. Border Patrol,” wildlife in the area, and in-depth stories from families and individuals of white, Hispanic, and Native American descent. The photos, some from as far back as the 1860s, depict families, weddings, Fort Davis, petroglyphs, the landscape in and around Big Bend, Bloy camp meetings, cowboys, homes, ranches, and businesses in the area. This collection shows a strong people that are proud of their heritage and land.
The material we now have comprises about 15-20% of the total collection held in the Marfa Public Library. Two of the four boxes we have in the lab are now available online. With the Marfa Public Library, we are currently looking for funding to continue work with this fascinating collection that tells the history of West Texas.
Shown at the upper right is an image of the ministers at Bloys Camp Meeting, where people in West Texas have been meeting near Fort Davis for an annual campout with religious services since 1890. On the left is an image of Capote Falls near Marfa. The photo on the lower right was taken at the 1918 wedding of Encarnacion and Jose Chavez.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth
These wonderful images document the tremendous service these women gave to their country in its time of need. In addition to the hundreds of images of riveting, drilling, and assembling, many WWII generals, other military brass, politicians, and celebrities came to tour the facility during this time, and also for later events at General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin. Included in those photos are Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ladybird Johnson, Amon Carter, Ben E. Keith, Gary Cooper, Charles A. Lindbergh, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and Chuck Yeager. And for people who love airplanes, many different types of aircraft are also pictured: B-24s, B-32s, B-36s, B-52s, B-57s, B-58s, F-102s, F-106s, F-111s, RB-36, XB-36, XB-36H, XC-99, YB-60, and YC-131C.
The images in this article show Betty Moore on the upper right standing at a piece of machinery; and on the upper left Helen Perkins is painting a star on a B-24.
What’s in the lab now?
Heritage magazine features wonderful articles such as “Spanning Texas,” which discusses the significance of the over 50,000 historic bridges in Texas, telling the stories of the people and towns where they are located; “Black Cowboys and Ranching in Texas” relates the significant place that African-American cowboys hold in Texas ranching history; and “BIG Business in the Lone Star State” focuses on businesses such as HEB, Justin Boots, Dr. Pepper, and Marshall Pottery. We are very excited about providing access to this excellent publication which should be online at the Portal by the end of January 2009.
Cattle Raisers Museum
What Ike wrought:damages at the Heritage House Museum
We were so sad to hear about the catastrophic losses that severely damaged the building and collections of one of our partners – the Heritage House Museum in Orange, Texas. After substantial flooding, the collections are warped, and the building sustained so much structural damage that museum staff have not been cleared to enter it.. More than three feet of water swept through the building, damaging photographs, artifacts, and documents. Mold is now growing rampantly throughout the building.
The only silver lining from this devastating loss is that last year we digitized over 1,700 of the museum’s historic photos, saving them from total loss. The originals may be gone, but at least the museum can reprint these images from the high quality master preservation images that were captured at UNT during the project. The vulnerability of the Texas coast is a reality, but thanks to technology all is not lost. Heritage House Museum’s online collections date from 1858 to 1995.
If you are interested in learning more about the status of cultural heritage institutions in the Gulf Coast region and whether they have damage, several professional associations are posting updates: the Texas Association of Museums; the Texas Library Association; and the Society of Southwest Archivists.
Making a difference with students …
Leah’s in the Lab! Leah Eggers is an undergraduate student who is majoring in Computer Science. She says, “I started out as a music major, which is why I’m at UNT. I love the small-towniness of Denton and of course I love all the friendships I’ve built.” Leah’s hometown is Marietta, Georgia.
Leah’s been working in the lab for over two years, and plans to stay until she graduates in May of 2009. Working in the Digital Projects Lab has been a good experience for her, “I really enjoy it!! I’ve learned a lot about Photoshop and a lot about Texas. I like the old pictures of Denton. It’s changed much less than you’d expect.”
Leah adds, “When I was in first grade, I wanted to be a librarian. Obviously, that goal changed, but here I am now, working in a Library! I’ve always thought that was sort of funny. After all, how many first graders want to be a librarian?”
Exploring land in the Portal
Recently, we’ve heard from a lot of folks in the oil industry who are using the Portal for their research. Genealogists and oil researchers have one thing in common – the Portal is a great place to look for the answers you need. We have a lot of information about land grants, from a handwritten ledger of Conditional Land Grants for Washington Countydated 1841, to individual land grants dating from 1833 to 1878. We have some plat maps and soil survey maps, in addition to a 1902-1913 Lot and Block Book of Texas City, Galveston County.
If you like maps, we have over five hundred online, dating from 1597 to 1971. The map to the left is a Bird’s Eye View of Wolfe City from 1891, and above is an 1875 San Antonio Plat map that documents the northern portion of the city surrounding the public square and bounded by the San Pedro Creek on the west. In the Portal you can also find a plethora of railroading maps. Did you know that a first class ticket from Hannibal, Missouri, to Houston cost $34.70 in 1877? In present day dollars, the same ticket would cost you $668.08, just proving that travel is never cheap.
a new grant: Rescuing Texas History
The Summerlee Foundation of Dallas recently awarded the UNT Libraries funding for the third installment of the popular Rescuing Texas History program. Due to the success of previous Rescuing Texas History projects, we have added materials from twenty-eight collaborative partners, and in total have digitally preserved and provided free public access to 11,115 historic images. The images created through this funding have been viewed over 2,600,000 times, by people all over the world who are interested in Texas history.
Please help us pass along the word about this opportunity, or apply yourself. These digitization mini-grants are available to libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and other groups which hold local history materials. The deadline for application is December 15, 2008, and scanning will begin in 2009.
With the Rescuing Texas History program, we can continue to provide historical materials online that are making a difference in people’s lives. Educators, historians, and everyday people are finding answers and making connections to the past due to the generous support of the Summerlee Foundation.
The Brownsville Daily Herald is online
at Chronicling America
The Library of Congress’s Chronicling America site now hosts editions of the Daily Herald of Brownsville, Texas from July 1892 to December 1896. This is the first batch of Texas newspapers to be loaded onto the Chronicling America site. You can browse the newspapers or search through them.
The Portal to Texas History team plans to upload this paper and other Texas titles into the Portal to Texas History starting in Spring of 2009. Learn more about upcoming titles at the Texas Digital Newspaper Program website.
Highlights from the UNT Digital Collections
The UNT College of Music Program Books from 1988-2007
The College of Music is internationally renowned for its jazz studies program, and is highly acclaimed for its instrumental and vocal ensembles, keyboard, composition and scholarly programs, as well as its teacher training.
Help us spread the word and please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will be interested.
To unsubscribe from this newsletter: click here and send the email.