The e-newsletter of UNT’s Portal to Texas History| April 2009

New Collections 
What’s in the lab now?

Focus on . . . Spring!

Making a Difference with Students
TDNP: a new grant

UNT Digital Collections 

Fort Worth CatsFort Worth Cats, Southern Championship Pennant Players, 1920, Tarrant County College NE

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New Collections

Cattle Raisers Museum

“Sometimes you get and sometimes you get got.”

The Cattle Raisers Association of Texas is the oldest and largest organization of its kind in the U.S., and the museum partnered with us to allow access to thousands bucking broncoof photographs that document the signficance of Texas and the Southwest’s ranching heritage. The images include portraits of leading Texas ranches and ranchers, such as the S.M.S, Waggoner and Four Sixes ranch.The collection provides an intimate view of ranching life, whether through photographs of cowboys in action herding and branding cattle or at rest as they gather around the campfire. You’ll also see images of an assortment of cattle breeds, such as Angus, Brangus, Beefalo, Blond d’Aquitaine, the first Simmental to enter the United States and portraits of champion bulls and cows covering several decades.

Native American treaties and a letter collection from the Oklahoma Historical Society caddo indian document oklahoma historical society

The Oklahoma Historical Society partnered with us to provide access to some Texas related materials held in their archives, which include two handwritten documents and treaties relating to the Cherokee and Caddo Indians and the letter collection of I.G. Vore, an Indian Agent in Oklahoma. Many of the letters in the Vore collection discuss the affairs of the Texas Cherokee Indians in his jurisdiction.

The Community Bulletin 
The Community Bulletin was a weekly Abilene area newspaper that focused on African American issues and included reports on church and community events, civil rights, political races, educational changes, and the job market. Another regular feature highlighted famous African Americans in history such as John Mercer Langston, Walter Francis White, and George P. Bridgetower.

Published from 1967-1968 this bulletin captured a snapshot of American life during a tumultuos time. Editorial features focus on poverty, riots, taxes, and race issues.


What’s in the Lab now?

Early Republic of Texas Session Laws
If you’re a fan of Gammel’s Laws of Texas, then you are bound to be excited about our latest project sponsored by the Texas Historical Foundation. We are digitizing and will soon provide online access to nine volumes documenting early Texas law:

  • Laws of the republic of Texas : in two volumes. Houston : Printed at the office of the Telegraph, Volume 1. 1838
  • Laws of the republic of Texas : in two volumes. Houston : Printed at the office of the Telegraph, Volume 2. 1838
  • Laws of the Republic of Texas : volume third. Houston : National Banner Press 1838
  • Ordinances and decrees of the consultation, provisional government of Texas, and the convention, which assembled at Washington March 1, 1836; published in Houston : National Banner Office 1838
  • Translation of the laws, orders and contracts on colonization : from January 1821 up to 1829 in virtue of which Col. Stephen F. Austin introduced and settled foreign emigrants in Texas : with an explanatory introduction. Translated by S.F. Austin and S.M. Williams. Includes laws of Mexico and of the state of Coahuila and Texas. Columbia : Reprinted by Borden & Moore, Public Printers 1837
  • Laws of the Republic of Texas: passed at the first session of the Third Congress: in one volume 1839
  • Laws of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas 1842
  • Laws of the Eighth Congress of the Republic of Texas 1844
  • Laws of the Ninth Congress of the Republic of Texas 1845

Many Thanks to the Texas Historical Foundation for sponsoring this project. The volumes will be accessible online by the end of January.

Rescuing Texas History: Dallas Municipal Archives and the Dallas Police Department’s photos of the JFK Assassination Investigation

For the 2009 Rescuing Texas History grants this year we are working with some very exciting collections that you’ll be hearing about a lot throughout the year! jfk crime scene photoCurrently we are digitizing over 400 photographs from book depository building dallasthe Dallas Municipal Archives that are from the Dallas Police Department’s investigative file of the JFK assassination. The images meticulously document the crime scenes, people, and places associated with this nationally significant tragedy, and will prove to be of great interest to researchers and conspiracy buffs.Another collection of photographs from the City of Dallas Municipal Archives will feature the development of Love Field from 1918 to the late twentieth century.

Jack Ruby

We are also digitizing 1,000 photographs from the University of Texas San Antonio of the HemisFair ’68, which was held in San Antonio, April 6 through October 6, 1968. It was the first officially designated international exposition held in the Southwest.  The collection includes aerial photographs of the exposition, colorful images of the pavilions representing over thirty nations, and people and events during the Fair. We are also digitizing a special family collection. It consists of poignant personal letters from an eighteen-year old World War II sailor writing home to his family in Port Arthur about his experiences aboard the USS Kassan Bay in the South Pacific, including a heart wrenching moment when he meets the eyes of a Japanese pilot being gunned down.  We continue to digitize photographs from a number of ranches, such as the Lambshead Ranch belonging to the Matthews Land and Cattle Company,  J.D Mitchell’s ranch in Calhoun county and over a thousand photographs of Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch from 1950-1970. Collections continue to arrive in the Digital Projects lab, so stay tuned….

Focus on… Spring!

Spring has sprung, and the bluebonnets are in bloom. Spring is about flowers and the beauty of nature.

Girls iwth vines of flowers Easter Egg Hunt 1913
Two girls holding vines of flowers, Private Collection of Charles R. Delphenis An Easter Egg Hunt at the Davison home in 1913, Moore Memorial Public Library
Spring in Texas Egg-cellent Army postcard
A poem, “Spring in Texas”, Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, April 1965 Our Egg-cellent Army, Private Collection of Joe E. Haynes

Making a difference with students …

Meet Charles “Vale” Fitzpatrick, Graduate Library Assistant, who works on content and curriculum development, including the Portal’s Primary Source Adventures and other services for educators. He hopes his work will enhance Texas’ history lessons by creating engaging, interactive learning experiences. He also hopes that these Primary Source Adventures will ease educator’s workload.Vale FitzPatrick

Vale’s hometown is Waco, Texas. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at UNT specializing in Texas History, with minor specializations in Mexican-American Studies, Local History, and Military History. 
He has worked in the Digital Projects Lab since the summer of 2005. He expects to graduate in either winter 2009 or spring 2010.  After graduation, he intends to seek a teaching position at the university level or in a corporate research department.

Vale enjoys the camaraderie in the Digital Projects Unit along with the interesting projects he works on. He says, “I am always learning something new either on the history side or the library/technology side, all that makes me a lucky individual who enjoys his job and the people I work with.”

His favorite Primary Source Adventure he has worked on was, “The Galveston 1900: Storm of the Century”. Because this project combined maps, images, first person accounts, and an introduction capturing the storm’s historical context, it produced a product that was as interesting to create as it is present in the classroom.

Working on his PhD. is full-time work so Vale is often seen in the lab late at night as he faithfully continues this important work for educators.

banner for the Texas Digital Newspaper Program

A New Grant, “The Bartlett Tribune: Seventy-seven Years of Local History”

Direct from the UNT News Release written by Nancy Kolsti:

Founded in 1881 when the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway laid tracks on the border of Williamson and Bell Counties, the town of Bartlett, Texas, prospered in the early 20th century as a shipping point for grain, livestock and produce. The Bartlett Tribune, a weekly newspaper, provided lively coverage of the town, which reached a peak population of 2,200 in 1914 and had three banks, three cotton gins, a meat market and its own railway company, the Bartlett Western.

The University of North Texas Libraries will microfilm, digitize and provide free online access to issues of the Bartlett Tribune, now called the Tribune-Progress. The UNT Libraries received a $60,403 Library Cooperation Grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to place issues of the Tribune that were published between 1902 and 1978 on UNT’s Portal to Texas History. The portal, administered by the UNT Libraries’ Digital Projects Unit, provides students and others with a digital gateway to collections in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and private collections. The portal contains maps, books, manuscripts, diaries, photographs and letters. Library Cooperation Grants promote the development of public and private partnerships between libraries and other agencies and community-based organizations. The UNT Libraries will work with the Bartlett Activities Center and the Historical Society of Bartlett to digitize the newspapers during the project, called “The Bartlett Tribune: Seventy-seven Years of Local History.”

Located in the area of Texas known as the Blackland Prairie, Bartlett today has about 1,700 residents, according to the 2005 census. The population began to decline during the 1930s because of the Great Depression and the closing of numerous businesses, including the Bartlett Western. The population reached a low of fewer than 1,450 in 1990.

Dreanna Belden, coordinator of grants and development for the UNT Libraries, said the libraries applied for a grant to digitize the Bartlett Tribune because the newspaper has significance for Williamson and Bell Counties.

“It documents the agricultural development of Texas and preserves the history of small town America,” she said. “The story of transition from an agrarian society to an information society cannot be perceived without understanding the roots of small towns such as Bartlett, and there is no better basis for fathoming this shift than the local newspaper that documents everyday life, as well as regional perceptions of state and national news stories.”     

Dan Carper, an active member of the Bartlett Activities Center, helped to write the grant. He said the desire to digitize the newspapers is much more than preserving historical data.

“There’s a great deal of history in those Bartlett papers,” said Carper, who lived in Bartlett as a child but now lives in Austin. “On the surface, this project is about preserving important historical data. Those of us who grew up in the heart of the Blackland Prairie lived in the midst of that history. And we do have a strong emotional attachment to our memories of Bartlett.”

He added, however, that the project “is about those who will find long-forgotten facts about their own people.”

“It is about those who will learn about Blackland Prairie events and conditions they cannot find anywhere else. It is about history buffs, historians, educators, students, researchers, authors and the just plain curious. It is about generations and tomorrows,” Carper said. “We at the Bartlett Activities Center are proud to be part of this project, and grateful to those who have made this possible.”
Cathy Hartman, the UNT Libraries’ assistant dean for digital and information technologies, said working with small communities to digitize their historical newspapers and make them available online “is a great pleasure for the Portal to Texas History team.”

“Reading the articles that appeared in the Bartlett paper 50 to 100 years ago is almost as interesting as working with Dan Carper and hearing his stories about growing up in Bartlett,” she said.

This project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

 The UNT Libraries previously received a TexTreasures grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to digitize and place newspapers published in Texas between 1829 and 1861 on the Portal to Texas History. These newspapers are currently the property of the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.


Highlights from the UNT Digital Collections

The World War I and World War II Poster Collections
The Government Documents Department includes in its online collections nearly 500 original World War I and World War II posters. The World War Iposters include some from our French allies, while the World War II group consists primarily of American home front posters.

War bonds, rationingenlistment, security, and morale are all topics featured by these artworks. The collection includes posters by such famous artists as Norman Rockwell, Theodore Geisel a.k.a Dr. Seuss, and Boris Artzybasheff.

poster: become a nurse poster: Americans all, let's fight for victory : Americanos todos, luchamos por la victoria poster: United we are strong Poster: Now All Together, Iwo Jima Poster: Wanted for Murder

Help us spread the word and please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will be interested.

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The Trail, cover of the yearbook of Daniel Baker College

The yearbooks have kept on coming this year! Take a look at the Trail, the yearbook of Daniel Baker College from 1913-1952.

The Lasso, yearbook of Howard Payne University

We also recently uploaded 95 yearbooks from Howard Payne University, the Lassoand the Swarm from 1912-2007.

Totem, yearbook of McMurray University

And don’t forget the Totem from McMurry University from 1924 – 2006.

Hot Comments 

Tulia Herald LBJ

“Thanks for all the hours of work, time, and money you have put in this project with the Tulia Herald and the Swisher County Library. I have lived in Tulia 81 years, and this site is bringing back memories. Thanks again, and keep it coming.”

– Mary Burgess

Alice Edrington

“What a great website! My great aunt is Alice Edrington (Weslaco), and it was so wonderful to see her during her younger days! Thanks for putting all of this information together! I am also a 4th grade teacher, and my students loved it as well!”

– Catherine Edrington Henry


Image of the month

Mary Van den Berge Hill

During a career that spanned four decades, artist Robert Joy painted more than 350 portraits of Houston’s social elite.

This image of Mary Van den Berg Hill is from the Robert Joy Collectionfrom our partners at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Mission Statement
The Portal to Texas History offers students and lifetime learners a digital gateway to the rich collections held in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and private collections.

Sign up for the Portal to Texas e-Newsletter!

Please forward this newsletter to friends, family, or anyone else who loves Texas history! If you’d like to sign up for our newsletter, just click the link above and send the email.

The Portal in the News

From the Bartlett Tribune, “UNT Libraries to Preserve Historical Bartlett Newspapers.”

The Austin Chroniclecovered “Austin Americana: The Neal Douglass Photography Collection,” which was on display at the Austin History Center. The Portal has over 2,000 of his photos online.


It’s Online!!

Tulia Herald Christmas Edition

Generously funded by the Tocker Foundation, the Tulia Heralddocuments the history of the west Texas town of Tulia. The Swisher County Public Library presents the Tulia Herald from 1918-1962. The weekly newspaper contains, local, national and world news, stories, illustrations, poetry, jokes, and advertisements. For next year, the Tocker Foundation is funding digitization of Aspermont Star, which was published in Stonewall County.

Who knew? you can find anything on the
Portal, really . . . 

A search for “rain” finds 2,573 results. Here are a few.

Inauguration of the Sante Fe Railroad Line, 1954

Rain at the Inauguration of the Sante Fe Railroad Line, linking Dallas, Denton, and Chicago, 1954, Denton Public Library

grove in Orange texas

Postcard: Gulf Coast Land in Rain Belt. Eight Acres in Orange, Heritage House Museum

Cadwell W. Raines

Cadwell W. Raines and his wife in the Texas State Library, Tarrant County College, NE

"rain specials" at Duckett's StoreAdvertisement for “rain specials”, 1935, Tulia Herald, Swisher County Library

chart from Guide to Texas emigrants

Meteorological chart from Guide for Texas Emigrants, 1835, Dallas Public Library

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Beyond the Bytes is a free electronic newsletter emailed every month to subscribers of listserv.

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