Posted by & filed under General.

Good news from the Digital Newspaper Team! The Tocker Foundation has announced their Spring 2012 newspaper digitization grant recipients, and five Texas libraries were awarded. Through the Tocker Foundation awards, communities from across Texas can build new collections–or add more issues to existing collections–on The Portal to Texas History.

By digitizing on the Portal, these communities will be digitally preserving and creating newspaper access for future generations to enjoy.

  • Baylor County Library in Seymour, Texas, received $32,278 to digitize 56 years of its newspaper, The Baylor County Banner.
  • The Gaines County Library in Seminole, Texas, received $19,083 in funding for its Seminole Sentinel issues, from 1917-1961.
  • The Higgins Public Library in Lipscomb, Texas, was awarded $23,667 to digitize 21,400 pages from multiple newspaper titles representing Lipscomb County.
  • Meridian Public Library in Bosque County received $17,780 to digitize its county newspapers up to 1962, including The People’s Tribune, The Meridian Tribune, and The Clifton Record.
  • The Schulenburg Public Library in Fayette County was awarded $15,270 to add more of its Schulenburg Sticker content, from 1921-1965, to the Portal.

    Congratulations to new Tocker Foundation newspaper digitizaton award recipients for this Spring!

Posted by & filed under General.

I am pleased to announce that we will soon be adding more historic issues of the El Paso Herald, from 1898-1901. 

Very soon, you will be able to read the dramatic account of the  joint execution of Antonio Flores and Geronimo Parra, on January 5, 1900.  Each man concealed sharpened daggars within their jail cells, and one was brave enough to try to fight off his guards.  El Paso Herald

As you’re paging through these newly digitized issues, pay close attention to the “Link & Pen” sections, where you can stay abreast of local events from the editor’s perspective.  You can do anything from keeping up on the Texas & Pacific icehouse building progress in Sante Fe to following the complications from coal shortages and smallpox. 

To learn how everything will turn out, keep your eyes peeled for the new issues of the El Paso Herald!  

Digitization of these issues was generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, through the National Digital Newspaper Program.

Posted by & filed under General.

The Portal to Texas History hosts an ever-growing collection of digital newspapers published between 1829 and the present day. Here are a few gems I’d like you to know about:

Saturday, December 12, 1835, “Camp Before Bejar,” Telegraph and Texas Register

On December 4, 1835, after a reconnaissance expedition in the southwest, Ben Milam learned that the Texas Army had decided to wait until after winter to attack San Antonio. Recognizing that timing was crucial to Texas independence, he rallied 300 volunteer troops with the cry, “Who will go with old Ben Milam to San Antonio?” and this led to the December 9 surrender of the Mexican army at the Siege of Bexar. Milam himself was killed by a sniper shot to the forehead on December 7. A close friend and neighbor of Collin McKinney and brother-in-law to one of McKinney’s daughters, Milam also had deep ties to the North Texas region.

Friday, December 9, 1910, “Women on a Jury in Divorce Case,” El Paso Herald

In San Francisco, California, for the first time in United States history, twelve women sat on a jury in the superior court. According to the news brief, fourteen women were present, and the two who were not chosen to serve were disappointed. The following year, California adopted an amendment granting women the right to vote. In Texas women were banned by law from serving on juries until 1898, and while suffrage was granted with the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, women were not granted the right to serve on juries until November 2, 1954.

Friday, December 9, 2005, “2006 forecast: NT professors give insight to new year,” NT Daily

If someone asked you what you thought the next year would bring, how might you respond? The “Holidaily” reporters for the NT Daily did just that on December 9, 2005. Upon reading the professors’ responses, one might be tempted to recommend suitably vague responses so that predictions might prove more accurate.

Each of these newspapers was digitized for a different project. The TexTreasures: Early Texas Newspapers grant funded digitization of the Telegraph and Texas Register; this grant has digitized the oldest titles in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History microfilm collection. The National Digital Newspaper Program, of which Texas is an awardee state, funded digitization of the El Paso Herald; newspapers digitized through the National Digital Newspaper Program also appear through the Library of Congress web site, Chronicling America. Finally, the NT Daily has been acquired through the UNT Libraries Digital Projects’ born digital newspaper initiative, to preserve and provide access to newspaper PDFs (the print masters).

Posted by & filed under General.

By the end of this February, we will have ingested a total of 1,000,000 pages of Texas newspapers to The Portal to Texas History: TDNP Collection

Because a newspaper represents its community, and an entire newspaper run is an ever-growing map of community identity, digital preservation and open access to newspapers is incredibly valuable to communities.  As we prepare to celebrate our one million pages of newspapers digitized, I would like to commemorate a few titles:

  • The Rusk Cherokeean:  As the Texas’ oldest, continuously published weekly, the Rusk Cherokeean represents a significant collection on the Portal. The publication began in 1850, when four years after Texas achieved statehood.  The Portal hosts nearly 100 years’ worth of this newspaper, from the 1920s to present-day PDF print masters, due to the foresight of its publisher, Terrie Gonzalez, about which she constantly discusses the importance of preservation and her worries about what would happen to the historic issues if a fire burned her building down.  Terrie’s belief in digital preservation and access means that the newspaper will always be available to the world.
  • University newspapers, including The Rice Thresher, The Texas Wesleyan Rambler, The University of Dallas News, The NT Daily/Campus Chat, and the Tarleton State J-TAC illustrate the value these universities place on their student newspapers as they seek to preserve and digitize them for open access via the Portal.  
  • The Rio Grande Herald: Through the perserverance and dedication of the Rio Grande City Public LIbrary director, Normal Gomez Fultz, nearly fifty years of the Rio Grande Herald have been digitized, making Rio Grande City’s history is available to the world. 
  • The Southwest Chinese Journal: Digitized in partnership with Rice University, this newspaper was printed in both Chinese and English, and served Houston residents  until 1985, when it ceased publication.

These are only a few newspapers that represent the Texas Digital Newspaper Program.  From across Texas, libraries, publishers, and active historical and genealogy societies have contributed to preserve their community records: their newspapers.  As we approach one million pages, we thank these people.

Posted by & filed under General.


Beyond the Bytes

 Winter 2013


Proud to Represent Texas! The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) invited The Portal to Texas History to become a partner and join a distinguished list of ten service hubs across the country to provide online access to their digital collections. DPLA’s mission is to offer a single point of access to millions of items, photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Taking it a step further, DPLA created a platform that allows researchers, developers, programmers, and others to use the items in creative ways. Visit DPLA’s App Library to view some innovation at work.

Full-color Newspapers Texas Digital Newspaper Program uploads first full-color newspapers from the new scanner. All issues of The Meridian Tribune from 1935 have been  uploaded as the Texas Digital Newspaper Program’s first newspaper title digitized from UNT Libraries new scanner.  Master images are 24-bit, full-color TIFFs, from which OCR has been generated and derivatives are viewable as full newspapers.  Through a Tocker grant awarded to the Meridian Public Library, over 60 years of The Meridian Tribune will be included on The Portal to Texas History. 

Featured Collections

Image of LBJNorman Dietel Photograph Collection, contributed by the LBJ Museum of San Marcos, documents Lyndon Johnson and family at the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Texas (his home from 1951-1973, Lady Bird’s until 2007). Noteworthy persons included in photographs are Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, Sam Rayburn, John F. Kennedy, Henry B. Gonzales, Hubert Humphrey, Pierre Salinger, and Bill Moyers. The photos also depict scenes of Texas hill country and historic Fredericksburg buildings, such as the Vereins-Kirche.

The Ormer Locklear Collection from the University of Texas at Dallas depicts the exciting and brief career of pilot Ormer Locklear. The WWI veteran performed as a barnstormer in Texas and then headed to Hollywood where he acted in two feature movies (The Great Air Robbery and the Skywayman). The Collection consists of photographs of Locklear, his friends and family, his stunt flying and his movie work, and a hand-colored set of Lobby Cards from The Great Air Race.   

Featured Partner

The Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC), part of the Houston Public Library System’s Special Collections, contributed two of its extensive collections to the Portal.

Mexican American Family Photo Collection
Through photographs and documents, the collection relates the everyday life of families (including photographs of the Rusk Settlement House for Mexican-American Immigrants) as well as local businesses, festivals and community events.

John J. Herrera Papers
Lawyer and leading civil rights advocatefor Mexican Americans, John J. Herrera played a significant role in key cases that challenged the legitimacy of separate schools for Mexican American children and excluding Spanish-speaking citizens from service on juries. Herrera also served as national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).


What’s in the Lab now?

UNT and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) received a TexTreasures grant this year to digitize a selection of THC’s Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) application files from five heritage regions in the state. The RTHL designation is awarded to historic structures deemed worthy of preservation and is the highest honor the state bestows upon historic buildings in Texas.  Each application includes a narrative describing the building’s historical significance and images illustrating the architectural features of the property. Here’s a preview of one application.

the Bytes

Sign up for the Portal to Texas History

f you are on Facebook, join the Portal to
Texas History Facebook page to be the first to hear the latest Portal
news and stories.
To unsubscribe from this newsletter: click here and send the email.