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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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Beyond the Bytes

The e-newsletter of UNT’s Portal to Texas History | June 2012

Cotton Wagons Crossing Brite Ranch
Cotton Wagons Crossing the Brite Ranch, Marfa Public Library

New Collections

The Moses and Stephen F. Austin Papers
Austin PapersWith plans to add more, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History contributed a selection of its Moses and Stephen F. Austin papers to the Portal. Considered the father of Texas by many, Stephen F. Austin (1793-1836) carried out his father’s plan for the Anglo colonization of Mexican Texas. The collection consists of transcripted correspondence between members of the Austin family dating from 1794 to 1879. The letters document both hardship and success for the Austin family through detailed accounts of land claims, store and banking investments, shipment of goods, settlement of debts and family matters.

mullicanMuseum of the Gulf Coast
More than 500 photographs and postcards spanning a hundred years provide a nice historical overview of Port Arthur and the surrounding region. It appears the locals knew how to have fun since the collection includes more than 100 photographs of musicians and their bands, including Tex Ritter, Moon Mullican, Cookie and the Cupcakes, Marcia Ball, Johnny Winter, and yes, even a photograph of Janis Joplin posing with her class in elementary school.

Carpa Cubana Witte MuseumThe Carpa Cubana and Sabino Gomez Photograph Collection
The Witte Museum of San Antonio received a Rescuing Texas History grant from UNT to digitize their Carpa Cubana collection that documents the Mexican American tent shows that traveled throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States, mostly between 1910 and 1940. The “carpas” combined traditional circus acts with acrobats and clowns and theatrical performances, such as singing, dancing, and comedy routines. La Carpa Cubana was run by the Abreu family based in San Antonio and Sabino Gomez was their star performer.

WWII veteranNational Museum of the Pacific War/Admiral Nimitz Foundation 
The National Museum of the Pacific war added their transcribed interviews of Texas veterans’ experiences in Iwo Jima, D-Day, campaigns in the South Pacific, and the Battle of Bataan. The veterans’ first-hand accounts are compelling and are a great resource for the classroom.


What’s in the Lab now?

Institute of Texan Cultures
Texas history teachers, you asked and we are delivering! The Institute of Texan Cultures is contributing thousands of images of its Texas Folklife Festival to the Portal. The colorful photographs provide wonderful examples of the diversity of Texas cultures and the retention of cultural traditions. The Museum received UNT’s Texas Cultures Online grant sponsored by the Amon Carter Foundation. The collection will be available on the Portal in July, 2012.

Mexic-Arte Museum
Another recipient of UNT’s Texas Cultures Online grant, the Mexic-Arte Museum will feature its collection of exhibition catalogs and photographs of cultural events including Austin’s largest and longest running Day of the Dead Festival.


Digital Frontiers 2012 – Save the Date!

Digital Frontiers
September 21, 2012

willisThe University of North Texas Libraries and The Portal to Texas History are hosting Digital Frontiers, a conference focusing on digital resources for research, teaching, and learning. The conference features a keynote address by Michael Millner, Director of the Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for Public Humanites.

We invite local historians, genealogists, librarians, K-12 educators, university and community college educators, students and technologists to come together to share ideas, knowledge and questions about how digital resources are changing the landscape of knowledge production in the public sphere.

To keep the converstation going, THATCamp Digital Frontiers will be held the following day on September 22, 2012 and will offer hands-on workshops and smaller informal group discussions. More details. 

Focus on … Parades!

Geogetown Centennial, 1948,
Austin Public Library.
Connolly Parade Float, circa 1900,
Bosque County Historical Commission.
North Texas Homecoming, 1954,
University of North Texas Archives.
Fourth of July Parade, 1970,
Richardson Public Library.

Students making a difference…

Meet Anjum Najmi, who joined the Portal team in 2010 to create a set of K-12 lessons as part of a grant UNT received from the National Endowment for the Humanities for its Chronicling America project. Her Newspaper Narratives lessons, featured on the Portal’s Resources 4 Educators website, use newspaper articles to teach key events in history through first-hand accounts. They have become very popular, especially the Cattle Kingdom lesson.Anjum Najmi

Anjum Najmi is working towards a doctorate in Educational Computing with a focus in instructional design at UNT’s Department of Learning Technologies. She has a number of years’ experience teaching in the K-12 classroom. Anjum said working in the classroom has helped her understand students’ needs and how teachers view curriculum content.

As she works on her dissertation in the Learning Technologies Department Anjum is also earning an MS in Library Science at UNT’s College of Information. She sees a strong connection between the two fields as they both incorporate information literacy. Anjum is fairly new to library science and would like to know more about digital collections and the ways that digital content can be made more accessible to users. She is especially interested in how social tagging is used and the role it will have in the future.

banner for the Texas Digital Newspaper Program

New Languages and Cultures
in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program

Texas Posten newspaperThe Portal is pleasedto announce the inclusion of 1,535 pages of the Texas Posten to the Texas Digital Newspaper Program collection. The Texas Posten began publication on April 18, 1896 as the first Swedish-language newspaper in Texas.  After nearly 100 years of publication, the Posten office closed down when its owners retired. The issues on the Portal can be searched in Swedish and represent the first six years of the Posten’s publication.

Also added to the Portal this year is the Galveston-based newspaper The Representative, available in its entire run, from 1871-1873. The Representative was the first newspaper in Texas to be published by an African-American proprietor and editor. newspaper

El Paso HeraldThe Portal also welcomes The El Paso Morning Times, the only Spanish and English newspaper to cover the Mexican Revolution, featuring such figures as Pancho Villa and and Emiliano Zapata. These issues represent 1913-1918, are searchable in Spanish. They were funded through a partnership with the University of Texas at El Paso.

The Texas Digital Newspaper Program is an expansion of newspaper preservation and access from the National Digital Newspaper Program. NDNP is a long-term effort from NEH and the Library of Congress to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with select digitization of historic papers. NDNP will create a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 in all 50 states and U.S. territories.


Highlights from the UNT Digital Collections

The UNT Digital Library contains a small treasure trove of rare War Department Field Manualsand Technical Manuals from the World War II era.  Because these documents were routinely superseded by newer editions, most libraries discarded them. We are lucky indeed that our own Government Documents Department maintained this collection for so many years–providing us with a snapshot of Army life and an understanding of the equipment and field techniques used during the war.

The War Department Manuals are part of a growing selection of online materials that help us comprehend this troubled period of world history.  You may also be interested in the:

World War Poster Collection
World War Two Collection
World War Two Newsmaps


dogaerialsmall boatsaerialaerial

computer graphical element


picture of hand raising in classroom

Visit our Resources 4 Educators web site. We’ve added Primary Source Sets and Newspaper Narratives.

Hot Comments

“Great site! Thanks for sharing this great information!” –M.W.

“I don’t know who is responsible for including the Bastrop Advertiser in this collection, but I thank you. What a wonderful resource. Thank you, thank you!” –S. Reese

“I found my ancestor listed in the Notables. I had not seen this information on him before. My family appreciates the Portal for providing this bit of family heritage in 19th century Waco.” –Anonymous

“I want to thank whoever put my history of my relative online…I have been looking forever…I found not only her information but a photo of her and her daughter on the front page of the El Paso Herald. I have called all my family to let them know of this find!!! – Katie

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.

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Who Knew?
You can find anything on the Portal, really. . .

A search for “fabric” brings up 16,429 items.fabric
Photograph from the George Ranch Historical Park

tailor shop
Holland Tailor Shop,
Heritage House Museum

Abilene High SchoolAbilene High School,
Abilene Photograph Collection

George Ranch
Photograph from George Ranch Historical Park

Contact Us

Alamo Illustration

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

Tara Carlisle, Editor

Nancy Reis, Editor:

Ana Krahmer, Contributor

UNT Libraries 
Portal to Texas History
1155 Union Circle #305190
Denton, TX 76203-5017

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