Posted by & filed under Grants, Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

University of North Texas Libraries is excited to announce the completion of a project to digitize and make freely available the Texas Jewish Post. This project was funded primarily through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library


Texas Jewish Post, September 4, 1952

Services (IMLS) and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) as part of TSLAC’s TexTreasures competitive grants program. This project was also funded in part by private donors, which was very helpful due to the breadth of the collection.

The Texas Jewish Post has served the Jewish community in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Texas since Shelden Beren first began publishing it in January 1947. Published primarily in English and secondarily in Hebrew, the Texas Jewish Post changed hands in 1948, to the ownership of Jessard A. “Jimmy” Wisch. Since 1948, many members of the Wisch family have been involved in maintaining the newspaper, and now the title is published by Sharon Wisch-Ray, the daughter of Jimmy Wisch. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing coverage of political, economic, and social developments affecting Jews globally, provides wire reports to the Texas Jewish Post. Correspondents for The Post contribute coverage from Israel and Washington, D.C., making it both a state, local, and national newspaper. Multiple generations of readers have reported to the Wisch family that it is their first source for news in the north Texas area as well as in the Jewish community.

The Wisch family’s legacy lives on through the Texas Jewish Post. Jimmy Wisch passed away on January 26, 2002. Rene Wisch passed away on November 1, 2010. Their lifetime of service to the Jewish community in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will not be forgotten, especially now that their newspaper is freely accessible on The Portal to Texas History in perpetuity, for generations of researchers to come.


Texas Jewish Post, April 6, 2006

Prior to this grant award, the Texas Jewish Post collection only existed in paper format, with neither a complete digital nor microfilm duplicate. The publisher, Sharon Wisch-Ray, has provided this collection to University of North Texas Libraries to digitally preserve it for long-term research and education access. Open access to this newspaper’s archive, via The Portal to Texas History, will benefit researchers interested in learning about the Jewish experience from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. The materials digitized through this grant represent 59,360 pages in 2,763 issues of newspapers.


Posted by & filed under Rescuing Texas History.

The Portal to Texas History has recently announced the call for submissions for its most recent round of the Rescuing Texas History program. Rescuing Texas History 2016 is the ninth year of the program, which has brought to light over 45,000 items from 206 partnerships. Since the beginning of the program there have been over 5.1 million uses of materials hosted on the Portal to Texas History that were received in response to past call for submissions.

Now it is your turn.

Each project selected will be provided with up to $1,000 of digitization services to libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other groups (including individuals) that house historical materials. All materials accepted will be scanned at UNT Libraries and hosted on The Portal to Texas History. Deadline for receipt of applications is August 1, 2016.

For more information and to download the application: Rescuing Texas History Mini-Grant

Posted by & filed under General, Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

The celebration of Juneteenth in Texas on June 19th has marked the ending of slavery in the United States since 1865.  To celebrate this year, I’d like to share some items and collections I’ve found on The Portal to Texas History and the Gateway to Oklahoma History that are about African-American Texans whose lives have enriched Texas and the world.

From the late 19th-century, The Representative, published by Richard Nelson, was the first newspaper published and owned by an African-American proprietor.  Mr. Nelson was born in the Florida Keys in 1842, and he served in multiple federal posts, including postmaster in Virginia Point and federal customs office inspector.  In 1870, he served as Justice of the Peace for Galveston County, one year before he began publishing The Representative, which he started on May 22, 1871, stating, “[The Representative] will advocate the rights of all American citizens ‘without regard to color, race or previous condition of servitude.'”  According to the Handbook of Texas online, in 1901, Mr. Nelson “served as vice president for the Southern Negro Congress,” toward furthering education and economic prospects for the advancement of the African American community (Barr, 2010).  As I read through issues of Nelson’s first newspaper, I am most struck by his brave outspokenness.

The first African-American Aviator in the world was Bessie Coleman, and she came from Atlanta, Texas. Coleman graduated from the Caudron Brothers’ Aviation School in Paris, France, and she flew all over the world.  In Orange, Texas, in 1925, she thrilled audiences with her aviation skills, but she also received a death threat letter due to her race. While the death threat letter did not scare her out of performing, Ms. Coleman was killed in an airplane accident one year later, along with her mechanic and PR manager, William Willis.  The Gateway to Oklahoma History offers further detail into Coleman’s aviation background.

A modern-day hero we can learn about from the Portal is Barbara Jordan, who became the first African-American Texan in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972, as well as the first African-American woman from the South to be elected to congress. Rep. Jordan was famous for her speeches, one of which became immortalized when she spoke in support of the Nixon impeachment in 1973 during the Watergate hearings.  Much of Jordan’s work can be found on The Portal to Texas History, in the Barbara C. Jordan Archives Collection.  This collection houses speeches, photographs, and newspaper clippings that document Jordan’s impact on Texas and the U.S., and the documents are freely accessible for worldwide research.

If you’d like to expand your education about the contributions of African-Americans in Texas and the south, you can find these people and more searching on The Portal to Texas History and the Gateway to Oklahoma History.

Photo of Woman barrel racing. Item from the Horse Country USA Archive.

Posted by & filed under General.

The UNT Libraries recently published Through the Lenses of Ray Bankston and Don Shugart, a captivating sample of the extensive collection of prints and negatives held in the Libraries’ Special Collections.

Ray Bankston and Don Shugart were two of the most prolific photographers of American Quarter Horses and horse show events in the South and Southwest during the last four decades of the twentieth century.

Their work is also featured in The Portal to Texas History’s Ray and Joyce Bankston Dalco Photography and Don Shugart Photography Collections.

Read more

Posted by & filed under General.

May 19, 2016
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Thanks for supporting the Portal to Texas History Endowment!

We asked you to donate and you did! Thanks to all those who helped contribute matching funds towards the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment. We appreciate you!



recently added Collections …

Humble Echo

The Humble Echo was the primary newspaper for Humble, Texas The newspaper started in 1942, and it provides a window into Humble life through local news, ads for local companies, as well as personal memos from local townspeople to their loved ones fighting in the war. The Humble Museum has digitized the earliest… (more)


McFaddin-Ward House Museum

The McFaddin-Ward House Museum has provided photographs, documents, and historic postcards from the family’s collection. The mission of the McFaddin-Ward House Museum is to preserve and interpret… (more)


South Belt Ellington Leader

The South Belt/Ellington Leader has been publishing a weekly newspaper continuously since February of 1976. The Leader is free of charges and is distributed in stores and public places within its service area in southeast Houston. The Leader has always been owned by persons living and working in the South Belt area. The newspaper’s founding publisher is … (more)


Congratulations to the Texas Digital Newspaper Program!
4 Million Pages and Counting
As of May 2nd, we celebrate 4 million pages preserved in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program, and we have some tidbits for you to help us celebrate!

The Texas Digital Newspaper Program would not exist without the generous support of many contributors, including those groups who provide newspaper content for inclusion and those who provide funding to add more newspapers every day. These groups include the National Endowment for the Humanities, who selected UNT Libraries as the National Digital Newspaper Program institution for Texas, for three… (more)


from the UNT Digital Library


Starting with the year 2000, this collection contains selected issues of The HEXAGON of Alpha Chi Sigma. This national professional fraternity was founded in 1902 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now has over fifty collegiate and professional chapters across the United States. The collection includes the “Rediscovery of the Elements” sesquidecade… (more)



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