This Veterans Day we would like to take the opportunity to highlight two female veterans documented through manuscript collections maintained by Special Collections.
Margaret “Bridget” Duggan was commissioned in the United States Air Force in 1963 and served overseas in Okinawa, Japan, and Thailand. From 1975-1977, she was a commander of a basic military training squadron at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. In 1977, Margaret Duggan was sent to Iran to integrate women into the Iranian armed forces, but left in 1979 when the Shah of Iran was overthrown. She retired from the Air Force in 1982. The collection is comprised of awards, photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence.
During World War II, Lucie Petri ran hotels in Paris for American women serving overseas. During the late 1940s, she served as president of the overseas division of the National Council of Catholic Women. Petri served as president of the New York unit of the Women’s Overseas Service League and in 1967, Petri was elected national president of the organization. The collection is comprised of scrapbooks, clippings, and assorted Women’s Overseas Service League materials.
Pictured below are several pages from one of Lucie Petri’s scrapbooks documenting a tour of Reim in 1919.
Other military-related sources at UTSA:
With both No Shave November and Movemeber occurring this month, November is generally considered National Beard Month. Each week this month, we will be featuring beards, moustaches and other examples of facial hair on The Top Shelf. First up are group portraits.
Entitled “After the Ball is Over!” this photograph features (l to r) Emil Schuetze, photographer Louis De Planque (bottom), saloon keeper George Roberts (top), and Paul Nix.
Next up is a studio portrait of the Goeth brothers. Excluding Max, all the sons of Anton and Ottilie Goeth have some sort of facial hair. L to r: Edward Wilhelm Goeth, a rancher; Conrad A. Goeth, a lawyer; Adolph Carl Goeth, a merchant; Max A. Goeth, a rancher; and Richard A. Goeth, a doctor.
A.H. Elnaugh, 77; W.L. Miller, 75; and G.W. Coleman, 89 (l-r) reminisce at the 23rd convention of the Old Trail Drivers Association at the Gunter Hotel.
And, lastly, the Amarillo Cornet Band, with moustaches on 9 of the 10 members.
Most readers focus primarily on the text of a book. Although the physical traits of the book affect their experience (paperback or hardcover, smooth paper or rough, large-print or small, etc.), this usually occurs in the background of the reader’s awareness. However, as a researcher, examining the physical traits of a book can reveal a great deal about not only the conditions of its material production, but about its use and readership.
To take a very basic example, the size of a book influences when and where it is likely to be read. Could it be slipped into a pocket for reading on a train? Or would it require a substantial table or lectern? Compare the relative sizes of the Postilla (left) and Novenas (right) below. Which one would be suitable for private worship, and which one is more likely to have been studied in a library or read aloud to a congregation?The typography and layout of a book may indicate whether it is being marketed to children or adults, men or women, the everyman or the very wealthy. Is as much content being crammed into a tiny space as possible? Or does the work have wide margins and decorative elements?
Similarly, a book’s binding can indicate wealth and availability of raw materials on the part of the publisher, but it also usually indicates something about the intended market for a book. Think about an airport paperback of the current best seller in comparison to limited edition hardcover of classic literature. Or compare the thin paper wrappers of the pamphlet on the left to the red leather binding on the right.Some special books provide even more information about readers. Association copies and annotated texts preserve traces of actual readers – specific individuals who actually read (or at least interacted with) a particular physical copy of a book.
An association copy is one that “once belonged to, or was annotated by, the author; which once belonged to someone connected with the author or someone of interest in his own right; or…someone peculiarly associated with its contents.”  In other words, to truly qualify as an association copy, the book’s owner must have some significant and interesting connection to its production or content. Ownership is often indicated through book plates or other evidence, as in the case of the volume below, which contains the editor’s own book plate.
A presentation copy is a special type of association copy that was given to the recipient as a gift by the author. These are differentiated from inscribed copies, which are signed/inscribed by the author to someone, but are not necessarily spontaneous gifts (think of a modern-day book signing event). Presentation copies provide insight into authors’ professional and social relationships. The book below is inscribed by Tejana poet Rosemary Catacalos to San Antonio publisher Bryce Milligan.Association copies (whether or not they are presentation copies) may also be annotated – that is, the reader has made handwritten notes in the text. Sometimes annotations record an aesthetic or emotional reaction to the text. For example, in his copy of Lettres à un Ami Allemand (1945) by Albert Camus, Vladimir Nabokov made a caustic annotation at the end of the text that loosely translates as “It’s droll, in that rather French way of giving a flavour of raspberries to the blandest of platitudes”. Other times, annotations comment upon the informational content of the text, or seek to add to it. An example of this is the copy of The Fall of the Alamo : A Reminiscence of the Revolution of Texas (1860) by Reuben Marmaduke Potter, in which Potter made extensive handwritten additions to his personal copy, correcting and amplifying his original account.
It is possible (and common) for a book to be annotated without being an association copy. People who are not famous or well-known also record their thoughts in page margins. Even when the annotator is not a person of historical significance, or their identity cannot be discovered at all, annotations still reveal a great deal about the reception of a work. Analysis of handwriting, vocabulary, and ink can sometimes suggest some context for the annotations – Is there one writer or several? Are the annotations the thoughts of a contemporary of the author? Or someone reading a text two centuries later?The physical characteristics of books and the traces that former owners and readers leave behind can provide important clues for both the study of book production and publication and the study of readers and reading. So the next time you pick up a book, old or new, broaden your view beyond the text and see what you can learn.
 Carter, John and Nicholas Barker, ABC for Book Collectors (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2006): 27.
 Carter, John and Nicholas Barker, ABC for Book Collectors (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2006): 173.
 Harrington, Peter. Bookseller’s Description.
In honor of LGBTQ history month, UTSA Special Collections highlights the Lollie Johnson papers, which have been recently digitized and are now available online. Lollie Johnson was a successful business entrepreneur who owned many bars and nightclubs in San Antonio that catered to the city’s queer community. The Zoo Club, Hypothesis, Faces, the Noo Zoo, and LJ*z were the names of just a few of the establishments run by Johnson. The Lollie Johnson papers are rich in photographs that document life in the queer social spaces of San Antonio from the early 1970s through the early 1990s. Central to these social places, were sites that lesbians could call their own; spaces in which to explore and establish connections with other queer women.
While some of Johnson’s clubs served as bastions of lesbian culture, other venues attracted diverse crowds. Lollie’s nightclub, the Broadway Cabaret featured San Antonio’s top drag performers. Patrons thronged to see the Cabaret’s glamorous female impersonators and glitzy musical numbers. Jimmy James, who performed as Marilyn Monroe at the club, landed an appearance on the Geraldo Rivera show in 1989.
Away from the thumping music and bustle of the clubs, Lollie loved entertaining at home and many images exist that depict fun times among friends and family. Lollie’s well-known warmth and love of life shine through as she enjoys gatherings in her home.
Lollie’s joyful time spent with family and friends extended beyond her clubs and home; many photographs chronicle vacation trips to exciting destinations like Cancun and New Orleans. Other images capture the simple pleasures of a trip to the beach accompanied by best friends and companions.
Social outings and charity events were also an important part of Lollie’s life. Lollie was active in the Alamo Human Rights Committee, the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, and the San Antonio Tavern Guild. Images of Johnson attending fundraisers underscore her commitment to the LGBTQ community, both locally and beyond San Antonio.
LGBTQ history month prompts us to probe facets of the past that have often been unexplored. Fortunately, collections such as the Lollie Johnson papers allow glimpses into San Antonio’s queer past. The photographs present in the collection offer insightful views into the private and public lives of lesbians, gays, and transgender persons who moved within the world of Lollie Johnson and played a pivotal role in the evolution of the city’s queer community. Celebrate the vibrancy of San Antonio’s LGBTQ history; explore the Lollie Johnson papers online.
Other LGBTQ collections of interest at UTSA Special Collections: GLBTQ publications, the San Antonio Area Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Related Web Collection and more. Also see other Top Shelf blog posts related to San Antonio’s LGBTQ history.
Major floods have occurred in San Antonio since Spanish Colonial times. While accounts exist, there are only isolated photographs showing local flooding more than a century ago. It wasn’t until October 1 and 2, 1913 that a flood was extensively recorded by photographers.
Both local newspapers, The San Antonio Express and the San Antonio Light, published photographs on October 2 showing views of a flooded downtown. Front page headlines read: “Flood Brings Swift Death and Terror” and “Four Lose Lives in Flood Which Does Immense Damage Throughout City.” Articles describe the devastation in detail. And that same day, a local photo finishing company began advertising photographs of the event. The Potchernick-Birdsong Company ad in the San Antonio Light reads: “Flood Pictures / Views of San Antonio River as seen once in a life time / Order them now…”
Only two months after the floodwaters receded, the San Antonio River again rose out of its banks into downtown during the flood of December 3 and 4. Once again, Potchernick-Birdsong immediately placed an ad for “Flood Pictures.”
These are some of the original real photo postcards and copy prints of the 1913 floods that are part of our General Photograph Collection. The photographers are unknown.
- MS 250 Retama Park Records, 2 boxes from a horse racing track that opened in Selma, Texas in 1995.
- MS 210 San Antonio Founders Day Records, 2 boxes.
Rare Books: 12 gift books received June – September
Special Collections receives donations of published works from a variety of sources, including publishers, authors whose books feature materials from our archival and photograph collections, and individuals whose personal book collecting interests coincide with our focus on San Antonio and South Texas. Privately printed family histories, such as this one, provide invaluable microcosm views of Texas history.
The Domel family is of Wendish/Sorbish origin, descended from Slavic tribes that reportedly settled in Europe during the 9th century, including in Lusatia (part of present day Germany). Facing pressure due to lack of jobs and crop failures, many Wends emigrated to Texas and Australia during the -to-late-19th century. In 1891, widow Marie Pobran and her six sons boarded a steamship in Hamburg. Marie settled near extended family near Warda, Texas and later married Johann Popran (later Pobran), with whom she had two daughters.
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the oldest organization of its type in the United States, having been chartered on May 31, 1929, by five local businessmen from Bexar County as the Mexican Chamber of Commerce. Its purpose was to encourage and promote trade and cultural relations between San Antonio and Mexico, to disseminate data and information relevant to the San Antonio business community, and to provide technical assistance to the business community in the form of seminars, workshops, and trade shows. Its activities for membership social interaction have included dances, awards ceremonies and luncheons, business mixers, events for the Mexican Consul, celebrations of Mexican holidays, golf tournaments, banquets, and community outreach.
The Chamber was organized by Don Enrique Santibanez, Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio, who became its first president. The first meetings were held in May and June of 1928 under the sponsorship of Santibanez. Given the deep historical and commercial ties and tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, the chamber’s primary emphasis in its early years was to promote trade, policy and cultural harmony. During this time, Chamber activities were characterized by efforts to develop an active network of officials and Chambers of Commerce in Mexico. The social climate and subsequent barriers to Mexican American pushed the San Antonio Chamber to go beyond the traditional scope of Chambers of Commerce, and into one of dual social and business advocacy.
In 1987 the Mexican Chamber was renamed the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The name change was indicative of globalization emphasizing their relationship with all of Latin America and also the diversity of San Antonio Hispanic businesses.
The chamber had an active alliance with Mexico’s President Salinas de Gortari and Commerce Secretary Herminio Blanco to coordinate the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) public education and promotion campaigns among Mexican-Americans in the United States. With NAFTA’s passage, the Hispanic Chamber was recognized as a critical component in negotiating the many compromises which made it possible, and also as critical to its future success, again serving as the cultural and commercial connection.
The Hispanic Chamber has always provided outreach to the San Antonio community. Outspoken advocacy of educational programs, establishment of a scholarship fund, and publicly stated positions in civic matters have distinguished its contributions to the city. In recent years, the chamber’s role has broadened to include advocacy on behalf of small, minority- and woman-owned businesses.
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC) Records include materials that reflect the history, work and policies of the Chamber between 1931 and 2008. Documents include correspondence, membership directories, yearbooks, bylaws, newsclippings, newsletters, legislative agendas, registers, photographs, press releases, invitations, scrapbooks and paper copies of the website. Of note is an impressive collection of photographs that document chamber board members, activities, and businesses in 20th century San Antonio. An extremely limited collection of material from the records have been digitized and are available in our digital repository.