Next week we observe the 65th anniversary of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade as an annual event during Fiesta San Antonio. Over 700,000 spectators are expected to watch the floats, marching units, horseback riders, and musical groups pass along the downtown streets.
In early 1948, the Fiesta Association announced that a new parade would be added to the list of Fiesta events. The addition was made in response to numerous requests from people who remembered the popular illuminated automobile parades held during Fiesta in 1911 and 1924. Reynolds Andricks, parade chairman, found participants among various civic and social organizations, commercial establishments, and the military. The parade would be called simply “Illuminated Night Parade” and serve as the Fiesta grand finale. Over 100,000 spectators came that evening, insuring that it would be held again the following year. With a growing list of participants, the Fiesta Association announced in 1951 that the night parade would have a new name: Fiesta Flambeau.
These photographs are from The San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359). They were taken on April 24, 1948 by Light staff photographer Robert Jean Osborne. Special Collections also houses the San Antonio Light staff photographs of Fiesta Flambeau each subsequent year through 1992.
This past Tuesday UTSA’s College of Public Policy’s presented a lecture by former Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez as part of their Dean’s Lecture Series. The lecture was be followed by a reception cosponsored by the College of Public Policy and the UTSA Libraries, during which Mr. Gonzalez was honored for the donation of his congressional papers to UTSA Libraries Special Collections.
The Charles (Charlie) A. Gonzalez Papers document Gonzalez’s career in the United States Congress from 1998-2012. The bulk of the collection, which measures 32 linear feet, consists of correspondence, reports, legislation and project files. The are currently available for research at the Special Collections HemisFair Park reading room and requests to view the material can be made via our collections access request form.
For additional information, see the UTSA Libraries official announcement.
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, we’re highlighting jazz musicians as documented through the Institute of Texan Cultures Oral History Collection. In the early and mid-1980s Sterlin Holmesly interviewed 29 San Antonio jazz musicians. Several are highlighted below.
Bert Etta Davis started a jazz band at her high school in San Antonio. Upon entering Prairie View A&M, she began playing for the all-male Prairie View Collegians. Over the next few years, as the male members of the band were drafted a new all-female group was formed, the Prairie View Co-Eds, with Davis as the star soloist. The Co-Eds officially disbanded in 1946, although a sextet, including Davis, continued performing under the name for several years. When Ernestine “Tiny” Davis took over, the band toured 14 countries as the Tiny Davis’ Hell-Divers. When Davis eventually left the combo it was to be a featured soloist in the Dinah Washington road show.
After playing with brass bands in New Orleans in the 1920s, Albert Dominique came to San Antonio from New Orleans in 1927 to play trumpet in the Troy Floyd band under the stage name Don Albert. After a few years, and with financing from a friend, he started his own territory band. By 1932 Albert had transitioned primarily to manager and rarely played with the band.
Albert later opened the Keyhole Club, which was the first integrated nightclub in Texas, and brought in national jazz acts. Additional images related to Don Albert and his Key Hole Club can be found in our digital repository.
The Happy Jazz Band was formed in 1962 by Jim Cullum, Sr., a clairnetist, along with his son Jim Cullum, Jr., who had taught himself to play the cornet while in high school. The pair also secured investors in 1963 to open The Landing, a jazz club on the San Antonio Riverwalk. After Cullum, Sr.’s passing in 1973, Cullum, Jr. assumed leadership of the band and changed the name to The Jim Cullum Jazz Band. Since 1989, performances from The Landing have been broadcast weekly on public radio as Riverwalk Jazz.
Several interviews were conducted with members of the Happy Jazz Band and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band:
- Interview with Jim Cullum, Jr., June 11, 1980
- Interview with Jim Cullum, Jr., August 12, 1986
- Interview with Mike Pittsley and Howard Elkins, July 17, 1980
- Interview with John Sheridan, June 9, 1980
- Interview with Allan Vache, June 10, 1980
- Interview with Jack Wyatt, June 11, 1980
Notes and Sources:
- A complete list of the jazz-related oral history interviews conducted by Sterlin Holmesly can be found in the UTSA digital repository or by browsing the ITC Oral History Collection finding aid.
- Holmesly, Sterlin, “Texas Jazz Veterans: A Collection of Oral Histories” (2006). Journal of Texas Music History.
- Tucker, Sherrie. Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s, Duke University Press, 2000.
- Riverwalk Jazz Collection is available online from Stanford University Libraries Archive of Recorded Sound.
UTSA Special Collections recently received records related to the establishment of UTSA’s Center for Research and Training in the Sciences. Previously known as Center for the Advancement of Life Sciences (CAS), the Center for Research and Training in the Sciences (CRTS) was established under UTSA’s College of Sciences in 2005 to promote science, research, and education. The Center oversees 13 research and training programs that provide annual funding support for students, faculty, and the community through scholarships, stipends, and grants. Programs are funded in part by various sources including the National Science Foundation (NFS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), institutional funds, and private donations, such as the Pat and Tom Frost Foundation and Sloan Foundation. The training and research programs under UTSA’s CRTS benefit participants from many disciplines and include graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and the greater community of San Antonio and the state of Texas.
Drawing on multiple areas of expertise (biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, engineering, computer science, and biosciences), the faculty development and student training programs within the CRTS all contribute to the academic programs of the university. These programs attract scientific visitors who are active in cooperative training with UTSA faculty and students; they also participate in seminars and supervise independent research projects. Student programs supported by the CRTS include: Minority Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC_U*STAR), Minority Biomedical Research Support – Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE), Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate (LSAMP_BD), General Education Excellence in Math & Science (GE²MS), Hispanic Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment (HLAE), Teaching and Research in Environmental Ecology (TREE), U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (USFS SRS), and the Work Study Research Training Program (WSRTP). Faculty programs include: Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI), Minority Biomedical Research Support – Support for Competitive Research (MBRS-SCORE), and the International Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (ICNAM). Community programs include: ExxonMobile Texas Science and Engineering Fair (EMT SEF) and the San Antonio Mathematical and Science Education Partnership (SAMSEP).
In 1998 UTSA sought the establishment of a Research Center in Minority Institution program to support the creation of the Cajal Neuroscience Research Center (CNRC). The goal of establishing the CNRC was to facilitate neuroscience research at UTSA, focus development and recruitment efforts in this area, as well fostering collaboration between neuroscientists and computer scientists at other local research institutions. In 2005, UTSA established the RCMI Cajal Neuroscience Research Center (CNRC) that developed into the Cajal Neuroscience Institute. In 2008 its name was officially changed to the UTSA Neurosciences Institute (NI). Previously supported by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the RCMI program now receives support from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) through a $12.6 million grant that serves “to enhance the research capacity and infrastructure at minority-serving universities that offer doctorates in health sciences”. The organizational structure of the RCMI Program at UTSA consists of administrative and scientific divisions. The administrative division includes the Principle Investigator, the Program Director, Program Manager, and an Institutional Administrative Support Team. The scientific division includes the External and Internal Advisory Committees, Scientific Advisor, Core Leaders and Research Project PI’s.
A finding aid for the collection is now available online.
Special Collections is pleased to announce that more than 200 publications from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are now available online in UTSA Libraries’ Digital Collections.
The Texas Biomedical Research Institute was founded by San Antonio businessman and philanthropist Tom Slick in 1941 as the Foundation of Applied Research (FAR). Originally, FAR was intended as a broad research center encompassing agriculture, natural sciences, and medicine. Early work was conducted in the areas of military inventions, cloud-seeding, and on-site construction.
In time, the Institute came to specialize in medical research, with a particular focus on infectious diseases, cancer research, heart disease, and neonatal diseases. In 1958, a baboon colony was established at the Institute for medical research. Today this has grown into the Southwest National Primate Research Center, which holds the largest captive baboon population in the world, as well as large numbers of chimpanzees and other primates. Key areas of primate research include infectious diseases, chronic diseases, development and aging, and genomics.
Over the course of the past six decades, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute has played an important role in many medical breakthroughs, including the development of a Hepatitis B vaccine, a high frequency ventilator for premature babies, and genetic analysis software. A few areas of ongoing and future research include the genetic factors of depression, drug resistant malaria, and filovirus (e.g. Ebola, Marburg) vaccine development.
The Institute’s name has changed several times since its founding, from the Foundation of Applied Research to the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education in 1952, then to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in 1984, and and mostly recently to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in 2011.
The Texas Biomedical Research Institute Publications Collection includes issues of three serial publications: Progress in Biomedical Research (1954- ), Annual Report (1953- ), and Scientific Report (2009- ). The collection includes two monograph titles: The First Half Century and A Stereotaxic Atlas of the Brain of the Baboon (Papio). Special Collections also holds the papers of the Institute’s founder Tom Slick.
Sean Heyliger, A Guide to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute Publications Collection, 1953-2011. Accessed March 12, 2013.
Stacy Maloney, “Southwest Foundation for BioMedical Research.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed March 12, 2013.
Texas Biomedical Research Institute, “Southwest National Primate Research Center.” Texas Biomedical Research Institute Web Site. Accessed March 12, 2013.
Kenneth P. Trevett, J.D., ”Letter from the President,” Progress (Fall 2012). Accessed March 12, 2013.
- MS 406 Van de Putte (Leticia) Papers, 14 feet of campaign materials, photograph albums, scrapbooks, and oversized materials.
- MS 403 Adams Extract and Spice LLC records, 1.5 linear feet of Adams photographs, correspondence, labels and products materials, and items related to their 125th anniversary.
- MS 405 Chapa (Francisco A.) Family papers consisting of 7 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 file carrier of photographs, letters and other materials related to Francisco A. Chapa and his extended family, including son Frank L. Chapa, Bea and Bella Chapa, and members of the Rivas and Laborde families.
- MS 016 San Antonio 100 records, one record carton and three envelopes of board materials, reports, minutes, membership information, and budgets, 2008-2010.
- MS 321 Gonzalez (Barbara Renaud) Papers, 4 boxes of writings, correspondence and other materials of this author.
Rare Books: 46 titles [February Title List]
The 1920s was a decade of expansive construction that saw corresponding sales in materials for interior design. Many of the available options were influenced by the art deco style, which began to emerge before World War I, but was made famous by the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels in Paris. Characterized by formalized flowers, geometric patterns, and vivid colors, art deco “delight[s] in ornament for its own sake.” Modernism, with its clean lines and “emphasis on the machine as a source of inspiration,” had its roots in 1920s European design such as Bauhaus. However, as an avant garde movement, its influence is less evident in the mass market design options in these catalogs.
- Lighting Fixtures (192-) by the Crown Light Co.
- Muresco for Wall & Ceiling Decoration: White and Tints (1920) by Benjamin Moore & Co.
- After Sunset – Lightolier: The Charm of a Well-Lighted Room (1922) by Lightolier Company.
- Decorative Possibilities of Cretonne: Standish Fabrics (1924), published by Elms & Sellon.
- Vitralite: the Long-Life Enamel (ca. 1925) by Pratt & Lambert
- Lighting Fixtures (1928), by Acme Lighting Products, Inc.
- King Color Rules the Home (1928), by Acme White Lead and Color Works.
 Battersby, Martin. The Decorative Thirties (New York: Walker and Company, 1971): 10-12.
 sic.: 20, 23.
Each March participating schools throughout the country showcase the talents of their music students. Through various concerts and educational activities, Music in Our Schools Month, or MIOSM, raises awareness and appreciation of music education programs.
Musical training has been a part of the curriculum of public and private schools in San Antonio from the 19th century to now. In observance of MIOSM, Special Collections presents some of the photographs from our collections that document the teaching of music in local schools. The earliest, from the 1880s, is a class portrait taken for the school and the parents. A descendant of one of the students loaned us his original to copy for our General Photograph Collection (MS 362). Another more recent group portrait of music students is from the Zintgraff Studio Photograph Collection (MS 355). The others, from the San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359), were taken for newspaper articles relating to music education in San Antonio schools.