In February 2017, UTSA Special Collections received a treasure trove of unique items in a donation from the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA). “The purpose of the DTA is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world.” Because the DTA does not maintain physical materials on-site, after they digitize donations they find a suitable home among their contributing partners for the materials. In this instance, K.J. Rawson of the DTA contacted UTSA Special Collections as a possible repository for these items. Ten issues of Female Mimics magazine including the 1963 Premiere Issue are a jewel of the donation. The magazine was the first “glossy publication to focus on cross-dressers.” Issues now held in UTSA Special Collections date from 1963 through 1967.
Two issues of Drag magazine from 1973 offer a glimpse into transgender culture and concerns during the 1970s. Drag was published four times a year and was the “official voice of Queens Liberation Front, a homophile organization founded in 1969 and based in New York City.”
The third serial in the donation is Lady Like which was published by Creative Design Services in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. According to the editorial staff, “LadyLike is the first publication of its kind to be printed with a fresh approach. A balance of information and entertainment, more fact than fancy, in an open and airy format. LadyLike is a quarterly magazine dedicated to the principles of beauty, fashion and style, but not entirely restricted by them.”
All three publications contain content that was revolutionary at the time each was published. Articles about sex reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, homosexuality, and often, explicit images filled the pages and in the case of LadyLike, the serial bore the words “Adults Only.”
Seven informational self-help books for cross dressers and those they love round out the donation.
These printed materials are of great value to scholars researching transvestism, the evolution of trans-identities, and gender fluidity. With LGBTQ+ materials as a collecting priority for UTSA Special Collections, the publications are a welcome addition as we strive to represent the diverse identities of marginalized populations.
The serials and books will be cataloged and made available for research in the very near future. An online guide for the materials will include links to digital versions that are part of the Digital Transgender Archive.
 Accessed on the Digital Transgender Archive [https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/about/overview], March 17, 2017.
Accessed on queerty.com [https://www.queerty.com/get-acquainted-female-mimics-premiere-drag-queen-glossy-magazine-1963-20170205], February 27, 2017.
 Drag: A Magazine About the Transvestite, edited by Lee G. Brewster (Queens Liberation Front: New York City, NY), 1973.
 LadyLike premier issue, (Creative Design Services: King of Prussia, PA), 1987.
Celebrating Women’s History Month: The Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association of San Antonio
This blog post was written by student clerk Alesia Hoyle.
In honor of March being Women’s History Month, UTSA Special Collections staff have chosen to highlight the prominent and prolific Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association (MABPW) of San Antonio. Select items from the collection are now on exhibit in the two glass cases outside Special Collections on the 4th floor of the John Peace Library. The exhibit was curated by graduate student workers Alesia Hoyle and Mindi Gandara, and showcases the history of the organization, including its organizational values and objectives. The exhibit also gives a face to MABPW members and illustrates some of the local events the organization sponsored.
This nonsectarian, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization was founded by Luz Escamilla in 1972 with 29 members to help promote the image of the Mexican American women, to encourage them to become involved in their communities, and to familiarize them with the responsibilities of membership in a national organization. These women wanted to empower not only Mexican American women but also the working woman. At one time, MABPW was the largest Business and Professional Women’s organization in Texas!
MABPW members were very active in the San Antonio community and helped to increase awareness of Mexican American cultural heritage. They sponsored several annual local events: the Children’s Christmas Party for disadvantaged children, La Feria del Rio (a Mexican Independence Day Festival held at La Villita), and the Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Dance. In addition to sponsoring and co-sponsoring many programs, seminars, workshops, and symposiums, MABPW employed public education to increase awareness of present issues such as promoting equal pay for women, voter registration, women’s rights, and health care concerns.
The MABPW Records range from 1968-2016 (1972-2005 bulk) and contain minutes, correspondence, reports, financial records, planning materials, programs, newsletters, and photographs. A full inventory of the collection is available online. The collection is open for research and can be viewed by appointment at the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room.
During the first week of February, Amy Rushing and I had the opportunity to travel to the SVREP California Regional Offices located in Los Angeles, California. Our mission was to collect documents and any other materials relating to the SVREP Organization prior to 1994. Since the SVREP offices continue to operate and serve the community today, we found it necessary to collect these materials in order to contribute to UTSA’s growing activism collections.
Let me just say from the beginning that Los Angeles was an amazing place to visit. I instantly fell in love with the city’s culture, food, and people and had not realized how much the city had grown and changed since I had last visited 10 years ago. Since I have begun processing the SVREP collection, I have become very familiar with the materials and documents and was eager to see the office in person. I enjoyed visiting the SVREP LA offices in person and observing their day-to-day operations, which allowed my work to come to life in a sort of way. As one can imagine, the offices contained an enormous amount of information form over the years. Amy and I went to work alongside SVREP employees who were more than helpful in guiding us through over 20 cabinet file drawers and assisting us in packing up the material.
In comparison to the 400 boxes the SVREP collection began with, we ended with 35 boxes of material from the LA Offices. The voter registration work conducted in LA was very similar to what was done in San Antonio and we often saw similar material. Some of the documents we found included IGOTV training materials, Administrative Files, Subject and Research Files (from individuals, corporations, unions and organizations). Other documents contained information concerning Latino Vote, Latino Academy, Foundations, Field Organizing, Grant Applications, California and AZ Regional Planning Committees, Training Retreats, Conference Programs, Law Offices, schools.
It was a great experience to visit the offices and be involved in bringing new material back to UTSA. While we await the arrival of the boxes from LA, they will not be immediately processed. Amy and I hope that UTSA will return in the future to add material to the collection to continually preserve the contents of the LA Offices. Until then, we will continue sorting through the existing material, and look forward discovering the similarities and differences between the two offices.
***This project is generously funded by the NHPRC**
Surfaces ranging from stone, clay tablets, pieces of wood, bone, ivory, tortoise shell, linen, and palm leaves have been used to inscribe words or images by ancient civilizations. Around 2600 B.C.E, a new writing surface, a predecessor to a printed page/book appeared, serving the needs of ancient scribes and writers for centuries. Or, at least until the first century, C.E. when parchment (untanned leather) became the writing surface or technology of choice for ancient literati.
The papyrus plant (Cyperus papyrus) grew in abundance along the bank of the Nile River and the ancient Egyptians developed a process of turning the reeds into paper. Once processed, pressed and dried, sheets of papyrus proved durable and smooth enough to write on, using reeds, quills and ink made from charcoal and water. A typical papyrus sheet was 12 inches in height, and multiple sheets were often glued together to create a much larger writing surface. Thus joined, the papyrus scrolls could reach fifty to one hundred feet long.
Because of the durability of papyrus, a number of scrolls containing ancient legal, medical, moral, and scientific texts have survived over the centuries at libraries and museums around the world. At UTSA Special Collections we are especially lucky to have uncovered three distinct fragments of writing on papyrus in the Perine-Deitert Manuscript, Early Print and Bible Collection, MS 269.
The earliest papyrus fragment in our collections appears to be from 300/200 B.C.E and is written in the ancient Egyptian script called Demotic, or popular script used for writing for documents. The second fragment, from 300 C.E, is written in Greek, and the last piece, written in Coptic can be dated to 500-600 C.E. [i]
The three fragments are accompanied by research notes and correspondence, which highlight the difficulties in working with fragmentary evidence and deciphering the meaning behind these mysterious pieces of ancient technology and history.
[i] Howard, Nicole. 2005. The Book: The Life Story of a Technology. Greenwood Technographies. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
This post was written archives student assistant Kira Sandoval.
Love, for some, can blossom while pursuing higher education. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we collected love stories, campus activities, and legends from UTSA’s history. Here are some of the university’s most notable Roadrunner love stories.
1975: The First Roadrunners to Fall in Love at UTSA
The Binghams were the first students to meet, fall in love at UTSA, and get married. They fell into Love’s clutches rapidly; classes started on June 5, 1973, and by December 1974 they had gotten married.
Elizabeth and Joe were the second set of students to meet, fall in love at UTSA, and get married. As tradition goes, the rice showering their heads in this photograph represents well-wishes for their marriage.
1970’s: Bridge of Love
You may know that the short bridge that connects the Art Building and the Flawn Sciences Building, adjacent to the swooping awnings, is sometimes known as the Bridge of Love. The nickname dates back to the 1970s, when main campus was still in its infancy. According to UTSA legend, two students, Julie and Jason, fell in love while enrolled in a drawing class at UTSA. The two were separated when Jason left for the Vietnam War. When the pair reunited, it is rumored that these two Roadrunners saw each other—for the first time since Jason’s departure—in the middle of the Bridge of Love and reconnected with a kiss.
1978 A Sweet Fiesta Fundraiser
In 1978, the university’s Young Leaders Society sold candy and carnations to students to raise money for a Fiesta float.
1979: Ms. Sweetheart and Mr. Cupid
In 1979, UTSA held a Valentine’s Day Dance and students voted on a Ms. Sweetheart and Mr. Cupid. This photo was taken a couple of days before the dance. We do not know if the couple was in the running for Ms. Sweetheart and Mr. Cupid, or if they were just posing for promotional photos, but they sure do make a handsome late-70’s couple.
1989: An Educated Valentine
One of the more controversial Valentine’s days at UTSA arose from an issue of the Paisano student newspaper. The late 80s and early 90s were a time of heightened concern about the AIDS epidemic and education on safe sex was essential to keeping people healthy. UTSA students voiced their desire for the Paisano to write about AIDS education and the Paisano responded. The Paisano printed an issue on February 14th that included a condom, donated by the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, glued to each educational pamphlet insert. This risqué Valentine’s issue of the Paisano received local and national media attention.
1990: Kissing Booth
Public Displays of Affection aren’t only for February! In 1990 and 1991, Sigma Phi Epsilon members puckered up for their kissing booth on campus to raise money for the fraternity. The booth was part of Best Fest, a UTSA fall annual tradition organized by the Campus Activities Board to raise money for campus organizations.
2009: UTSA’s First Wedding Reception
Ashley Starkweather of the class of 2009 and Tim Mazzanti of the class of 2005 met on campus at UTSA. During Ashley’s first semester and Tim’s last, they met in a class that Tim had delayed taking until the end of his program. They attended basketball games in the Convocation Center together and were both actively involved on campus. Ashley was a member of the UTSA Dance Team and Tim was a founding member of the Blue Crew, a group that paints themselves blue and shows their UTSA spirit at games. In 2009, the new University Center addition was open to students and Ashley was able to sneak a peek of the ballroom during a study session. The couple used the ballroom as the location of their wedding reception and became the first Roadrunners to celebrate their marriage on campus.
2014: Revisiting Love Origins
In 2014, Sonia M. Moncayo Marroquin, UTSA class of 2000, and Armando Marroquin, UTSA class of 1998, visited UTSA accompanied by their three sons. Now married, Sonia and Armando first met through friends at UTSA in 1998. Sonia was a pre-med student and Armando was a business major. They began to date in 2002, a few years after they had first met. Perhaps the next generation of Marroquins will be Roadrunners as well!