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Recently digitized images from the photograph collections

August 31, 2015

Each week five dedicated volunteers scan negatives and prints that will be added to our online catalog. These are examples, by volunteer Phil Holts, that illustrate the wide range of subjects represented in our holdings.

 

An Ercoupe, advertised as the first spinproof private airplane, is hoisted from Commerce Street to the fourth floor of Joske’s Department Store, December 1945. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355, Z-1284-A-02)

At the beginning of the holiday shopping  season, an Ercoupe is hoisted from Commerce Street to the fourth floor of Joske’s Department Store, December 1945. Within thirty minutes after it went on sale, the store received three orders for what was advertised as the “first spinproof private airplane.”  (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355, Z-1284-A-02)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shepherd with flock on William Negley’s Las Farias Ranch, Maverick County, 1880s. Photograph by Ichabod Nelson Hall, Canadian-born itinerant photographer based in Cotulla. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 102-0803)

Shepherd with flock on William Negley’s Las Farias Ranch, Maverick County, 1880s. Photograph by Ichabod Nelson Hall, Canadian-born itinerant photographer based in Cotulla. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 102-0803)

Postmaster Herman P. Hermansen and wife stand on porch of their home and post office in the Danish farming community of Danevang, Wharton County, circa 1905.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  098-0550)

Postmaster Herman P. Hermansen and wife stand on porch of their home and post office in the Danish farming community of Danevang, Wharton County, circa 1905. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 098-0550)

The 1948 Oldsmobile 98 Futuramic Club Sedan, with hydramatic drive, on display at General Oldsmobile Company, 801 Broadway. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0910-A-11)

The 1948 Oldsmobile 98 Futuramic Club Sedan, with hydramatic drive, on display in San Antonio at General Oldsmobile Company, 801 Broadway. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0910-A-11)

Fred Stark, director of San Antonio Zoo, feeds new baby elephants that arrived overnight by railway express from their former home in Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, April 5, 1962. Photograph by Harvey Belgin. (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359: L-6153-A)

Fred Stark, director of San Antonio Zoo, feeds new baby elephants that arrived overnight by railway express from their former home in Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, April 5, 1962. Photograph by Harvey Belgin. (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359: L-6153-A)

Only a few months after the first lunar landing, San Antonio residents see a moon rock, sealed in an atmosphere of pure nitrogen in a temporary exhibit at the Witte Museum, November 24, 1969. Photograph by Jose A. Barrera. (San Antonio Express-News Collection, MS 360: E-0018-194-26)

Only a few months after the first lunar landing, San Antonio residents see a moon rock, sealed in an atmosphere of pure nitrogen, in a temporary exhibit at the Witte Museum, November 24, 1969. Photograph by Jose A. Barrera. (San Antonio Express-News Collection, MS 360: E-0018-194-26)

Introducing our new Rare Books Librarian, Agnieszka Czeblakow

August 24, 2015

Hello Top Shelfers! I am very happy to introduce myself as the new UTSA Libraries Special Collections Rare Books Librarian. Building on the work of my predecessor, Juli McLoone, I am responsible for acquiring, maintaining and preserving Rare Books Collection, and partnering with UTSA’s subject librarians to provide instruction on archival resources and research tailored to fit faculty learning objectives and enrich students’ learning experiences.

IMG_4461I come to San Antonio from Atlanta, Georgia where, from 2010-2015, I worked in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory. As the Collection Management Coordinator, I was responsible for all aspects of managing the physical storage, arrangement, and retrieval of MARBL’s rare books, maps and over 15,000 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections. I selected printed materials for stabilization and conservation treatments, managed rare book mass digitization projects and workflows, and worked with curators and rare book dealers on acquisition and accessioning of new materials. During my tenure, I oversaw two moves of the rare book collection and played a major role in planning for the University’s new, state of the art off-site storage facility, which will house circulating and archival collections.

In 2011, I received my PhD in Latin American History from Emory University. My dissertation, A Prison by any Other Name: Incarceration in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth- Century Audiencia de Quito challenged the commonly accepted dichotomy between pre-modern and modern penology, and related assumptions about the beginnings of prisons and their development in Latin America.

It was during my dissertation research in Ecuador’s National Archives that my interest in the work of archivists and librarians was born. Upon returning to the United States, I sought graduate work positions that would bring me closer to that world. I have worked in Emory’s Conservation and Preservation Office, as a rare book assistant and, in 2009 as a fellow working with Emory’s Latin American Bibliographer on retrospective collection development. In 2014, I received my MLIS degree from University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

As the Rare Book Librarian, I am thrilled at the opportunities ahead of me and look forward to growing our Mexican Cookbook Collection, expanding our print collections related to communities and groups traditionally underrepresented in the historical record, as well as adding new items to our digitized collections. I am also very excited about partnering with UTSA’s librarians and faculty to create a robust archival instruction program that can provide UTSA students with immersive learning experiences that will empower them to become knowledge creators rather than consumers.

Stay tuned to the Top Shelf blog for highlights from our collections and news of the innovative work and research happening on the 4th floor of the John Peace Library.

New Acquisitions for July 2015

August 20, 2015

Manuscript Collections

New:

  • UA 99.0027 UTSA. Papers of Faculty and Staff: Wendy Barker, 27 linear feet of teaching files, manuscript drafts, and correspondence documenting the writings and career of Poet in Residence and Professor of Creative Writing, Wendy Barker.

Additions:

Rare Books

song from the forest“For twenty-five years Louis Sarno has been recording the polyphonic and hypnotic music of the Bayaka people in Central Africa. Here is his account of his efforts to protect the Bayakas’ fragile existence in an increasingly destructive world, and of their culture’s extraordinary beauty and spiritual sophistication”–

 

Special Collections Seeking Student Clerks – 4 available positions

August 17, 2015

University Archives student assistant Mindi Gandara digs through news releases from 1978 to generate tweets for @UTSAYESTERDAY.

UTSA Libraries Special Collections is seeking four student clerks.  Positions are located at both UTSA’s Main Campus and the HemisFair Park/Institute of Texan Cultures Campus downtown. 

Interested students may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter indicating which position(s) they wish to be considered for to specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk (reporting to University Archivist)

Location: HemisFair Park Campus/ITC (downtown San Antonio) and Main Campus

Job Description: With training from the University Archivist, carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include scanning and entering metadata for photograph or digital collections; re-housing and creating inventories of collections; and other duties as determined.

Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Some lifting required. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel, scanners and image editing software a plus. Preferred candidates will be able to work at both our HemisFair Park Campus in the Institute of Texan Cultures (801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.) in downtown San Antonio and our Main Campus locations.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Monday-Friday.

Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $9/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter or any questions regarding the position to Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: SRT Student Clerk (Reporting to Digital Archivist and Rare Books Librarian)

Location: Main Campus, multiple locations

Job Description: With training from the Digital Archivist the student will carry out tasks relating to digitization of the The Kathryn Stoner O’Connor Mexican Manuscript Collection (made up of printed and manuscript documents, periodicals, pamphlets, and broadsides, predominantly written in Spanish, and ranging in date from the 16th through the 20th centuries).  Activities include paging and re-shelving materials; scanning documents; editing and creating metadata; uploading digital objects; managing project documentation; and other duties as determined.

Qualifications: Graduate student preferred. May consider undergraduates with demonstrated relevant library or museum experience. Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Ability to work under minimal supervision. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel, scanners and image editing software a plus. Spanish language literacy preferred.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Monday-Friday.

Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $9/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter or any questions regarding the position to Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk (Reporting to Rare Books Librarian)

Location: Main Campus, John Peace Library

Job Description: With training from the Rare Books Librarian the student will carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include paging, photocopying, and re-shelving materials; scanning and entering basic metadata for digital collections; cleaning, processing, and re-housing incoming materials; assisting with collection maintenance; and other duties as determined.

Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Some lifting required. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold needed. Familiarity with Library of Congress subject headings.  Experience with scanners and image editing software a plus.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Monday-Friday.

Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $9/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter or any questions regarding the position to Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk (Reporting to Digital Archivist)

Location: Main Campus, multiple locations

Job Description:  With training from the Digital Archivist the student will carry out tasks relating to preservation and access of digital archival materials. Activities may include editing and creating descriptive and/or technical metadata; uploading digital objects to our online access system; creating inventories of digital collections; managing project documentation; and other duties as determined.  This position will also be heavily involved in creating descriptive information for our San Antonio Light Photographs Collection.

Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Ability to work under minimal supervision. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel/Access preferred.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Monday-Friday.

Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $9/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter or any questions regarding the position to Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.

 

Little book of home cures, concoctions, and observations

August 11, 2015

UTSA Libraries Special Collections houses many unique items. Every now and then, an object comes along that is delightfully unexpected. Recently, while reviewing some manuscripts of unknown provenance, we came across a diminutive notebook filled with surprises. Replete with handwritten entries and pasted-in tidbits, the creator drew together an ecclectic collection of home cures and concoctions as well as observations on topics of interest. Cataloger Stephen Dingler describes the book:

A manuscript notebook in ink and pasted in clippings from newspapers or journals. Includes entries for general knowledge topics such as  “matter”, “moon”, “light”, “electricity”, as well as cooking recipes, instructions and tips on housekeeping, such as how to preserve flowers, cleaning feathers, preserving fruit, and home remedies. Possibly from the northeast United States.

Dated from the mid-1800s, the tiny treasure includes a recipe for “Green Fire,” as well as other intriguing potions that makes one think the creator was practicing alchemy in addition to brewing blackberry wine. All entries are faithfully listed alphabetically on an index page at the front of the book.

index

 

home cures_033

 

Several pages contain prescriptions from chemists. one located in Glasgow, Scotland.

home cures_064-065

 

While the notebook binding is broken, the pages are remarkably well-preserved. Digitization of this unique item is underway and access will soon be available online through Special Collections digital portal. The title as it appears in UTSA Libraries’ print materials catalog is: Manuscript notebook of recipes, home remedies, housekeeping, and general knowledge.

Remembering Dr. Martinello, A Friend of Special Collections

August 3, 2015
Image from Office of University Communications Photographs, UA 16.01.01

Image from Office of University Communications Photographs, UA 16.01.01

The members of the Special Collections department were saddened to hear the news that Dr. Marian Martinello passed away on July 24, 2015. A significant figure in the development of UTSA, she served as a professor in the College of Education and Human Development from 1975 to 2000. In 2011 she became a founding member of the UTSA Retired Faculty Association (RFA) and served as its president beginning in 2014. Dr. Martinello worked on several projects that connected Special Collections and UTSA Libraries to her work with the RFA. This past March she had the idea to stage a chili tasting and presentation for members of the association, introducing them to the staff who developed and created the Gebhardt Mexican Foods Company virtual exhibit.

Dr. Martinello was an enthusiastic advocate for documenting, preserving, and sharing UTSA history. She encouraged her fellow retired faculty colleagues to contribute their own memories of the early days on campus to the RFA’s Oral History Project, which documents the history of UTSA. Last year she presented at the 2014 Texas State Historical Association annual meeting in San Antonio. She spoke on “Photographic Evidence of Change in the University’s Development,” a project in which she gathered photographs of significant events in the university’s history. Many of the photographs were from our University Archives and historical San Antonio photograph collections.

Her excitement for local history was a catalyst for her extensive use of historical materials from our collections. Dr. Martinello was a familiar sight in our reading rooms, using our primary sources for her books, particularly our Mexican Cookbook and our photograph collections. She published more than a dozen books throughout her career, including Chili Queen: Mi historia, a novel that was released earlier this year.

Dr. Martinello made an impression on our department on a personal level; we considered her a friend. Special Collections staff member Melissa Gohlke had frequent contact with Dr. Martinello as a reading room patron. She had this to say:

“Punctual, polite, and a delight to be around, she spent many hours in the JPL reading room. Dr. Martinello always thanked us for our assistance; she made everyone feel important and their contributions valued. She was a gentle, warm, and kind person who will be missed.”

Image from Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio, MS 27

Image from Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio, MS 27

Image from Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio, MS 27

Image from Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio, MS 27

The Evolution of an Idea

July 27, 2015

In two earlier posts I’ve provided a sneak peek at materials found in the newest addition to the Jacinto Quirarte Papers. In that same vein, I’d like to share two sets of records which demonstrate the wide range of work Quirarte was involved in, particularly in his role as Director of the Research Center of the Arts.

Quirarte was engaged in many activities as he laid the foundation for the RCA, a multidisciplinary outreach initiative dedicated to the study of Latin American art and culture. After writing a proposal for the establishment of the Center, he solicited advice and feedback from colleagues at NYU, Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, The University of Texas at Austin, and the Smithsonian. Evidence of this activity remains in the form of correspondence dating from 1976-1977 between Quirarte and his fellow academics. It is especially helpful that he kept copies of his outgoing letters, in addition to the original incoming letters. This way, researchers get a full view of the conversation and not just one-way messages. This correspondence shows just a hint of the writing and strategic planning that was critical to Quirarte’s work as a dean and RCA Director.

An adjacent folder includes a stack of sketches for a logo for the RCA, which may illustrate his involvement in a more creative endeavor. While I can only assume that these are Quirarte’s own drawings, there are also no clues that would attribute the sketches to someone else. In general, Quirarte comes across as a very hands-on person, not a distant, remote administrator. Further, although we remember him primarily as an art historian, he was a visual artist before concentrating his education on art history.

Either way, this collection of sketches is fascinating as visual evidence of the evolution of idea. The artist is playing with an assortment of different aesthetic directions, and later, different iterations of the same seed of an idea. Over the course of the drawings, only some of which are included here, you can see how one concept starts to prevail.

It was satisfying to discover in a subsequent folder which logo was ultimately selected. Quirarte’s papers include issues of the Review, the RCA’s newsletter, spanning 1978-1983. In addition to scholarly articles and mentions of upcoming events, each issue includes the RCA logo.

In my view, this set of logo sketches demonstrates one of the most compelling aspects of working with archival materials. Because we collect the unpublished, the background papers, the intermediate drafts, a researcher can study the choices being made in the process of the creation of something, whether that is designing a course curriculum, establishing an academic research center, or crafting a logo.

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