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New Acquisitions for April 2015

May 21, 2015

Manuscript Collections

New:

  • MS 452 Southwest Voter Registration Education Project/William C. Velasquez Institute Records. The collection is comprised of approximately 450 linear feet of print materials including voter exit polls, election records and statistics, redistricting maps, political research reports, occasional papers, legal documents from voting rights lawsuits, Get Out the Vote (GOTV) planning and training documents and more.

Additions:

Rare Books

Highlight:

Words without Walls

Words without walls: writers on addiction, violence, and incarceration / edited by Sheryl St. Germain and Sarah Shotland

“An anthology of poems, essays, stories, and scripts by contemporary writers that provides a wide range of content and genre, touching on themes common to communities in need: addiction and alcoholism, family, love and sex, pain and hope, prison, recovery, and violence”(quote provided by publisher)

Restoration of Mission San Jose

May 15, 2015

For 2015 Preservation Month, we showcase some of our photographs of the lengthy and extraordinary restoration and reconstruction of the buildings at Mission San Jose.  These images, mostly from 4×5 glass plate negatives, were all taken by staff photographers of the San Antonio Light newspaper.  They are included in our San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359).

Though minor repairs had begun much earlier, the first major project began in 1928 after the collapse of San Jose’s church bell tower.  A Light photographer immediately visited the scene to record the aftermath for a front page article.  Less than seven weeks later, he photographed the beginning of the reconstruction of the tower.

In 1932, the San Antonio Conservation Society began the restoration of the granary.  This project was the first of the San Jose rebuilding projects that were accomplished by laborers from government relief programs.  The Light photographers made several trips to the site to illustrate articles updating the ongoing restoration.  Of particular interest are features that appeared on January 17, 1933 and February 14, 1934.

These photographs provide a chronology of the restoration.

 

Spectators view the debris of the bell tower that suddenly collapsed on March 9, 1928.  This photograph was published the following day with an article stating that Catholic Archbishop Arthur J. Drossaerts had already appointed an architect to plan an immediate reconstruction, financed by the church.  (MS 359:-L-0282-C)

Spectators view the debris of the bell tower that suddenly collapsed on March 9, 1928. This photograph was published the following day with an article stating that Catholic Archbishop Arthur J. Drossaerts had already appointed an architect to plan an immediate reconstruction to be financed by the archdiocese. (MS 359:-L-0282-C)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A massive frame scaffold sits beside the church during reconstruction of the tower by Frederick Schutte Construction Company, April 1928.  The project was finished by the middle of August, with Schutte announcing that the work was accomplished using only the original stones.  (MS 359: L-0512-

A massive frame scaffold sits beside the church during reconstruction of the tower by Frederick Schutte Construction Company, April 1928. The project was finished by the middle of August, with Schutte announcing that the work was accomplished using only the original stones. (MS 359: L-0512-01)

Workers remove debris inside the Mission San Jose granary, owned by the San Antonio Conservation Society, early December 1932.  The east wall (left) was determined to be unstable and demolished.  (MS 359:  L-0175-K)

Workers remove debris inside the Mission San Jose granary, owned by the San Antonio Conservation Society, early December 1932. The east wall (left) was determined to be unstable and demolished. (MS 359: L-0175-K)

Workers, furnished by the Central Relief Committee, begin reconstruction of the east wall of the granary, January 1933.  (MS 359:  L-1424-B)

Construction workers, furnished by the Central Relief Committee, begin reconstruction of the east wall of the granary, January 1933. (MS 359: L-1424-B)

Central Relief Committee workers uncover stone foundations, later determined to be the long-forgotten mill, near the north wall of the mission compound.  The granary is in background on left, January 1933.  (MS 359:  L-1424-E)

Central Relief Committee workers uncover stone foundations, later determined to be the long-forgotten mill, near the north wall of the mission compound. The granary is in the background, January 1933. (MS 359: L-1424-E)

View looking west from church roof showing large model of the mission complex that was used for planning the reconstruction.  Beyond is the granary, with new roof partly complete, April 1933. (MS 359:  L-1424-J)

View looking west from church roof showing large model of the mission complex that was used for planning the reconstruction. Beyond is the granary, with new roof partly complete, April 1933. (MS 359: L-1424-J)

Worker beside the model, painted with reproductions of the geometric designs that once covered the walls of the church and convento, July 1933.  (MS 359:  L-1424-K)

Worker beside the model, painted with reproductions of the geometric designs that once covered the walls of the church and convento, July 1933. (MS 359: L-1424-K)

Remnants of the original Indian living quarters, constructed of tufa, along the west wall of the mission compound, January 1933.  (MS 359:  L-1424-G)

Remnants of the original Indian living quarters, constructed of tufa, along the west wall of the mission compound, January 1933. (MS 359: L-1424-G)

The following year, the San Antonio Light photographer stood in the same location to record the reconstruction of the Indian apartments, using sandstone as the building material, February 1934.

The following year, the San Antonio Light photographer stood in the same location to record the reconstruction of the Indian apartments, using sandstone for the building material, February 1934.

Fortified gate constructed by Civil Works Administration employees from plans by restoration architect Harvey Smith, February 1934.  (MS 359:  L-207-E)

Fortified gate constructed by Civil Works Administration employees from plans by restoration architect Harvey Smith, February 1934. (MS 359: L-207-E)

Civil Works Administration employees prepare to rebuild the north wall of the mission church, February 1934.  (MS 359:  L-0207-A)

Civil Works Administration employees prepare to rebuild the north wall of the mission church, February 1934. (MS 359: L-0207-A)

Federal Emergency Relief Administration workers construct a concrete dome on the mission church, February 1935.  (MS 359:  L-0207-N)

Federal Emergency Relief Administration workers construct a concrete dome on the mission church, February 1935. (MS 359: L-0207-N)

Scaffolding covers the entrance to the church while a waterproofing compound is applied to the carved stone façade, November 1935.  The dome remained unfinished until funding became available the following year.  It was finally completed in early 1937, with a rededication service held in the church on April 18, 1937.  (MS 359:  L-0836-A)

Scaffolding covers the entrance to the church while a waterproofing compound is applied to the carved stone façade, November 1935. The dome remained unfinished until funding became available the following year. It was finally completed in early 1937, with a rededication service held in the church on April 18, 1937. (MS 359: L-0836-A)

Group looks at excavated ruins of the Mission San Jose mill shortly before the San Antonio Conservation Society began restoration, March 1936.  On left is Mrs. Conn Milburn, of the Conservation Society, with Erhard Guenther, president of Pioneer Flour Mills, and Mrs. J.K. Beretta, of the Society of Colonial Dames.  The Colonial Dames contributed funds for the project and Pioneer Flour Mills researched and built the mill machinery.  (MS 359: L-0972-L)

Group looks at excavated ruins of the Mission San Jose mill shortly before the San Antonio Conservation Society began restoration, March 1936. On left is Mrs. Conn Milburn, of the Conservation Society, with Erhard Guenther, president of Pioneer Flour Mills, and Mrs. J.K. Beretta, of the Society of Colonial Dames. The Colonial Dames contributed funds for the project and Pioneer Flour Mills researched and built the mill machinery. (MS 359: L-0972-L)

Sculptor Eraclito Lenarduzzi, owner of Southern Monument Company in Houston, begins work of replacing missing portions of the statues on the richly carved church façade, May 1948.  (MS 359: L-3533-F)

Sculptor Eraclito Lenarduzzi, owner of Southern Monument Company in Houston, begins work of replacing missing portions of the statues on the richly carved church façade, May 1948. (MS 359: L-3533-F)

 

 

UTSA Special Collections Acquires Southwest Voter Registration Education Project/William C. Velásquez Institute Records

May 11, 2015
Antonio Gonzáles and Dr. Ricardo Romo signing the Deed.

Antonio Gonzáles and Dr. Ricardo Romo signing the Deed.

On Friday, May 8, 2015, UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo and Antonio González, President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) and the William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) signed a formal agreement deeding both organizations’ records to UTSA Special Collections. I had the honor of attending the event to witness the historic signing.

The signing took place on the eve of Willie Velásquez Day at a reception preceding the annual Southwest Voter Fundraising Dinner. Four of the mayoral candidates: Tommy Adkisson, Ivy Taylor, Leticia Van de Putte, and Mike Villareal were in attendance and during the dinner, participated in a short panel discussion before being whisked away to their next event. Senator José Menéndez was the keynote speaker and Antonio González closed the event.

Dean Maloney, Dr. Romo, Antonio González, and Sen. José Menéndez mingle before the reception.

Dean Maloney, Dr. Romo, Antonio González, and Sen. José Menéndez mingle before the reception.

We are very honored to be selected as the stewards of the SVREP/WCVI Records. We’ve received the first twenty years of the organizations’ records, totaling more than 450 linear feet of material (and counting!). The collection contains extensive data and research on elections and voters including: voter exit polls; opinion polls; election records and statistics; redistricting maps; political research reports; occasional papers; legal documents from voting rights lawsuits; GOTV training documents and GOTV planning documents; position papers; and more! The collection is rich with primary source material that will be valuable for scholars and researchers from across the country.

This collection will be by far our largest archival collection. Over the next few months we will blog about our experience taking physical custody of such a large collection. It required many trips to a storage facility where we sorted through roughly thirty years’ worth of boxes. The experience was interesting, rewarding, sometimes surprising, and at times exhausting (though never dreaded!). With each new box we discovered many archival treasures, which built excitement and kept us eager to go back again and again until the storage unit was clear.

We are currently seeking funding to help process the collection and to digitize portions of it. We will keep you posted!

Special Collections Student Clerk — Two Available Positions

May 7, 2015

UTSA Libraries Special Collections is seeking two student clerks. One position will assist with department operations and is located at the Institute of Texan Cultures. The second position will assist with digitization of the Sons of the Republic of Texas Kathryn Stoner O’Connor Mexican Manuscript Collection. The second position is located at the John Peace Library. Interested students may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu.

Job Title: Student Clerk

Location: HemisFair Park Campus/ITC

Job Description: With training from the Photo Curator and the University Archivist, carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include scanning and entering metadata for digital collections; re-housing and creating inventories of collections; entering metadata for the San Antonio Light photograph collection; 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 MS Excel, scanners and image editing software a plus. Must be able to work at our HemisFair Park Campus in the Institute of Texan Cultures (801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.) in downtown San Antonio

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

Hours per Week: 15-19

Wage: $8/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu. If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk

Location: John Peace Library, Main Campus

Job Description: The Kathryn Stoner O’Connor Mexican Manuscript Collection is 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. With training from the Digital Archivist the student will carry out tasks relating to digitization. Activities include paging and re-shelving materials, scanning documents, metadata editing, uploading digital objects, 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 MS Excel, scanners and image editing software a plus. Spanish language literacy preferred.

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

Hours per Week: 9 – 19

Wage: $8/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu. If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.

Archival collections provide links to the history of the battle for Same-Sex Marriage

May 4, 2015

In the current world, we are subjected to a deluge of contemporary issues that tug society in different directions. Battles for cultural and political change play out daily through news reports and social media. With the barrage of issues and information pelting our consciousness every day, how often do we think about the history behind contemporary issues. What path of events has led us to this point; how have decades changed perceptions that push issues to the surface demanding resolution?

In this edition of Top Shelf, we will examine archival materials that provide historical context for one contemporary flash point:  same-sex marriage. Utilizing the UTSA Libraries Special Collection LGBTQ publications digital collection, I have selected articles that offer perspectives on this contentious issue in the decades prior to the April 2015 Supreme Court hearings.

Cover of the Marquise April 1995

Cover of the Marquise April 1995

The April 1995 edition of the Marquisesummed up the cautious optimism of the time:

Thanks to an historic court case now underway in Hawaii, lesbians and gay men may be on the verge of winning the right to marry – a basic right still denied them in all fifty states. In the past, other people were refused the right to marry – for example, because of their race – until the law was changed to end this denial of a basic human right. Like non-gay people, gays and lesbians need and want the right to marry.[1]

The Hawaii court case, to which the article refers, began in 1991  when a state clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to three same-sex couples. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the refusal was in direct violation of the state Constitution which prohibits discrimination and guarantees equality for all. In 1995, the case was back in lower court where detractors passed a new law attempting to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples citing procreation as the basis for marriage.[2] The same-sex marriage ban continued until 2013 when the State Legislature passed the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act.[3]

Marquise, June 1995, 12.

Marquise, June 1995, 12.

The Marquise article warned that while the Hawaii case looked promising in 1995, a backlash was inevitable, foreseeing that “state legislatures will attempt preemptive strikes against same gender marriage.”[4] Many couples recognized that the battle over same-sex marriage would be a long one and opted to formalize their unions through commitment ceremonies. In June 1995, the Marquise, covered one such union:  San Antonio residents Don Taylor and Bruce Jarstfer “publicly committed themselves to each other as friends, partners, lovers, and husbands.” The ceremony took place at First Universalist Unitarian Church in San Antonio and was attended by 200 friends and relatives.[5]

While images of male couples dominated articles in the Marquise about gay marriage rights in the 1990s, queer women in San Antonio had pondered the same-sex marriage question years before. In 1987, San Antonio lesbian author Frankie Jones examined the benefits of same-sex unions in an article written for the Women’s Community Journal (later called WomanSpace). Jones asked her readers to consider the following question:

Women's Community Journal, March 1987, page 6

Women’s Community Journal, March 1987, page 6

Look at the woman across the table from you. If you had the legal option of marriage, the same as what is now offered to heterosexuals, would you marry her?

Jones listed the benefits of marriage:  insurance coverage, joint income tax returns, next-of-kin rights in case of hospitalization, or in case of death, survivor’s rights.[6] Such considerations provided peace of mind in addition to a safety net if something happened to one partner–without being legally married, these essential benefits were out of reach of same-sex couples. 

WomanSpace followed the marriage battle closely, keeping readers up-to-date as court rulings began to break down barriers against same-sex unions. In December 2003, WomanSpace reported on the historic decision in Massachusetts as it became the first state in the United States “to grant same-sex couples the right to a civil marriage.”[7] While news of Massachusetts constituted a victory, the celebration was short-lived as many states moved to approve constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.[8]

WomanSpace Feb

WomanSpace February 200

San Antonio’s LGBTQ publications are an invaluable source for tracing the history of the battle for same-sex marriage. As these local publications reported on victories and set-backs, they offered commentary on the impact of such events on the lives of queer women and men. As such they are an excellent primary source for examining how the local queer community reacted to and analyzed the struggle to obtain marriage rights. The bulk of these publications have been digitized and are available online and can be viewed by visiting UTSA Libraries Special Collection LGBTQ publications digital portal.

__________________________________________________________________

[1] “Questions and Answers About the Marriage Revolution,” Marquise, Volume 4, No. 4, April 1995, 21.

[2] “Marriage Revolution,”22.

[3] “Same Sex Marriage in Hawaii, Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Hawaii], accessed May 4, 2015.

[4] “Marriage Revolution,” 21.

[5] Ken Loosemore, “Happily Ever After,” Marquise, July 1995, 12-13.

[6] Frankie Jones, “Legalizing Homosexual Marriages,” Women’s Community Journal, March 1987, 6.

[7] “News from the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas,” WomanSpace, December 2003, 1.

[8] John M. Brode, “Groups Debate Slower Strategy on Gay Rights,” WomanSpace, February 2005, 1.

Cha-cha-cha changes: Staff changes in Special Collections

April 30, 2015

The past year has brought changes within Special Collections, as I moved from being University Archivist to being the Digital Archivist for the department.  In my new role I’ll be working closely with the other archivists in the department to come up with policies and workflows to manage the creation, maintenance, and stewardship of digital collections.  Our digital collections include born-digital (meaning created on a computer/electronically, see this post for more), digitized (including all of the scanning we’ve done to make collections available online), and hybrid collections (collections that contain both paper and electronic material).  I’m really excited about working with my team—through our efforts we’ll be ensuring the long-term preservation of our wonderful digital collections.

And in exciting news, we’ve added a new member to our team!  Kristin Law will be joining us as the new University Archivist.  She has the following to say about her new job:

Hello everyone!

Kristin scanning at the Briscoe

Kristin scanning at the Briscoe

As a native of San Antonio, I find this to be a particularly exciting time to join the staff of UTSA Libraries Special Collections, as we are in the midst of a time of growth and vision for the university and the community as a whole.

I became an archivist because of my passion for working to ensure long-term access to cultural heritage materials, whether they are physical, digitized, or born-digital. My lifelong interest in history is what led me to this career, but I am just as excited about capturing, preserving, and providing access to materials that document the present day — the history that we are creating now.

In 2013 I completed my MSIS (Master’s of Science in Information Studies) from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information. I focused on archives and digital preservation. My undergraduate degree is a BFA in Design, which speaks to my interests in visual communication, designing efficient and sustainable systems, problem solving, and documenting the creative process.

In the years that I have had the privilege of working within libraries, archives, and museums, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of significant and fascinating collections at an assortment of awesome institutions. They include: volunteering with the Institute of Texan Cultures Oral History collection, working on the Bexar Archives at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, digitizing the Paul Erdős-Carl Pomerance Correspondence Collection from the Archives of American Mathematics, and most recently, managing Project REVEAL at the Harry Ransom Center.

But in bittersweet news, the Top Shelf will be losing a valuable contributor this month.  Our Manuscripts Archivist, Nikki Lynn Thomas, will be leaving UTSA Libraries for a new job opportunity.  Nikki joined UTSA Libraries in 2007 and has had a huge impact on developing and managing archival collections—she was also one of the founders of The Top Shelf.  Some highlights of her tenure in Special Collections include: the elimination of a backlog of “hidden” collections, bulk digitization of our most-used collections, innovative uses of social media, and the creation of a manuscripts collection development plan.  She will soon be starting her new position as Archivist for Collection Management at the University of North Carolina Charlotte Library.

We’re really excited about Kristin joining our team!  And we wish Nikki the best in her new job!

Fiesta Trades Display Parade

April 20, 2015

Once again during Fiesta San Antonio we present photographs of a former Fiesta event.  The Trades Display Parade was a regular feature during most of the annual celebrations from 1900 to 1949.  The parade was an opportunity for local merchants and manufacturers to display their products.  City leaders and Fiesta officials saw the parade as a way to showcase San Antonio’s business and industrial expansion.   Nearly all sizable businesses entered a vehicle or float, sometimes lavishly decorated.  Participants would often distribute literature and miniature products to the crowds lining the streets.  News articles describe the parade as comparable to the Battle of Flowers Parade in terms of the number of entries and attendance.

In 1948 an illuminated parade, soon to be named Fiesta Flambeau, was added to the Fiesta calendar.  It was an immediate success.  Two years later, the Fiesta Association decided that it was not practical to have three large street parades.  The Trades Display Parade was cancelled and merged into the commercial section of the more popular Fiesta Flambeau.

John A. Albert Plumbing Company float in the last Fiesta Trades Display Parade, Wednesday, April 20, 1949.  (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1)

John A. Albert Plumbing Company float in the last Fiesta Trades Display Parade, Wednesday, April 20, 1949. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horse-drawn entry by Lone Star Brewing Company, April 26, 1905.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  074-1295)

Elaborate entry by Lone Star Brewing Company, April 26, 1905. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 074-1295)

Horse-drawn entry by Lone Star Brewing Company, April 26, 1905.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  074-1295)

San Antonio Brewing Association float with two 100 gallon bottles and a dozen XXX beer kegs, April 26, 1905.  (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-1822-D-22301)

Hansel and Gretel beside a house of bread on Pioneer Flour Mills float, ca. 1910.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  082-0666)

Pioneer Flour Mills float with Hansel and Gretel beside a house constructed of items made from Pioneer Flour, circa 1910. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 082-0666)

Group in an Avery truck advertising the R. L. Burnett Company, ca. 1915.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  069-8513)

Group in an Avery truck advertising the R. L. Burnett Company, circa 1915. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 069-8513)

Frank Liberto Wholesale Grocers advertising the company’s roosting of coffee and peanuts, ca. 1922.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  077-0145)

Frank Liberto Wholesale Grocers advertising the company’s roosting of coffee and peanuts, circa 1922. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 077-0145)

Pioneer Flour Mills float featuring their White Wings Flour, April 25, 1929.  (General Photograph Collection, MS 362:  082-0674)

Pioneer Flour Mills float featuring their White Wings Flour, April 25, 1929. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 082-0674)

A & B Axle Service representatives ride in a 1902 automobile, April 23, 1941.  (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359:  L-2738-S)

A & B Axle Service representatives ride in a 1902 automobile, April 23, 1941. (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359: L-2738-S)

Magnolia Petroleum Company float featuring girls around the company’s Pegasus logo, April 23, 1941.  (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359:  L-2738-P)

Magnolia Petroleum Company float featuring girls seated around the company’s Pegasus logo, April 23, 1941. (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359: L-2738-P)

Lone Star Brewing Company entry, a giant bottle of Lone Star in a Crosley convertible, (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359:  L-2738-R)

Lone Star Brewing Company entry, a giant bottle of Lone Star in a Crosley convertible, (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359: L-2738-R)

Del Dunbar, the singing drugstore cowboy, entertains group on Sommers Drug Stores float, April 20, 1949.  (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1-C)

Del Dunbar (at microphone, right), the singing drugstore cowboy, entertains group on Sommers Drug Stores float, April 20, 1949. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1-C)

San Antonio Brewing Association float advertising Pearl Beer, April 20, 1949.  (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1-B)

San Antonio Brewing Association float advertising their popular Pearl Beer, April 20, 1949. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1-B)

Brown Express truck on North Alamo Street near Grace Lutheran Church, April 20, 1949.  (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1-A)

Brown Express truck on North Alamo Street near Grace Lutheran Church, after a rain shower cleared many of the spectators, April 20, 1949. (Zintgraff Studio Collection, MS 355: Z-0686-1-A)

 

 

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