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Students inventoried Bexar County historical records for history classes, 1977-1978

March 23, 2015

Readers who follow our University Archives Twitter account, @UTSA Yesterday, may have seen a tweet earlier this year that came from a January 1978 press release about UTSA history students completing a 2 year cataloging project at the Bexar County Election Center. Below is more information about this unique endeavor and the impact it has had on Bexar County public records.

Student Ernest Cormina, Dr. Lionel V. Patenaude and student Warren R. Porter examine bound volumes of records in the Bexar County Election Center and Archives building. MS 27 txsau_ms00027_04-18-77-3-13a

Student Ernest Cormina, Dr. Lionel V. Patenaude and student Warren R. Porter examine bound volumes of records in the Bexar County Election Center and Archives building. MS 27: txsau_ms00027_04-18-77-3-13a

The project spanned 4 semesters of Texas history courses, in which undergraduates took part in the inventory as their class assignment. History professors supervising the project included Dr. Félix D. Almaráz, Jr., the project’s director, and Dr. Lionel V. Patenaude. The Bexar County Historical Commission sponsored the project.

At that point in time, there was no reference file for the public records held by Bexar County. The purpose of the project, according to Dr. Almaráz’ comments in this article in the May 1977 issue of UTSA’s Bulletin newsletter, was “to find out what is available in what condition and where.” Students worked 20 hours a week, sorting through shelves and stacks of bound volumes—which included deeds, contracts, cattle brand registrations, court cases and tax records—dating from the early Republic period to the early 20th century. Working carefully in often dusty environments, students noted the condition of the bound volumes, measured them, and recorded the title and information about the volume and its place among related records.

By the end of the project, students had helped inventory over 10,000 volumes of Bexar County records. But benefits went beyond the inventory.  Dr. Almaráz commented to Bulletin staff that he felt this project was important because all history students should be familiar with archives. “Some students go all the way through graduate school and don’t even know what an archive is,” he said. “It’s important to know the material out of which history is written.”

Dr. Patenaude, Dr. Almaraz and Archivist Thelma Gavin review a bound volume in poor condition, student with Ernest Malina, Jr. works in background. MS 27: txsau_ms00027_4-18-77-3-36a

Dr. Patenaude, Dr. Almaráz and Bexar County Archivist Thelma Gavin review a bound volume in poor condition; student Ernest Malina, Jr. works in background. MS 27: txsau_ms00027_4-18-77-3-36a

Inventory sheets were sent to the Texas State Library (now the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, or TSLAC) for inclusion in the state’s registry. Later, selected volumes were microfilmed and the film has been available at the TSLAC for research.

Currently, these historical records are stored in the Bexar County Spanish Archives, an advanced archival facility that opened in 2006 (read this press release for more information). The Spanish Archives are housed in the Bexar County Courthouse. The reading room is open to the public for research Monday – Friday, 1-5 PM, and mornings by special appointment.

New Acquisitions for February 2015

March 19, 2015

Manuscript Collections

Additions:

  • MS 428 Elder (Gene) papers, .5 linear feet of articles, artwork, handmade paper journal, correspondence, cds (videos of SALGA meetings, Blue Birds of Happiness interviews, Cornyation)

University Archives

Additions:

  • Papers of Faculty and Staff: Davis, Dewey and Ruth, 2 linear feet of Photographs and memorabilia documenting the involvement of Professor Dewey D. Davis and Ruth M. Davis with UTSA.

Rare Books: 19 Titles [February Title List]

Highlight:

Feb_vegMéxico Y Su Cocina Dietético Vegetariana

A collection of vegetarian Mexican cuisine recipes. The recipe section is preceded by two sections devoted to general aspects of diet and nutrition, dietary advice for children and youth, and medical recommendations.

San Antonio’s Women in Music, 1920s to 1940s

March 16, 2015

During this Women’s History Month, we show photographs of some of the local women who contributed to the field of music during the period after World War I through the 1940s.  These women shared their musical talents through various activities, from classical music performances to radio broadcasting.  Some are remembered only by the local community.  Others achieved international fame and their recordings are still commercially available.

These photographs, from our San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359), were all taken by the newspaper’s staff photographers.

Lydia Mendoza, “The Lark of the Border,” poses with her guitar at the time she was appearing at the Nacional Theater in San Antonio, January 1948.  (MS 359:  L-3514-A).   Mendoza (1916-2007), the first star of recorded Tejano and Norteno music, began singing as a child with her family on the plazas of San Antonio.   She achieved national prominence and was awarded the National Medal of Arts and numerous other awards.

Lydia Mendoza, “The Lark of the Border,” poses with her guitar at the time she was appearing at the Nacional Theater in San Antonio, January 1948. (MS 359: L-3514-A). Mendoza (1916-2007), the first star of recorded Tejano and Norteno music, began singing publicly in San Antonio in the late 1920s. By 1934, she had achieved national attention through her recordings and radio performances.  She received the National Medal of Arts and numerous other awards.

Acting mayor Phil Wright welcomes Josephine Lucchese home following appearances in New York and Philadelphia in the opera “Rigoletto,”  November 1926. (MS 359:  L-0698-F).  Lucchese (1893-1974), known as the “American Nightingale” in Europe, gave both opera and concert performances during the 1920s and 30s.

Acting mayor Phil Wright welcomes Josephine Lucchese home following her appearances in New York and Philadelphia in the opera “Rigoletto,” November 1926. (MS 359: L-0698-F). Lucchese (1893-1974), known as the “American Nightingale” in Europe, gave both opera and concert performances during the 1920s and 30s.

Rosa Dominguez, coloratura soprano, stands next to WCAR microphone at the time she was performing songs of her native Mexico, November 1925.  (MS 359:  L-0349-A).  Dominguez later appeared in New York and regularly on Border Radio, where she received the title “The Mexican Nightingale.”

Rosa Dominguez, coloratura soprano, stands next to WCAR microphone at the time she was performing songs of her native Mexico, November 1925. (MS 359: L-0349-A). Dominguez later appeared in New York and regularly on Border Radio, where she received the title “The Mexican Nightingale.”

Violet Hilton (left), a saxophonist, and Daisy Hilton, a violinist, seated in their home on Vance Jackson Road, January 1931.  (MS 359:  L-395-I).  The Hilton Siamese twins (1908-1969) toured the country performing in sideshows, vaudeville, and cabarets during the 1920s and 30s.

Violet Hilton (left), a saxophonist, and Daisy Hilton, a violinist, seated in their home on Vance Jackson Road, January 1931. (MS 359: L-395-I). The Hilton Siamese twins (1908-1969) toured the country performing in sideshows, vaudeville, and cabarets during the 1920s and 30s.

Anna Goodman Hertzberg poses at her annual Christmas party for members of the Tuesday Musical Club, December 1933.  Hertzberg (1862-1937), a pianist trained at the New York Conservatory of Music, founded the Tuesday Musical Club as an all-women’s chamber music society.  The Tuesday Musical Club Records are housed in UTSA Special Collections, Main Campus:  http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utsa/00225/utsa-00225.html

Anna Goodman Hertzberg poses at her annual Christmas party for members of the Tuesday Musical Club and Chaminade Choral Society, December 1933. Hertzberg (1862-1937), a pianist trained at the New York Conservatory of Music, founded the Tuesday Musical Club for women to perform and study classical music. The Tuesday Musical Club Records are housed in UTSA Libraries Special Collections at Main Campus: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utsa/00225/utsa-00225.html

Eva Garza, former student at Lanier High School, sings on stage at El Nacional Theater on East Commerce Street, May 1939.  (MS 359:  L-1583-A).  By the 1940s, Garza (1917-1966) was appearing weekly in New York for CBS Radio’s “Viva America” and on the “Voice of America.”  She was known to U.S. soldiers as “the Sweetheart of the Americas.”

Eva Garza, former student at Lanier High School, sings on stage at El Nacional Theater on East Commerce Street, May 1939. (MS 359: L-1583-A). By the 1940s, Garza (1917-1966) was appearing weekly in New York for CBS Radio’s “Viva America” and on the “Voice of America.” She was known to U.S. soldiers as “the Sweetheart of the Americas.”

The Read Sisters (left to right) Floy, Donald Ruth, and Martha pose on the stairway of their home on Post Avenue at the time they sang weekly on WOAI Radio’s “Saturday Night Parade,” September 1939.  (MS 359: L-2248-C).  The trio, originally from Corpus Christi, later toured the country with Olsen and Johnson’s Hellzapoppin’ revue.

The Read Sisters (left to right) Floy, Donald Ruth, and Martha pose on the stairway of their home on Post Avenue at the time they sang weekly on WOAI Radio’s “Saturday Night Parade,” September 1939. (MS 359: L-2248-C). The trio, originally from Corpus Christi, later toured the country with Olsen and Johnson’s Hellzapoppin’ revue.

Lois Farnsworth Kirkpatrick (Hull) sings during performance of the String Players in the ballroom of the St. Anthony Hotel, March 1939.  (MS 359:  L-2073-C).  Hull (1926-2014), later a resident of Canyon, Texas, acted and sang for many years in the musical drama “Texas.”

Lois Farnsworth Kirkpatrick (Hull) sings with the String Players in the ballroom of the St. Anthony Hotel, March 1939. (MS 359: L-2073-C). Hull (1926-2014), later a resident of Canyon, Texas, acted and sang for many years in the musical drama “Texas.”

Rosita Fernandez (Almaguer) poses in a Mexican dress shortly before she sang Mexican ballads in a show at La Villita, July 1944.  (MS 359:  L-3132-A).  Fernandez (1919-2006) became a local radio star in the early 1930s, and later appeared on television and in movies.  Lady Bird Johnson gave her the title “San Antonio’s First Lady of Song.”  The Rosita Fernandez Collection is housed in UTSA Special Collections Main Campus:   http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utsa/00043/utsa-00043.html

Rosita Fernandez (Almaguer) poses in a traditional folk dress shortly before she sang Mexican ballads in a show at La Villita, July 1944. (MS 359: L-3132-A). Fernandez (1919-2006) became a local radio star in the early 1930s, and later appeared on television and in movies. Lady Bird Johnson gave her the title “San Antonio’s First Lady of Song.” The Rosita Fernandez Collection is housed in UTSA Libraries Special Collections at Main Campus: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utsa/00043/utsa-00043.html

Bea Morin (Svercel) seated at piano during a return visit to play in the St. Anthony Hotel lobby, where she played regularly for over a decade as a young woman, July 1952.  (MS 359:  L-4377-A).  Morin (1910-2007), a regular local radio performer in the late 1930s and early 1940s, moved with her husband to New York and played organ for live television programs in the 1950s.

Bea Morin (Svercel) seated at piano during a return visit to play in the St. Anthony Hotel lobby, where she played regularly for over a decade as a young woman, July 1952. (MS 359: L-4377-A). Morin (1910-2007), a regular local radio performer in the late 1930s and early 1940s, moved with her husband to New York and played organ for live television programs in the 1950s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Collections Exhibits for Spring 2015

March 9, 2015

Beginning Spring 2015, UTSA Special Collections has installed new exhibits in the John Peace Library reading room. Each exhibit represents a different unit within Special Collections: City of San Antonio (Photograph Collections), Southwestern Chromolithographs (Rare Books), Eugene Whitmore Collection (Manuscripts), and the Gil Barrera Collection (University Archives).

Photograph Collections Highlight Bird’s-Eye Views of San Antonio

From 1884-1940, this photograph collection illustrates the progression of downtown San Antonio’s growth. Each photograph captures iconic streets, buildings, and architecture unique to San Antonio. A Bird’s-Eye View of San Antonio allows the viewer to see the changes in the downtown area of San Antonio.This exhibit showcases the vast array of photographs available through UTSA Special Collections.

KMBT_C224-20150224105408

Alamo Plaza south from Post Office, circa 1910. (MS 362 83-484)

 

Picturesque Southwest. Chromolithographs of the Southwestern U.S. Compliments of the Missouri Pacific Railway Passenger Department. Ca. 1870.

The expansion of railroads revolutionized American life in the mid-19th century, largely replacing stagecoaches and canals as the dominant modes of transportation and supporting economic growth in the West. Additionally, railroads facilitated and encouraged the rise of leisure travel. Railway companies published numerous viewbooks and travel accounts to advertise the natural, cultural, and economic attractions of their routes. Picturesque Southwest. 78 Chromolithographs of the Southwestern U.S. is a particularly lavish example of this type of publication, and somewhat unusual in that it includes images provided by several different companies.

KMBT_C224-20150224105555

F396.P53 1870 Chromolithographs of the Southwestern U.S.

 

Picturesque Southwest features chromolithograph plates of scenes in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Mexico: 29 of the views are provided by the International & Great Northern Railroad, 9 are provided by the Texas & Railroad, 9 are provided by the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, 1 is provided by the St. Louis, Ft. Scott & Wichita Railroad, and 14 views of Mexico are provided with no mention of a railroad affiliation.

Views of Texas in the portfolio include scenes around San Antonio, the Sierra Blanco Mountains, Colorado, Texas, the area around Waco, the Colorado River near Austin, a cattle ranch in Brushy Creek, a view from Cedar Mountain, Galveston Bay, bird hunting in Houston, Fort Bliss, and many more. A selection of the views that chronicle what a rail traveler through Texas in the 1870’s might have enjoyed are on display in the JPL reading room.

Historic San Antonio: The Mission City

In 1941, Eugene Whitmore completed a manuscript draft with the working title of Historic San Antonio: The Mission City. As stated in the foreword, his intent was to “capture in print only a partial record of San Antonio, emphasizing the old, the historic, and the unusual features of the modern city which set it apart and give it an atmosphere and individuality found in no other city on this continent.”

Special Collections acquired the Eugene Whitmore Collection in March 2011. The collection consists of 11 chapters on historic San Antonio landmarks, as well as, 29 black and white photographs depicting the landmarks.

KMBT_C224-20150224105830

MS 351 Eugene Whitmore Collection, 1941

 

UTSA’s Library: Scenes of the Early Years, 1973-1975

UTSA’s earliest students and librarians had their first dedicated library space at the Koger Center’s Goliad Building. This area provided space for department offices, a library reading room, and limited circulation materials while construction was ongoing at the permanent campus.  This exhibit showcases the various places and spaces the Library called home as students and staff anxiously awaited the completion of what would be the John Peace Library.

Photographs come from the Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio (MS 27); publications are from the UTSA Office of University Communications Publications Collection (UA 1.02).

SKMBT_C22415022411230_0001

UTSA Bulletin Vol. 2 No. 7, Summer 1974, UTSA University Publications Collections, UA 1.02, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

 

Introducing Carlos Cortéz

March 2, 2015
selfie

A selfie at the reading room.

Carlos Cortéz has been working at Special Collections for eight months. Before working at UTSA Libraries Special Collections, he began his academic career at Palo Alto College and then transferred to UTSA where he double majored in History and Physics. Carlos decided to work on his History degree first and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UTSA where he concentrated on European history, particularly the history of Spain. As an undergraduate his research seminar paper was on Late Roman/Medieval Spain and as graduate student focused on the Spanish Civil War. He did support work in Anthropology with an emphasis on Mayan archaeology. Carlos’ studies in Spanish history lead him to study the history of the Spanish language and the history of colonial Texas and San Antonio. Fascination with Spanish history and culture motivated Carlos to travel to Spain where he visited Madrid and Toledo.

Carlos’ experience at Special Collections began as a graduate student. As a work-study, he had the opportunity to learn from the rare books librarian, university archivist, and photo curator, Tom Shelton. It was during this time  he learned how archives worked. Carlos was involved on various projects, such as digitization, basic preservation, translation, and organizing the Zintgraff and The Texas Folk Life Festival collections.

As a Library Assistant II, Carlos works mostly with the massive photograph collection processing photo orders for customers and helping patrons with their research in the Special Collections reading room located at the Institute of Texan Cultures. When not at Special Collections, Carlos can be found working out at the gym. He enjoys watching movies, painting, reading, traveling, sports and taking selfies. He writes short stories and is currently working on a novel and hopes to become a published author.

Will Kell, the newest member of Special Collections

February 23, 2015

Will Kell is the new Library Assistant II in Special Collections at the John Peace Library. He is a graduate student in the history program at UTSA and his area of interest is in Latin American history, primarily Guatemala during the Ríos Montt administration. Will is working on a master’s thesis entitled “Heavenly Discourse: FUNDAPI and Guatemala’s Attempt to Change Public Perception.” His thesis examines the relationship between the non-governmental organization Fundación de Ayuda al Pueblo Indígena (FUNDAPI) and Ríos Montt. Will has conducted research at the Tulane University Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the University of Texas at Austin Benson Latin America Collection, the Archivo General de Centro América, and the Biblioteca Nacional de Guatemala. Additionally, Will conducted several interviews throughout Guatemala. Aside from school and his research, he enjoys reading, writing, running, and traveling. He looks forward to working in Special Collections and assisting the scholarly community.

Will is located in the center with the Maui sweatshirt. He is pictured with his students from the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. He volunteered at the school to teach the basics of the English language.

Will is located in the center with the Maui sweatshirt. He is pictured with his students from the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. He volunteered at the school to teach the basics of the English language.

Celebrities Visit the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

February 16, 2015

Celebrities have entertained audiences since the early days of the annual livestock show and rodeo.  In recent times, about 20 different entertainers come for one or two shows.  During the first few years, only a couple of well-known performers were featured.  These hardy individuals would usually stay throughout the event, participating in a variety of ancillary activities:  a public welcoming ceremony at the airport, the western parade, presentation of the livestock winners, receptions– and visits to schools and hospitals between formal events.

These are photographs from the Zintgraff Studio Collection (MS 355) that provide glimpses of those celebrity visits from the 1950s through the 1970s.

 

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans arrive in San Antonio on a Trans-Texas airliner, February 14, 1961 (MS 355:  Z-2492-A-22738)

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans arrive in San Antonio, February 14, 1961 (MS 355: Z-2492-A-22738)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students, civic dignitaries, and business leaders are among the crowd welcoming the “King and Queen of the Cowboys.”  (MS 355:  Z-2492-A-22726)

Students, civic dignitaries, and business leaders are among the crowd welcoming the “King and Queen of the Cowboys.”  (MS 355: Z-2492-A-22726)

 

Rex Allen pauses to greet a fan as he circles the arena on KoKo,” the miracle horse of the movies,” during the rodeo entertainment program, 1953.  (MS 355:  Z-2469-B-22738)

Rex Allen pauses to greet a fan as he circles the arena on KoKo, ” the miracle horse of the movies,” during the rodeo entertainment program, 1953.  (MS 355: Z-2469-B-22738)

 

Gene Autry and Gail Davis “Annie Oakley” lead the western parade that officially opens the Stock Show and Rodeo, February 7, 1958.  (MS 355:  Z-2484-A-03)

Gene Autry and Gail Davis “Annie Oakley” lead the western parade that officially opens the Stock Show and Rodeo, February 7, 1958.   (MS 355: Z-2484-A-03)

 

Gail Davis and Gene Autry pose with admirers in front of a clothes rack at the coliseum, where they performed, February 1958.  (MS 355:  Z-2484-B-01)

Gail Davis and Gene Autry pose with admirers in front of a clothing rack at the coliseum, February 1958.    (MS 355: Z-2484-B-01)

 

Jimmy Dean “Mr. Country Music” prepares to ride into the rodeo area, where he will dismount and sing to the crowd, 1960.  (MS 355:  Z-2490-C-01)

Jimmy Dean “Mr. Country Music” prepares to ride into the rodeo area, where he will dismount and sing to the crowd, 1960.  (MS 355: Z-2490-C-01)

 

Cliff Robertson (second from left), star of the popular television program “Tales of Wells Fargo,” poses with G.D. Johnson, Jr.(left) and his Reserve Grand Champion Steer, February 13, 1961.  (MS 355:  Z-2492-A-22827)

Cliff Robertson (second from left), star of the popular television program “Tales of Wells Fargo,” poses with G.D. Johnson, Jr.(left) and his Reserve Grand Champion Steer, February 13, 1961. (MS 355: Z-2492-A-22827)

 

Anita Bryant, America’s top female vocalist at the time, performs during her first rodeo entertainment performance, February 1962.  (MS 355:  Z-2495-B-28510)

Anita Bryant, America’s top female vocalist at the time, sings during her first rodeo entertainment performance, February 1962.  (MS 355: Z-2495-B-28510)

 

Rodeo song-and-dance team performers Kirby Grant, television’s flying cowboy “Sky King,” and Gloria Winters “Penny King,” ride in the western parade, February 8, 1963.  (MS 355:  Z-2499-A-R66)

Song-and-dance team Kirby Grant, television’s flying cowboy “Sky King,” and Gloria Winters “Penny King,” ride in the western parade, February 8, 1963. (MS 355: Z-2499-A-R66)

 

Lassie, star of the “Lassie” CBS television series, rides past crowd outside the Majestic Theater, February 8, 1963.  (MS 355:  Z-2499-A-R71)

Lassie, star of the “Lassie” CBS television series, rides past crowd outside the Majestic Theater, February 8, 1963. (MS 355: Z-2499-A-R71)

 

Lassie, star of the “Lassie” CBS television series, rides past crowd outside the Majestic Theater, February 8, 1963.  (MS 355:  Z-2499-A-R71)

Lassie shakes hands with fans between appearances in the rodeo entertainment programs at Freeman Coliseum, February 1963.  (MS 355: Z-2495-B-28510)

 

Country music singer Judy Lynn, in one of her elaborate costumes by Nudie of Hollywood, poses with Joe (left) and Harry Freeman, February 1965.  (MS 355:  Z-2508-C-251)

Country music singer Judy Lynn, wearing one of her elaborate costumes by Nudie of Hollywood, poses with Joe (left) and Harry Freeman, February 1965. (MS 355: Z-2508-C-251)

 

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner arrive at a welcoming reception, February 1970.  (MS 355:  Z-2521-C-592)

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner arrive at a welcoming reception, February 1970. (MS 355: Z-2521-C-592)

 

Johnny Rodriguez, age 21, sings beside a special guest in the coliseum arena, February 1974.   (MS 355:  Z-2543-C-101750)

Johnny Rodriguez, age 21, sings beside a special guest in the Freeman Coliseum arena, February 1974. (MS 355: Z-2543-C-101750)

 

Singer and actor John Davidson poses with fans, February 1974.  (MS 355:  Z-2545-C-01)

Singer and actor John Davidson poses with fans, February 1974. (MS 355: Z-2545-C-01)

 

Freddy Fender poses with fans, February 1979.  (MS 355:  Z-2561-C-02-8)

Freddy Fender and fans, February 1979. (MS 355: Z-2561-C-02-8)

 

Freddy Fender on stage during the rodeo entertainment program, February 1979,  (MS 355:  Z-2561-C-01-4)

Freddy Fender on stage during the rodeo entertainment program, February 1979, (MS 355: Z-2561-C-01-4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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