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Archival Collections in 140 Characters or Fewer

May 11, 2009

Archives and Special Collections announces two new Twitter feeds: the Redford Diaries and UTSA Yesterday.

Image of James Redford, Sr.James Redford, Sr.

The Redford Diaries chronicle the life of James Redford, Sr. Redford, a native of Scotland, moved from Canada to Texas in 1877 and homesteaded 160 acres in Sandy, Texas (Blanco County). Redford’s concise descriptions of the daily goings-on at the homestead—weather conditions, crop yields, livestock, and family and community matters—lend themselves nicely to Twitter’s 140-character “tweet” limit. The Redford Diaries feed is maintained by Nikki Thomas, Manuscripts Curator.
Image of UTSA button, 1970sUTSA button, circa 1975

UTSA Yesterday offers a look at “This Week in UTSA History”: daily press releases, news clips, and photographs of UTSA from University Archives collections, beginning in 1973. Tweets range from the somewhat mundane (“Jacinto Quirarte, Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts, presents paper at mtg of Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, 4-30-73”) to the significant (“Classes begin at UTSA. More than 50 faculty members and 671 graduate students attend first classes, 6-5-73”). UTSA Yesterday is maintained by Angela McClendon Ossar, University Archivist.

Established in 2006, Twitter is a free communication tool that allows interested individuals to “follow” or subscribe to a message feed. Twitter messages, or “tweets,” are delivered to followers (usually to their mobile devices) in a manner similar to instant messages. Tweets are limited to 140 characters. The Archives and Special Collections’ Twitter accounts were inspired by the diary of Genny Spencer, a farm girl in Missouri in 1937 whose feed has attracted over 2,600 followers. Join the Twittering masses and follow us!

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