- MS 454 Jovita de la Rosa papers. This small collection is comprised of photographs and related items that belonged to a family that lived in San Antonio’s “Laredito” neighborhood. The collection has been added to the photographic holdings.
- MS 421 Brown and Lane Family papers. An addition of genealogy notebooks and scrapbooks.
- MS 003 Pan American Round Table of San Antonio. The addition is comprised of yearbooks, reports, photographs, and directories.
- MS 144 Israel Worsham papers. New addition contains correspondence and documents from Israel Worsham, 1840s-1860s.
- UA 99.0003 UTSA. Papers of Faculty and Staff: Quirarte Jacinto. New items include correspondence, memos, committee files, course notes.
- UA 99.0022 UTSA. Papers of Faculty and Staff: Cantú, Norma E. Included in the addition are course notes and correspondence related to the career of Norma Cantú, Professor Emeritus in the College of English.
- 8 new additions: Rare Books Purchases May 2015
Contents include: Rowdy beginnings, Civil War and Reconstruction, Sweet revenge, Heights House of Horrors, The Roaring Twenties fade, Bonnie and Clyde in Houston- or not, The Beatnik Killers gun-torch murders, Beaver Cleaver’s America, Stacy and Bunni, Two Candy Men, The Todville Murder Mansion, and The Wig Shop murder
A small collection of photographs and related material that belonged to a family that lived in San Antonio’s “Laredito” neighborhood has been added to the photographic holdings. The gift was made by Esther Ortiz Lozano, daughter of Jovita de la Rosa Ortiz.
Jovita de la Rosa Ortiz (1916-1994) was the only child of Magdaleno and Francisca (Villacobos) de la Rosa. The family, from Matehuala, Mexico, settled in Texas in 1922. At first, Magdaleno worked for a railway company in the Texas Panhandle. But by 1927, he had opened his own business, a soda water stand in San Antonio. Two year later, he moved to a new location at 621 South Laredo Street, in Laredito. The family living quarters were attached to the rear of the business. Within a few years, the drink stand became “De la Rosa Café,” serving Mexican food. The café was well-known for its gorditas and enchiladas.
Jovita was the only daughter of Magdaleno and Francisca. She attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, located only two blocks away from her home. Afterward, she studied and graduated from Lanier High School.
Jovita’s collection consists of both family snapshots and the work of commercial photographers. The photos provide insights into the lives of the people that lived in the West Side neighborhood of Laredito in the 1920s to 1940s.
During the month of June, LGBTI Pride festivities abound. The three Pride p’s–parades, picnics, and panel discussions–ubiquitous manifestations of queer visibility, play out across the U.S. and beyond. As floats glide down city streets and drag divas wave to adoring, celebrating throngs; as same-sex parents with children and doggies sporting rainbow scarves in tow enjoy family friendly Pride picnics; as panelists discuss coming out and homophobia–how many recall the brave moments of activism that paved the way for today’s Pride panoply?
While the Stonewall  riots of 1969 served as a catalyst for gay liberation, activists and activism that came in its wake waged incremental skirmishes against homophobia and discrimination. In 1978, members of San Antonio’s gay community entered into the fray, taking on Anita Bryant, beauty queen, singer, and prominent anti-homosexual spokesperson.  When Bryant was invited to speak at a rally in San Antonio, gay business entrepreneur Hap Veltman sent out a community call-to-action.
Veltman’s plea fell on responsive ears and many of San Antonio’s citizens openly proclaimed their opposition to Bryant and what she represented. Veltman raised the funds needed to take out a full page ad in the Express-News condemning Bryant’s actions but validating the importance of free speech.
The image in the advertisement, originally published in Time magazine in 1977, shows a protest march against Anita Bryant in San Francisco. For members of the gay and lesbian community, Bryant’s homophobic rhetoric echoed that of past ruthless dictators and hate groups and thus she was depicted alongside Hitler, Stalin, and others. Veltman secured the rights to use the image as part of the SA Express-News advertisement. Many who helped pay for the ad allowed their names to be published while others who could not afford to be openly identified, chose to remain anonymous.
Gene Elder, artist and activist, took the local protest a step further. He created the “Anita Bryant Prayer” which he passed out at the venue where Bryant was speaking. Elder explains:
I felt this was a very brave act on my part, being 28 at that time, acting alone, and I chose to protest Anita’s march across America in this fashion. I was promptly escorted out by security who saw my passing the flyers down the rows as disruptive. (I guess “praying for those that persecute you” must be unchristian at religious rallies.)
This local protest may have seemed like a minor effort launched by a small segment of the queer community. However, the action combined with other protests across the U.S. thrust gay rights into the national spotlight and fortified calls for equality and an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Many of UTSA Libraries Special Collections LGBTQ materials originate from the work of local activists. The collections offer opportunities for researches to investigate often-underrepresented facets of local history.
LGBTQ collections of interest include:
 LGBT Pride celebrations are rooted in an annual commemoration of the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June of 1969 in Greenwich Village, N.Y. The square-off between members of the queer community and police ignited tense interactions over several days. This event is heralded as the beginning of the gay rights movement–a seminal moment marked by annual Pride celebrations.
 Anita Bryant, a former Miss Oklahoma, became an outspoken opponent of gay rights and homosexuality. She campaigned to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance in Dade County, Florida. Her “Save Our Children” coalition promoted the ideology that homosexuality was sinful and homosexuals were child predators. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Bryant], accessed June 4, 2015.
Digging in – Archives Acquisitions from Start to Finish – Southwest Voter Registration Education Project/Willie C. Velasquez Records
Did you ever wonder how archival collections go from someone’s garage, attic, or storage unit to being available in one of UTSA Libraries Special Collections’ reading rooms? In the months to come, we will reveal how the process of acquiring, appraising, processing, and describing a collection unfolds. Photographs of site visits and archives work spaces will offer a visual chronicle behind-the-scenes at UTSA Special Collections as we take custody of our largest collection ever–the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project/Willie C. Velasquez records.
On our first visit to the storage facility, the task in front of us seemed a little daunting! How do you go from a mountainous pile of boxes to record cartons neatly places on shelves? There is only one way to handle this challenge–one box at a time. Before we began the process of digging in, we needed to take a few precautions–we set insect traps, purchased flashlights, goggles, masks, and gloves. We had to be prepared for the possibility of mold or insect activity–certain types of spiders love dark, undisturbed spaces. Having prepared sufficiently for such contingencies, we forged ahead with great enthusiasm!
Our plan of tackling one box of records at a time seemed pretty straight forward. However, there were certain things we needed to consider as we sifted through this mountain of materials. One of the prime directives of archives is maintaining the original order of records creators whenever possible. This imperative can be challenging when faced with the volume of records such as those encountered at the SVREP/WCVI site. Within this space, there were records of multiple creators-the delineation between individuals was not always clear. While some original boxes were labeled with the creator, others were not. While some boxes were organized, other were not. We just had to do our best to maintain any order we encountered.
As we transferred materials into record cartons for transport, we included small insect traps in each box to capture any unwanted critters that love to feast on paper. Loose materials such as maps needed to be bagged and traps included. Items that had sustained water damage were sealed in oversize Ziploc bags. They would need to be closely examined for active mold.
After several exhilarating hours, we loaded up our vehicles and headed out to secure the boxes in our quarantine space. Quarantining materials is a vital step in the process of long-term preservation. Until new collections are checked for pest activity and mold, they remain separated from existing collections.
Our first day of work at the site was a success. Each of us felt fortunate to be part of this exciting opportunity. We looked forward to our next visit wondering what we would encounter. Our next blog about our adventure will include descriptions of the types of materials we discovered and will explain how we determine the archival value of collections.
Last week I had my first opportunity as University Archivist to pick up a collection of records from a donor. Amy Rushing and I visited with Mrs. Sara Quirarte, wife of the late Dr. Jacinto Quirarte. We gathered up 16 boxes of materials. Once the files in these boxes have been processed and described, they will comprise a new addition to the existing Jacinto Quirarte Papers collection.
As the University Archives, our purpose is to acquire, preserve, and provide access to records of enduring value related to the history of UTSA. One rich source of information is papers from former presidents, deans, and other university officials. Dr. Quirarte was a leading scholar of pre-Columbian and Latin American art history. In 1972 he became Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, serving as one of the first academic officers and tasked with building the new university. He continued as dean until the late 1970s, when he became the full-time director of the Research Center for the Arts at UTSA. Although he retired in 1999, he continued to teach seminar classes until 2008. He passed away in 2012.
The Jacinto Quirarte Papers collection stretches back to 1966 and includes correspondence, papers, speeches, articles, manuscripts for publication, photographs, and related materials that document his long and distinguished career.
Although I have only been here at UTSA for a short time, I can already see the impact that Dr. Quirarte had on the curriculum and on the campus as a whole. It seems appropriate that his collection is the first that I’ve gotten to work with from the beginning of the accessioning process. Within these new-to-us boxes, I appreciate seeing traces of Dr. Quirarte’s life, as evident in his tidy handwriting and method of naming folders. It makes our jobs in Special Collections that much easier when the creator of the records was organized and had legible handwriting.
If you would you like to know more about Dr. Quirarte’s life and career, there was an excellent profile of him in the Summer 2003 issue of Sombrilla Magazine, highlighting the publication of his book The Art and Architecture of the Texas Missions. Please also take a look at the collection guide to his papers that we hold here in Special Collections.
- 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.
- MS 001 Woman’s Club of San Antonio Records. The addition contains yearbooks and Fiesta Flower Show programs.
- Cocina de Aguascalientes: seleccion de recetas de la cocina regional, recopiladas por un grupo de Sras. y Sritas. de la Ciudad de Auascalientes y de diferentes regionaes del estado : aumentadas con una serie de recetas modernas que se pueden confeccion/ Josefina Velazquez de Leon
- Famous Trees of Texas/Gretchen Riley and Peter D. Smith
“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)
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.