By the 1920s collecting as a hobby was becoming commonplace in San Antonio. It was no longer just a pursuit for the wealthy, but for anyone with the time to acquire objects and a place to store them. Local newspapers discovered this activity as a good subject for an occasional brief feature, usually accompanied by a photograph. Some of the collectors were prominent citizens who acquired museum-quality objects with the intention of someday sharing them with the public. But most were ordinary people who gathered inexpensive items purely for their own satisfaction.
These are some of those photographs, dating from the 1920s to the 1960s, that were taken by the San Antonio Light newspaper photographers. All are included in our San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359).
- MS 430. Beinecke (Bridgette) papers, 5 feet (6 boxes) of historic preservation research files compiled by architect Bridgette Beinecke
- MS 428. Gene Elder papers, 1.5 linear feet of photographs, correspondence, exhibit documents, artwork, and AV materials.
- MS 421. Brown and Lane Family papers, 1 linear foot of Lane famil
- MS 67. Hattie Elam Briscoe papers, 1 framed photograph and program (.5 linear feet).
Rare Books: 32 Titles [December Title List]
THE PRESS AND THE PEOPLE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A SOUTHERN LINE OF RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC AND IN FAVOR OF GOVERNMENT AID TO THE TEXAS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY. Philadelphia: McLaughlin Brothers’ Book and Job Printing Establishment, 1875. 9 1/4″ x 5 7/8″ in printed wrappers. 72 pp., index. Colonel Benton’s speech in favor of a Southern Pacific Railroad; Message of Governor Porter of Tennessee, on the Texas and Pacific Railway; Resolutions of the National and State Granges; list of the various commercial bodies which have appealed to Congress to help the Texas and Pacific Railway; views expressed by Calhoun, Clay, Douglass, Polk and Sumner; statement showing the amount expended by the government for public works and railroads in each state and territory of the Union; subsidies to Pacific Railroads; the snow blockade on the Central Pacific; various newspaper extracts from various states showing support for government aid to the Texas and Pacific Railway; etc. The Texas Grange supported state aid to economic development as indicated in a quote by W.W. Lang, master of the Texas State Grange, in which he endorsed state aid to the Texas and Pacific Railroad. He felt that the railroad would provide protection against the Indians and help meet the needs for commercial facilities and avenues of trade in the “poverty-stricken South.” [description provided by bookseller]
During the Fall 2014 semester UTSA Libraries Special Collections was delighted to host Angelique Kelley as an intern working with our removable media and born-digital materials. She has contributed the following post about her experience working with us:
As part of a Certificate in Digital Curation program offered at the Johns Hopkins University, I was required to complete a 13-week internship during the Fall 2104 semester. The goal of this internship was to gain valuable first-hand experience in digitally preserving collections within cultural institutions. I was fortunate enough to be able to complete my internship with the UTSA Special Collections department, during a time when the UTSA Libraries were exploring various options for the long-term preservation of their Manuscripts collections. The digital preservation process is still ongoing, but the support I was able to offer during my internship should help provide the foundation from which the department can build upon and move forward.
The project I worked on consisted of several stages. During the first stage I performed a physical inventory of the removable media objects within the Manuscripts collections. This task consisted of searching the libraries’ online repository using finding aids to locate possible media and then using the department’s Access database to locate the physical location of each collection in the stacks. From there I updated a spreadsheet that had been previously created during a prior attempt to inventory removable media, annotating the number and types of removable media discovered. In the end, over 1,600 removable media objects were identified within the collections, consisting of twenty different media types. The information gathered during the inventory process was later used to write a report for the second stage of my project.
In early 2014, Special Collections participated in the Society of American Archivists’ Jump In Too/Two initiative, a project designed to encourage archives to take the first steps in digitally preserving their collections. During UTSA’s participation in this project they examined the University Archives collections, and upon completion of the project they were required to submit a report outlining the processes used, the equipment utilized, and their results. This report served as the basis for my own report which discussed the findings from the inventory I performed within the Manuscripts collections.
The final stage of my project involved the creation of workflow proposals for digitally preserving the inventoried removable media. Prior to my internship, UTSA had acquired access to BitCurator, an open-source digital forensics software program, as well as authorization to participate in the Archivematica + DuraCloud beta testing, a hosted system designed to aid in the ingest and long-term digital preservation of archival and museum collections. With these two programs as the focus, I created three possible workflows that examined how the various tools within these software packages might be utilized to effectively ingest, process, and store digital assets from within the libraries’ collections. These workflows will later be tested using a representative sampling from the collections with the goal of determining the overall practicality of the proposed workflows.
I went into this internship not quite knowing what to expect, as my primary focus has always been on museums, not archives, but I found my time with Special Collections to be invaluable. The first-hand knowledge I gained working with the various software packages, in addition to the inventory process, offered valuable insight into typical archival practices. Furthermore, this internship allowed me to explore the difficulties all cultural institutions face in trying to move forward with digital preservation. I have taken away so much from my time with Special Collections and I look forward to using my new found knowledge as I move forward with my personal career goals.
In 2014, UTSA Libraries Special Collections received a donation of twelve lesbian romantic novels written by two San Antonio authors. Eight of the works of fiction are from Peggy J. Herring and four were created by author Frankie J. Jones. Both Herring and Jones were members of the San Antonio WomanSpace collective, a women’s group dedicated to keeping San Antonio’s women’s community informed and engaged through the creation and distribution of WomanSpace newsletter (1988-2007). WomansSpace provided an early platform for Herring and Jones to find their creative voice; both went on to have their work published nationally.
After eight years, Laura’s relationship with Mavis has collapsed, as much from its decreasing weight and passion as from Mavis’s casual infidelity. Taking temporary refuge with close friends Jolly and Wanda, Laura begins to put herself back together, her first step a brief but erotic interlude in Hawaii. But the most healing person she knows seems to be her own solitary self, and the most healing place, her own house. In the meantime, ex-partner Mavis is busy charming other women. But still she is a presence–an intrusion, feels Laura–in Laura’s life, bringing over her newest partners, prevailing upon Laura to widen her horizons, to continue their love as loyal friendship. Then Laura meets appealing, enigmatic Robin . . . and suddenly finds the possibility of a new relationship. A possibility that intrigues Laura. And completely flabbergasts Mavis . . .
Trina knew, from the instant she first saw Rosalie, that she should stay away from this woman, her brother’s fiancee. Rosalie knew, from the instant she first saw Trina, that she wanted to be her friend. After being rejected by her homophobic family when she was a teenager, Trina slowly established her place in the family–a family that loves her but does not understand her and struggles with accepting her sexuality. And despite years of therapy and the determination not to let her painful past control her, Trina finds she is unable to completely trust anyone. Ignoring Trina’s reluctance, Rosalie pursues a friendship with her future sister-in-law. One step at a time, she gradually begins to gain Trina’s trust only to lose control of her own heart . . . Rosalie realizes that Trina is the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
Don’t ask . . . Deeply closeted to protect her career, Colonel Marcel Robicheaux has limited her love life to discreet flings with no strings–until the brazen, but not entirely unwelcome, advances of beautiful young Lieutenant Jordan McGowen send the seasoned officer running for cover.
Don’t tell . . . Saved from disaster by a timely transfer, Marcel is looking forward to retiring from the military. Just when she thinks she can finally let down her guard and ease out of the closet, Jordan suddenly reenters her life–only now she’s a general’s wife. While her marital status may have changed, her intentions toward Marcel have not.
Despondent after years of abuse, Clara Webster decides to end it all and swims out into the deep waters of the Texas Gulf. Totally exhausted, she surrenders to the relentless pull of the tide–only to feel strong arms wrap around her. Struggling to free herself from her would-be rescuer, Clara nearly drowns the woman and ends up saving her instead. The woman, reclusive artist Randi Kosub, invites the distraught Clara to stay with her for a while. With nowhere else to go, Clara accepts. As Clara strives to get her life together, the women grow closer and begin to fall in love. With Randi at her side, Clara realizes that her life is indeed worth living . . . When Clara’s youngest son is seriously injured in an accident, she rushes home–unwittingly putting herself in the power of her vengeful husband, who has no intention of letting her go. Caught in the swirling crosscurrents of past and present, Clara is forced to make a devastating choice . . .
Money can’t buy happiness . . . but it can sure rent a lot of it. And with her rich daddy paying the rent, twenty-eight-year old CJ Riley lives in a world of fast cars, willing women and zero responsibility. Attractive, arrogant, charming when-she-wants-to-be, CJ is used to getting what she wants, when she wants it . . . until she is pulled over for speeding by San Antonio Police Officer Lois Franklin. Intense and by-the-book, the tall, tanned cop is not impressed by CJ’s wealth or her advnces. Never one to resist a challenge, CJ sets out to add Lois to her conquests–unaware that a shocking chain of events is about to unfold. Events that will forever change her life–and her heart.
For a full list of titles by Peggy J. Herring held in Special Collections click here.
For a full list of titles by Frankie J. Jones held in Special Collections click here.
- MS 429. Leo Garza Political Cartoon collection, 7 linear feet of Nacho Guarache cartoons
- MS 83. Planned Parenthood of San Antonio and South Central Texas Records, .5 linear feet of annual audits, reports, publications, and assorted materials.
- MS 22. Women’s Overseas Service League records, .5 linear feet of materials collected by Edith Stout.
- MS 331. San Antonio River Authority records, 17 linear feet of SACIP Mission Reach project files, real estate files, and engineering photographs.
- MS 31. San Antonio Fair, Inc., .5 linear feet of materials from Alfred G. Vazquez, a member of the Executive Committee for HemisFair ’68.
- UA 04.03.01.02 UTSA. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Vice Provost Downtown Campus, one digitized copy of a scrapbook of photos from downtown campus opening, loaned from Vice Provost Jesse Zapata.
Rare Books: 7 Titles [November Title List]
IN THE ROOF OF YOUR CHOICE CHARM AND DURABILITY. John-Manville Corp. 1923. 3 pg. double foldout, color illus of 10 homes with the many syles and many colors of their roofing. [description provided by book seller]
Men impersonating Santa Claus have thrilled children in San Antonio for well over a hundred years. The San Antonio Daily Express, December 6, 1901, describes an early visit–perhaps the first—when Santa Claus came as a guest of Joske Brother’s Department Store. Thousands of his fans crowded around the store, creating traffic jams along Commerce and Alamo Streets. Finally, a curtain was lifted from a display window revealing Santa Claus and a large Christmas tree surrounded by a large assemblage of toys. The article notes that “his reception was as brilliant and his success as pronounced as that of a Napoleon returning from a conquest.”
By the 1920s, Santa Claus was making annual visits to the city. One of those visits is documented in articles in The San Antonio Light in early December 1928. There was a welcoming ceremony for him, including a speech by Mayor C.M. Chambers and the presentation of the keys to Alamo Plaza. Santa then proceeded to a special area set up in front of the entrance to the Alamo. It included an igloo for him and a pen for his reindeer. Here, Santa demonstrated toy-making and gave samples of this work to the children.
These are some of the images of Santa Claus from The San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359) and San Antonio Express-News Photograph Collection (MS 360). They illustrate the expanded role of Santa Claus from a department store toymaker, to also a benevolent character involved with charitable and philanthropic activities. The photographs also show the evolution of the Santa Claus suit from the homemade versions to the factory-made one that has become his standard attire.
Xavier Garza is an author, artist, storyteller and teacher whose work focuses primarily on his experiences growing up in the small Rio Grande Valley border town of Rio Grande City. Garza has stated that all of his books are based, one way or another, on childhood memories. He recalls his abuela (grandmother) telling him stories while she made tortillas around the stove and has held on to these cultural memories that serve as inspiration for his work as an author and an artist. In 2009, Special Collections acquired a collection of materials from Garza, including typescript manuscripts, pencil and ink sketches, acrylic paintings and newspaper and magazine articles.
For the upcoming holidays, Special Collections would like to highlight Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid. From a 2008 interview Garza explains that “Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid is basically the story of Santa’s Mexican cousin. He is helped by his nephew Vincent to deliver presents to each and every child that lives on both sides of the US/Mexico border.”
The publisher, Cinco Punto Press, describes the book as follows:
Let’s welcome Santa’s newest helper: his cousin Pancho, a farmer living down in South Texas who is so smart he speaks Spanish and English. Back in the day, Pancho was a mariachi singer with a whole lot of style and a fancy sombrero. But as the years passed, Pancho got, well, a little older and a little wider all around. Then one night his primo Santa Claus showed up. Santa needed some help! Pancho volunteered. And then, poof, Santa transformed Pancho into the resplendent Charro Claus with his incredibly Flying Burritos. And Charro Claus, it turns out, even had his own surprise elf—his nephew Vincent!
All Christmas Eve, Vincent and Pancho deliver toys to the boys and girls on the border. Neither rain, cloudy skies, wire fences nor concrete walls keep them from covering every inch of their newly assigned territory. And they don’t forget a single town or city. How could they? The border is their home.
The process to create and publish Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid took about two years to complete. Garza spent about 10 months developing the story together with Lee Byrd at Cinco Puntos Press and then another 7 months to get all the illustrations pulled together. The materials donated to UTSA include quite a few early sketches and illustrations from the book – take a look:
- Cinco Punto Press: http://www.cincopuntos.com/products_detail.sstg?id=144
- Interview with Author/Illustrator Xavier Garza. La Bloga. http://labloga.blogspot.com/2008/12/interview-with-authorillustrator-xavier.html
- Interview with Author Xavier Garza. Worlds of Words: http://wowlit.org/blog/2009/11/02/interview-with-author-xavier-garza/
- Xavier Garza – Artist-Author-Storyteller in Residence at UTPA Library June 29-30. Bronc Notes UTPA: http://www.utpa.edu/broncnotes/bulletin.cfm?ID=6727