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New Acquisitions for March 2015

April 16, 2015

Rare Books: 2 Titles

  • Perspectives on women’s archives / edited by Tanya Zanish-Belcher, with Anke Voss. Chicago, Illinois : Society of American Archivists, [2013]
  • Rights in the digital era / edited by Menzi L. Behrnd-Klodt and Christopher J. Prom ; with an introduction by Peter B. Hirtle. Chicago : Society of American Archivists, [2015]

Alfred Giles Family Papers

April 14, 2015

On May 23, 1853, Alfred Giles was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England. Giles finished school at the age of 17 and began an appreticeship with the architectural firm Giles and Bivens in London. After his apprenticeship, Giles immigrated to the United States and settled in Texas. By 1876, Giles had established his own firm in San Antonio, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico. Over the years, Giles produced designs for over 90 structures. In 1881, Giles married Annie Laura James; they raised 8 children in their Hillingdon Ranch, near Comfort, Texas where Alfred resided until his death in 1920.

Cropped House

The Alfred Giles Family Papers contain artwork, essays, correspondence, personal notes, diaries, and other personal items. Artistic exchanges between Alfred and Laura Giles illustrate the strong, common bond between the couple.

Cropped Mockingbird-Laura GilesCropped House by Alfred Giles

Nature, the homestead, and the beauty of Texas played prominent roles in the Giles’ artwork.

Cropped Bluebonnets Cropped Blubonnets 2Cropped LandscapeCropped Leaf

Personal correspondence between Alfred Giles, his family, and friends are prominent in the collection.

Letters from Alfred Giles to Laura Giles:

Cropped Letter to Laura from MexicoCropped Letter to Laura from Mexico page twoCropped Letter to Laura

Letters from Alfred Giles to his daughters:

Cropped Dearest Girls from New Orleans Cropped Dearest Girls from New Orleans pg. 2Cropped Dearest GirlsCropped Dearest Girls page two

Letters from Alfred Giles to Mrs. Albert Maverick detailing the struggle of his wife’s death:

Cropped Letter to Maverick Cropped Letter to Maverick pg 2 Letter to Maverick pg 3 and 4

Letters from Alfred Giles to Palmer Giles checking on him while he attends MIT:

Letter to PalmerLetter to Palmer pg 2

Letter from Alfred Giles regarding his buggy:

Cropped Letter to Sir

The Alfred Giles Family Papers help researchers  understand the daily activities of a prominent family in San Antonio. Furthermore, the collection illustrates the domestic and international connections of the time. While Alfred Giles lived and worked in San Antonio, he conducted business in Monterrey as well. His affairs in Monterrey brought him face-to-face with the Mexican Revolution. In a letter to Milby Giles, Alfred Giles voices his concern over the Revolution.

Cropped Letter to Milby Giles Cropped Letter to Milby Giles page two

Researchers are granted access to the world as seen through the eyes of the Giles Family. From letters to yearbooks, the Giles Family Papers illuminate the 19th and 20th centuries through the multiple perspectives of an influential San Antonio family.

Cropped Texas Club

The Alfred Giles Family Papers are housed on UTSA’s main campus and can be accessed in the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To view the materials, submit a request to access a collection.

San Antonio Artist and Activist Gene Elder donates journals to UTSA Libraries Special Collections

April 6, 2015

Gene 001

Gene Elder, local artist and activist, donated 21 volumes of his journals to UTSA Special Collections in 2014. The journals span three decades, beginning with 1970s and continuing through the 1990s. Elder explains his reasons for creating the journals:

I started keeping these after I was the manager and part owner with Arthur Veltman of the gay disco, San Antonio Country, in 1974. They are really as much about the art community and gay concerns in San Antonio as about my thoughts on these matters. My writings are interspersed with collages of art notices and pictures. I also kept an ongoing history of the gay movement in the United Sates. . . . I collected art invitations from a lot of artists and galleries. It isn’t just my own history. . . . art events and gay civil rights were so interwoven in my life.

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Elder, seen in these photographs at the Happy Foundation GLBT Archives where he serves as Archivist, assembled a unique chronicle of many aspects of his life including his activism and passion for art. Gene’s love of collecting is evident in his journals which contain original artwork, invitations, exhibit cards, slides, photographs, clippings, personal papers, and correspondence. Nestled among these many treasures are narratives by Elder which provide context for events and items preserved on the pages.

Gene Elder journal page from volume 16 recalling act of civil disobedience on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Gene Elder journal pages from volume 16 recalling act of civil disobedience on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

civil disobedience 2

Journal pages often have multiple layers as is evident in the example below. Poetry and prose from Elder’s friends abound.

Warrior Gene

In addition to his journals, Elder donated many personal photographs chronicling the days of his youth through his adult years. Glimpsing into Elder’s past through images, one can detect that his artistic aspirations were quite apparent even in his youth. Who knew Gene concocted the idea for the Wedding Cake Liberation Front at the tender age of four . . . so creative for one so young! It may have taken him several decades to see his vision for this tasty art meets activism creation become reality, but the wait was worth it. Elder explains:

The wedding cake has become the chosen method of protest by the action-packed, thrill-seeking GayBLTQDFI? communities to stop the anti-gay marriage amendments plaguing America. Never has a battle tasted so good or a wedding cake been so fierce.

Elder at four years

Elder at four years perhaps finding early inspiration for the Wedding Cake Liberation Front.

The Gene Elder papers will be available in the near future at the Libraries Special Collections reading room on main campus and can be accessed by submitting a request to access a collection.

Gene Elder can be reached at elder4tomato@yahoo.com.

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.

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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.

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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).

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

 

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