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2014 Reports

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

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Austin History Center Director’s Report

Mike Miller is the Manager of the Austin History Center, a 14-person, $1.2 million division of the Austin Public Library, with responsibility for personnel, planning, and fiscal aspects. He represents the Austin History Center before library, city, and community groups. Writes, speaks and consults about Austin history, managing local history collections, and preservation of historical materials.


December 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On November 6, AHC manager Mike Miller gave a presentation to the Community College Humanities Association conference in Austin. He spoke about Austin’s historic landmarks to a group of 45.
  • On November 12, assistant manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation to a Cub Scout troop, with 38 in attendance. She centered the talk on the Treaty Oak to show the different types of collections that the AHC has. The boys seem very engaged and responded enthusiastically to her questions. She plans to write this presentation up as a standard “canned” talk for school groups that anyone at the AHC could use, as needed.
  • On November 18 the AHC hosted a program with local tour guide and author Howie Richey. Richey gave a presentation to an audience of 20 about local festivals and a reading from his new book, Party Weird: Festivals and Fringe Gatherings of Austin.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the Marlette Rebhorn Slide Collection, the Kuykendall Family Photograph Collection, the Jose Flores Papers, the Robert Leon and Viola Baker White Papers, and the Kent Hemingson Austin 2010 Records, and placed EAD encoded finding aids for the collections on the Internet at the TARO website. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received two collections donated by members of the Austin dance community – one collection came from the former director of the Austin Contemporary Ballet, Greg Easley,  – programs, photographs, newspaper articles, correspondence documenting Austin Contemporary Ballet during the 1990s. The other collection came from the founder of Movin’ Easy Dancewear Tim Hurst and includes posters and flyers for dance performances held in Austin by local dance companies from the 1980s to present day.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened a small, traveling exhibit at the John Henry Faulk Library on the 2nd “19th Century Mystique” is a small photo exhibit from the Jones Glass Plates collection. The exhibit is a series of portraits, some identified, from this late-19th century image collection. The AHC hopes to have this exhibit travel to interested branch locations.
  • The AHC loaned items to the George Bush Presidential Library for joint exhibit with the Texas A&M Forest Service “History in the Making: Texas A&M Forest Service” (March 16 – November 8, 2015).

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book on the history of the Headliner’s Club, the book “Texas Chili Country” (Texas Tech UP), a KVUE news story on Austin snowstorms, and a mobile tour app from the Texas Historical Commission.

Upcoming Events

  • January 14, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening Reception for “Divided City: Civil War & Reconstruction in Austin.”
  • January 23, 11:30 a.m., Driskill Hotel. AHCA’s annual Eberly Luncheon.

 

November 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On October 3, Media Archivist Nicole Davis led a tour of the Backwards in High Heels exhibit for a group of 8 from the Westminster Manor Retirement Community.
  • AHC manager gave a presentation and tour on October 4 for a Public History class from St. Edward’s University. 8 students came and learned about the Center’s collections and how to conduct research.
  • Local author Carole Sikes gave a presentation about the history of Lake Travis to 55 individuals on October 7.
  • The AHCA hosted an evening at the Headliner’s Club on October 16, with approximately 50 people in attendance to hear a special concert by local musician Guy Forsythe and to learn more about the AHC and AHCA.
  • The AHC, along with the Archivists of Central Texas, held the first annual Austin Archives Bazaar on October 19 at the Spider House ballroom. This was a multi-institutional event, with over 20 participating, to allow the general public to learn more about archives and all the incredible archival repositories in Central Texas. Over 400 people attended the event throughout the day.
  • AHC Manager Mike Miller gave a presentation to 100 residents of Westminster Manor about the architectural and landmark history of Austin on October 23.
  • The AHC co-sponsored the annual Travis County History Day event held at the Travis County building on October 24. Over 100 people attended this event. The theme this year was the 100th anniversary of the County Extension Service. Numerous AHC items were used in an exhibit about the history of the Extension Service.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the Noble-Haberlin Spanish-American War Photograph Collection, the Lawrence K. Smoot Photograph Collection, and the J. B. Colson Collection of Advanced Photojournalism Student Projects, and placed EAD encoded finding aids for the collections on the Internet at the TARO website. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.

Exhibits

  • The newest exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery opened. “Austin 175: From Cabins to Skyscrapers” is a look at the founding and 175 years of growth of the city as it celebrates its 175th birthday in December. The next major exhibit, scheduled for a soft opening in December and a full opening in January, is “Divided City: Civil War, Slavery & Reconstruction in Austin.” This exhibit explores the impact of the Civil War era on life in Austin.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in multiple new and upcoming books: Government and Politics in the Lone Star State, More Fade Glory (Texas A&M UP), Environmental History Atlas (Texas A&M UP), Aunt Sally and Uncle Sam, and an upcoming history of the Headliner’s Club. Additionally, the AHC was used for news stories on KVUE about the Servant Girl Murders and severe weather in Austin, including a brief interview with Media Archivist Nicole Davis, a news story in the Austin Statesman about Richard Moya, and an exhibit at the Gallery Shoal Creek. Also, four recent books thanked the AHC and its staff for providing assistance: Hudson Bend and the Birth of Lake Travis, Austin’s Montopolis Neighborhood, Guy Town by Gaslight, and By All Accounts: General Stores and Community Life in Texas and Indian Territory.

Staff

  • The AHC added two new staff members in October. LaToya Devezin joined the AHC as the new African American Community Archivist. She came to the AHC from the New Orleans Public Library where she managed their African American special collections. Sarah Fitzgibbons, a native of Massachusetts, joined the AHC as a new Administrative Assistant. She had experience working in her college’s archives while an undergraduate student.

Upcoming Events

  • December 9, 6:30, AHC. Opening Reception for “Austin 175” exhibit and COA 175th Birthday Party. In partnership with Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s Office.
  • January 23, 11:30 a.m., Driskill Hotel. AHCA’s annual Eberly Luncheon.

 

October 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On September 2, Media Archivist Nicole Davis spoke at a UT iSchool event for students about volunteer opportunities at the AHC with 25 students in attendance.
  • On September 3, the AHC hosted its 2nd Annual “Beer Garden Social” at Scholz Garden. This year’s event was in partnership with Esther’s Follies and was titled “The Wit and Wisdom of Ann Richards.” The program was a mostly whimsical but sometimes serious look at the life and career of Ann Richards. Over 300 people attended.
  • The AHC participated in the annual Austin Museum Day event on Sunday, September 21. More than a hundred people came through the AHC to view the exhibits, more than double the usual Sunday visitor count.
  • Curator of Archives Susan Rittereiser gave a presentation about the Charles Whitman archives at the AHC as part of the APLFF’s “Community Conversations” program, one of the Mayor’s Book club programs. 45 were in attendance and heard a great presentation about the Whitman collection and remembrances from 3 individuals who were witness to the tragedy.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the Austin American Statesman Photo Morgue Collection, the Crowe Photography Collection, Plummer Papers, McCallum HS 60th Anniversary Events Team Records, and the child Care Council (city board) Records, and placed EAD encoded finding aids for the collections on the Internet at the TARO website. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC recently acquired the photo archive of David Grant, a local photographer and half of the Grant-Guerrero photo studio partnership. The AHC already had a small collection from Mr. Guerrero. Other interesting acquisitions include early records from the East Avenue/2nd Street Baptist Church, photographs and marketing materials from the Johnson/Long Dance Company, and papers from Freddie Dixon, Sr., about his involvement with the Wesley University Methodist Church and the Austin Area Urban League.

Grants

  • The AHC received, through the AHCA, a $2500 grant from the Save Barton Creek Association. The money is to pay for the processing of the Shudde Fath Papers. Fath was one of the founders of SBCA and recently donated all of her records of the organization to the AHC. The money will help pay for the recently hired Reference Intern (see Staff below) who will process these papers as part of their duties.

Exhibits

  • Work is underway on the next two exhibits at the AHC. In the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery will be “Austin 175: From Cabins to Skyscrapers,” a look at the founding and 175 years of growth of the city as it celebrates its 175th birthday in December. The next major exhibit, scheduled for a soft opening in December and a full opening in January, is “Divided City: Civil War, Slavery & Reconstruction in Austin.” This exhibit explores the impact of the Civil War era on life in Austin.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in various upcoming books, including Cracking the Kennedy Case, Lone Star Politics: Tradition and Transformation in Texas, Statesmen and Mischief Makers, Juneteenth, and a history of the Headliner’s Club. Additionally, AHC resources were used in the new African American Cultural Heritage District app, an Austin American Statesman video story about the new 10-1 council, and a documentary video about “stand-ins” by the People’s History of Texas for classroom use.

Staff

  • The AHC added two new, temporary staff positions and hired staff to fill them. The AHC hired Roger Simon to fill the Archivist I – Pease Archivist position to process the Niles Graham Pease papers, the first and largest archival acquisition for the AHC. The position is a full time, 1-year grant funded position. The AHC also hired Sarah Sauri as a Reference Intern-Archivist I. This position, funded through a series of small donations, will assist AHC staff with helping customers in the Reading Room and answering mail and email inquiries. The position is funded for 9 months.

Upcoming Events

  • December 9, 6:30, AHC. Opening Reception for “Austin 175” exhibit and COA 175th Birthday Party. In partnership with Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s Office.

 

September 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC had a successful event on August 9, screening the KLRU documentary “Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories.” After the screening, the 55 attendees asked questions of a panel made up of the filmmakers, KLRU, and Tommy Wyatt, publisher of the Villager newspaper and one of the people interviewed for the documentary.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 4 collections, A Barton Creek Portfolio Photo Collection, Water Works Photograph Collection, the Travis Central Appraisal District Records, and The Austin Light Records, and the finding aids were placed online.
  • Additions to the Harry Groll Newton Papers and the Performing Arts Collection were processed and the finding aids updated. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book about the history of the Headliners Club of Austin, “Skullduggery, Secrets and Murders” to be published by Texas Tech UP, books about Loyola High School and the Texas General Land Office Commissioners, TV broadcasts/shows on KXAN (news story about ACC) and the Longhorn Network (Alcalde show), and for exhibits and displays at the Susannah Dickinson Museum and Travis County History Day.

August 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • Assistant Manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation about the AHC to the Northwest Area Kiwanis Club on July 1. 20 members attended the event and the feedback was all positive. The club also made a $50 donation to the Center.
  • The AHC hosted a book talk and presentation on Saturday, July 19 with Carole Wilson, author of a new book about Governors Ma and Pa Ferguson. Wilson spoke to an audience of 25 about their troubled and controversial administrations, with a special emphasis on their role in the suffrage movement and supporting women in politics.
  • On July 29, local author Richard Zelade gave a presentation about Austin’s notorious Guytown, the area of southwest downtown that used to be home to Austin’s saloons, gambling houses, and brothels. He entertained a crowd of 90 people with stories of the rise and fall of the seedier side of Austin’s history.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 1 large collection, the Central East Austin Community Organization, Inc., Records, and 2 photograph collections, the Froman Glass Plate Negatives and the Haenel Family Photograph Collection, and the finding aids were placed online. Also, additions and updates to 6 other collections were completed. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.

Exhibits

  • Work is well underway for the next two exhibits at the Center. In December, the city will be celebrating its Terquasquicentennial, or 175th birthday, and the AHC will have an exhibit about the founding of the capital city in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery. The exhibit will open in late September. The next exhibit in the lobby and hallway will be about Austin during the Civil War and Reconstruction and is scheduled for early December. This exhibit is timed to close with the end of the National Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015).

Grants

  • The Texas State Library and Archives Commission just awarded the AHC a $20,000 Tex Treasures grant for a project to process the Niles Graham Pease Papers (AR.A.001). This grant, combined with a generous gift of $35,000 from the AHCA, will allow the Center to hire a 1-year, full time project archivist to copmpletely process and catalog the Pease Papers. Additionally, the project calls for selections from the collection to be digitized and made available online. The project is expected to be completed by September 1, 2015.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books about Ben Thompson, Paper Atlantis: Postcards, Mass Art and the American Scene(UT Press), and Head Shops and Whole Foods: Radical Retailers in the 1960s and Beyond(Columbia University Press). The AHC also contributed to an article appearing in the Alcalde Magazine, a news story on KXAN about two polices officers killed in the line of duty in the 1910s, an AIPP High Water Mark Public Art project, the South Central Waterfront report, and a website about the Servant Girl Murders.

Upcoming Events

  • September 3, 6:00pm, Scholz Garden: Reprisal of the AHC’s “Beer Garden Social.” In partnership with Esther’s Follies, the evening program will be a celebration of Ann Richards’ career.
  • September 21, 2:00 pm, AHC. Author program with Debra Winegarten, author of Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinetmaker, Philanthropist. This is also Austin Museum Day.
  • October 7, 6:30 pm, AHC Author program with Carole Sikes, author of Hudson Bend and the Birth of Lake Travis.
  • October 19, 2:00-6:00 pm, Spider House Ballroom. The AHC is co-sponsoring, along with other area archival repositories, the first annual Austin Archives Bazaar

July 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC hosted a very successful event on June 11. The program, “Effecting Change,” was a panel discussion with former Austin mayor Carole Keeton and former Texas State Representative Wilhelmina Delco, moderated by St. Edward’s University professor Paula Marks. 88 people attended the event and were regaled with poignant and often humorous stories about their lives and careers in politics.
  • Asst. Manager Nancy Toombs provided a tour for a graduate school seminar in American Studies called Public Scholarship on June 10th. She talked to them about the AHC and its collections and services, and everyone enjoyed it and learned a lot.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the International Wine and Food Society Austin Chapter Scrapbooks, the Rhody & Webber Account Ledger, the Leonard Eck Papers, the Wolf and East Family Papers, and the Brenda Malik Video Collection, and the finding aids were placed online. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received two sizeable photo donations in June, acquiring the archives of former Austin photographer Dewey Mears and receiving a transfer of 12,000 digital images from Austin Energy. Mears was a professional photographer in Austin from 1945 to 2000, and he worked primarily on commercial projects and architectural photography. The collection is rich in architectural photographs documenting Austin’s growth during this time period. The collection is quite sizeable – over 100 cubic feet of original negatives and prints – and it will take some time to process these images and make them available.

Exhibits

  • “When Austin Got Weird” opened at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum on July 11. Although the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” was not trademarked until 2000, it had its roots and was used in Austin long before. Using music posters from two Austin collections, the exhibit explores the poster artists and music venues that define Austin’s counterculture in the 1960s and 70s. 29 posters have been selected from artists Jim Franklin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Burns, Michael Priest and others to trace Austin’s transformation from simply the political capital of Texas to a music capital of the world. This exhibit is a partnership between the AHC, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, and the Bullock Museum.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in stories published in the Austin American Statesman, the “Notes in Time” TV show on ATXN, and an upcoming book about the history of the LCRA.

Upcoming Events

  • July 29, 6:30 pm, AHC. Author program with Richard Zelade, author of Guytown by Gaslight: A History of Vice in Austin’s First Ward.
  • August 9, 2:00 pm, AHC: Screening of the new documentary Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories and discussion with the filmmakers. The film features Wilhelmina Delco, one of the women in the Backwards in High Heels exhibit.
  • September 3, 6:00pm, Scholz Garden: Reprisal of the AHC’s “Beer Garden Social.” In partnership with Esther’s Follies, the evening program will be a celebration of Ann Richards’ career.
  • September 21, 2:00 pm, AHC. Author program with Debra Winegarten, author of Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinetmaker, Philanthropist. This is also Austin Museum Day.

June 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC hosted a program with a UT Service Learning course called “Exhibiting Austin” on May 13. This program was the culmination of a semester long project with UT students who investigated ways to help the AHC fulfill its mission, particularly with preserving the history of under-documented segments of the community. 35 people heard presentations on a range of topics, and the students added oral histories and other materials to the AHC collections.
  • Local writer Ricky Stein gave a presentation about the history of Sonobeat Records, one of Austin’s earliest record labels, on May 17.
    AHC manager gave presentations at 2 different retirement communities: The Summit at Westlake Hills on May 14 and Westminster Manor on May 16.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 7 collections, the Wu Family Papers, the Odell and Jeanne Grant Photograph Album, the Austin Junior Forum Records, the Clifton Ladd Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan Papers, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau Records, the Austin (Tex.). Tax Department Records, and the Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Austin Technology and Telecommunications Commission Records, and the finding aids were placed online. Also, 4 other collections were updated with new additions and/or updates to the finding aids. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at:http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • Among the more interesting donations to the collections was a donation from the Austin Friends of Folk Art comprised of annual notebooks and financial information documenting the activities of the organization from the late 1980s to present.

Exhibits

  • Media Archivist Nicole Davis created a companion web exhibit for the Backwards in High Heels exhibit. The online exhibit provides an overview and sampling of what can be seen onsite. The online exhibit is at:http://library.austintexas.gov/ahc/backwards-high-heels-getting-women-elected-1842-1990-53352.
  • The Mexican American Firsts: Trailblazers of Austin and Travis County traveling exhibit was loaned for the month of May to Manor ISD for their Cinco de Mayo activities. The exhibit was set up by Audrey Fontenot, MISD Ombudsman at their Central Office.

Reference

  • It was an eclectic month for reference questions, as usual for the AHC, including working with numerous documentary filmmakers on a range of topics from local music to Leslie, a local historian working on a journal article about the Pease lands for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, and assisting visiting professors from Cincinnati, OH and Richmond, VA. Perhaps the most interesting reference encounter was working with the Statesman’s Politifact reporter confirming a statement about how many Hispanics have served on the Austin City Council. It had been reported that only 4 had ever served, based on surveying the last names of all former council members. Processing Archivist Molly Hults was able to confirm that a 5th had served – Robert Barnstone. He is often overlooked because he does not have a Hispanic surname (his mother was Hispanic).

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book on Texas women from UT Press, news stories on KXAN and TWCN, and articles in the Austin American-Statesman, Austin South Asian, and the Save Texas History newsletter from the Texas General Land Office.

AHCA

  • The AHCA held its annual meeting on Wednesday, May 14. A new board was voted in at the meeting, including new Board President Beth Fowler. AHCA board member Geoff Wool and AHC volunteer Roger Simon were honored with Volunteer of the Year awards. The evening’s special guest was Mat Hames from Alpheus Media, the director who made the new Saving Austin’s History short film about the AHC/AHCA.

Upcoming Events

The AHC, in partnership with the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT, will participate in a new exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. The exhibit, called “When Austin Got Weird,” will feature early Austin music posters and document the growing Live Music culture in Austin in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibit will be on the 3rd floor Rotunda and opens July 11, 2014. It is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of a large traveling exhibit, “1968,” that opens at the Bullock in June. Several items from the AHC collections will be featured.

  • July 19, 2:00 pm, AHC: Author program with Carol O’Keefe Wilson, author of In the Governor’s Shadow: The True Story of Ma and Pa Ferguson. This program is part of a series of programs featuring women that are part of the Backwards in High Heels exhibit.
  • July 29, 6:30 pm, AHC. Author program with Richard Zelade, author of Guytown by Gaslight: A History of Vice in Austin’s First Ward.
  • August 9, 2:00 pm, AHC: Screening of the new documentary Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories and discussion with the filmmakers. The film features Wilhelmina Delco, one of the women in the Backwards in High Heels exhibit.
  • September 3, 6:00pm, Scholz Garden: Reprisal of the AHC’s “Beer Garden Social.” In partnership with Esther’s Follies, the evening program will be a celebration of Ann Richards’ career.
  • September 21, 2:00 pm, AHC. Author program with Debra Winegarten, author of Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinetmaker, Philanthropist. This is also Austin Museum Day.

May 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • Media Archivist Nicole Davis had a busy month of April with tours and presentations related to the current “Backwards in High Heels” exhibit. On April 3 she gave a presentation for the UT LAMP program, with 75 in attendance. A few days later, 12 of the attendees came to the AHC for a tour. Additionally, she hosted a group of 32 6th graders from the Ann Richards School and gave them tours of the exhibit on April 24.
  • Mexican American Community Archivist Gloria Espitia served on a panelist at a program sponsored by the Texas Latino Archives on April 8 called “No lo Tidas: Don’t Throw it Away.” Gloria also led a couple of very successful programs for the opening of the “Latinas in the Shadow of the Live Music Capital of the World” exhibit. The opening reception was held on April 13, and approximately 130 people came for the reception and a concert in Wooldridge Square Park. On April 16, she hosted a program called “They Sing from their Hearts,” attended by 35 people. Gloria gave a presentation about the history of Latina musicians in Austin, followed by a panel discussion with Leticia Rodriguez, Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, Martha Fuentes Rodriguez, Peggy Vasquez, and Rose Reyes.
  • On April 22, Reference Archivist Ashley Adair and African American Community Archivist Cynthia Evans gave a presentation about local African American history and tour of the AHC to a group of Anderson HS seniors.
  • Asian American Community Archivist Esther Chung gave a presentation at the Asian Pacific American Public Affairs ceremony on April 25 to 70 people.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 8 collections, the Jim Innes Photograph Collection, Austin (Tex.). Parks and Recreation Department Photo Negative Collection, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Urban Transportation Commission Records, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Environmental Board Records, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Downtown Commission Records, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Renaissance Market Commission Records, the FAB-100 Records, and the Hart Family Papers and the finding aids were placed online. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • Among the more interesting donations to the collections are a 1983 FOIA request for records related to The Rag from the FBI and a small addition to the Walter Long Papers related to a couple of his publications.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened a new photo exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery: “Latinas in the Shadow of the Live Music Capital of the World: Queremos Realizar Nuestra Musica Para Usted.” The exhibit gives recognition to local Latina singers, musicians and other Latinas who are or have been part of the local music scene since the early twentieth century to the present but whose presence have not been totally documented or preserved in the annals of Austin’s music history.   The exhibit recognizes 25 local Latinas and will consist of photographs, biographies and other documents that showcase their presence in various genres of Austin’s music scene. As part of the exhibit, a kiosk containing musical recordings by 14 of the women featured in the exhibit will be also be available in the Gallery. It opened April 8, 2014 and runs through September 11, 2014.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book about Col. House, news stories about Civil Rights in Austin for Fox 7 news and the Austin American Statesman, an LCRA report to the Texas Historical Commission, publicity material for the Old Enfield Association, Cycling Sweethearts of Texas, and the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, and for exhibit at the Capitol Visitors Center, Hamilton Pool, Health Management Associates, and the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco

Upcoming Events

  • June 11, 6:30 pm, AHC: Panel discussion with Carole Keeton and Wilhelmina Delco about their lives and political careers, moderated by St. Edward’s professor Paula Marks.
  • The AHC, in partnership with the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT, will participate in a new exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. The exhibit, called “When Austin Got Weird,” will feature early Austin music posters and document the growing Live Music culture in Austin in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibit will be on the 3rd floor Rotunda and opens July 11, 2014. It is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of a large traveling exhibit, “1968,” that opens at the Bullock in June. Several items from the AHC collections will be featured.
  • July 19, 2:00 pm, AHC: Author program with Carol O’Keefe Wilson, author of In the Governor’s Shadow: The True Story of Ma and Pa Ferguson. This program is part of a series of programs featuring women that are part of the Backwards in High Heels exhibit.
  • July 29, 6:30 pm, AHC. Author program with Richard Zelade, author of Guytown by Gaslight: A History of Vice in Austin’s First Ward.
  • August 9, 2:00 pm, AHC: Screening of the new documentary Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories and discussion with the filmmakers. The film features Wilhelmina Delco, one of the women in the Backwards in High Heels exhibit.
  • September 3, 6:00pm, Scholz Garden: Reprisal of the AHC’s “Beer Garden Social.” In partnership with Esther’s Follies, the evening program will be a celebration of Ann Richards’ career.

April 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On March 5, Asst. Manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation to the 3rd grade class at Pease ES to 48 people.
  • On March 12, Manager Mike Miller presented “Eyewitness to an Emerging Texas: Governor E.M. Pease” at the Summit at Westlake Hills Independent Living Center.
  • On March 26, the AHC held the opening reception for the exhibit “Backwards in High Heels.” Over 70 people attended the event. Travis County Clerk Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza delivered the opening remarks, recounting her political career, inspirations, and obstacles. Chef Gregory Dishman from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts provided the refreshments, an assortment of foods based on recipes from the kitchens of governors Ma Ferguson and Ann Richards.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 6 collections, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Boards and Commission Process Review Task Force Records, Grooms Addition Conservancy Records, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Design Commission Records, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Housing Authority Records, Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Parks and Recreation Board Records, and Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Water and Wastewater Commission and the finding aids wreplaced online. Also, additions to 2 collections were processed and the finding aids updated. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened a new photo exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery: “Latinas in the Shadow of the Live Music Capital of the World: Queremos Realizar Nuestra Musica Para Usted.” The exhibit gives recognition to local Latina singers, musicians and other Latinas who are or have been part of the local music scene since the early twentieth century to the present but whose presence have not been totally documented or preserved in the annals of Austin’s music history.   The exhibit recognizes 25 local Latinas and will consist of photographs, biographies and other documents that showcase their presence in various genres of Austin’s music scene. As part of the exhibit, a kiosk containing musical recordings by 14 of the women featured in the exhibit will be also be available in the Gallery. It opened April 8, 2014 and runs through September 11, 2014.
  • The AHC, in partnership with the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT, will participate in a new exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. The exhibit, called “When Austin Got Weird,” will feature early Austin music posters and document the growing Live Music culture in Austin in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibit will be on the 3rd floor Rotunda and opens July 11, 2014. It is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of a large traveling exhibit, “1968,” that opens at the Bullock in June. Several items from the AHC collections will be featured.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book about the 90th anniversary of St. David’s Hospital, the KLRU documentary Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories, an Austin American Statesman article about the Civil rights movement in Austin, an online story about Jackie Robinson’s season as a basketball coach in Austin, and for public display at Art+Artisans and Southwest Strategies Group.

Upcoming Events

  • May 17, 2:00 pm, AHC: Meet the Author: Ricky Stein, author of Sonobeat Records: Pioneering the Austin Sound in the ‘60s.
  • June 11, 6:30 pm, AHC: Panel discussion with Carole Keeton and Wilhelmina Delco about their lives and political careers, moderated by St. Edward’s professor Paula Marks.
  • July 19, 2:00 pm, AHC: Screening of the new documentary Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories and discussion with the filmmakers.
  • September 3, 6:00pm, Scholz Garden: Reprisal of the AHC’s “Beer Garden Social.” In partnership with Esther’s Follies, the evening program will be a celebration of Ann Richards’ career.

March 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On February 1, Head of Public Services Nancy Toombs gave a presentation and a tour of the AHC to a group of 15 Boy Scouts.
  • On February 12, Mexican American Community Archivist Gloria Espitia gave a presentation for Dr. Cary Cordova’s Exhibiting Austin undergraduate class. The title of the presentation was “Recovering and Reclaiming the History of our Mexican American Community.” The presentation consisted of a powerpoint along with an oral history snippet of Raul Salinas and a short video of the Mexican American Firsts: Trailblazers of Austin and Travis County keynote speech by Dr. Emilio Zamora.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 4 collections, the Black Citizens Task Force Records, the Wukash & Associates Records and Drawings, the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America, Prinice Hill Lodge No. 9556 Ledger, and the Harry Groll Newton Papers. Also, additions to the DeCourcy Kelly Papers were processed and the finding aids updated. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC recently completed a project to digitize the photographs in the Bergstrom-Austin Community Council Records as part of a grant project with the Portal to Texas History. The Bergstrom-Austin Community Council Records contain several hundred photographs which document over five decades of history of Bergstrom Air Force Base, originally known as Del Valle Air Base, from its early days in the 1940s until its closing in 1993. The squadrons stationed at BAFB participated in the Berlin Airlift during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the Gulf War, and other tactical and reconnaissance missions. The photographs in this collection depict the buildings on the base, including the headquarters, hospitals, housing units, offices, lounges, and warehouses (all of which, except the headquarters, have since been destroyed); personnel in formal portraits and candid scenes, including flight crews, officers, maintenance workers, office workers, and families; aircraft in flight and at base including Phantom F-4s and C-47s; and other scenes of base activities including drills, ceremonies, and festivals. Some famous visitors are also depicted, such as Queen Elizabeth II, the Crown Prince of Iran Reza Palahvi, astronauts Sally Ride and Bob Crippen, President Nixon, and Vice President George H. W. Bush. The photographs also document the closure of the Base and its transformation into Austin’s municipal airport in the 1990s. More than 250 photographs from the collection are available online through the Portal to Texas History (http://texashistory.unt.edu/search/?fq=untl_collection:BAFB). The finding aid for the collection is available through Texas Archival Resources Online here: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/aushc/00365/ahc-00365.html.

Exhibits

  • “Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected, 1842-1990” opened in the Grand Hallway and Lobby on February 25. The exhibit has been well received to date with a lot of foot traffic. Media Archivist Nicole Davis participated in a live remote interview for Fox 7 morning news show on February 28 promoting the exhibit. The opening reception will be held on Wednesday, March 26, and will feature former Councilwoman Betty Dunkerley. The Esscoffier School of Culinary Arts will cater the event and create refreshments inspired by recipes from Governors Ma Ferguson and Ann Richards.
  • The AHC’s next photo exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery is “Latinas in the Shadow of the Live Music Capital of the World: Queremos Realizar Nuestra Musica Para Usted.” The photo exhibit gives recognition to local Latina singers, musicians and other Latinas who are or have been part of the local music scene since the early twentieth century to the present but whose presence have not been totally documented or preserved in the annals of Austin’s music history.   The exhibit will recognize 25 local Latinas and will consist of photographs, biographies and other documents that showcase their presence in various genres of Austin’s music scene. As part of the exhibit, a kiosk containing musical recordings by 14 of the women featured in the exhibit will be also be available in the Gallery. The exhibit opens April 8, 2014 and runs through September 11, 2014.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book about the Hudson Bend area of Lake Travis, an Austin Chronicle about Jackie Robinson, an Oxford Commercial Real Estate Video, an online photo slideshow about the Austin Kite Festival on KXAN.com, and exhibits at the Austin Police Retirement System Office and the Neill Cochran House Museum.

AHCA

  • The AHCA was selected to be partnered with a local filmmaker as part of the “Lights, Camera, Help! Reel Change Film Frenzy” project. This annual event selects 10 local nonprofits from a group of applicants and pairs them with a local filmmaker who then has a week to conceptualize, shoot, edit, and produce a short film about the non-profit. The AHCA was paired with Alpheus Media who created a wonderful 7.5 minute video, titled “Saving Austin’s History,” about the AHC, Austin history, the AHCA, and the AHC expansion into the John Henry Faulk Building.

Upcoming Events

  • April 8, 2014. New exhibit “Queremos Realizar Nuestra Musica Para Usted” (We Want to Sing a Song) opens in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery.
  • April 13, 2014, 1:30-5. Reception for Queremos Realizar Nuestra Musica Para Usted at the AHC (1:30-3:00) and concert in Wooldridge Square Park (3:00-5:00).
  • April 16, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30. “They Sing from Their Hearts: Latina Presence in the Live Music Capital of the World.” Panel program for the Qeremos Cantarles una Cancion exhibit.

February 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On January 23, Head of Public Services Nancy Toombs and Manager Mike Miller gave a presentation at the Exploring Texas History Conference at the Bob Bullock State History Museum. This is an annual conference for social studies teachers in Region XIII.
  • On January 29, African American Community Archivist Cynthia Evans gave a presentation “Slavery in Travis County” to 35 students and 11 adults from the St. Francis School.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the Austin Libraries for the Future Records, the Calhoun Debating Society Scrapbook, and the Norwest Austin Civic Assocaition Records. Also, additions to the Gardner Papers and the Meyer Family Papers were processed and the finding aids updated. EAD encoded finding aids for the collections are on the Internet at the TARO website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC recently acquired the George Kane Poster Collection. George Kane was the owner of Treasured Tracs, a music store in the Westgate Mall that sold used records/tapes/CDs and music related ephemera. This collection includes hundreds of posters of local musicians and venues as well as posters of other events around town. Kane, who now lives in New York, has promised to send more as he unearths materials from storage. The AHC also acquired a significant addition to the Shudde Fath Papers (AR.2001.004). Fath is a long time member of the Utility Commission and a well-known environmentalist. This addition to the collection includes all the records she had related to the founding of the Save Barton Creek Association and her role as its Treasurer.

Exhibits

  • “Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected, 1842-1990” opens in the Grand Hallway and Lobby on February 25. “If you give us a chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” So said Ann Richards at the Democratic National Convention in 1988 making the point that women can be just as effective in politics as men but have needed grit and determination to get into elected office. This exhibit is the Austin History Center’s look at the local women who have played a significant part in politics in Texas’ capital city. Covering a span of 150 years, the exhibit highlights many of the female “firsts” in local and state politics. With conviction and effective strategy, women went from being disenfranchised to holding the highest office in the state. The opening reception will be held on Wednesday, March 26, and will feature former Councilwoman Betty Dunkerley. The Esscoffier School of Culinary Arts will cater the event and create refreshments inspired by recipes from Governors Ma Ferguson and Ann Richards.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books on the Montopolis neighborhood and Austin’s GuyTown district, a National Education Association calendar app for k-12 educators, an article about Texas in the Civil War in American History magazine, a KLRU produced online video series called “Austin Revealed,” an Austin history blog called “Texture the City,” and for exhibit at the Carver Museum and the African American Cultural Heritage Facility.

Upcoming Events

  • March 26, 6:30 pm. Opening Reception for “Backwards in High Heels.”
  • April 8, 2014: New exhibit “Qeremos Cantarles una Cancion” (We Want to Sing a Song) opens in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery.
  • April 13, 2014: Reception for Qeremos Cantarles una Cancion at the AHC and concert in Wooldridge Square Park.
  • April 16, 2014. Panel program for the Qeremos Cantarles una Cancion exhibit.

January 2014

Programming & Outreach

  • On December 4, the AHC and AHCA hosted a “Meet the Author” program with Julian Read. Read was the former press advisor to Governor Tom Connally and was in the motorcade during JFK’s fateful Texas visit. He spoke to an audience of 45 about his new memoirs about that day, including many stories about planning for the trip and Kennedy’s scheduled visit to Austin.
  • On December 7, the AHC held its final program in the “How to Prepare a Possum” exhibit program series, “Eat, Drink, Read – Austin.” Authors of 4 Austin food books spoke about their books and Austin food history and culture. A reception followed for attendees to view the exhibit and visit with the authors.
  • On December 10, the AHCA, in partnership with the H. J. Lutcher Stark Center at UT and the AHC, presented “An Evening with Austin Gold Legends Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite” at the Stark Center. Over 130 people attended and were regaled with fun and humorous stories of Austin’s golf history by two of its most noted golfers.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections:  Austin Area League of Women Voters Records, the Allen McCree Papers, the McCutcheon Family Papers, the Dave Smith Papers, and the Texas Blind, Deaf and Orphan School Architectural Drawings, and placed EAD encoded finding aids for the collections on the Internet at the TARO website. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC recently acquired a portrait of Walter E. Long, the first secretary-manager of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. The AHC owns a substantial collection of Long materials (Walter Long Papers, AR.Q.002), and his grandson made the donation and reconnected the family with the AHC. Also, a local antique and ephemera dealer made a sizeable donation of Austin related material. The donation was a hodgepodge of items, including rare Austin steroeviews from the 1860s and 1870s and assorted other photographs, vintage music posters, and materials from the Hirshfeld family.
  • Mexican American Community Archivist Gloria Espitia has conducted a number of oral history interviews and secured donations of photographs and other documents as part of her “In the Shadow of the Live Music Capital of the World” project. This project documenting the history of Latina musicians in Austin will culminate in an exhibit in the Holt Photo Gallery in April.

Exhibits

  • “How to Prepare a Possum” officially closed on January 10, and it is always a little disheartening to see the exhibit space empty. Work is well underway for the next exhibit, “Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected, 1842-1990,” which is scheduled to open on February 25, 2014.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in The City in Texas, an upcoming book from UT Press, an upcoming PBS documentary about Black photographers, a CBS news production for 48 Hours, exhibit displays at the Texas Law Center, Seton Hospital, and the Chancellorsville Visitors Center, and for publication in the online magazine The Austinist.

Upcoming Events

  • January 31, 2014: AHCA annual Angelina Eberly Luncheon at the Driskill Hotel. This year’s luncheon panel includes Ron Oliveira, Judy Maggio, Ken Herman, Monte Williams, and Cathy Conley Swifford, and they will discuss how our fair town has grown from being known as “Austin, Texas” to simply “Austin.”
  • February 25, 2014: New exhibit “Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected, 1842-1990” opens in the Grand Hallway and Lobby.
  • April 8, 2014: New exhibit “Qeremos Cantarles una Cancion” (We Want to Sing a Song) opens in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery.
  • April 13, 2014: Reception for Qeremos Cantarles una Cancion at the AHC and concert in Wooldridge Square Park.