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2015 Reports

Thursday, December 10th, 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 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • On November 9, Asst. Manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation to the Sherlock Holmes Society of Austin about the naming of the town of Waterloo.
  • Processing Archivist Molly Hults gave a tour of the “Making the Grade” exhibit to 15 members of the AISD Public Relations team on November 3.
  • Mexican American Community Archivist Amanda Jasso Organized and executed November 18 program – Invisible in Austin book talk with four panel members/contributors.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the Robert N. Simmons Photograph Collection, the Mark Goodman Collection of Student Photography Projects, and the Austin Independent School District Board of Education Records, and placed EAD encoded finding aid for the collection on the Internet at the TARO website. Processing Archivist Molly Hults also added items and updated the EAD finding aids for the Performing Arts Collection, Abstracts of Title Collection, Pat Toth Papers, Blodgett Papers, Austin Lyric Opera Records, and the Paramount Theater Records. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC recently acquired an original and unpublished short story by O. Henry. Thanks to the generosity of the AHCA, the AHC was able to win this story, “A New Candidate for Sympathy,” at auction and add it to the O. Henry collection. The story is handwritten and includes notations and corrections by O. Henry. Also included with the story is a 1919 letter from the treasurer at Doubleday, his publisher, authenticating the story as O. Henry’s.
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin set up a partnership with the database, Umbra: Search African American History to make AHC collections more accessible. Over 400 AHC items featured on the Portal to TX History and the Digital Public Library of America will be on the database, increasing the visibility interest in the African American materials in the AHC’s collections.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?,” a number of new and upcoming books such as Indelible Austin (Waterloo Press), Austin in the Jazz Age (The History Press), Blue Texas (University of North Carolina Press), Lone Star Treasure: The Texas Capitol (State Preservation Board), and Retronaut Guide to Raising Children, a cultural landscapes report on the commercial district at 12th and Chicon, articles in the Austin Chronicle about theater desegregation and Austin Monthly about the Trail of Lights, and for an exhibit by Crockett High School students to be held at the Manchaca Branch Library.

Upcoming Events

  • January 12, 6:30-8:00pm. “Mathews & Metz: 100 Years and what’s old is new again” – program celebrating the 100th birthday Mathews and Metz Elementary Schools.
  • January 16, 1:00-4:00pm, AHC. Oral History Workshop with the AHCA and Texas Historical Commission.
  • January 29, 11:30 am, Driskill Hotel. AHCA’s annual Eberly Luncheon.
  • March 22, Neill-Cochran House Museum. Opening of AHC exhibit on the E. M. Pease Family and Collection.
  • April 3, AHC/Wooldridge Square Park. Time TBD. Spring Music Revue.

November 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • On October 1, multiple staff from the AHC represented the center at the Austin Museum Partnership (AMP)’s Educator’s Night at the Bob Bullock museum. This is a new, semi-annual program organized by AMP, of which the AHC is a member, that provides an opportunity for area museums to meet and interact with area teachers and how our institutions can support their instruction.
  • The AHC’s “Preservation Station,” based on the Archives Clinic the AHC used to host, made an appearance at the Asian American Resource Center on October 3. Media Archivist Nicole Davis, Processing Archivist Molly Hults, and Reference Archivist Rusty Heckaman spent the day meeting with individuals interested in learning more about how to preserve and archive their personal collections.
  • On October 7, Asst. Manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation to the Senior University Georgetown class about the AHC. She gave a similar presentation to the Lifetime Learning Institute on October 22.
  • The AHC was a co-sponsor of the annual Travis County History Day (TCHD), held on October 16 in the Hall of Government in the Travis County building at 700 Lavaca. Assistant Manager Nancy Toombs served on the TCHD planning committee. This year’s event focused on Austin folk art, and materials from the Center’s Peter Mansbendel Collection were featured at the event.
  • On October 25, Manager Mike Miller gave a presentation to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Albert Sydney Johnston Chapter, about daily life in Austin during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
  • The AHC participated in a program at the Thinkery Museum for their monthly “Thinkery21” program for adults. The October Thinkery21 event, held on October 28, was called “Murder in the Museum.” The AHC created a small, mini-exhibit about crime in Austin. Processing Archivist Molly Hults led this effort, assisted by Exhibits Coordinator Steve Schwolert, Archives Media Specialist Grace McEvoy, Curator of Archives Susan Rittereiser, Reference Archivist Rusty Heckaman, and African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 1 collection, the Capitol Photo Supplies Company Records, and placed EAD encoded finding aid for the collection 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 hosted a Photo ID Party, inviting APL retirees, on October 26th, to identify photographs in the APL Archives. The event was a success. There were a total of 9 current and former staff working and everyone seemed to have a good time. The group processed a total of 510 photos, with plans for a possible repeat event in January.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in news shows on KTBC, about the Save Texas History Symposium, and Time Warner Cable News, about Proposition 3; exhibits at the Susanna Dickinson Museum, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, a wall mural for the Archer Austin Hotel, a news story about the Palm School building for the Austin Monitor, and a Houston Chronicle web series “This Forgotten Day in Longhorns Football.”

Upcoming Events

  • November 18, 6:30 pm, AHC. Panel discussion and book signing with contributors to new book, Invisible in Austin.
  • December 5, 2:00 pm, AHC. Presentation and book signing with Richard Zelade, author of Austin in the Jazz Age.
  • December 8, 6:30 pm, AHC. Presentation and book signing with Michael Barnes, author of Indelible Austin, published by Waterloo Press.
  • January 16, 1:00-4:00pm, AHC. Oral History Workshop with the AHCA and Texas Historical Commission.
  • April 3, AHC/Wooldridge Square Park. Time TBD. Spring Music Revue.

October 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin participated in the Black and Abroad You Tube project. Black and Abroad is a travel and education show about the African diaspora and its continuing influence on our society and world. The show will be broken down into 10-minute webisodes that will air on a self-titled YouTube channel. Each season would focus on a different location, the history of that location with an emphasis on people of African descent and their cultural significance.
  • On September 15, Manager Mike Miller gave a research orientation to a group of 15 students from St. Edward’s University. They are working on a project researching daily life in Austin during the Civil War era.
  • The AHC participated in Austin Museum Day on September 20, part of a citywide celebration of Austin arts & culture. Local author and musician Jesse Sublett gave a performance at 2:00 pm and spoke about his new book, 1960s Austin Gangsters to a crowd of 45. Overall, the AHC had 475 visitors for the day; almost triple the normal Sunday visitor count.
  • On September 28, Reference Archivist Rusty Heckaman made a presentation about conducting property research and gave an orientation to the AHC to a group of students from UT.
  • On September 29 and October 1, Manager Mike Miller and Exhibits Coordinator Steve Schwolert gave an orientation to high school students from Crockett. These students are working on a project called “Austin Revolutionaries” that will eventually become an exhibit on display at the Manchaca Branch Library.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the KLRN/KLRU Production Photographs Collection, the APD/Whitman Mass Murder Records, and the East Avenue Baptist Church 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 papers and drawings from local architect Robert Kaler. Kaler has been active in Austin since the 1960s as a solo architect and as a member of well-known firms such as Kinney Kaler, Sanders and Crews and Page, Southerland, Page. The AHC also acquired a collection of 19th century Austin theater programs and publications. These include programs from Hancock Opera House, Millett Opera House, the Amateur Choral Club, and the Austin Grand Opera Company.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an article in Southern Woman Magazine about Jane McCallum, an article in Texas Monthly about Claire Wilson, documentary films about Richard Linklater, Public Access TV in Austin, and Leslie, upcoming books about the Servant Girl Murders and the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, news stories in the Austin American Statesman (Betty Himmelblau and other stories), Austin Chronicle (Travis County Courthouses), Austin Monthly (Haunted Austin and Paramount Theater Centennial), and Southern Lady Magazine (Capital Cities), for exhibits at the Spirit of East Austin Community Forum and Viva Street’s Festival, for a KXAN news story about the City Flag, and for web exhibits by the Texas State Preservation Board, Texas State University, and Page Southerland Page.
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin updated the AHC’s “Segregation Bibliography” guide and posted it online: http://www.austinlibrary.com/ahc/downloads/segregation_bib.pdf
  • Curator of Archives & Manuscripts Susan Rittereiser updated the “UT Tower Shootings” Resource Guide and posted it online: http://www.austinlibrary.com/ahc/downloads/Whitman_bib.pdf

Upcoming Events

  • October 29, 7:00 pm, The Thinkery. Exhibit about crime in Austin as part of the “Murder in the Museum” program.
  • November 18, 6:30 pm, AHC. Panel discussion and book signing with contributors to new book, Invisible in Austin.
  • December 5, 2:00 pm, AHC. Presentation and book signing with Richard Zelade, author of Austin in the Jazz Age.
  • December 8, 6:30 pm, AHC. Presentation and book signing with Michael Barnes, author of Indelible Austin, published by Waterloo Press.

September 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • Manager Mike Miller gave presentations to two different Rotary Clubs, the Capitol Rotary Club on August 5 and the Westlake Rotary Club on August 7.
  • On August 6 and 7, Head of Public Services Nancy Toombs gave “impromptu” story times to groups of young children from PARD. The groups arrived unannounced, but Nancy was able to cobble together a program for them on the fly.
  • The AHC partnered with the Capital City Black Film Festival to have a strong AHC presence at the opening event on August 13. African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin, assisted by Archives Media Specialist Grace McEvoy and Exhibits Coordinator Steve Schwolert, prepared a small exhibit “A Brief History of Black Cinema and Movie Houses in Austin and Beyond, 1895-1976” as well as participating in a presentation that evening and having an information booth about the AHC at the Festival. This was a very successful partnership.
  • LaToya also started working with local filmmakers on a YouTube video project called Black and Abroad about the African diaspora. She is working with them on episodes about this topic in Austin’s history.
  • On August 15, Processing Archivist Molly Hults gave a presentation about genealogy resources available at the AHC as part of a workshop offered at the Manchaca branch.
  • On August 20, Nancy Toombs gave a presentation about the AHC to 110 members of the Austin AARP group. The presentation generated a lot of interest, including follow-up questions and visits to the AHC.
  • On August 26, the AHC hosted a film screening of La Loma and a panel discussion with the filmmakers. The program was organized by Latina/o Community Archivist Amanda Jasso and 60 people attended the program, many leaving energized to do more to address the issues raised by the film.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 2 collections, the Michael Martin Video Collection and the Charles Whitman APD 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.
  • Among the recent donations to the AHC was the transfer of records from ChannelAustin to the AHC. ChannelAustin was running the city’s Public Access TV station until the newest contract was awarded to the Austin Film Society. The donation includes copies of programming as well as records about the operations of the channel.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in a number of upcoming books, including Taming Texas: How Law and Order Came to the Lone Star State (Texas Supreme Court Historical Society), Indelible Austin (Waterloo Press), Riding for the Lone Star: Frontier Cavalry and the Texas Way of War (UNT Press), and Impeached: The Removal of Texas Governor James E. Ferguson; a story on J. Frank Dobie in an upcoming issue of Texas Co-Op Power Magazine and articles in Austin Monthly and Landscape Architecture Magazine; signage at Pease Park; multiple KXAN news stories, and a new website about the history of the Paramount Theater.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened its newest exhibit, “Making the Grade: Austin’s First Public Schools,” on September 16. A crowd of about 70 people attended the opening reception, with a wonderful menu from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts that was a play on a 1940s school lunch menu (but much tastier!). Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, if not glowing, testament to the incredible job done by the exhibits team of Molly Hults, Steve Schwolert, Grace McEvoy, and Rusty Heckaman.

Grants

  • The AHC received a 2015 Rescuing Texas History grant from the Portal to Texas History. This is the 5th time the AHC has received this mini-grant to have materials digitized and placed online through the Portal. This project will entail digitizing over 250 images from the Frank Caldwell Collection. Caldwell was a noted Texana collector, amassing an impressive collection of 19th century photographs of Texas.

August 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • On July 17, AHC Manager Mike Miller gave a presentation, “Divided City: Austin During the Civil War,” to the Texas Historical Foundation. 40 board members of the Foundation were present for the presentation.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 1 collection, the Austin (Tex.) City Council Emma Long Papers, and placed EAD encoded finding aid for the collection on the Internet at the TARO website. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • Among the recent donations the AHC is a collection of scrapbooks from Jim Maloy, a long-time theater projectionist in Austin. The collection documents the history of Austin theaters from the 1970s to the 2000s as well as information about the Feature Film Service. The AHC also received a donation of photographs from the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books about the Charles Whitman shootings and the history of Laguna Gloria, news stories in the Austin American-Statesman about high schools named after Confederate veterans and the history of printing presses, documentary films about ACTV and the new 10-1 council structure, and a KXAN news story about leaky pipes.

Upcoming Programs

  • August 26, 6:30 pm, AHC. Screening of La Loma (Or the Place Sometimes Called Hungry Hill), followed by a panel discussion of the documentary.
  • September 16, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening Reception for “Making the Grade: Austin’s First Public Schools.”
  • September 20, 2:00 pm, AHC. Presentation by Jesse Sublett about his new book, 1960s Austin Gangsters. This is also Austin Museum Day.

July 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • On June 2, Exhibits Coordinator Steve Schwolert gave a tour of the Divided City exhibit to 8 visitors from the Atria Senior Living Center.
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin was interviewed for a KLRU program about Confederate monuments and schools in Austin, as well as assisted the producers in research. The program aired on Sunday, June 28. LaToya also presented a program for the NAACP Captain Louie White Juneteenth Program for 85 people on June 19 as well as representing the AHC at the Carver Museum and Greater East Austin Youth Association Juneteenth Celebrations.
  • On June 10, Manager Mike Miller gave a presentation to the Northwest Neighbors about the AHC’s book Austin’s First Cookbook and early food history of Austin. 40 member of the group, a women’s social organization in northwest Austin, attended the event.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 2 collections, the Tumey Family Photograph Album, the Inez Lung Lee Photograph Album, 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.
  • Media Archivist Nicole Davis recently completed an exhaustive guide to the Photographic holdings of the Center. The Photography Resources Guide, available online at: http://www.austinlibrary.com/ahc/downloads/Photography%20Resources%20Guide.pdf, offers a comprehensive inventory of the photography collections and how to access them.
  • Among the recent donations the AHC is a small collection of items about or by the local cartoonist Sam Hurt, creator of the comic strip Eyebeam. The collection includes all his published work and biographical material.

Exhibits

  • The exhibit “Austin 175: From Cabins to Skyscrapers” joined the list of former AHC exhibits traveling to branch library locations when it opened at the Oak Hill Branch in June. The AHC also created a small exhibit of large mural prints from previous exhibits, “Exhibiting the Past: Photographs from Recent Exhibits at the Austin History Center,” to hang on the 2nd floor of the John Henry Faulk building.

Publications

  • The AHC was featured in the new book Archives Alive: Expanding Engagement with Public Library Archives and Special Collections, published by ALA editions. The AHC is featured in one chapter, and our exhibits and community archives programs are featured in 2 other chapters.
  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in a KLRU documentary about Eastside High, documentaries about Public Access TV and Richard Linklater, an article on Austin golf for Austin Monthly, educational brochures about Highland Mall, an exhibit about segregation at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and upcoming books about Kyle, TX, and the Supreme Court of Texas.

Staff

  • The AHC welcomed a new staff member, Elizabeth Taylor, who most recently worked as an Administrative Assistant at the Faulk Central Library. She joins the AHC as a part time administrative assistant as she pursues her graduate studies at the University of Texas iSchool, with a specialization in archives.

Upcoming Programs

  • August 26, 6:30 pm, AHC. Screening of La Loma (Or the Place Sometimes Called Hungry Hill), followed by a panel discussion of the documentary.
  • September 16, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening Reception for “Making the Grade: Austin’s First Public Schools.”
  • September 20, 2:00 pm, AHC. Presentation by Jesse Sublett about his new book, 1960s Austin Gangsters. This is also Austin Museum Day.

June 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC hosted its 3rd Annual Beer Garden Social at Scholz Beer Garten on May 3. This year’s program was “Music of the Civil War Era.” It featured performances by the Frontier Brigade Band out of Dallas, playing traditional American music from the 1860s, and Austin Gospel group Bells of Joy, performing traditional spirituals and Gospel, Blues and Soul music inspired by American Spirituals. The 200 attendees were also treated to tintype photography demonstrations, a historic Sam Houston anti-war speech and presentation by noted scholar James L. Haley, 19th century games and craft projects with ACYS, and a pop-up library with Civil War related materials.
  • On May 3rd, African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin gave a    presentation for the NAACP to honor its president, Nelson Linder, at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex.
  • On May 11th Head of Public Services Nancy Toombs, spoke to the North by Northeast Rotary Club, about the AHC and its holdings, as well as the donation process. There were 20 people in attendance. The presentation was very well and, at the end, a book was donated to a literacy organization, in honor of the AHC.

Collections

  • The AHC received boxes of materials about the Paramount Theater and its restoration in the 1970s from John Bernadoni, one of the founders of the Paramount Theater for the Performing Arts, Inc. Bernadoni was one of the leaders in the effort to save the Paramount Theater in the 1970s, and his company revitalized the theater in the 70s and 80s with new live action and film programming. These papers will augment the existing Paramount Theater Collection at the Center. For more about the Paramount Theater, see the newsletter article about our current exhibit on the centennial of the theater.”
  • Muralist, Parque Zaragoza, donated three items to the AHC collection.

Exhibits

  • Steve Schwolert created an American Music photo exhibit for an AHCA event on May 11th.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the new book, 1960’s Austin Gangsters, by musician Jesse Sublet.
  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the new book, Murder and Mayhem in Austin, by Richard Zelade, with a planned release for the fall of 2015.

Austin History Center Association

  • On May 29th, the Austin History Center Association Annual Meeting was held in the Holt Photo Gallery, beginning at 6:30pm. New board members were voted in with Charles Betts as the new board president. James Harkins, Director of Public Services of the Texas General Land Office Archives was the speaker, and he spoke about the Archives War from the Land Office perspective. There were 35 in attendance. A list of the 2015-2016 AHCA Board is included below.

AHCA Board List 2015-16

Officers (Executive Committee):

Charles Betts – President
Ken Tiemann – First Vice President
Geoff Wool – Second Vice President
Adam Friedman – Treasurer
Brooks Goldsmith – Secretary
Beth Fowler – Immediate Past President
Kathleen Davis Niendorff – Member-at-Large
Mike Miller – AHC Archivist (Non-voting member)

Directors At Large:

Monte Akers
Cindy Brandimarte
Liz Bremond
Linda Bush
Lynn Cooksey
Robert Godwin
Becky Heiser
Mary Ann Heller
Rita Kreisle
Charles Peveto
Candace Volz
Anne Wheat

Upcoming Programs

  • June 16, 7 pm, AHC. In the Shadow of the Dome: Slave Life in Austin, Texas. Presentation about the Travis County Slave Narratives.

May 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • On April 1, Processing Archivist Molly Hults presented a session on Genealogy Resources Available at the Austin History Center to a Lifetime Learning Institute class (22 students) and received a very nice thank you card signed by everyone in the class.
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin and Mexican American Community Archivist Amanda Jasso represented the AHC at the City of Austin Youth Career Fest on April 7. They shared information about the AHC and careers in history and archives with several students. Over 1000 students attended the event.
  • On April 21, Head of Public Services Nancy Toombs and African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin, along with staff from ACYS, gave an introduction to the AHC to a group of high school students from East Side College Prep.
  • The AHC, through a grant from the AHCA, participated in the Lights Camera Help Reel Film Frenzy for a second year. The AHC was once again paired with Alpheus Media, who in the period of a week (April 17-21) produced a 9 minute short documentary about the AHC called “Save Austin’s History.” The short film is a quick tour of the behind the scenes areas and operations of the AHC. The AHCA will be using this film as part of their outreach and fundraising efforts. The film is available online at: https://vimeo.com/125299236. At the film contest held at the end of the week, the AHC’s film was the judges’ choice as Best Film.
  • On April 23, AHC Manager Mike Miller gave 2 tours of the Divided City exhibit to 6th grade students from the Ann Richards School.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 2 collections, the Austin Ethnic Association Records and the Austin (Tex.). Public Works Department 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 a donation from Martha Ward of approximately 100 letters between Martha Miner and Henry Faulk (parents of John Henry Faulk) from 1901-1902, before the couple was married.

Exhibits

  • The AHC created a small, traveling exhibit called Neighborhood Bound: Austin’s Mobile Libraries, launching at the Terrazas branch on April 25. This exhibit, in partnership with the library’s active transportation outreach team unbound:sin fronteras, is comprised of a dozen photographs that reveal the Library’s mid-century bookmobile fleet, which circulated books and a variety of unique material into the late-1970s.

Publications

  • The AHC published its first book (outside of Waterloo Press) on April 13. Austin’s First Cookbook by AHC Manager Mike Miller. This book project grew out of the previous AHC exhibit, “How to Prepare a Possum: 19th Century Food in Austin.” The book is a new edition of the first cookbook published in Austin, Our Home Cookbook, compiled by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1891. The AHC held a book launch reception on April 14 with 50 people in attendance. The book is available from the AHCA and at retailers all over the city, and within the first 2 weeks more than 500 copies have been sold.
  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the new book Texas Women First: Leading Ladies of the Lone Star State, by Sherrie S. McLeRoy.

Upcoming Programs

  • May 29th, 6:30 pm, AHC. Austin History Center Association Annual Meeting.
  • June 16, 7 pm, AHC. In the Shadow of the Dome: Slave Life in Austin, Texas. Presentation about the Travis County Slave Narratives.

April 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • Video Archivist Tim Hamblin, with the staff from ACLS, organized and produced the Central Concerts series at the Central library during SXSW. The series featured afternoon concerts over 3 days (3-19/21), with over 100 people attending.
  • The AHC participated in the Remembering Lincoln project at the Ford’s Theate3r in Washington DC. The project is an interactive website documenting how the country responded to Lincoln’s assassination. Reference intern Sarah Sauri researched Austin newspapers and various archival collections so Austin could be represented in this project. The website is: http://www.rememberinglincoln.org
  • On March 10, the AHC hosted a program, with the AHCA, with local authors S. C. “Sam” Gwynne and Jeff Kerr. To the delight of the 60 attendees, Kerr and Gwynne talked about the Comanche Indians, the subject of Gwynne’s bestselling Empire of the Summer Moon. The Comanche also play a role in some of the stories in Kerr’s The Republic of Austin.
  • On March 28, the AHC hosted editor Aralyn Hughes and several contributors from their new book Kid Me Not, a collection of stories from women in their 60s who grew up in the 1960s and chose to not have children, being the first generation to have that choice. Several women read from their contributions, sharing stories that are not only personal to them, but a social history and commentary on the 1960s and 70s.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 10 collections, the Hofheinz Family Photograph Album, Ed Anderson Photograph Album, the Millo Marcum Photograph Album, the 008 Austin Dam Reconstruction Photograph Album, the Charles J. Schneider Papers, the Covered Wagon Journey Photo Album, the Amelia Simpson Millett Photograph Album, the Frank Jacob Smith Family Photograph Album, the Sallie Harral Photograph Album, and the Friendly R. Rice Photograph Album, 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 boxes of materials about the Paramount Theater and its restoration in the 1970s from Joh Bernadoni, one of the founders of the Paramount Theater for the Performing Arts, Inc. These papers will augment the existing Paramount Theater Collection at the Center.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened its newest exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery. “Austin’s Majestic Palace: The Paramount Turns 100” celebrates the centennial of one of Austin’s original performing arts venues: the Paramount Theater. On display from March 31 through November 1, 2015, the exhibit illustrates many of the changes and transformations to the theater that have taken place over the last century.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books 100 Amazing Facts About Negroes (W.E.B. DuBois Institute), Tales of the Jazz Age from Austin (The History Press), and John Wayne and Me, exhibits at the Texas Capitol, in Wells Fargo branches, and Kealing Middle School, and documentaries on Juneteenth and school integration in Texas.

Upcoming Programs

  • May 2, 4-6 pm, Scholz Garten. 3rd Annual “Beer Garden Social.” This year’s event is “Music of the Civil War.”
  • May 29th, 7 pm, AHC. Austin History Center Association Annual Meeting.

March 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • AHC Manager Mike Miller gave 2 public presentations in February. On the 7th, he spoke about the AHC’s current exhibit, “Divided City: The Civil War & Reconstruction in Austin,” at the monthly meeting of the Manchaca/Onion Creek Historical Association. On the 27th, he delivered the luncheon address, “Historic Austin: A Landmark Tour” for the Society of Psychologists in Management conference in Austin.
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin helped plan and implement the City of Austin Black Heritage Network Black History Program on February 3 at the Palmer Center. LaToya used materials from the AHC collections to document and celebrate the history of the local African American community as part of the program. Over 1200 COA employees attended – the largest attendance ever for the event.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the Haschke Family Photograph Collection, the Daisy Barrett Tanner St. David’s Episcopal Church Slide Presentation Collection, the Greg Easley Papers, the Austin (Tex.). Urban Renewal Agency Board of Commissioners Records, and the Walsh Tarlton Neighborhood Association 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.

Staff

  • The AHC welcomed its newest staff member, Amanda Jasso, as the new Mexican American Community Archivist on February 24th. Amanda comes to the AHC from Seattle where she had completed her graduate studies and began her professional career.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books Blood and Glory: The Texans at Gettysburg and Tales of Jazz Age in Austin, the 2015 Celebrate Austin visitor’s guide, TV news features on KVUE and KEYE, and for an audio tour/podcast on the Servant Girl Murders by Radiolab/Detours. 

Reference

  • AHC Staff answered over 1000 reference questions during February covering all kinds of topics. Property research continues to be one of the biggest research interests at the Center, and sometimes the quest has some serious ramifications for the researcher, such as a lawsuit or similar matter. One customer was able to settle a dispute over their land resulting from their research at the AHC: “I wanted to let you know that with the information from my last trip to the Austin History Center, the engineering company that claimed my property was the source of the arsenic in their water report, admitted their mistake.  It was such a relief and I cannot thank you both enough for all your help.  You are both such an asset to the history center.  I am still in awe of all the information you have there.”

Upcoming Programs

  • March 28, 2-4 pm, AHC. Meet the Author: Aralyn Hughes. Women’s History Month event.
  • April 14, 6:30 pm, AHC. Book Release program for AHC’s new book, Austin’s First Cookbook.
  • May 2, 4-6 pm, Scholz Garten. 3rd Annual “Beer Garden Social.” This year’s event is “Music of the Civil War.”
  • May 29th, 7 pm, AHC. Austin History Center Association Annual Meeting.

February 2015

Programming & Outreach

  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin represented the AHC at 2 outreach events in January. She had a booth at the 2015 MLK Community Festival at Huston-Tillotson on January 19, with over 300 people visiting her booth. She also represented the AHC at the #IAMBLACKAUSTIN event at City Hall on January 27.
  • On January 3, the AHC hosted a program arranged by the Austin History Center Association. This was a “New Councilmember Roundtable” discussion with 5 of the former living mayors, then current mayor Lee Leffingwell, incoming mayor Steve Adler, and 8 of the 10 incoming council members. The former mayors comprise the newly formed Advisory Committee to the AHCA, and this program was an opportunity for them to share their experiences and wisdom serving the city with the new council, and for the new councilmembers to ask them questions. As part of the program, AHC Manager spoke briefly about the New Central Library and the AHC Expansion project.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 6 collections, the Texas Music Museum Records, the Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities Records, the Austin (Tex.). Economic Development Department. Sister and Friendship Cities Program Records, the “Neighborhoods: Looking at Austin in 1986” Exhibition Collection, the Michael Lyon United Bank Tower Photographs Collection, and the Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Impact Fee Advisory Committee 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.

Exhibits

  • On January 14, the AHC opened its newest exhibit, “Divided City: Civil War & Reconstruciton in Austin.” Over 80 people attended the opening. The AHC again partnered with the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts to create a special menu of foods from the time period. A week after the opening a group of 7 from the Westminster Manor retirement community visited the exhibit and received a guided tour from Exhibit Coordinator Steve Schwolert. AHC manager Mike Miller gave another tour of the exhibit to 20 members of the UT LAMP program on January 24th. The exhibit runs through June 21, 2015.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in a news story about the KKK on KXAN, a documentary film about Edward Burleson, the Texas State Historical Association’s Touchstone, displays at 2 Wells Fargo branches and a Bass Pro Shops store, and for KUT’s “Wayback Wednesday” blog.

January 2015

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the Robert Godwin Collection, the Robert G. Wieland Photo Collection, and the Belinda Acosta Papers, 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 a donation from Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza, outgoing Travis County District Clerk, documenting her involvement with various local organizations such as Austin Museum Association, Austin Public Library Foundation and Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association. This addition to her existing collection (2002.025) is approximately 6 lin. ft. (15 document boxes) making the collection now a total of about 11 lin. ft.

Exhibits

  • On December 9, the AHC opened a new exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery: “Austin 175: From Cabins to Skyscrapers.” This new exhibit celebrates Austin’s founding on December 27, 1839 and its 175 years of growth. The AHC partnered with Mayor Lee Leffingwell on 2 programs on December 9. 25 people attended a press conference and ceremonial birthday cake cutting at City Hall at 12:30pm, with the Mayor and AHC Manager speaking about Austin’s history and growth. That night, about 70 people attended the exhibit’s opening reception at the AHC to continue the birthday party. Mayor Leffingwell and local author Jeff Kerr shared stories of Austin’s history at the reception.

Publications

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in a magazine for residents of Barton Hills, the Humanities Texas e-newsletter, KUT radio, an upcoming book about the Charles Whitman shootings, and for display at the Texas Military Institute building.