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2016 Reports

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

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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 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • Assistant Manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation to the St. Theresa’s Ladies Club on November 4th. She spoke about the AHC and the donation process and there were 26 people in attendance, many of whom said they planned to visit the AHC in person soon.
  • The AHC hosted a program with author Ross Tomlin on November 8. Tomlin recently published a book about his grandfather Homer Thornberry, a US Congressman and federal judge from Austin.
  • Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia Nie taught an AISD PD Teaching Asian American History focused on the Nguyen Family Papers (AR.2009.056) to the Social Studies and Vietnamese Dual-Language teachers at Summitt Elementary on November 16.
  • AHC Manager Mike Miller gave a presentation about the AHC to the South Austin Business Alliance on November 29. Of the 31 people in attendance, only 1 person had even heard of the AHC, so this was a great opportunity to share the AHC’s story.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 2 collections, the W. H. Passon Historical Society Records and the University of Texas School of Architecture Measured Drawings. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received many interesting donations in the last month. Of interest this month was a donation from the Franzetti family of the genealogy research they conducted to write their family history “Italy to Austin.” Also received 38 photos from the family of Ethel Brydson Berkley that document the Brydson family and friends, homes and other Austin, Texas scenes from the early 20th century, including a photograph of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas shows a group meeting at the Capitol with Rebecca Jane Fisher.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened a new exhibit in the David Earl Holt Gallery, “Store Bought: Post World War II Retail.” The exhibit explores the unprecedented economic book of the post-WWII era through the story of advertisers, consumers and retailers, and the expansion from downtown “Main Street” retail to the strip centers of the new suburbs. The images in the exhibit come from the Neal Douglass Photographic Archive.

Publications & Reference

  • The Austin History Center completed its newest book, Historic Austin Movie Houses, published by Arcadia Press in November 2016. The book is an outgrowth of the 2012 exhibit at the History Center called “The First Picture Shows” and explores the story of early cinema in Austin and the iconic theaters where Austinites watched movies. AHC manager Mike Miller and Curator of Archives Susan Rittereiser authored the work.
  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in documentary films about Blaze Foley and the Scottish Rite Theater, upcoming books Local History Archives and Manuscript Collections for Public Libraries (ALA Editions), Gone to Texas (Oxford UP), and Groundbreaking Riverfront Cities (Texas A&M Press), news stories on KTBC Fox 7 and in the Austin American Statesman.

Upcoming Events

  • January 10, 6:30 pm., AHC. Screening of “The Last of the Moonlight Towers” documentary.
  • January 27. Driskill Hotel. AHCA’s annual Angelina Eberly Luncheon.
  • February 19, 2:00 pm, AHC. “Celebrating the Rag” – panel discussion on the 50th anniversary of The Rag.
  • February 22, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening Reception for “Finding Refuge in Austin” – new exhibit at the AHC.

November 2016

Awards

  • The AHC’s YouTube channel and Tim Hamblin were the recipient of an Austin Chronicle 2016 Best of Austin Award: Best Life Preserver for Austin’s Musical History. “Hamblin wasn’t born in Austin (or the United States for that matter) but is a force in keeping the city’s musical legacy alive as the Austin History Center’s video archivist. The AHC’s YouTube page’s breadth of Austintatiousness is both grin-inducing and sigh-creating: Daniel Johnston warning not to drink and drive; Greezy Wheels performing at the Armadillo in 1975; Jesse Sublett and the Murray brothers as the purple-album version of the Skunks performing in a very Eighties music video; Texana Dames; Dr. Hepcat; Bells of Joy; Beto; Omar. Hamblin deserves our endless praise and prodding to keep the vids a-coming.”

Programming & Outreach

  • Phonshia Nie taught a guest lecture/lesson at UT Department of History course “Introduction to Asian American History” on Thursday, October 13th. She provided background information about Asian Americans in Austin and Texas and screened Pioneers of the East KLRU video featuring the Wong family. Phonshia also served as one of three guest speakers at the AARC Exhibit Reception for Vietnam to Austin: Restoring Community (AHC visiting exhibit to AARC) on October 21st.
  • The AHC was heavily involved with the Austin Archives Bazaar 2016 (October 16) – approximately 400 attendees and positive feedback from all involved. Nine AHC staff members participated in the Bazaar, either working the AHC table or assisting with other event tasks. This has been popular event highlighting the work of archives across the city.
  • Molly Hults, Rusty Heckaman, and Grace McEvoy staffed an AHC table at AustOberfest  at Saengerrunde Hall (October 22, 4-9pm) – hundreds of attendees saw the table, talked to about 40 people.
  • Susan Rittereiser organized and moderated TOWER Documentary Discussion panel on Oct 18th (65 in attendance). It was very well received based on audience interactions and the surveys received. After the event, an older women came up to both of us commented that this was one of the best programs she had ever attended here and that she had attended quite a few in the past.
  • LaToya Devezin and Amanda Jasso spoke at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin on 10/20. They addressed a Public History class about archives as a profession, the role of archives in communities, and the work that the Austin History Center does as a whole. One student wrote, “Thank you for your time and energy y’all put into your presentation. I learned a lot about the field I want to go into; you both inspired me and I can’t thank you enough!”
  • The AHC hosted an event, partnering with APLFF and KUT, on Oct 25th (47-50 in attendance). The event was called “Recounting History: Survivors’ Stories of the UT Tower Shootings,” and Susan Rittereiser served as one of the panelists. It appeared to be very well received with much participation from the audience and also based on the surveys that were turned in.
  • The AHC partnered with the Travis County Archives for the annual Travis County History Day on October 28. Rusty Heckaman and Amanda Jasso staffed Austin History Center booth and spoke to Travis County employees, both past and present, about the collections we preserve at the AHC. Nancy Toombs served as the AHC rep on the History Day committee.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the Weldon and Marie Scheel Photograph Collection, the Aviation Department Records, the Frank Quinn Papers, the Jake Morris Photographs Collection, and the Hans Beacham Photographs Collection. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received many interesting donations in the last month. Of special note is a large donation of video recordings and papers from ACTV and the Austin Music Network from a former employee.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was also conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books City in a Garden and Slavery in the Cities, a new documentary film about Austin’s moonlight towers, public display at Scholz Garten, the Manchaca Branch Library, the Poet’s Walk Senior Center in Cedar Park, for a Texas Historical Commission mobile app on the Chisolm Trail, and an upcoming episode of a new true crime series Vanity Fair Confidential about the Fran and Dan Keller murder case, .

Upcoming Events

  • December 6, 6:30 pm. Book launch event for AHC’s newest book, Historic Austin Movie Houses.
  • December 13, 6:30 pm. Author program with Texas Monthly editor Skip Hollandsworth, author of a new book about the 1885 “Servant Girl Murders” in Austin.

October 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC’s three Community Archivists presented at St. Edward’s University on September 12. They talked about archives as a profession, their background, the role of archives in communities, and the work that the Austin History Center does as a whole. There were approximately 100 attendees.
  • Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia Nie presented on a panel at the the Association of American State and Local History (AASLH) in Detroit, Michigan, September 14-17 and spoke about the major challenges when developing historical collections and outreach for Asian American communities in Austin and at the AHC.
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin presented at the Slave Dwelling Project Conference to pique customer interest in AHC collections pertaining to slavery (Sept. 18-21, 2016).
  • The AHC participated in the citywide Austin Museum Day event on September 18. Archives Media Specialist Grace McEvoy put together a program, “District Docs,” for the event, screening 5 mini-documentaries about the history of the African American Cultural Heritage District (now called Six Square).
  • Latino/a Community Archivist Amanda Jasso presented at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas on September 26 for Hispanic Heritage Month. She spoke about prominent Austin Latinos and the methods in which their stories are preserved and archived at the Austin History Center. She also spoke extensively about the collections at the AHC, our collection policies, our staff make-up, how we operate, and her role as a community archivist both within the institution and the broader community. There were a mix of students and colleagues from UT-RGV who were interested in learning more about special collections and preservation practices.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 4 collections, the Tracor Records, the Network of Indian Professionals, the David Chan Papers, and the Barbara Tramel Robinson Papers. Staff also processed additions to and updated the finding aids for 2 existing collections. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received many interesting donations in the last month. One collection comprised newspapers clippings, correspondence, certificates, and photographs of the Cater Joseph Family. The Josephs were Lebanese immigrants and a pioneer Austin family that owned Joseph’s Man’s Shop for many years. The AHC also received a donation of materials from Raw Paw, a local art cooperative that is a record label, publishing house and creative platform. The collective produces an expansive variety of local Austin artists’ work, including “zines,” comic books and albums.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was also conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming book on the 100th anniversary of the Settlement Club, a television ad for Lamme’s Candies, for display at the Royal Blue Grocery, and for presentations on the Hill Country Alliance and Court of Criminal Appeals websites.

Upcoming Events

  • November 8, 6:30 pm. Author program with Ross Tomlin, author of new biography of Homer Thornberry, a Congressman and federal judge from Austin.
  • December 6, 6:30 pm. Book launch event for AHC’s newest book, Historic Austin Movie Houses.
  • December 13, 6:30 pm. Author program with Texas Monthly editor Skip Hollandsworth, author of a new book about the 1885 “Servant Girl Murders” in Austin.

September 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC and AOPP produced a short video profiling the community archivist program. The video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_77DevuAV0&feature=youtu.be) has garnered a lot of interest from the public. In less than a month 380 people have watched the video online, and the community archivists report receiving numerous phone calls and emails in response to the video.
  • Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia Nie and Reference Archivist Rusty Heckaman attended the August 4th AISD Social Studies Institute to outreach at the Austin History Center booth. Phonshia also presented three student-focused primary source document presentations (based on Sing, Nguyen, and Taniguchi family histories and our collections) during two sessions entitled “Teaching Asian American History in Elementary School Classrooms.”
  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin represented the AHC at the Capital City Black Film Fest (CCBF) (August 25th -28th, 2016). The AHC was also represented in multiple film entries. The recently completed mini-documentaries “District Docs,” in partnership with Six Square, premiered as non-competitive entries at the festival. Also, a documentary that LaToya completed with KLRU on Jackie Robinson was entered as a documentary short.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 4 collections, the Joseph Jay Jones Papers, the Lowell H. Lebermann, Jr. Papers, the Travis County Council of Defense Records, and Liatris Media Records. Staff also processed additions to and updated the finding aids for 2 existing collections. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received many interesting donations in the last month. Red Wassenich, who coined the phrase “Keep Austin Weird” and wrote 2 books on the subject, donated manuscripts, galleys, photos from the book Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town. The AHC also received a donation from Rosalind Oliphant about her business Folktales and a donation from former councilperson Louise Epstein of her papers.
  • Media Archivist Nicole Davis finished reviewing and editing Frank Caldwell Collection images on Portal to Texas History (PTH), adding over 250 digital images to the collections the AHC offers on the Portal. Frank Caldwell (1883-1962) was a lifelong resident of Austin. Though he worked as a traveling salesman, his passion was Texas history and he spent much of his time collecting materials on the topic. His collection contains hundreds of photographs documenting various sites, towns, events, and people of Texas from about the 1880s through the 1930s.
  • The AHC was selected to add another collection to its holdings in the PTH through the 2016 Rescuing Texas History program. The PTH will digitize over 250 photographs from the AHC’s Bickler Papers and make them available to the public through the Portal. The photographs in the collection document multiple generations of the Bickler family, their friends (including the Lungkwitz, Kuechler, and Hummel families), and their activities. These photos provide insight into immigrant life in Central Texas in the late 19th and early 20th

Publications & Reference

  • Research was also conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books City in a Garden (UNC Press) and Lone Star Politics, 5th, a KUT Radio blog post about Gordon Knight, the upcoming ad campaign for the Austin Film Festival, and documentary films about Molly Ivins and the punk band “Big Boys.” The AHC also assisted the COA Office of Sustainability with research for a self-guided walking tour of the Seaholm EcoDistrict using an app called TravelStorys.
  • Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia completed production of the training video “Teaching Asian American history.” This video will accompany an AISD professional development session about Asian American history to be taught by Phonshia this fall. She coordinated a team of one AISD elementary school teacher, five students, and two filmmakers to film a 15-minute training video about the Taniguchi history presentation and the children’s book Coolies.

Grants

  • The AHC received a $25,000 grant from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission (TSLAC) to process the Dewey Mears Photography Collection. The collection consists of the entire body of work of photographer Dewey G. Mears who was well known for documenting mid-century modern architecture in Central Texas. At 132 linear feet, the collection contains about 100,000 negatives, contact proof prints and some finished enlargements. The AHC will hire staff to catalog the negatives and rehouse them into archival sleeves and boxes. A finding aid will be made available through Texas Archival Resources Online, a selection of images will be digitized by the Portal to Texas History, and an exhibit will be mounted at the AHC.

Upcoming Events

  • October 16, 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Scholz Garten. Austin Archives Bazaar
  • October 18, 6:30 pm. Presentation by filmmakers behind The Tower.
  • October 25, 6:30 pm. Panel program with KUT/Texas Standard about the UT Tower Shooting and Campus Carry Law. Co-sponsored by APLFF.
  • November 2, Sustainable Food Center. “A Taste of Black Austin.”
  • November 8, 6:30 pm. Author program with Ross Tomlin, author of new biography of Homer Thornberry, a Congressman and federal judge from Austin.
  • December 6, 6:30 pm. Book launch event for AHC’s newest book, Historic Austin Movie Houses.
  • December 13, 6:30 pm. Author program with Texas Monthly editor Skip Hollandsworth, author of a new book about the 1885 “Servant Girl Murders” in Austin.

August 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC began expanding its programming offerings to a younger crowd with the addition of summer camp offerings for 4th-8th The AHC partnered with the YMCA and PARD to offer 2-hour history lessons/field trips for their summer camps. Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia Nie, African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin, Exhibits Coordinator Steve Schwolert, and Assistant Manager Nancy Toombs designed lessons for 8 visits during July and August, and over 100 kids learned more about Austin and how archives work. In addition, on July 1, Nie hosted the AARC Summer Camp for a visit to learn about Asian American history in Austin and Travis County.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Major George W. Littlefield Camp 59 Oakwood Cemetery Confederate Grave Documentation Project Records, the Jones and Simpson Families Papers, the Finch Family Papers, the Filming Austin’s Lives Collection, and the W. E. Ketchum Drawings and Records. Staff also processed additions to and updated the finding aids for 4 existing collections. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received many interesting donations in the last month, including a DVD of Happy Jack (Jack Paff) who was a local embroiderer for 40 years interviewed by Townes van Zandt. This video has been digitized and added to the AHC’s YouTube channel. The AHC also received personal materials of the late Lowell Lebermann, Jr., which included a master’s thesis about his grandmother Virginia West Carrington Lebermann that was not in the collection.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened its newest exhibit, “Looking Back: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shootings” on July 26. Monte Akers, Nathan Akers, and Dr., Roger Friedman, authors of the newest book about the event, Tower Sniper, spoke about their book and how and why the tragedy still resonates with Austin today. More than 100 people crowded into the AHC to hear the presentation and view the exhibit, and it continues to draw visitors daily.
  • The AHC also created a Community Archivist mini-exhibit, set up in the space where Waterloo Press materials formerly lived. Items of interest from Mexican American, African American, and Asian American collections were included for display as well as explanatory text describing the program. This space can serve as mini-exhibit space for various short-term and “pop-up” types of exhibits in the future.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was also conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming documentary films about Leslie Cochran, Mollie Ivins, the band “Big Boys,” and high school football, the book Glamour to Tragedy, a 30-second television commercial for Leonard’s Garage, a Fox 7 news story about the new ABIA South Terminal, and online news stories for Slate.com, Do512.com, and the Texas Tribune. It was also a particularly busy month for reference questions related to the UT Tower Shooting, with the 50th anniversary on August 1.

Upcoming Events

  • September 18. Austin Museum Day. Screening of “District Docs” and discussion with filmmaker.
  • October 16, 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Scholz Garten. Austin Archives Bazaar
  • October 18, 6:30 pm. Presentation by filmmakers behind The Tower.
  • October 25, 6:30 pm. Panel program with KUT/Texas Standard about the UT Tower Shooting and Campus Carry Law. Co-sponsored by APLFF.
  • November 2, Sustainable Food Center. “A Taste of Black Austin.”
  • December 6, 6:30 pm. Book launch event for AHC’s newest book, Historic Austin Movie Houses.

July 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • June was a busy month for African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin. She was s speaker at 3 different Juneteenth events/celebrations: the Austin Community College event on June 17, the Zion Church Juneteenth Festival, and the New Covenant Juneteenth Celebration. She also represented the AHC at the Carver Juneteenth Festival.
  • The AHC recently completed its partnership work with SixSquare (formerly the African American Cultural Heritage District) in completing a series of short documentary films called “District Docs.” These films illustrate various aspects of the history of places and people in the district in a very creative way. The docs are available for viewing on YouTube.
  • The AHC hosted a hugely successful program on Tuesday, June 21, “In the Shadow of the Dome: Slave Life in Austin.” Over 150 crammed into the AHC to hear Andres & Juanita Tijerina talk about their research into the Travis County Slave Narratives

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the Philip Creer Papers, the Virgie Mae Carrington Papers, and the Lou Parker Scrapbook. Staff also processed additions to and updated the finding aids for 4 existing collections. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received many interesting donations in the last month. One large donation was the historic records of the Elgin-Butler Brick Company. This is one of the oldest businesses in Austin, and the Butler family donated the older records prior to the company’s recent sale, including the original lease for the Butler Brick plant on the Zilker lands and the meeting minutes from the first Board of Director’s meeting. Othe rsignificant acquisitions include a manuscript about the UT Tower shootings byt Dr. Carol Renauld Gaffney called “A Study in Murder” and the architectural drawings of William Robert King, local architect from the 1970s through the 1990s. Included in the 48 sets of drawings were Martin Junior High, Travis Heights Elementary School and Rosewood Courts Modernization project. The AHC also received an interesting film documenting the 1958 Barton Springs flood that is now playing on the AHC’s YouTube channel.

Exhibits

  • The AHC will open its newest exhibit, “Looking Back: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shootings” on July 26. This tragic event continues to resonate among Austinites and have an impact on the city, and the exhibit explores why we as a community should remember the event and what we can learn from it.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was also conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the TCU Civil Rights in Black and Brown oral history project, an upcoming documentary film about Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an upcoming book about the Austin chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, an exhibit at the Capitol Visitors Center, public display at the original Thundercloud Subs location, and for multiple news stories in the Austin American-Statesman.

Upcoming Events

  • July 26, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening of “Looking Back: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting” and book launch for The Texas Tower Sniper.
  • September 18. Austin Museum Day
  • October 16, 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Scholz Garten. Austin Archives Bazaar

June 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin was interviewed in a KLRU episode of Austin Revealed about Jackie Robinson’s time as a basketball coach at Huston-Tillotson University. The episode aired on May 26, 2016 and can be seen in the KLRU website.
  • Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia Nie went to two elementary schools to teach a curriculum based on the history of the Taniguchi Family and the Nguyen Family (based on our collections’ family papers). This is part an initiative to promote Asian American history curriculum in AISD with AARC’s Esther Chung Martin and UT’s School of Education Noreen Naseem Rodriguez.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 6 collections, Brackenridge, LaPrelle, Talbot Family Papers, the Fairview Estates Neighborhood Association Records, the Coates and Legge Records and Drawings, the Mexican American Trailblazers Collection, the Woods Griffin Papers, and the J. H. Eccleston Johnston, Jr. Records and Drawings. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC received a large donation of material related to the Bremond Family. This material belonged to the great, great grandson of John Bremond, Sr., William Bremond Houston and was found in a storage room at 504 West 7th Material includes financial documents (sailboat company, coffee roasting company and multiple property holdings), correspondence, plans, photographs and artifacts.

Exhibits

  • The AHC opened its newest exhibit, “Once & Again: Selections from the Austin History Center’s Past Exhibits.” This exhibit includes highlights from the past nine years of exhibits at the AHC and documents the evolution of the exhibits program. It will be on display until January 2017.

Publications & Reference

  • With the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shootings fast approaching, this has been a hot topic of research at the AHC. Staff have fielded inquiries from news agencies across the country, authors and filmmakers, and students and professors from local universities, and the AHC expects this to continue or increase over the next couple of months. Research was also conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the upcoming book Texas Silver by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, upcoming exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Community Gallery at the ESB-MACC, the 100th anniversary of Deep Eddy, and a documentary film Remember this House.

AHCA

  • Over 100 people attended the AHCA’s Annual Meeting on Sunday May 22. The focus of the meeting was honoring the 20+ individuals who have been interviewed over the last few years by the AHCA’s Oral History Committee, including all nine of the living former Mayors of Austin.

Upcoming Events

  • June 17, 6:00 pm, Carver Museum (Boyd Vance Theater). Screening of Six Square Project Documentaries
  • June 21, 6:30 pm, AHC. In the Shadow of the Dome: Slave Life in Austin.
  • July 26, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening of “Looking Back: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting” and book launch for The Texas Tower Sniper.
  • September 18. Austin Museum Day
  • October 16, 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Scholz Garten. Austin Archives Bazaar

April 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • Asian American Community Archivist Phonshia Nie was interviewed on the Good Day Austin morning news program on March 23, talking about local women in honor of Women’s History Month.
  • The AHC launched its YouTube channel in March. The channel will be a vehicle to promote and provide access to digitized copies of historic video and film footage from the AHC collections. Video Archivist Tim Hamblin has uploaded more than a dozen videos grouped by playlists (music, oral history, documentary, etc.). You can view the videos and subscribe to the channel by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmKoOUpsn4H0mUcIGAqFtCQ
  • The AHC also launched a redesign of its website in March, improving the navigation of the pages and making the site more mobile friendly.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 7 collections, the Starcke & Quinn Families Papers, the Ada Harden Video Collection, the Neal Douglass Photographic Collection, the Cordelia DeGress Booth Photographic Collection, the Fidencio Duran Papers, the Dr. Freddie B. Dixon Papers, and the American Institute of Architects Austin Chapter Records and placed EAD encoded finding aid for the collection on the Internet at the TARO website. Also, additions were made and the finding aids were updated for the Austin High School Ephemera Collection and the Fehr & Granger Collection. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC added over 100 digitized items from the Pease, Niles and Graham Families Papers to its digital collections on the Portal to Texas History. These items represent a sampling from the collection and can be seen here: http://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/partners/ASPL/browse/?fq=untl_collection%3ANILES.

Exhibits:

  • The AHC opened a new exhibit, “Generations on Paper: Preserving the Pease Family Papers at the Austin History Center,” in partnership with the Neill-Cochran House Museum. The exhibit opened with a public reception at the Neill-Cochran House, with specialty cocktails provided by Freedman’s Bar and a presentation about the Pease family by AHC Manager Mike Miller. The exhibit will be on display until the end of the year.
  • The AHC also partnered on another exhibit, the Six Square Project. The Six Square Project is a traveling multimedia art exhibit that illuminates the diverse “every day” people that make Austin’s African American Heritage District a unique and culturally vibrant epicenter of Black culture. In cooperation with the Austin African American Heritage District, the Austin History Center, the Texas History Museum, the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, local artists, and businesses, the Six Square Project commissioned artists from various media including photography, painting, film, video, and sculpture to create “portraits” of local citizens that live within the Six Square District. These multi-media portraits expand the public’s understanding of the importance of Black Culture in Austin and solidify the history embedded in the stories of the people who live in this district. The project opened with an Opening Night Walking Tour and Block Party on March 31

Publications & Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in a new KLRU documentary “Chicano Civil Rights in Austin,” master planning for the Texas School for the Deaf, an upcoming exhibit at the Asian American Resource Center, a documentary film about the Lions Municipal Golf Course, the exhibit “Significant Spaces” at the Capitol, two new books, Peter Mansbendel: How a Swiss Immigrant Carved His Way Into Texas History and Austin Murder & Mayhem, and four upcoming books: Killers of the Flower Moon, Ima Hogg: The Extraordinary Cultural Patron Behind the Unusual Name, The Devil Has the People by the Throat: The Man Who Whipped the Ku Klux Klan (Texas A&M UP), and Creators and Consumers: Women and Material Culture and Visual Art in 19th Century Texas (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston).

Upcoming Events

  • May 10, 6:30 pm, AHC: The Taniguchis in Texas
  • June 17, 6:00 pm, Carver Museum (Boyd Vance Theater). Screening of Six Square Project Documentaries

 

March 2016

Programming & Outreach

  • Processing Archivist Molly Hults spoke at the Bob Bullock Museum on February 3 about the “Making the Grade” exhibit as part of the Bullock’s “High Noon” speaker series.
  • Assistant Manager Nancy Toombs gave a presentation to a school group from Radical Roots School, on February 9th. There were 11 elementary school age kids and two teachers. We took them, in two groups, to the Reading Room and showed them the City Directories and some photos.
  • Curator of Archives & Manuscripts Susan Rittereiser gave a presentation about the UT Tower shootings for a group from the UT Public History Graduate Class on February 10. These students will be researching this topic at the AHC all semester.
  • Black History Month was naturally busy for the AHC’s African American Community Archivist LaToya Devezin. Among her many outreach efforts for the month, she partnered with local filmmakers to do a series of 4 YouTube videos called “Austin While Black,” organized a 2-day event – “Hallowed Grounds Weekend Event” – at the Carver Museum and the AHC, was a presenter and organizer of the Black Family History Day event at the Texas State Library & Archives Commission, and gave lectures/presentations for New Covenant Fellowship of Austin, Dessau Middle School, and Decker Middle School. To close out Black History month, the AHC hosted the program “The Remarkable Life of Newton Collins” on February 24 with 40 people in attendance.
  • The AHC held a program on February 21 about Central Texas Dance Halls. Approximately 90 people came out to hear author Stephen Dean talk about the history of dance halls and hear music by the Czech Melody Masters. At one point duing the program there were multiple couples and young kids dancing the polka in the hallway during the performance.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 4 collections, the Heritage Society of Austin Records, the Maerki and Sterzing Families Papers, the Pease, Niles and Graham Families Papers, and the August Watkins Harris Records and Drawings 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.
  • As mentioned above the AHC completed processing the Pease, Niles and Graham Families Papers. This was a massive undertaking as it is the largest (and first) manuscript collection at the AHC. The AHC received grant funds from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission and the AHCA to hire a full-time archivist to work on this collection. Having a completed and modern finding aid for the collection online and accessible to researchers is a major milestone for the AHC. The full inventory is available at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/aushc/00503/ahc-00503.html. A digital component to the project is also wrapping up and we anticipate having 100-125 items from the collection digitized and available online through the Portal to Texas History.
  • The AHC acquired a variety of interesting materials last month. The Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects donated their early records (1929-1947) and started their archives here, continuing a long standing relationship between the AIA and AHC. We also received a photo album from Cordelia DeGress Booth, created while she was a student at UT around 1913 depicting the creeks of Austin and the surrounding area, buildings at the University of Texas, and the Capitol. Also, the AHC received records from the Aviation Department documenting the Bergstrom AFB Restoration Advisory Board activities in the early 1990s.

Exhibits

  • The AHC installed 2 traveling exhibits this month. The “Paramount 100” exhibit is now on display on the 2nd floor of the Faulk Central Library, and “Neighborhood Bound: Austin’s Mobile Libraries” is at the Oak Hill branch.

Publications & Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the new book Peter Mansbendel by Douglas Oliver, an upcoming story in Texas Monthly, a Fox 7 news story about chef Roy Mallett, the 2016 Texas Kids Count Report by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a walking tour of Clarksville, an exhibit at the Carver Museum, and for the 2016 Austin Kite Festival.

Upcoming Events

  • April 3, AHC/Wooldridge Square Park. 2:00-5:00pm. “Music in the Park.” Public program featuring musicians from AISD schools.
  • April 8, AHC, 1:00pm. “Cupid a la Carte.” A reading and discussion of O. Henry’s short story “Cupid a la Carte” with UT Professor Don Graham.
  • April 16, AHC, 12:30 pm. “Lawman Ben Thompson Meets Lawyer William M. Walton.”
  • April 21, AHC, 12:15 pm. Screening of “Living Springs.” Co-sponsored by the AHCA.
  • April 26, AHC, 6:30 pm. “Shadows of a Sunbelt City.” Book program with Eliot Tretter.