2019 Reports

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019


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.  Miller writes, speaks and consults about Austin history, managing local history collections, and preservation of historical materials.


February 2018

Programming & Outreach

  • On January 11, Digital Archivist Nikki Koehlert and Records Analyst Jenna Cooper presented at the 4th Annual Greater Austin Area Information Literacy Symposium (GAAILS). They gave a presentation, “Fact or Fiction: Developing Information Literacy to Evaluate and Use Records,” to 68 Austin-area library and information professionals promoting information literacy outreach programming.
  • On January 12, AHC Manager spoke to the ATXelerator class at the Center for Austin’s Future about the political history of Austin. This is a program to provide training and support to emerging leaders in Austin and those who are interested in running for elected office or serving on City commissions.
  • On January 21, African American Community Archivist kYmberly Keeton represented the AHC at the city’s annual MLK Day Celebration.
  • On January 30th, Processing Archivist Molly Hults and Asst. Manager Nancy Toombs staffed a table at Career Fest, an annual event sponsored by the City of Austin. Approximately 2500 students attended and Nancy & Molly spoke with over 200 students about the AHC and the archivist and librarian professions.
  • On January 30th, Asian American Community Archivist Ayshea Khan led presentation to two groups of fourth graders at Travis Heights Elementary about Isamu Taniguchi for Fred Korematsu Day. All month students had been using the Korematsu Day curriculum she designed and wanted to ask additional questions. 50 students in total participated.



  • AHC staff finished processing 8 collections, the Richard Denney Photograph Collection, the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce (ALGBTCC) Records, the Mayor’s Court Ledgers, the Austin Networker Records, the Stayton Family Papers the Dorsey Hardeman Papers, Weigl Iron Works Papers, and the Shoal Creek Project Records. Staff also processed additions to the Maria Teresa Rabago Papers. The finding aids are available online at:
  • Former City Councilwoman Ora Houston donated materials related to her political campaigns as an addition to her archives at the AHC. Other donations of note include additions to the Roy Guerrero Papers including correspondence and artifacts; and 3 oral histories conducted by Ayshea of Mamata Misra regarding Saheli (an organization that provides assistance to Asian and other immigrant families dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking) and Dhila Vaidya and Shobha Kotecha of South Asians’ International Volunteer Association (an organization that promotes a sense of well-being, belonging, and fulfillment for older adults of South Asian heritage through community engagement, education, partnership-building, and advocacy and civic involvement.)
  • The AHC’s YouTube channel passed 1 million views in January. Video Archivist Tim Hamblin has been making steady progress on digitizing video from various collections, including the Austin Music Network archives, public access TV archives, and other collections and making the content available for users. The AHC currently has over 500 historic videos available for viewing on You Tube.



  • The AHC opened its newest exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery, “Tune in to Health: A Radio Program for Travis County Schools." This exhibit presents photograph selections from the Texas Extended School and Community Health Education Program Records (AR.2002.017) archived at the Austin History Center. The collection features over 200 black and white photographs from the 1949-1950 school year of the Healthy Living in Our County radio program, a public health education initiative tailored for Travis County rural school classrooms.



  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in the upcoming books 13th Floor Elevators: A Visual History and Exploring Women’s Suffrage Through 50 Historic Objects, documentary films “Nothing Stays the Same: The Saxon Pub Story” and “Forging a Green Identity,” an upcoming episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots, a memorial tribute for former mayor Gus Garcia, and City of Austin reports on Oakwood Cemetery and the ecology of the Hill Country.


Upcoming Programs

  • March 2, 2019. 12-4pm, Ruiz Branch. Know Your District History – District 3
  • April 9, 2019. 6:30 pm, AHC. Author event with Joe Nick Patoski, author of Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Slackers, and Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas.
  • April 13, 2019. 12-4pm, Little Walnut Branch. Know Your District History – District 4
  • May 18, 2019. 12-4pm, Manchaca Branch. Know Your District History – District 5
  • June 8, 2019. 12-4pm, Spicewood Springs Branch. Know Your District History – District 6
  • July 13, 2019. 12-4pm, North Village Branch. Know Your District History – District 7
  • August 10, 2019. 12-4pm, Hampton Branch. Know Your District History – District 8
  • September 22, 2019. 12-4pm, AHC. Know Your District History – District 9
  • October 19, 2019. 12-4pm, Old Quarry Branch. Know Your District History – District 10