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2019 Reports

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019


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

March 2019

Programming & Outreach
On February 9, Records Analyst Jenna Cooper gave a presentation to the Junior
League of Austin about Austin women in politics.
On February 16, the AHC kicked off its “Know Your District History” series with the District 2 event at the Southeast Branch. For the pop-up gallery, community members shared stories and documents about the project to save some of the trees in the Dove Springs area.
February was a big month for the African American Community Archivist kYmberly Keeton, who led and organized more than half a dozen programs. She kicked off the month with a powerful panel discussion on creating the African American historical narrative in a post-gentrification Austin, held at the AHC, followed by genealogy workshops at the Carver Museum, Black Farmer Files lectures at the Texas Farmers Market at Mueller, a pop-up archive at the Pflugerville public library, and tours of the “A Place for all People” exhibit at ACE.

Collections
AHC staff finished processing 6 collections, the Austin Sewerage Company Records, the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers, District 7, Records, the Texas Vorwärts Records, Austin Council of Parent-Teacher Associations Records, Anita Schutze Travel Service Records, and the Richard Denney Photograph Collection. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html .
The AHC acquired the records of ACCESS to Learning, Inc. ACCESS to Learning
was an organization that started in 1996 as a way to bring cultural and educations sites and schools together through field trips, traveling exhibits and linking curriculum with local museums. The organization dissolved in 2018 and the organizational records and curriculum records were donated to the Austin History Center.
The AHC also acquired the first installment of photos donated by former Austin
photographer Bill Leissner. His work is the subject of an upcoming book by Waterloo Press, the publishing arm of the AHCA, and an exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery.

Exhibits

The AHC opened 3 different exhibits at the Central Library: “A Place for All People” on the 3 rd floor, “Clearing Stones, Sewing Seeds” on the 6 th floor; and “Getting Austin Elected” on the 4 th floor.

Reference
Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in KVUE News segments on Volma Overton and Austin’s first African American firefighter; a KUT story about the SIMS Foundation and special for Love Austin Music Month; a Texas Tribune story about the Texas Legislature; landmark planning and research for PARD; documentary films about the Yogurt Shop murders, SIMS Foundation, and Johnny Cash; and for exhibit at the Texas Military Forces Museum and the Asian American Resource Center.

Upcoming Programs

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
April 25, 2019. 6:30 pm, AHC. Author event with Andrew Busch, author of City in a Garden.
May 5, 2019, 10:30 am, Wooldridge Square Park. Rise UP! AAPI Wellness in
Wooldridge Square.
May 5, 2019. 2:00 pm, AHC. AHCA Annual Meeting.
May 7, 2019. 6:30 pm, AHC. Exhibit opening reception and book talk for “Austin
Icons of the 1980s.”
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 3, 2-4 pm, AHC. Story Slam with the South Asian American Digital Archive
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


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.

 

Collections

  • 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: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • 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.

 

Exhibits

  • 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.

 

Reference

  • 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