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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.

November 2019

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC held the Asian Pacific American Zine Making Workshop at the Asian American Resource Center on October 19 in partnership with Asian American womxn/non-binary/femme+ creative collective, Silk Club ATX. Attendees had the opportunity to remix AHC archival images to create a collaborative local Asian Pacific American zine. An attendee commented, "I enjoyed today's program! It was interactive and creative with [an] Asian American focus. I would like more programs where we can learn how to share archives, research archives, [and] learn more ways to create stories like today's event."

 

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 5 collections, the Whited Family Papers, the Karen Stewart Papers, the Austin Street Railway Company Records, the Emmett Shelton, Sr. Recordings Collection, and the Austin Film Society Records. The finding aids are available online at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC acquired a collection of rare 45s and LPs of local bands from retired radio personality Henry Williams as well as a donation of photographs, genealogy research, correspondence, and business records documenting Galen Crow and J.J. Hegman, owner of the Crescent Theater, Ritz Theater, and Queen Theater. J. J. Hegman and Galen Crow were maternal uncles of the donor. Of interest is a 1923 ticket ledger containing movies shown at the Queen Theater.

 

Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in upcoming books Cult of Glory, Jane Against the World: Roe v Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights, and an untitled book about the ashe juniper tree; an article in the Journal of African American History; a KVUE news story about the Moonlight Towers; internal training for APD academy; student thesis on the Congress Ave. bridge bat colony; and exhibition at the Carver Museum and Brush Square Museums.

 

Upcoming Programs

  • December 5, 6:30 pm, JHF. APL History program, in partnership with APLFF
  • December 7, 2019. 12-4pm, Hampton Branch. Know Your District History – District 8
  • January 30, 2020, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening Reception for Villager Newspaper exhibit.
  • February 15, 2020. 2:00 pm. AHC. Flower Hill/Jane Smoot – Austin Education.
  • February 20, 2020, 6:30 pm, Asian American Resource Center. Saheli Archives exhibit reception and panel.
  • March 7, 2020, 10:00 am. Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves

 


October 2019

Awards

  • The artist who restored the mural in the AHC loggia, Mark van Gelder, was selected to receive a Special Recognition Award for Craftsmanship from Preservation Austin for his work on the AHC mural project.

Programming & Outreach

  • The AHC held its District 9 Know Your District History event on Sunday, September 22 as part of the citywide Austin Museum Day. Council Member Kathie Tovo and 100 other folks stopped by to learn more about the history of the area around the AHC, make a photo cabinet card, and play a game or make a button.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 10 collections, the House the Homeless Video Collection, the Walter E. Long Papers, the Austin (Tex.). City Council. Brigid Shea Records, the Brigid Shea Papers, the Austin Creative Alliance Records, the Smith and Yarrington Families Papers, the St. Edward’s University Austin Documentary Photography Project Collection, the Dr. Will D. Gorton Papers, the Austin (Tex.). Austin Police Department Records, and the West Austin Neighborhood Group Records. The finding aids are available online at:  http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC acquired all the research files about APS and AISD school buildings that included the original 1896 resignation letter of Edward Blackshear when he received his appointment to head the Prairie View State Normal School. The AHC also accessioned posters and videotapes dating from 1996 to 2008 from Mocha Jean Herrup documenting Kings N Things, an Austin-based drag king performance troupe, as well as other gender nonconforming and LGBTQ-based performances and film created by Herrup. (AR.2019.030 Mocha Jean Herrup Papers and Recordings).
  • Five oral histories transcribed and completed by APA Transcribe-a-thon participants (Roger Chan, Glenn Fukunaga, Shomail Ahmed, Linta Varghese and Beth Tu Hoffman) have been edited and added to appropriate AF files/Collections.

Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in news stories about the passing of Daniel Johnston and the AISD school closure announcement; upcoming books about the Texas Supreme Court, Texas baseball, and volume 3 of Indelible Austin by Michael Barnes; a social media campaign for the State of Texas, and for exhibits at the Carver Museum and the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel.

Upcoming Programs

  • November 5, 2019, 6:30 pm. AHC. Opening Reception for “Discovering Place: Images from the St. Edward’s University Documentary Photography Project.”
  • November 9, 2019, 12-4 pm. University Hills Branch. Know Your District History – District 1.
  • November 14, 2019, 6:30 pm. AHC. Meet the Author event with Dr. David Gracy, author of new biography of George Littlefield.
  • December 5, 6:30 pm, JHF. APL History program, in partnership with APLFF
  • December 7, 2019. 12-4pm, Hampton Branch. Know Your District History – District 8
  • January 26, 2020, 6:30 pm, AHC. Opening Reception for Villager Newspaper exhibit.
  • February 20, 2020, 6:30 pm, Asian American Resource Center. Saheli Archives exhibit reception and panel.

September 2019

Programming & Outreach

  • On August 3, Asian American Community Archivist Ayshea Khan hosted “Arrival: An Immigration Story Slam” in partnership with Samip Mallick from the South Asian American Digital Archive. The event featured 8 storytellers from India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia and Iran and had an estimated attendance of 70.
  • On August 7, Processing Archivist Kelly Hanus represented the AHC at the Austin Chronicle’s Summer of Pride Party at Blanton. She interacted with around 50 people, solicited donations from multiple queer organizations, handed out multiple resource guides and informational materials about AHC collections and programs.
  • On August 24 the AHC hosted the “Your Town on TV” program organized by AHC volunteer John Moore and Media Archivist Madeline Moya. The program and pop-up exhibit featured selections from different Public Access television shows broadcast over the years that are part of the AHC’s video archives. 
  • On August 31, African American Community Archivist kYmberly Keeton exhibited Historical Film documentation during the Capital City Black Film Festival.

Collections

  • AHC staff finished processing 3 collections, the Marietta Brooks Papers (AR.1995.004), the Austin (Tex.). Austin Resource Recovery Records (AR.2014.032), and the Prather Family Papers (AR.2005.036). The finding aids are available online at:  http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/browse/browse_ahc1.html.
  • The AHC acquired 46 linear feet of records from Seton Healthcare Family documenting Brackenridge Hospital, Brackenridge School of Nursing, Children’s Hospital of Austin, Dell Children’s Hospital, and Seton’s history from 1902-2018. These records were part of the official Seton Archives that were recently closed by the company. 
  • The AHC received a Rescuing Texas History grant run through the Portal to Texas History for digitization, metadata creation, and hosting of the Parks and Recreation Department Photo Negatives Collection (AR.2014.017). 

Reference

  • Research was conducted at the AHC and photos from the AHC were purchased for use in an upcoming biography of Dr. Alberto Garcia; an upcoming book about the XIT Ranch; news and feature stories in Austin Monthly, Austin American-Statesman, New York Times, Chronicles of Smith County, and Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies; a Fox-7 news story about Scholz Garten; and for public display at the Asian American Resource Center, San Felipe de Austin State Historical Site, Oakwood Cemetery, AISD, and Drifter’s Tavern.
  • We recently had a couple come in to see what types of materials we have. The husband grew up in East Austin and his wife said he talks about his childhood home all the time. When he said the house had been torn down during Urban Renewal, Curator of Archives Molly Hults was able to find photographs from the Blackshear Urban Renewal Project in the Wukasch Records of his childhood home.

Upcoming Programs

  • October 19, 2019. 12-4pm, Old Quarry Branch. Know Your District History – District 10
  • October 19, 2019. 1-3 pm, Asian American Resource Center. APA History Zine Making Workshop with Silk Club ATX
  • November 5, 2019, 6:30 pm. AHC. Opening Reception for St. Edward’s University “Documenting Austin” photography exhibit.
  • November 9, 2019, 12-4 pm. University Hills Branch. Know Your District History – District 1.
  • November 14, 2019, 6:30 pm. AHC. Meet the Author event with Dr. David Gracy, author of new biography of George Littlefield
  • December 7, 2019. 12-4pm, Hampton Branch. Know Your District History – District 8

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
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