Moving Speeches, Moving Images: The Chet Edwards Collection Adds Video

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Congressman Chet Edwards sits in his office at the Poage Legislative Library, 2012. Photo courtesy Allyson Riley of the Digital Projects Group.

It was a little over two years ago – though it seems like yesterday! – that we met with former U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas) as he prepared to deposit his congressional papers with the Poage Legislative Library. We gave Rep. Edwards a tour of the Riley Digitization Center (described in this blog post) and had a good discussion of what to expect from the materials he had secured and generated over a sterling career in public service.

In the interim, we have since added the Chet Edwards Collection to our roster of digital collections, and today we’re happy to announce that, in addition to its 200+ transcripts of speeches delivered by Rep. Edwards, we have added the first batch of video materials. These clips were migrated from their original format of VHS tape and are presented in digital form for the first time via this collection.

The videos encompass three major sources: footage of Rep. Edwards’ floor speeches from the House of Representatives (captured by C-SPAN); unedited satellite feed from the House Studios and beamed direct to local television news studios; and assorted news segments, television appearances and the occasional long-form video.

Of these, the unedited satellite feed videos show Rep. Edwards in the most unexpected way, especially for a long-serving politician: a friendly, unscripted gentleman interacting with unseen board operators and journalists half a continent away. Between readings of prepared statements and answering questions from the press, Rep. Edwards shows an easy banter with members of the press, asking genuinely after their well-being and showing concern that all is comfortable for the listeners on the end of the line. It’s easy to see how his charm on the campaign trail went beyond the surface “smiling for the cameras” attitude worn by other politicians and touched on the core of a man who showed genuine interest in his constituents.

While there are many excellent clips in this collection, we wanted to feature two in this post. The first is the oldest clip in the collection: Rep. Edwards, who had only begun his career in the House in January 1991, appeared on a call-in show to discuss gun control on October 19 … the weekend after a gunman opened fire on a crowded Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. Killeen was part of Edwards’ congressional district, and his appearance on the show, where he discussed a change in his opinion on the subject of gun control, shows his ability to project calmness in the aftermath of a tragedy, a skill that would serve him well in the years to come. (Clip below is just under 90 seconds long. Click here for the full video.)

The second clip is a brief floor speech delivered by Rep. Edwards in 2002 on the subject of support for President George W. Bush’s approach to the “War on Terror.” In it, he quotes a portion of President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address:

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”


View all of the videos – and the rest of the Chet Edwards Collection – at our digital collection site. For more information on the Chet Edwards Papers, visit the Poage Library’s site.

This Just In! A Quick Look at the DPG in the News So Far This Year

Just a quick post this week to update you all on a couple of the places the DPG and the Digital Collections have been popping up in the media over the past couple of months. We’re always grateful for our work to be featured in any potential arena – digital, broadcast or print – and we thought we’d take this opportunity to share with our blog readers.

Baylor University Institute for Oral History Introduces Online Audio Files

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Baylor professor Robert Darden restoring vanishing black gospel music

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Vast New Additions to the Digital Archive of Browning Letters

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“Unquestionably the Most Elaborate and Complete, of Any Which I Have Seen” – An Update on the Browning Letters Project

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Letter from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Hugh Stuart Boyd, May 28-29, 1828. Source for the quoted text we used for our blog title this week. See the full letter at http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ab-letters/id/23271

If it’s Valentine’s Day, it must be time for another update on our most love-centric undertaking, the Browning Letters Project! Two years ago, we announced the unveiling of the first phase of the project, wherein 1,400 letters digitized from the collections of Baylor University’s Armstrong Browning Library and Wellesley College were placed online for the first time, including the “love letters” capturing Robert and Elizabeth’s courtship years (1845-1846).

Today, we’re excited to announce another major milestone: the addition of the entirety of Wellesley’s collection of correspondence, a total of 1,624 letters! This brings the total number of digitized letters to a shade over 4,500, the balance of which come from Armstrong Browning Library. All of the “phase III” Wellesley materials are full-text searchable, and the percentage of full-text capable items from ABL continues to grow, with a goal of reaching 100% searchability by May 31 of this year.

When we announced the addition of the love letters in 2012, we experienced more than 1,000,000 hits to our server in the course of a little under three days. While we’d certainly welcome a repeat performance this time, we’re equally interested in letting our readers – and users, and Browning scholars, and fans of 19th century correspondence in general – know that the next major phase of the project is complete. We’ve got our eyes on two other major collaborative partners (more to come when we can formally announce their participation!) but for now, this 4,500+ collection is already a major resource in the world of Victoriana, Browningiana and other related fields of study.

Bonus Content

To answer a user’s inquiry about reading the entire back-and-forth exchange between Robert and Elizabeth from their courtship phase in plain text, we added a link to a work published in 1900 titled The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett on the Project Gutenberg site. This will allow readers to follow their unfolding love story in a single, continuous website and makes for a nice complement to the high-quality images provided via the Browning Letters Project.

Also, here’s a great story put together by our campus media folks all about the latest news!

For more information on the Browning Letters Project, visit the collection’s homepage. To learn more about Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library, visit their homepage. And to learn more about Wellesley College, visit their homepage

 

Twilight of an Icon: Floyd Casey Stadium in Transition

A view from the roof. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

A view from the roof. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful.
It’s the transition that’s troublesome.
– Isaac Asimov

 

At what point does a building pass from eyesore to fond remembrance, from something we tolerate to something we reminisce over, long for, mourn? Is there a hard and fast shift, or does it happen over time, after the glow of the new has faded and the first subtle grumblings of regret start to surface? And does a building’s loss even register for the majority of the populace beyond the occasional, “Oh, that? That’s where the old stadium/bank/boarding house/school was. I hadn’t thought about it in years.”

Over the final season of its use as the home of Baylor Football, many words were written and memories recalled about the life of Floyd Casey Stadium. From its early days as a sparkling new venue for gridiron action to recent seasons that saw a resurgence of Baylor’s program on the field – and increasing woes arising from the concrete shell surrounding it – FCS has seen triumph and tragedy, victory and loss. It’s a foregone conclusion that whatever its ultimate fate, there will be a number of people who will take time to photograph its exit from the Waco stage, but what happens in the interim? The time between its final home game and the wrecking ball … or the demolition charge, the renovation, the conversion to a minor league soccer stadium, who knows?

As part of our ongoing project to document the history of Baylor Athletics, two members of the Digital Projects Group – assistant director Darryl Stuhr and curator Eric Ames – teamed up with Baylor Photography’s Robbie Rogers for a top-to-bottom tour of Floyd Casey to document its current state in photographs. In a four-hour session that covered areas rarely seen by the public – like the sepulchral extra storage closet just off the equipment room – to panoramic views of the field from numerous vantage points, we tried to capture “the Case” as it stands today, a noble if waning symbol of a university boldly raising its future on the banks of the Brazos River.

In the coming weeks we’ll take the hundreds of photos we took this week and create an exhibit on Floyd Casey in Transition. Later, we’ll add information and photos from its earliest days, its greatest triumphs, and, ultimately, its final bow. But today we wanted to share a few of our early favorites from this week’s tour as a glimpse of what happens in the gap between “then” and “now.” We hope you enjoy seeing them as much as we enjoyed taking them.


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View of the north end zone from the Galloway Suite. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Bear statue and mosaic, Hall of Honor. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Lounge area, President’s Suite. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Robbie Rogers walking down home team entry tunnel. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Stadium lights. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Extra storage area, equipment room. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Weight room. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Stair hall door, first floor. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Ticket stubs in box, Grant Teaff Lobby. Photo by Eric Ames, Stadium lights. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Darryl Stuhr and Robbie Rogers on home side roof. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Director’s stand, Golden Wave Band seating section. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Stairwell, home side, between 5th and 4th floors. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Varsity locker room. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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50-yard-line. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Field level wall, south end zone. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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BU-themed table, Harrington Recruiting Center. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Panorama of stadium from “Bear Heights,” 2nd level of home side. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

Many thanks to Nick Joos, Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs; Will Lattimore, Assistant Director of Facility Operations; and Robbie Rogers, Director of Baylor Photography, for their assistance with this project.

Visit the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive at www.baylor.edu/lib/athleticsarchive or email digitalcollectionsinfo@baylor.edu if you’d like to support the Archive with the loan of materials for inclusion in our digital collection. Contact the Texas Collection at (254) 710-1268 if you’d like to discuss donating materials items to the university for inclusion in the Archive.