Research Ready: November 2016

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print materials. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

November’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Clitus Jones, American Expeditionary Forces ambulance driver

Clitus Jones stands by his ambulance near the front lines in France. Jones worked as an ambulance driver for the American Expeditionary Forces from 1917 to 1918. (Clitus Jones papers, Box 3, Folder 1, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.)

  • Clitus Jones papers, 1914-1923 (#1879): The Clitus Jones papers  primarily consist of materials related to his experiences in World War I, as an ambulance driver for the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Through correspondence and personal photographs, Jones details his daily life on the front lines and the effects of the war on France and its citizens. If you are interested in learning more about Jones’ life on the front lines during World War I, come visit Moody Memorial Library on the Baylor University campus in mid-January 2017, where selections from Jones’ collection will be featured in an exhibit commemorating the centennial of the United States entering World War I.
  • [Waco] Amicable Life Insurance Company records, circa 1900s-1980s, undated (#3196): Includes photographs and clippings that chronicle the construction of this 22-story building, an icon of Waco since its construction.
  • Eli Clitus and Lilly Sutton Jones papers, 1879-1893 (#2846): The Eli Clitus and Lilly Sutton Jones papers detail the life of a McLennan County farming couple through correspondence, essays, reports, and a diary.
  • William “Bill”Cagle photograph collection, 1950s-1990s, undated (#3857): This collection gives a good look into a U.S. Air Force photographer’s work in the Korean War. The collection also contains images taken by Cagle of the aftermath of the tornado that struck Waco on May 11, 1953.
  • General Scrapbook collection, 1861-1960 (#3991): Contains a variety of scrapbooks with photos from the early 1900s at Baylor University, Civil War Carte de Visite albums, and general photo albums showing many Texas cities and towns and some non-Texas images.
  • [Waco] Daughters of the Republic of Texas: Sterling C. Robertson Chapter records, 1931-1981 (#1961): Documents the activities of the Daughters of the Revolution Sterling C. Robinson chapter records in Waco, Texas. It contains scrapbooks filled with clippings, photographs, and program booklets that detail the activities of the Robinson chapter.
  • George H. Williams papers, 1917-1993 (#3297): The George H. Williams collection contains newspaper and journal articles relating to aeronautics during World War I. Most significantly, however, the collection holds both ground-level and aerial photographs of Waco, Camp MacArthur, Love Field, Rich Field, and Baylor from 1917-1918.

November’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Though The Texas Collection is strong in Texas-related holdings, the print collection contains a great number of volumes about other states, particularly the American West. Many of these volumes came to us as part of the Adams-Blakley gift. Enjoy these selections from Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado.

Triggs, J. H. History and Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. Laramie City: Daily Sentinel Print, 1875. Print.

Triggs, J. H. History and Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. Laramie City: Daily Sentinel Print, 1875. Print. 

Researchers looking for the names, occupations, and addresses of those who lived in Laramie City in 1875 can find a wealth of information in this volume. Also contained are advertisements for local businesses and information about goods, services, and governance of this newly formed town. Click here to view in BearCat!


Savage, James W. History of the City of Omaha, Nebraska. New York: Munsell & Co., 1894. Print.

 

 

 

Savage, James W. History of the City of Omaha, Nebraska. New York: Munsell & Co., 1894. Print. 

This expansive, 700-page volume provides information about Omaha, Nebraska prior to 1894, and includes military history, medicine, hotels, pioneers, churches, etc. Beautiful engravings of the city’s prominent citizens and leaders are included. Click here to view in BearCat!

Watrous, Ansel. History of Larimer County, Colorado. Fort Collins, CO: Courier Print. & Pub. Co., 1911. Print.

 

 

 

 

Watrous, Ansel. History of Larimer County, Colorado. Fort Collins, CO: Courier Print. & Pub. Co., 1911. Print.

More than half of this volume contains biographical sketches of Larimer County pioneers. The rest is filled with historical, political, agricultural, religious information and more. Many photographs and engravings enhance this volume. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

Posted in aerial photography, Archives, Baylor University, Books, Camp MacArthur, frontier and pioneer life, Korean War, letters, McLennan County, Photographs, Research Ready, Rich Field, Texas over Time, Waco, Waco, Waco tornado 1953, World War I | Leave a comment

Research Ready: October 2016

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

October’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Baseball on Carroll Field, Baylor University

This image shows baseball being played at what was then Baylor University’s main sports venue: Carroll Field. Image taken circa 1903, Waco Texas. Notice Carroll Science Building and Old Main in the background (Carol R. Bates photograph album, Accession #3980, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.).

  • Carol R. Bates photograph album, 1907-1910 (#3980): Provides a glimpse into student life at Baylor in the 1900s. Many of the University’s events such as “Ring Out,” graduation, and sports such as football and baseball are represented in this album.
  • W.R. “Skeet” Eason papers, 1928-1940 (#2983): The W.R. “Skeet” Eason papers give insight into the workings of an airport operator and pilot in the 1920s-1940s through logbooks and photographs. With his friend, Ed Ockander, Eason operated the East Waco Airport from 1929-1933, where they sold airplanes, taught flying, and barnstormed at various small towns in the 1920s and 1930s. This collection includes Eason’s logbooks from East Waco Airport and photographs.
  • Aaron Moses Goldstein papers, 1927-1936 (#1807): Aaron Moses Goldstein was well-known in the Waco area, as president of his father and uncle’s company, Goldstein-Migel Department Store, city commissioner, and president of the Waco Chamber of Commerce. His papers include correspondence to and from Goldstein and several prominent leaders in the Waco community.
  • John Oscar Birgen “Swede” Johnson papers, 1860s-1990s (#2284): The collection of John Oscar Birgen “Swede” Johnson contains articles, photographs, and other materials on the railroad industry in Texas from Johnson’s 41 years working in the Katy Railroad Shop.
  • John R. Rogers Architectural drawings (#3924): The John R. Roger Architectural drawings contain plans for many different kinds of buildings in Central Texas, designed by Waco firm Drennon Associates/The Rogers Company. The majority of the plans are for buildings in Central Texas, including Waco, Rosebud, Itasca, McGregor, Lorena, Belton, Salado, Temple, and more.
  • Champe Carter Eubank Photo Album, circa 1890s (#2790): Compiled over a series of trips to New England and includes images of Waco, Texas, as well as coastal scenes in New England. The album displays some early photographic practices such as cyanotypes, silver gelatin, collodion, and albumen prints.
  • Waco Regional Baptist Association records, 1897-2014 (#230): The Waco Regional Baptist Association records largely document the activities of the Waco Regional Baptist Association in Central Texas from the 1930s through the early 1980s. It is comprised of minutes, correspondence, periodicals, reports, budgets, ledgers, and photographs.

October’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

The Cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Photo-gravure. El Paso: W.G. Walz Co., 1894. Print.

The Cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Photo-gravure. El Paso: W.G. Walz Co., 1894. Print.

With only two pages of text, the majority of this volume is a wonderful collection of nearly 40 images of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. From the Plaza of Ciudad Juarez to the views of Fort Bliss, this volume provides a great look at turn of century Texas and Mexico. Click here to view in BearCat!

Jones, Tom. Miniatures: Gulf Coast, Southern Texas [Cincinnati]: [Tom Jones], 1907. Print.
Jones, Tom. Miniatures: Gulf Coast, Southern Texas [Cincinnati]: [Tom Jones], 1907. Print.

This accordion-style booklet contains 24 images of the Texas coastal region, including photos from Bay City, Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and more. The images range from residential, coastal, and agricultural points of interest. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

Austin, Stephen F. Notice. [San Felipe de Austin]: [G.B. Cotton], 1829. PrintAustin, Stephen F. Notice. [San Felipe de Austin]: [G.B. Cotton], 1829. Print.

This rare broadside, one of only three copies of the original 25 printed known to exist, informs immigrants to Austin’s Colony about the information needed to be accepted. Requested information includes name and age of the head of household and dependents, occupation, and “recommendations, accrediting the Christianity, morality and steady habits of the applicant.” Click here to view in BearCat!

Posted in A.M. Goldstein, architecture, Archives, Baptist history, Baylor University, broadsides, East Waco, Isaac Goldstein, Photographs, rare books, Research Ready, Rich Field, Texas Baptists, Waco, Waco | Leave a comment

Introducing Brandice Nelson, Map Curator and Coordinator for the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair

We are pleased to welcome the newest member of The Texas Collection, Brandice Nelson. Ms. Nelson is our new Map Curator and serves as the Coordinator for the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair. Contact her with any map inquiries through the Frances C. Poage Map Room and for the History Fair through their website, Twitter, or Facebook.

Photo of Brandice Nelson

Brandice Nelson, Heart of Texas Regional History Fair Coordinator and Map Curator

My name is Brandice Nelson and I’m the new Heart of Texas Regional History Fair Coordinator and Map Curator. I’ve earned both a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Baylor University. I always knew I wanted to be involved in history and museums, but education was the furthest thing from my mind until I got involved with National History Day. As a homeschooler, approaching history from unconventional avenues was definitely appealing. I competed in the senior individual performance category throughout high school, and even though I didn’t make it to nationals, I learned so much about the topics I chose.

Fast-forward to my junior year of college, I found out that Baylor hosted the regional history competition on campus and jumped at the chance to be involved. If you’ve attended a fair within the last four years, it’s likely you’ve seen me at the information desk, directing volunteers, or judging my own former category. It can seem like an extremely hectic and even chaotic atmosphere, but I absolutely live for those two February days when young historians from across our region bring all their hard work to life.

My main goal for the next few years is to grow the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair (HOTRHF) into both a campus and city wide event. I also want to find ways to ensure that students in low-income districts have access to the research tools and assistance they need to create successful projects. Depending on the cooperation of the 76 school districts in our region, in addition to private schools and homeschool co-ops, HOTRHF has the potential to double in size within the next few years. I want to make that happen.

When not working with the history fair, you can find me in the map room assisting researchers and possibly doing a little research myself. The Texas Collection has a fantastic collection of Texas and Texas-related maps, and part of my job will be to enhance public awareness of this great resource. It’s clear I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m very glad to be part of the team!

Posted in Heart of Texas Regional History Fair, The Texas Collection | 1 Comment

Research Ready: September 2016

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

September’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Brazos Queen in front of The Brazos Landing Restaurant, Waco, TX

The Brazos Queen is seen parking in front of The Brazos Landing Restaurant on the Brazos River, Waco, Texas. While the Brazos Queen is no longer in service, this establishment is now Buzzard Billy’s. Myron Wood’s photography is very artistic and the contrast in this image makes it quite striking. Myron Wood photographic collection, #3873, Box 1, Folder 13.

  • Myron Wood photographic collection, 1979-1981 (#3873): Have you ever wondered what Waco looked like decades prior? The Myron Wood photographic collections contains photographs of Waco, mainly downtown, and smaller towns in and around McLennan County.
  • Jewish Federation of Waco and Central Texas, 1927-2006 (#2894): The Jewish Federation of Waco and Central Texas collection documents this organization’s extensive good works, including assistance to Jewish families immigrating to Central Texas, support to the Lone Soldier Center in Jerusalem, emergency relief in Ukraine, and assistance to Israeli soldiers. Materials include minutes, financial ledgers, and administrative files.
  • Esther and Martha Leuschner papers, 1912-1987 (#2593): Documents the lives of two sisters: one a mathematics teacher at Waco High School, and the other sister, an employee in Baylor’s registrar’s office.  The correspondence, photographs, clippings, and collected materials provide insight into the lives of the Leuschner sisters, who were well-remembered for opening their home to Baylor students for recreation and entertainment.
  • Nina B. Glass papers, 1935-1965 (#1322): Materials include correspondence, programs, and notes about the personal and educational activities of a female pioneer in Texas education. Glass is credited with the founding of the first elementary school library in the United States.

September’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

  Weslaco: End of the Rainbow. Weslaco: Weslaco Chamber of Commerce, 1927. Print.

Weslaco: End of the Rainbow. Weslaco: Weslaco Chamber of Commerce, 1927. Print

This beautiful promotional highlights Weslaco, located in the Rio Grande Valley. Filled with photographs showing the richness of agriculture, from citrus fruits to cabbage, Weslaco: End of the Rainbow, also provides information about the dairy industry, water, and sporting opportunities. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

Montgomery, Cora. TexasMontgomery, Cora. Texas and Her Presidents. New York: E. Winchester, New World Press, 1845. Print. and Her Presidents. New York: E. Winchester, New World Press, 1845. Print.

Located at only eight libraries in the world, this exceedingly rare 1845 volume highlights President Mirabeau B. Lamar and President Sam Houston. Also included is an extensive account of several other leaders of the Republic of Texas. Click here to view in BearCat!
Wyatt, Kenneth. The Texicans. Amarillo: Trafton & Autry Printers, 1988. Print.
Wyatt, Kenneth. The Texicans. Amarillo: Trafton & Autry Printers, 1988. Print.

Bound in steerhide and leather, this oversized volume, containing 50 color plates, features Texas-centric artwork by renowned artist Kenneth Wyatt. Click here to view in BearCat!

Posted in Baptist women, Baylor University, Historic Waco, Jewish Federation of Waco and Central Texas, McLennan County, Myron Wood, Photographs, Research Ready, Sam Houston, Seventh and James Baptist Church-Waco, Texas, Texas Baptists, Waco ISD | Leave a comment

Summer at The Texas Collection: Students Share Their Findings

This month we are featuring two students that worked at The Texas Collection over the summer. Check out the collections they worked with while they were here!

History doctoral student Joel Iliff

While scholars of pedagogy speak of “flipping the classroom,” I feel that my work at The Texas Collection has been an exercise in “flipping the archives.” By this I mean that as a historian I have long been accustomed to working with archival materials that others have preserved and organized, but now I have preserved and organized materials for others to use.

Photo of Julia and Finlay Graham with son James

Julia and Finlay Graham with son James. You’ll find this photograph in Julia and Finlay Graham papers #4003, box 38, folder 7, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University. Rights: Some rights reserved. E-mail txcoll@baylor.edu for information about the use of our images. Visit www.baylor.edu/lib/texas/ for more information about our collections.

Instead of letting me get my feet wet with a small collection, the processing archivist, Paul Fisher, began my internship with a metaphorical cannonball into the 72 document boxes of the Julia and Finlay Graham papers. Hailing from Texas and Scotland, respectively, Julia and Finlay Graham met in post-World World II Palestine and served in the Middle East as Southern Baptist missionaries for the next forty years. Though most of the collection documents their teaching and evangelistic ministries, their papers also contain glimpses into the politics of the Middle East, as the Grahams witnessed events such as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Lebanese Civil War. After removing hundreds of duplicate pages, I reduced the 72 box leviathan to 50 boxes and a finding aid.

Closer to home, I also processed and created a finding aid for the records of the Waco Regional Baptist Association. Founded in 1860, the association remains a vital institution for Baptists in central Texas. I was particularly interested in the association’s records from the 1950s through the early 1970s, which provide a wealth of information on race and religion in central Texas in the era of the Civil Rights movement.

The historian in me constantly envisioned how these collections could contribute to studies of the modern Middle East, twentieth-century Baptist missions, the Civil Rights movement, and a myriad of other topics. Although these studies will have to be written by other scholars, I hope that I have made their jobs easier through my work over the summer.

Museum Studies graduate student Valencia Johnson

Photo of Valencia Johnson, Museum Studies graduate student

Valencia Johnson, Museum Studies graduate student, at The Texas Collection.

For an aspiring archivist with my disposition and imagination, spending time with papers is ideal. At a certain point in processing archival documents, the collection becomes a real entity; life reenters the boxes, and a complex picture emerges. This reanimation is what I learned in my time at the Texas Collection working on the W.R. White papers. His world, voice, and experience had been locked away for decades, and now they are tangible again.

The collection has been a joy and a challenge. I processed a small four box collection for The Texas Collection in the spring, but W.R. White’s collection held 226 boxes—I had entered the big leagues. Undertaking such a vast and diverse collection has deepened my knowledge and appreciation of archival work.

Posted in archival research, Baylor University, Julia and Finlay Graham, missionaries, W.R. White | 1 Comment

Research Ready: August 2016

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

August’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Mary Charlotte Alexander at the Women's Missionary Union in Shanghai, China

Mary Charlotte Alexander, a Southern Baptist missionary in China and General Secretary of China Woman’s Missionary Union in Shanghai, addresses the crowd.

  • Mary Charlotte and Frances Alexander papers, 1920-1970 (#1966): Documents the lives of two sisters: one a Southern Baptist missionary in China, and the other sister, a teacher and author in Texas.  The correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs provide insight into the perspective of an American expatriate living in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Communist Revolution.
  • Zora Francis Greenway papers, 1946-2006 (#4005): Materials include correspondence, newsletters, and photographs about the personal, medical, and evangelistic activities of a female Southern Baptist medical missionary in Nigeria, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and Ghana.

August’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

San Antonio Traction Company. Souvenir of the Picturesque Alamo City, San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio: Ebers & Wurtz, 1907. Print.San Antonio Traction Company. Souvenir of the Picturesque Alamo City, San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio: Ebers & Wurtz, 1907. Print. 

This substantial volume, filled with photographs representing turn-of-the-century San Antonio, contains many advertisements. The final twenty pages of the volume provide additional information about the history of the Alamo, the missions, and other points of interest in San Antonio. Click here to view in BearCat!

Quickfall, Bob Grantham.Western Life and How I Became a Bronco Buster: Founded on Facts. London: Charles & Co., 1891. Print.Quickfall, Bob Grantham. Western Life and How I Became a Bronco Buster: Founded on Facts. London: Charles & Co., 1891. Print. 

With a beautiful full-color cover, this volume contains the story of a cowboy’s life in the 19th century Wild West. Western volumes such as this one, published in London, were immensely popular in Europe. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

 

 

 

 

Laporte, Joseph de. Le Voyageur François, ou La Connoissance de l'ancien et du Nouveau Monde, mis au jour par m. l'abbé Delaporte… Paris: L. Cellot, 1773. Print.Laporte, Joseph de. Le Voyageur François, ou La Connoissance de l’ancien et du Nouveau Monde, mis au jour par m. l’abbé Delaporte… Paris: L. Cellot, 1773. Print. 

This French language travel volume was discovered in our backlog. What’s unique about this book is that part of the inside is hollow and can only be read through page 28. The rest of the volume’s pages have been cut, creating a book safe. According to a note found in the book safe, this volume was discovered in a book shop in the New Orleans French Quarter. Click here to view in BearCat!

Posted in Baptist missions, Baptist women, China, Ghana, letters, missions, Photographs, postcards, Research Ready, scrapbooks, Texas Baptists, Women's Missionary Union | Leave a comment

Research Ready: July 2016

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

July’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Graham Family Picture

When this family picture was taken in 1964, the Grahams lived and worked in Beirut, Lebanon. Julia led women’s ministries while Finlay served as president and professor of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary.

July’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

This month, we added four volumes to our miniature book collection. This collection, which includes books no bigger than three inches in height, width, and thickness, contains more than 40 volumes. Be sure to compare the size of the volume to the quarter in the image.

Miniature Books

In Clockwise Order:

Huddleston, S. Texas Notes: A Miniature Book Honoring the Texas Sesquicentennial. Brownsville: Press of Ward Schori, 1986. Print.

Published on the occasion of the 150th celebration of the birth of Texas, this miniature book is filled with anecdotes as well as general information about Texas, including natural resources, regional information, and weather. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Poska, Valentine Jerome. Stars over Texas. San Antonio: Valentine J. Poska, 1987. Print.

In 1987, Hollywood celebrated 100 years. This volume was published to recognize those television, film, and music entertainers from Texas. Also included is a list of Texas themed films. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Poska, Valentine Jerome. Fred Gipson, 1908-1973. San Antonio: Windcrest Press, 1999. Print.

One of only 75 copies printed, this book celebrates the life of Texas writer Fred Gipson. You may recognize Gipson as the author of the popular book Old Yeller, which inspired the Disney movie. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Poska, Valentine Jerome. Borglum in Texas. San Antonio: Windcrest Press, 1991. Print.

San Antonio was, for a time, the home of Gutzon Borglum, the noted sculptor of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which was dedicated in 1941. This volume was published in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the 1941 dedication. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Posted in Archives, Baptist missions, Baptist women, Honorary degrees, Julia and Finlay Graham, Leaky Leadership Laboratory, missionaries, missions, Research Ready, Texas Baptists, Theology study and teaching | Leave a comment

Pro Archives, Pro Futuris

Amanda Norman, University Archivist

Amanda Norman

By Amanda Norman

A few years ago at a Christmas party, I was asked, “Why bother to keep historical records? Why not reboot every hundred years or so with a clean slate? We don’t know that much about the 1600s, and that doesn’t really hurt us.”

View from the backboard

Archival records document important changes in history, such as when Title IX was passed and began to support the growth of university women’s athletics. Here, Baylor athletics all-star Suzie Snider Eppers makes a shot in a 1970s practice scrimmage. Olga Fallen papers, box 38.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I tried to explain to this new acquaintance about the importance of records in understanding where we’ve been, so we can make better choices moving forward. I told him about how records are invaluable resources for people, businesses, governments, and other organizations. I reminded that we do, in fact, know quite a bit about the events of the 1600s, thanks to records, and without them, we wouldn’t know about major events like civil wars, plagues, religious movements, and more—events that shape our contemporary life, even if in ways that aren’t readily apparent.

But I don’t think I really got through to him, and that left me feeling dissatisfied with my response. When considering archives and historical preservation, perhaps the natural impulse is to think that these efforts are for the past. That old things document past people, past places, past events. And while that view is partially true, the real function of archives is so much more.

Baylor University School of Business, IBM 405 Electric Punched Card Accounting Machine, c.1950s (1)

Archives help us remember a time when this was cutting-edge technology! Students gather around an IBM 405 Electric Punched Card Accounting Machine, c.1950s. Baylor photo files: Baylor-Departments-Hankamer School of Business.

Frank Guittard's Baylor Homecoming parade notes (page 5), 1915

Archives show the history of longstanding traditions, like Baylor’s Homecoming parade. Frank Guittard was in charge of coordinating Baylor’s second Homecoming parade in 1915. On this page of notes on his guidelines to parade participants, he tells them the end of the route and how to march. Francis Gevrier Guittard papers, box 20, folder 4.

We keep archives for the future. Archival records retain their value as they are used, today, tomorrow, and for our descendants. Every time a researcher finds that turning point journal entry, that critical line entry in a ledger book, that changing boundary on a map, that influential piece of correspondence—every time a researcher gains new knowledge, the past comes to life. New knowledge leads
to a better future, whether a record tells us where an old burial ground was so we don’t build on top of it, or if it gives us greater insight into the mind of a former U.S. President and how he formed decisions. No matter if the information gained is of local or international impact, of interest to a nation or to one person, the past becomes present when people use archives.

For these reasons, I appreciate the sentiment behind the naming of Baylor’s vision, Pro Futuris. A play on Baylor’s motto, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana, the words remind us that all that we do at a university is in the name of a better future. In my role as University Archivist, I can see through the records that Baylor has changed in many ways…and hasn’t changed at all in others. We’re still discussing many of the same issues that were being discussed decades ago, from diversity to gender politics to what kind of institution we mean to be.

If archives sit on the shelves untouched, then yes, they are of the past. That’s why The Texas Collection is perpetually working to make accessible its records so people can interact with the past and bring it to current relevance—and hopefully, future actions for a better future.

Posted in Amanda Norman, Baylor University, The Texas Collection | 1 Comment

Museum Students in the Archives: Processing Love and Identity

This month we are featuring some collections processed by the Archival Collections and Museums graduate course that was taught at The Texas Collection by Dr. Julie Holcomb, with assistance from TC archivists. Each student in this class processed an archival collection and wrote a publicity piece promoting that record group. Check out a few of these pieces and learn more about the wide array of TC holdings! (See last week’s posts here.)

Finding Mr. Right

Letter from Lewis Preston to Ella Bachman, 1903 April 5

First page of a 1903 letter by Lewis describing his desire for more mail from Ella. Correspondence between the two would cease before the year’s end. (Bachman family papers #2422, box 4, folder 3, The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

By Matthew Doyen, Museum Studies graduate student

During the first few weeks that the Bachman family papers were in my hands, I found myself transported back 100 years. Ella Bachman Jones, daughter of J.A. and Addie Bachman, lived in Austin and attended the University of Texas. It was during this collegiate period of her life that Ella started to keep letters that interested suitors would send her way. I can’t be certain that she would have been too keen on me reading her mail—but I am only human and couldn’t help myself.

A young gentleman and fellow Longhorn named Charles Pope Caldwell was one of the first of several to actively write to Ella. I must say that early on I was rooting for Charlie, who would soon graduate from Yale Law School and later become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. His letters displayed a strong and true affection for his sweetheart but—as one can convey from Ella’s last name—he was unfortunately not her Mr. Right.

Her next suitor was a very heart-on-his-sleeve type of man who was doomed for disaster. Lewis Preston of Beaumont, Texas, owned his own drug company and was certainly fervent in the pursuit of his darling. Despite pouring out his soul several times, I’m afraid Lewis had little chance at success at being her Mr. Right. Around this time, the turn of the twentieth century, she began a correspondence with Charles Edgar Jones.

Letter from Edgar Jones to Ella Bachman, 1902 January 12

First page of a 1902 letter by Edgar explaining how much he misses his sweetheart. At the time, he resided in Lockhart, Texas, and Ella in Austin. (Bachman family papers #2422, box 3, folder 1, The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

Edgar, as he was known, was from Lockhart, Texas, and owned the Lockhart Water Works with none other than J.A. Bachman, Ella’s father. It was evident from the century-old letters that this relationship—unlike their business—was meant to last. My favorite part of their journey was when they started to scale back their affectionate lines in fear that J.A. would open a letter and read the scandalous words inside. For a period of time, letters were sent almost once—and sometimes even twice—a day! Most of the time they didn’t say much, just a reminder at how much Edgar missed Ella. The letters didn’t stop until—from what I have gathered—the two said “I Do.” Even though Edgar passed away 33 years before his beautiful wife, he was forever Ella’s Mr. Right.

It was interesting looking at this story from entirely one viewpoint. Since none of Ella’s letters are in this collection—all we can do is imagine her waiting for the letters to arrive, tearing open the envelopes, and reading the same pages. It was definitely a treat to work with this collection (which also includes dozens of letters and other materials received by family members) and relive Ella’s love story.

Fight for Identity: A Baptist Personality Crisis

Memorandum from Jonathan Lindsey to the Baptist Heritage Group, 1991 July 19

In 1991, the Baptist Heritage Study group began their efforts to examine Baylor’s Baptist identity and ways to remain intentional about it. The ripples of this group’s efforts can be seen in Baylor’s various vision statements over the past 25 years. (BU Records: Baptist Heritage Study #BU/357, box 1, folder 4, The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

By Amanda Sawyer, Museum Studies graduate student

Throughout the nation in the late twentieth century, religious universities seemed to have lost a sense of who they were. The records of the Baptist Heritage Study show that Baylor University had its own identity crisis in the early 1990s.

A conservative resurgence had been brewing in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for years and, beginning in 1990, the university began to distance itself from ultra-conservative Baptists wanting to dictate curriculum. A change to the university’s charter—spearheaded by President Herbert H. Reynolds—removed some of the sway which fundamentalists held in school policy.

Despite Reynolds’ intentions to strengthen the university, the move caused some to question Baylor’s Baptist identity. In response, Reynolds formed a subcommittee of the Baptist Heritage Group to research the religious and academic commitments of the university. Led by Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Michael Beaty, the committee set out to answer fundamental questions about the influence of religion and denomination upon higher education.

Their early work showed that universities throughout the country were struggling with similar problems. Realizing the issue was bigger than they originally thought, the committee prepared a proposal for a planning grant which was submitted to Lilly Endowment Inc. in January of 1992. After the foundation approved their plan in June, committee members intensified their efforts—including trips to other universities throughout the country considering similar questions.

The committee completed a planning grant proposal in May 1994 which expressed plans for a four-year study of Baylor’s identity. They hoped findings from the study would answer questions about Baylor’s self-understanding as a Christian University in the Baptist tradition while also examining why the charter had changed.

The records—mostly correspondence between committee members—provide a comprehensive view of the university’s fight to balance a strong academic record with denominational ties. Some of the most interesting pieces are messages between committee members as they debate their obligation to tell the trustees about their research. Although the Baptist Heritage Study records conclude with the 1994 grant proposal, it is clear that the group’s research continues to have a lasting impact on the university today.

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Museum Students in the Archives: Processing Lawyers and Business Affairs

This month we will be featuring some collections processed by the Archival Collections and Museums graduate course that was taught at The Texas Collection by Dr. Julie Holcomb, with assistance from TC archivists. Each student in this class processed an archival collection and wrote a publicity piece promoting that record group. Check out a few of these pieces and learn more about the wide array of TC holdings!

Guy B. Harrison to Joe L. Wiley (Houghton Mifflin) on behalf of Robert Grundy, 1944 March 15

Among Grundy’s efforts to get his manuscript on Stephen F. Austin published was recruiting the Texas Collection’s own Guy B. Harrison to write a letter on his behalf. (Apparently Harrison had trouble with the typewriter, hence the misspelling of his own name…) Robert A. Grundy papers #30, box 1, folder 1, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Beyond Legal Pursuits

By Courtney Berge, Museum Studies graduate student

The word “lawyer” carries certain connotations. Some people think of paperwork, others shady practices, even more think of good money, nice suits, or the classic TV show, Law and Order. This, however, is not all that any lawyer is. Like anyone else, lawyers have dreams and aspirations beyond their profession. Even though everyone has ideas about the law profession, what do people really know about lawyers? What about the small town local lawyers who are never depicted on TV? What else is there to know about their lives?

Robert Adams Grundy was a small town, local lawyer. Born in Memphis, TX, he graduated from Baylor in 1919 and again in 1930. He worked as a lawyer throughout Central Texas, but ultimately landed in Waco, where he lived until his death in 1973. His papers were donated to Baylor’s Texas Collection, but what one might expect to find in a lawyer’s papers is not what you will find in this collection. The Robert A. Grundy papers include not the business dealings of a lawyer, but the remnants of his dreams as a struggling author. Not only can you delve into his dreams, but you can also catch a glimpse of his family history through the legal and financial documents of the Grundy family.

Grundy wanted to be an author. He completed a few manuscripts, including a biography of Stephen F. Austin and one of Charles Goodnight, both of which can be found in this collection. You can also see the work and effort he put into his writings through the research notes he compiled for his future manuscript on the history of the Jewish people. Sadly, none of his works were published, but you can see the story of the struggle through the rejection letters he filed away.

Within the collection one also finds some of the financial and legal documents pertaining to the Grundy family. These letters, land indentures, deeds, tax assessments, etc. date back into the 19th century and show how a family living in Texas dealt with their roots in Kentucky. They show the business side of managing land in another state.

The Robert A. Grundy papers aren’t the type of collection one would expect from a lawyer. Instead of legal briefs and correspondence you can get a glimpse at the personal aspirations of a Central Texas boy. He was a man who seemingly loved Texas history and history itself, one who wrote books about his passions and hoped to get them published, a man who was more than his profession, and one who has granted us a glimpse into his life.

Tending to the Business of Baylor

History professor J.D. Bragg to business manager George Belew, 1928 June 26

In addition to making reservations for athletics travels and reviewing dining hall menus, Belew apparently also was responsibility for facilities maintenance…and apparently, all buildings didn’t have light fixtures. The letter runs: “Room 205 Main Building is sadly in need of light fixtures. It is impossible on cloudy days for students to read anything on the blackboards or to see clearly to take notes…”

By Chris Paulos, Museum Studies graduate student

It was the 1920s. Prohibition was the law of the land. The air was filled with the sounds of Jazz. Borrowing money to put in the stock market still seemed like a good idea. Two dollars and fifty cents got you reserved seating at a Baylor game.

BU records: Business Affairs Division: Business Manager (George H. Belew) documents the work of George H. Belew at Baylor, while also giving a glimpse into the concerns of the time. Belew was the Business Manager of Baylor University from 1925 until 1931. He would also serve as Secretary and then President of the Baylor Athletics Association and as Secretary to the Baylor Board of Trustees. The collection is broadly divided into two parts. The first contains records of Baylor’s business office, and the second is made up of Belew’s business correspondence.

Among the records are game contracts with Rice University, Texas Christian University, the University of Arkansas, and other institutions. The letters open a window into the behind-the-scenes work which made the football season possible: arranging transportation, taking bids from hotels for rooms and meals (all bacon had to be well drained), finding a good laundry, and hiring officials to oversee the game. One of Belew’s other duties was distributing football tickets by mail. The letters he received alongside the checks form a “Who’s Who” of the wider Baylor community.

The Belew letters are witness to the history of Baylor stadiums, recording the move from Carroll Field to the Cotton Palace in 1926 and the return to Carroll three years later. A 1927 letter from a stadium builder provides a glimpse into what might have been had Baylor not waited until 1950 to inaugurate its own new facility.

Other documents show how daily life at Baylor has changed. Records show that among the employees of Georgia Burleson Hall were several “Matrons” tasked with enforcing the rules of dining etiquette. These rules feel much more at home at a Victorian dinner party than the food court atmosphere of the 21st dining commons. Yet, another concern found in the Belew correspondence is finding positions for prospective students in what we would probably now call work-study jobs. So maybe we’re not so different from our Twenties counterparts after all.

Posted in Baylor University, George Belew, Museum Studies, Robert Grundy | Leave a comment