Research Ready: May 2016

By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

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!

Here are May’s finding aids:

Robert E. Lee's General Order No. 9

This unsigned copy of General Robert E. Lee’s General Order No. 9 was given to acting brigade commander Jonathan E. Spencer in the first few days after Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant. J.E. Spencer papers, 1861-1865, circa 1911, 1929 (#3957), box 1, folder 2, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

  • J.E. Spencer papers, 1861-1865, circa 1911, 1929 (#3957): This small collection contains Confederate surrender documents and a photograph of a Baylor University women’s tennis team, plus clippings and Confederate rosters and bonds. You can read a transcript of the document on the left here!
  • Thomas Dudley Brooks papers, 1926-1932, undated, (#104): Correspondence from his many roles at Baylor University and the community: Chairman of the School of Education, Professor of School Administration, Chairman of the Committee of Placement of Teachers, Dean of Summer School, contributing editor of the Texas Outlook, and mayor of Waco 1928-1929.
  • House of Poetry collection, 1903-1997, undated (#2064): Collection of published and unpublished poems written by various members of the House of Poetry, an organization that promoted writing and reciting poetry. The Poetry Society of Texas helped support the group by donating financially and giving poems to be preserved.
  • Janie Pender Castellaw papers, circa 1968, undated (#818): Photographs, literary productions, collected materials, and correspondence collected by Janie Pender Castellaw. Topics include Castellaw’s monetary donation to Baylor University, religious faith, and various prose and poetry topics.
  • Bachman family papers, 1886-1925, undated (#2422): Includes correspondence, financial materials, and photographs on the Bachman family in Texas. This collection particularly spotlights a few courtships carried on via correspondence.
  • Robert Grundy papers, 1804-1946 (#30): This collection includes many of Grundy’s unpublished manuscripts on early Texas and Western people and other topics. Other materials include personal and family financial documents, land deeds, and other resources.

Here are May’s print materials:
bowiesmall
Camp Bowie and Lake Worth, Fort Worth, Texas. [Fort Worth, TX]: [Reimers], [19–?].
Typically, military souvenir books focus on a particular camp or regiment, but this volume is unique because it also describes Fort Worth’s Lake Worth. In addition to wonderful photographs of military life at the camp, the pamphlet also features photos of activities visitors can enjoy at the lake. This little pictorial volume is as much a promotional for Fort Worth as it is a glimpse into Camp Bowie. Check out a few more pages from this piece on our Flickr page.

DelRiosmallSouvenir of Fourteenth Cavalry in Camp at Del Rio, Texas. [Del Rio, TX]: circa 1916.
Filled with ads from Del Rio businesses and group photos of the troops and camp, this volume also provides a lengthy history of the Fourteenth Cavalry. Events covered include their founding in 1901 and various expeditions and tours up until 1916. Check out a few more pages from this piece on our Flickr page.

CampSwiftsmallA Camera Trip through Camp Swift, Texas: A Picture Book of the Camp and its Activities. Brooklyn, NY: Ullman Co., [194-?].
One of the most impressive aspects of this book are the sheer volume of photographs included, many of which offer a candid view into Camp Swift. The diversity of the camp is evident based on images that include women, minorities, and varied worship services. Check out a few more pages from this piece on our Flickr page.

Posted in American South, Archives, authors, Baylor English department, Civil War, Confederate States of America, Del Rio, female poets, Fort Worth, Frontier and pioneer life, Immortal Ten, letters, Mayors, Research Ready, School of Education, Texas Mayors, World War I | Leave a comment

Texas over Time: Texas State Capitols

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of GIFs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

TexasStateCapitol

  • Along with Washington-on-the-Brazos and Galveston, Harrisburg served as one of Texas’ temporary capitals. President David G. Burnet convened the provisional government at the John R. Harris home (image 1) in 1836.
  • Columbia was the first capital of an elected government of the Republic of Texas, but that lasted only from October-December 1836. The second capital of the Republic of Texas was in Houston, Texas (1837–1839, 1842). Sam Houston’s executive mansion and Harris County court house is pictured in image 2.
  • The modern-day Capitol in Austin, Texas, was constructed between 1882 and 1888 after there being a few prior buildings. A building commission was implemented, and Elijah E. Myers won the competition for the architecture design. Construction began in 1882, the corner stone was laid March 2, 1885 and it was ready for use in 1888. The building was built entirely of “sunset red” granite from quarries near Marble Falls, Texas.
  • At its initial construction, the capitol had 392 rooms, 924 windows and 404 doors. It is 311 feet tall, beating out the U.S. Capitol (288 feet), just by the height of the “Goddess of Liberty” statue that stands atop the dome.
  • The original zinc Goddess statue weighed almost 3,000 pounds. In 1986, it was taken down and replaced by a lighter aluminum version. The statue is now on display at the Bob Bullock State History Museum.

Image 1: John R. Harris home, Harrisburg, Texas (one of several Texas capitol locations in 1836)

Image 2: Sam Houston’s executive mansion in Houston, and the second capital of the Republic of Texas (1837-1839, 1842)

Image 3: First capitol in Austin (and the only capitol for the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas), 1839–1856

Image 4: Second capitol in Austin, built 1856, burned 1881

Image 5: Third capitol in Austin, completed 1888

Sources

Handbook of Texas Online, William Elton Green, “Capitol,” accessed April 21, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccc01.

Handbook of Texas Online, John G. Johnson, “Capitals,” accessed May 12, 2016, https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mzc01.

“The Goddess of Liberty.” SenateKids. Texas Senate Media Services, 1998. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.

GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant. See these Texas State Capitol images in our Flickr set.

Posted in Austin Texas, Harrisburg, Houston, Republic of Texas, Texas historic buildings, Texas over Time, Texas State Capitol | Leave a comment

From Belgium to “Rough-and-Tumble Waco”: The Academy of the Sacred Heart and The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946

An exterior view of the Academy of the Sacred Heart at Washington and Eighth Streets in Waco, Texas. The buildings show the magnificent architecture worthy of such an institution. Photo by Fred Marlar on March 15, 1946.

By Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator

On the corner of Eighth and Washington in Waco, Texas, once stood a Catholic school and convent that taught thousands of students during its years of operation from 1874-1946. This institution was the Academy of the Sacred Heart. It was given this name because the property it stood on was purchased June 12, 1874—the day of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946, classroom (7)

Inside one of the classrooms of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX. Photo taken by Fred Marlar on April 4, 1946.

The academy had its origins in Namur, Belgium, through the Institute of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur. The Cistercian Father Nicholas Joseph Minsart was one of the founders, and after his death, he elected Sister Claire (originally Rosalie Niset) to preside over the community in Belgium. In 1863, the now Mother Claire encouraged a group of Sisters of St. Mary of Namur to come to the United States to assist Catholic immigrant communities.

The Sisters of St. Mary set up their first house in Lockport, New York. Then, in 1873, at the request of Bishop Claude-Marie Dubuis of the Diocese of Galveston, a group of the Sisters were sent to Waco from New York, to start a house and establish a school. This would soon become the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946, classroom (8)

Inside one of the classrooms of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX. Photo taken by Fred Marlar on March 15, 1946.

On October 1, 1873, the school opened in a facility at Sixth and Washington Avenue. The first Sisters of St. Mary to begin instructing at the Waco academy were Mother Emelie, Sister Mary Angela, and Sister Stanislaus. Only three students attended that opening day.

Although it had a humble beginning, Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda states in Our Catholic Heritage in Texas that: “The Academy of the Sacred Heart…proved to be a most fruitful mission in Central Texas. Not only did it become a large and flourishing institution, but it led in rapid succession to the establishment of eight more schools in the State…” (The Sisters went on to establish several schools in various cities in north and central Texas.)

The mission initially was devoted to the education of girls, but the Waco academy made exceptions. It was a day school with grades one through twelve. Boys were allowed to attend until the eighth, and ninth through twelfth were reserved for young women. Only girls were allowed boarding privileges.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946, classroom (1)

Inside one of the classrooms of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX. Photo taken by Fred Marlar on April 12, 1946.

Students from non-Catholic denominations were welcome, too. The 1876 Waco city directory describes it as follows: “…Its course of study is complete and comprehensive, and among its patrons and pupils are the representatives of the various denominations of the city and county. Its conduct and discipline are free from sectarianism…”

But by 1946, student enrolled had dwindled. Only six boarded that year, and this would be the last year of operation for the academy. On May 24 of that year, The Waco News-Tribune reported that “With the singing of the class song by 11 graduating seniors, Sacred Heart Academy…ended… an existence which began in 1873.” After more than 70 years, so ended a chapter in the ministry of a group of Sisters who came from New York “to open a school for young ladies in a rough-and-tumble Waco celebrated for its gun fights.” The photos that accompany this blog post were taken by Waco photographer Fred Marlar in 1946, so they likely knew these would be the final photos of the school in action.

After the academy’s closing, the building and site were sold and slated for demolition. This didn’t happen until July 1951, “when the last brick was carried away.” Consequently, the area at Eighth and Washington, where the academy once stood for decades, was brought down to be turned into a parking lot.

However, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur are still strong to this day. The order has spread throughout the U.S. and other countries during the 20th century, and still remains strong in the 21st. A recent quote from the Sisters states that: “Our early calling to Christian formation continues at the heart of our ministry.”

This “early calling” that brought them here to Waco in 1873, with their roots in Belgium, led to their passion to influence many in their mission work in faraway lands—even in a “rough-and-tumble Waco” of the 1870s.

Click the image below to see more photos in our Academy of the Sacred Heart album on Flickr:

The Academy of the Sacred Heart Catholic School, Waco, TX

Sources:

Begnaud, Sister St. John, A Little Good: The Sisters of St. Mary in Texas (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, 2011).

“Being Razed” The Waco News-Tribune, May 26, 1951.

Castañeda, Carlos E., Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1836-1936, The Modern Period, Vol. VII (Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., Austin, TX, 1958).

Kelley, Dayton, editor, The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Texian Press, Waco, TX, 1972).

“Sacred Heart Is Closed Up after 73 Years in City” The Waco News-Tribune, May 24, 1946.

“Sisters of St. Mary of Namur,” https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ixs05/, Accessed 27 April 2016.

Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Eastern Province, USA, http://www.ssmn.us/ourstory.html, Accessed 28 April 2016.

Waco, & McLennan County, Texas, 1876, Reprint-First City Directory of Waco (Waco, Texas: Texian Press, 1966).

Posted in Academy of the Sacred Heart, Fred Marlar, Historic Waco, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Waco | Leave a comment

Research Ready: April 2016

By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

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!

Here are April’s finding aids:

Here are April’s print materials:

Waco, Magnet of Commerce and the Air Mail: the Center of Texas Population. circa 1929.Waco, Magnet of Commerce and the Air Mail: the Center of Texas Population. circa 1929.
This beautiful promotional highlights many of the buildings, educational institutions, railroads, industry, production, jobs, etc. that 1929 Waco has to offer. Contained within are many photographs, some of which may not exist anywhere else. The purpose of these promotionals were to sell a city, and this promotional does an excellent job of selling Waco. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Souvenir Program: Fort Worth Police Band Fourth Annual Concert. Fort Worth, TX, 1927.
Souvenir Program: Fort Worth Police Band Fourth Annual Concert. Fort Worth, TX, 1927.
According to this unique program, the Fort Worth Police Band was founded in 1921 by W. H. Lee, Chief of Police. Band members were recruited from within the police department and were conducted by Captain A. Bouton. Filled with photos, advertisements, and additional information about the department, this program offers a fascinating look at Fort Worth’s finest. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

F. Lotto. Der Deutsch-Texaner. 2.8 (1906).
F. Lotto. Der Deutsch-Texaner. 2.8 (1906).
Published in La Grange and written in Fraktur, this periodical was geared toward German Americans in Texas. Not much is known about the origins of this volume, but our copy is one of only three known to exist. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Posted in A.M. Goldstein, Archives, Books, Civil War, Fort Worth, genealogy, Germany, Goldstein-Migel, letters, Research Ready, Vermont, Waco | Leave a comment

The Waco Cotton Palace Pageant: A 46 Year Tradition

The Queen's train, Waco Cotton Palace, 1984

This photograph of the Queen’s train in 1984 features the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Incorporated’s emblem. This emblem features the Cotton Palace on the shield, cotton, and the Latin phrase sursum corda, which means “lift up your hearts.” Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 58, folder 2.

By Amanda Gesiorski, Texas Collection graduate assistant and museum studies graduate student

The Waco Cotton Palace is celebrating its 46th anniversary on April 22, 2016 in Waco Hall at Baylor University. Although the historical production is celebrating 46 years, its roots go back more than 120 years. In 1893, Waco was one of, if not the leading cotton market center in Texas, with 120,000 bales of cotton marketed in the city that year. And so, Waco was the place where Governor James Stephen Hogg opened the first Texas Cotton Palace a year later, which hosted exhibitions on cotton and crowned a “King Cotton” and “Queen Texas.” Even when the original structure burned down in 1895, the popularity of the event led to the establishment (about a decade later) of an even larger Texas Cotton Palace that showcased livestock and agriculture, art exhibits, parades, dairy shows, canning, horse and car racing, concerts, needlework and baking competitions, and the city’s largest social event—the Queen’s Ball. (See images of and about the Texas Cotton Palace here, here, and here.)

Waco Cotton Palace Queen's Ball, 1972

The annual Queen’s Ball follows the Cotton Palace Pageant and serves as a large gala for the participants, allowing the young women to show off their ornate dresses. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 1, folder 11.

Although The Cotton Palace closed its doors in 1930, the memory of the Palace and what it celebrated remained strong among the Waco community. This memory was kept alive through the annual Brazos River Festival and Pilgrimage hosted by Historic Waco Foundation in honor of the Texas Cotton Palace. The Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Incorporated, formed in 1970 and partnered with Historic Waco Foundation to host a pageant at the Festival. Even when the Brazos River Festival and Pilgrimage ended, the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant remained an annual event.

Scene from Waco Scene from the Cotton Palace pageant, 1985

The Waco Cotton Palace Pageant tells the story of Waco’s cotton growing past. This is the cotton and railroad scene from the 1985 Pageant in Waco Hall. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 58, folder 2.

Continuing through today, the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Inc., hosts a number of social events and fundraisers throughout the year in support of their annual pageant and Queen’s Ball. During this pageant, young women and their escorts from all over Texas perform a script that honors Waco’s cotton past. While the pageant traditionally focused on Waco’s founding history and cotton farming days, in 2010, the pageant took a new direction that celebrated Waco’s past and present.

A Waco Cotton Palace dress in design and execution, 1982

Pageant dresses are custom designed for participants, who have some say in the color and details of their dress. This can be seen by looking at the woman’s dress request, the original dress design, and then the final product. This image features Jennifer Nelson and her dress from the 1982 Pageant. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 54, folder 2, and box 56, folder 1.

The Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records contain a large number of Pageant committee reports, event and dinner invitations, pageant scripts, advertising agreement, and detailed information sheets on participants that give insight into how the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Inc. operates. One of the most notable aspects of the collection is the extensive number of costume and dress designs for the Princesses, Duchesses, Queen, and Royal Escorts. Each of the young ladies participating in the Pageant wears a custom dress for the pageant and Queen’s Ball. These dresses are some of the most iconic features of the Pageant, and their sketches are found in this collection. Also of note in the collection are photographs of the pageants, VHS recordings of pageants from the 1980s through the 1990s, and scrapbooks from 1971 through 2010 that detail pageant events throughout the course of the year.

Confederate Ball scene dress design for 1972 Waco Cotton Palace Pageant

In addition to the dress designs found in this collection, there are also costume designs for the various Pageant scenes. The dress seen here was designed in 1972 for the Confederate Ball scene. Note the swatch of material still attached. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 55, folder 7.

Sources:

Riddle, Jonathan. “Texas Cotton Palace Records. Inclusive: 1894-1931, undated; Bulk: 1910-1930.”  The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

“Waco Cotton Palace.” Waco Cotton Palace Pageant Inc. http://wacocottonpalace.org/. Accessed April 19, 2016.

Posted in Historic Waco Foundation, Texas Cotton Palace, Waco Cotton Palace Pageant | Leave a comment

Lessons in Controversial Collections: Processing the Frank Watt Collection

Frank Watt at Mobridge dig site, 1962

This is the only identified photograph in the collection of Frank Watt at a dig site. It was taken in August 1962 at a Smithsonian Institute campsite in Mobridge, SD. (Frank Heddon Watt collection #470, Box 11, Folder 17, The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

By Casey Schumacher, Texas Collection graduate assistant and museum studies graduate student

In July 2015, President Obama declared the Waco Mammoth Site a National Monument, and Central Texas rejoiced. About the same time, a less well-known archaeological find occurred at The Texas Collection as I began processing the Frank Heddon Watt collection. Among his many vocations, Watt was a founding member of the Central Texas Archaeological Society in 1934. And so, while the National Park Service was sharing images and samples of mammoth bones, I was discovering photos of human remains and hand-drawn maps of their burial sites. Over the next eight months, I realized the Frank Watt collection had just as much to teach our archival staff as it had to teach our patrons.

Archives are not the only repositories for Native American materials, nor were they the first to ask questions about how to properly handle human remains. In 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) laid the groundwork for museums to examine carefully the state of Native American objects in their collections. The primary goal of NAGPRA was to assure appropriate and respectful use, care and (in some cases) repatriation of sacred or culturally sensitive objects, such as human remains, funerary objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. Museum visitors would notice these changes the most in exhibits that included Native American mummies, pipes, or costumes used for sacred rituals. Behind the scenes, this new legislation required museum staff to complete copious amounts of paperwork and extra work to ensure they were up to NAGPRA’s standards. However, NAGPRA only applied to museums; it offered no suggestions or standards for archives like The Texas Collection or for archival collections like that of Frank Watt.

As an institution in the public trust, The Texas Collection believes it should maintain a high ethical standard, even if it is not bound by law to do so. As a result, I believed the images of human remains and the detailed reports of their excavation deserved to be stored and handled both carefully and respectfully. Ultimately, my supervisor and I created a new policy for The Texas Collection; namely, that in the spirit of NAGPRA, archival collections with culturally sensitive materials would be open for public research, but that researchers should maintain a quiet, respectful attitude during their research and that scanning or digitizing culturally sensitive materials would be strictly prohibited.

Cardboard Proof of Stone Engravings by Frank Watt, undated

Not all of Frank Watt’s drawings depicted bones and pottery. The Lithography & Art series in his collection includes extensive lithograph samples, sketches, and prints of buildings, landscapes, and portraits. You can see in this flower sketch that his artistic designs included his scientific attention to detail. (Frank Heddon Watt collection #470, Box 16, Folders 13 and 20, The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

Now that the entire collection is open for research, the Frank Watt collection has much to offer besides archaeological materials. Watt held degrees in lithography and music, as well as teacher’s certification for public school music. He was an avid stamp collector, artist, and cello player. He worked as a printer, stone engraver, hotel serviceman, tree surgeon, and music teacher in Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and New York. In addition, his military service during WWI included field printing and working as an aircraft mechanic near Houston. In other words, Watt was a jack-of-all-trades and master of several. In his collection, researchers will find samples and collected pieces of lithography and stone-engraving, sketchbooks from his art classes at Winona Technical Institute, and military-issued manuals of aircraft mechanics.

At the end of the day, collections like that of Frank Watt are extremely important for both researchers and archivists alike. Naturally, they offer extensive resources for students and professionals in several different fields. They also present an opportunity for archivists to explore how we maintain ethical and professional standards in our institution and help us educate the public about why we do what we do.

Sources
Bischof, Robin E. “Boxes and Boxes, Missing Context and an Avocational Archaeologist: Making Sense of the Frank Watt Collection at the Mayborn Museum Complex.” Master’s thesis, Baylor University, 2011.

Bosque Museum. “Ancient Archeological Site on Exhibit at the Museum.” Bosque Museum. Accessed August 8, 2015. http://www.bosquemuseum.org/hornshelter.htm

Posted in archaeology, Frank Heddon Watt, Lithography, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Texas Artists | Leave a comment

Texas over Time: Carroll Library, Baylor University, Waco

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of GIFs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

CarrollLibrary• Home to the first library at Baylor University and The Texas Collection, the plans for the construction of F. L. Carroll Library were introduced in 1901 and the then Chapel and Library were completed in 1903.
• The Chapel and Library was a gift from F. L. Carroll and along with the Carroll Science Hall (funded by F.L.’s son, G.W. Carroll), the Lariat announced their constructions under the headline “Greater Baylor Begins.”
• The first floor housed the library with special book collections donated by several individuals, including Dr. A. J. Armstrong. The chapel was located on the second floor of the building covered by a dome and decorated with stained glass windows.
• On February 11, 1922, the Chapel and Library caught fire from an unknown source and destroyed the majority of the interior. Many students and faculty risked their safety to retrieve the library’s books and documents, saving over half of the total collection.
• The building was renovated between 1922 and 1924; the chapel was not reconstructed and a third floor took its place.  A basement was also added to the renovations, and many of the original stone and brickwork were kept intact on the architecture.
• With the building running out of room, the central library was moved to the new Moody Memorial Library in 1968.
• Over the years, various departments, the Strecker Museum, and the J. B. Tidwell Bible Library were located at Carroll Library for brief periods of time.
• In 1992, a severe hail storm damaged many of the windows so the building was once again renovated and fully functional in 1994.
• As of 2016, the building houses The Texas Collection, the Institute for Oral History, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society, and the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.

Sources

Fiedler, Randy. “The Carroll Library Fire.” Baylor Magazine. Baylor University, Fall 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.

Amanda Dietz, “F. L. Carroll Chapel and Library,” Waco History, accessed March 24, 2016.

GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant. See these and other images of Carroll Library in our Flickr set.

Posted in Baylor University, Carroll Library, Texas over Time | Leave a comment

Research Ready: March 2016

By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

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!

Here are March’s finding aids:

Here are March’s print materials:

Fiesta de San Jacinto Association. An Invitation. San Antonio, TX: The Association, 1939.

Fiesta de San Jacinto Association. An Invitation. San Antonio, TX: The Association, 1939. This oversized commemorative invitation to the 1939 Fiesta de San Jacinto, today known as Fiesta San Antonio, contains information about the event as well as beautiful full color illustrations.

Cookbooks at The Texas Collection, Baylor University

Parent-Teacher Association. Hostess Reference Book. Greenville, TX: circa 1920. Texas Tables: the Junior League of North Harris and South Montgomery Counties, Inc. Nashville, TN: Favorite Recipes Press, 2010. Murphy Family Cookbook. Wortham, TX: circa 2000. The Texas Collection is home to more than 5,000 Texas cookbooks. The three represented here vary greatly in age and authors. Even though the cookbooks are intended for different audiences, they all offer great insight into Texas cookery, whether the cookbook is created for a family and is filled with family memories or is created to raise funds for an organization.

Posted in Archives, Cookbooks, Hankamer School of Business, Jesse Washington, letters, Pat Neff, Photographs, Race relations, Railroads, Research Ready | Leave a comment

Documenting Women’s Service: The Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood in Waco

Rodef Sholom Sisterhood yearbooks, 1951-1952, 1972-1973

Each year, the Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood published yearbooks that included officer and member lists, event calendars and activities completed that year. Their records at the Texas Collection include yearbooks from the 1950s-1990s. [Waco] Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood records, Accession #3159, Box 1, Folder 10 and Box 3, Folder 2.


By Casey Schumacher, Texas Collection graduate assistant and museum studies graduate student

Did you know that The Texas Collection has more than 20 collections documenting the Central Texas Jewish community? We recently completed processing of the Rodef Sholom Sisterhood records, and in honor of Women’s History Month, we thought we would spotlight this organization that has played a major role in the growth of McLennan County’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation.

Waco Rodef Sholom Sisterhood ledger, 1960

The most thorough records in the collection are meeting minutes and ledgers. The Sisterhood kept excellent financial records, which demonstrates their ongoing commitment to financially support the activities of their congregation and its Religious School. [Waco] Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood records, #3159, Box 1, Folder 12.

As early as the 1850s, Jewish settlers came to the Waco area but had no organized congregation to celebrate festivals, holy days or worship services. After the International Order of B’nai B’rith established Eureka Lodge No. 198 in 1873, forty families in the Waco area formed the Rodef Sholom congregation and began raising funds for the construction of a synagogue. Usually, when we think of early leaders of Temple Rodef Sholom, we think of Sam Sanger, Isaac A. Goldstein and Louey Migel. However, construction of the synagogue was a congregational effort, and the Jewish women of Waco certainly played their part.

In 1879, the Rodef Sholom Ladies’ Hebrew Society (LHS) decided to host a ball to raise funds for the new synagogue. The ball was a great success and thanks in part to the LHS, the first synagogue was dedicated in 1881. The LHS was not finished with their work, however. They continued to support the growth of the congregation and raise money for congregational events. In 1922, the women of the LHS joined the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods and changed their name to the Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood.

The construction of the first temple clearly demonstrates how women played an important role in the early history of Rodef Sholom. The Temple has constructed two other synagogues since the LHS held their ball, and the women of the temple have been consistently involved. Today, the Sisterhood’s primary mission lies in organizing cultural programs for the congregation and supporting the temple’s Religious School. Obviously, the commitment of Rodef Sholom women has not wavered over the years.

Waco Rodef Sholom Sisterhood art exhibition and auction flyer, 1974

Carrying on the mission of the original founders, the Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood continues to host community events, including bake sales, freezer sales and cultural programs. This flyer for an art exhibition and auction is one of many advertisements produced by the Sisterhood. [Waco] Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood records, #3159, Box 3, Folder 4.

Female leadership at Rodef Sholom reached new heights in 2012 when Laura Schwartz Harari became the temple’s first female rabbi. In addition to a distinguished career in education, Rabbi Harari serves as the President of the Greater Waco Interfaith Conference and is a regular instructor for Baylor University’s Lifelong Learning Program.

The Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood records at The Texas Collection consist primarily of the Sisterhood’s membership, financial and publicity records from 1960-1990, although there are records from as early as 1919 and as late as 2005.

Posted in Historic Waco, Temple Rodef Sholom | Leave a comment

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Texas Tour: The Central Texas Stop

Eleanor Roosevelt with Pat Neff, March 13, 1939

Eleanor Roosevelt and Pat Neff, likely backstage at Waco Hall, Baylor University

By Ellen Kuniyuki Brown

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look back at Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to Waco. This excerpted article by former Texas Collection archivist and associate professor emerita Ellen Kuniyuki Brown (MA ’75) was originally published in The Baylor Line in Spring 1999. Blogging about Texas periodically features “Looking Back at Baylor” and “Timeline” selections, with hopes of sharing this historical work with a new audience.

The same day Eleanor Roosevelt and her secretary, Malvina Thompson, left Washington, D.C., to begin a lecture tour of the Southwest, Waco and McLennan County Baptists heard a scathing denunciation of the first lady from Dr. C.Y. Dosey, a Dallas-based evangelist, at the First Baptist Church of Waco. After attacking Roosevelt for a comment she had made about social drinking, Dosey said he’d be glad when President Roosevelt leaves office “so that we can get rid of his wife as first lady.”

In the meantime, ticket sales were brisk for Roosevelt’s upcoming appearance at Waco Hall on Monday, March 13. Sponsored by the Domestic Science club, the event attracted a number of clubs and organizations from the city and surrounding communities. One of the largest groups to attend was the eleventh congressional district postmasters under the leadership of Postmaster Jim Pittillo. Arrangements were also made to have local young people present and to be introduced en masse to Roosevelt. In addition, Texas Lieutenant Governor Coke Stevenson invited state senators and their spouses to be his guests at the lecture.

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking in Baylor University's Waco Hall, March 13, 1939

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking in Baylor University’s Waco Hall, March 13, 1939

The first lady’s Texas tour began in Beaumont on March 9 and included a quick series of stops at Fort Worth, Abilene, Dallas, and Sherman, where she had her first experience with a severe dust storm.

On her way to Waco, Roosevelt briefly stopped in Hillsboro to inspect the National Youth Administration (NYA) resident project for girls. Then she visited the NYA project at Rich Field in Waco, inspecting the new airport administration building and chatting with some of the working youth. Her next stop was the Girls Club at 613 South Ninth Street, where members of the state NYA advisory board had a “lively discussion” on youth problems with her. Roosevelt briefly described her NYA stops in Hillsboro and Waco in her subsequent “My Day” column.

Roosevelt’s visit to Waco in 1939 was the first full-fledged appearance in the city’s history by the wife of the incumbent president of the United States, and the Waco papers covered her Texas trip more fully than some of the larger metropolitan papers. In honor of her visit, Waco Mayor George Jones declared Monday “Our Day.” Baylor President and former Governor of Texas Pat M. Neff was given the honor of introducing Roosevelt to the nearly 2,500 Wacoans and central Texans gathered in Waco Hall that evening to hear the first lady’s presentation on “Peace.”

Roosevelt told the audience that “by working to make democracy work, we can make our most enduring contribution to the cause of peace.” She added, however, that we need to set “our own house in order” before we “seek a solution to the turbulence that threatens to engulf the world in wars.” After that, she said, we can endeavor to establish “some sort of international machinery where nations can feel free to gather and confer earnestly and trustfully on their problems without feeling the necessity of armed conflict because of those difficulties.”

Eleanor Roosevelt shaking hands at her lecture at Baylor University's Waco Hall, March 13, 1939

Eleanor Roosevelt shaking hands at her lecture at Baylor University’s Waco Hall, March 13, 1939

She warned that “we must not go to sleep in our feeling of security over our democratic privileges,” and that “it is important that we do our duty for democracy every day we live if that freedom is to be preserved.”

During a question-and-answer session with the audience, Roosevelt indicated that she did not believe the League of Nations could be revived because of earlier objections to it and current distrust with the organization. She also addressed the dangers of propaganda, saying “the best defense against any sort of propaganda was the strengthening of our own knowledge and understanding so that we may recognize such attempts to influence our opinions, however cleverly they may be disguised.”

From Waco the first lady and her party boarded the 1:00 am train to Houston, where she toured a hospital project and spoke that evening. She also visited NYA sites in Hempstead and at Prairie View College. From Houston she traveled to Edinburg, Harlingen, and San Antonio, leaving Texas on Saturday, March 22.

A sidelight to Roosevelt’s visit to Waco is that two weeks later, on March 27, Marian Anderson sang in Waco Hall. Prior to her Texas tour, the first lady had resigned her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution because the organization had refused to allow the contralto to sing in Constitutional Hall in Washington, D.C.

The_Waco_News_Tribune_Wed__Mar_1__1939_(See a few more photos from Roosevelt’s visit in our Flickr set.)

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