Part I: Why Do Baptists Care About Religious Liberty?

by Thomas DeShong, Project Archivist

This blog is the first of two that highlights a recently processed collection, the Baptist Joint Committee records, and its place in history.

Of all the rights and freedoms guaranteed to American citizens by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion has proven to be one of the mostly hotly contested.  Throughout the history of the United States, stretching back to the early years of British colonization in the seventeenth century, religious liberty has been at times both staunchly protected and unequivocally denied.  Baptists, due in part to the histories of their denominations, have often stood as key proponents of religious liberty for all.Continue Reading

Women’s Collections at Baylor University

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Assistant

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, Baylor University Libraries Special Collections and the Institute for Oral History launched a website for researching the various women’s collections and oral memoirs held across campus. The website includes materials from the Institute for Oral History; Armstrong Browning Library and Museum; Central Libraries Special Collections; Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society; The Texas Collection; and W. R. Poage Legislative Library.Continue Reading

Jules Bledsoe: Waco’s Famous Baritone

by Amanda Neel, Graduate Assistant

Jules leads the program at New York City’s Town Hall on 28 July 1940. You’ll find this item in the Jules Bledsoe Papers #2086, box 4, folder 2, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

The shelves here at the Texas Collection hold many collections about the lives and experiences of African American Texans. One of these collections, the Jules Bledsoe Papers, concerns the life and musical career of Jules Bledsoe. Julian (Jules) Lorenzo Cobb Bledsoe was born in Waco, Texas on December 18, 1898 and went on to travel the world for his career as a baritone singer. His papers include his library of sheet music, recordings of performances, personal correspondence, programs, and much more.

Jules served in the military during World War I and moved to New York City after the end of the war. While in New York, he received an Honorable Discharge. However, his stint in New York only lasted a short while. Jules signed a performance contract with the Young Men’s Christian Association, Colored Branch in Penniman, Virginia. While in Virginia, Jules sat for photographs in dress uniform for, in his own words, “40 years from now I might want to point back to when I was a soldier in the World War and you know nothing is better evidence than a picture.” Though he lived and performed in Virginia, he set his sights on returning to New York City.

Jules returned to New York by 1920 and saw his career take off by 1925. He performed in places like the Manhattan Opera House and critics hailed him as one of the greatest baritones of the day. His letters home mention his work with great New York composers. He even performed his own compositions during recitals, including his most well-known piece, “Old Man River.” Though based in New York City and traveling the world, Jules never forgot about home. He returned to Waco many times throughout his career and performed multiple times at the New Hope Baptist Church.Continue Reading

Research Ready: October 2017

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 Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

  • Mission San Antonio de Valero [The Alamo] by Donald Yena
    The materials at The Texas Collection include many images of historical Texas and Baylor people, places, and events. One of the finest paintings in the Fine Arts collection is this framed oil on canvas painting of the Alamo, one of a series of paintings of the San Antonio missions by Donald Yena. You’ll find these items in the Fine Arts collection (#3839) at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.
    • Sanger Family papers, 1874-1990 (#581): Photographs, memorials, family trees, and other biographical materials related to multiple generations of the Sanger family. The Sanger family immigrated from Bavaria to the United States in the mid 1800s. Several brothers worked together to establish the Sanger Brothers Department Store chain in Central Texas following the Civil War.
    • Rufus W. Weaver papers, 1906-1947, undated (#3178): Collection contains materials produced by Dr. Rufus W. Weaver, a noted Southern Baptist pastor, educator, and cultural commentator. Weaver was the president of Mercer University, and his later church-state work led directly to the founding of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs.

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

Armstrong, Yvonne M. Black Trailblazers of San Antonio, Texas: Their Businesses, Communities, Institutions and Organizations. San Antonio: Inkbiyvonne, [2006]. Print.
Armstrong, Yvonne M. Black Trailblazers of San Antonio, Texas: Their Businesses, Communities, Institutions and Organizations. San Antonio: Inkbiyvonne, [2006]. Print.

Highlighting the contributions of black San Antonians, this volume contains information on the people, businesses, organizations, and events that helped shaped the city. Segregation, education, and the arts are also examined. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

The Majestic Hotel and Bath House Co. [Marlin, Texas?]: [publisher not identified], [between 1908 and 1920?]. Print.The Majestic Hotel and Bath House Co. [Marlin, Texas?]: [publisher not identified], [between 1908 and 1920?]. Print.

Complete with a bath house, sanatorium, and hotel, Marlin, according to this brochure, is the perfect vacation spot to “regain your health and vim.” Also included is an analysis of the hot waters, which supposedly cure rheumatism, blood and skin diseases, and stomach trouble.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

Jordan, E. P. Souvenir of Austin, Texas. Brooklyn, N.Y. : Albertype Company, [1907]. Print.

Jordan, E. P. Souvenir of Austin, Texas. Brooklyn, N.Y. : Albertype Company, [1907]. Print. This photograph book features images of the Capitol, churches, residences, places of higher learning, etc. Especially interesting are photos of several University of Texas buildings, including a panorama of campus.  Click here to view in BearCat.

Portrayals of Texans in Western Films

by Ben Leavitt, Graduate Assistant

This call sheet for Three Young Texans indicates resources necessary for a day of filming at California’s famed Iverson Movie Ranch—including three wranglers, eight horses and eighty-five hot lunches.

The Texas Collection maintains more than a half dozen screenplays either written by Texans or set in Texas. Many of these screenplays were used in the production of Western films, and from them we can get a good idea of the archetypal Texan. Generations of Americans were fascinated by the “Wild West”—how did they perceive the inhabitants of the Lone Star State when watching Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s?

Written by Gerald Drayson Adams and set along the Rio Grande in the early 1870s, Three Young Texans (1954) features cowboys with names like Johnny Colt, Tony Ballew, and Jeff Blair. Johnny’s character is “ruggedly handsome” and “intensely devoted to his boyhood pals,” while Tony “goes in for bright colored shirts and neckerchiefs.” Jeff, for his part, is “a big man both physically and mentally,” and “is friendly, easy-going and always ready to help a neighbor.”

Opposite Johnny, Tony, and Jeff is only one major female character: Rusty Blair. Played by actress Mitzi Gaynor, Rusty is nearly as much a cowboy as her male counterparts. Her character description notes that, “On the ranch she rides and ropes and gets her face dirty with the rest of the cow hands,” but “when she goes to a dance she’s a knockout and undisputed belle of the Rio Grande Valley.”Continue Reading

Texas over Time: Camp MacArthur

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.

• Named after Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, the camp was opened July 18th, 1917, to train men demobilized from service on the Mexican border at the end of World War I. It was in service for less than three years when it was abandoned on May 15, 1919.
• As well as a demobilization facility, Camp MacArthur served as an officer’s training school and an infantry replacement training camp.
• Located in northwest Waco, local businessmen helped to create a 10,700-acre complex from cotton fields and blackland farms.
• The estimated cost was five million dollars and included a base hospital, administration offices, tent housing for troops, and other military personnel buildings.
• The first commander was Major General James Parker who formed the 32nd U.S. Infantry Division later known as “Les Terribles” for their “successful, tenacious attacks” on enemy troops in Langres, France.
• The camp’s capacity could occupy over 45,000 troops but never exceeded 28,000 troops at a time.
• After the establishment of Camp MacArthur, the large influx of soldiers helped stimulate Waco’s economy until the Great Depression. The military presence also heavily influenced Waco’s Cotton Palace Exposition with an exhibit of a “bullet-ridden German biplane.”

Works Cited
• Kelley, Dayton. “Camp MacArthur.” The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas. Waco, TX: Texian, 1972. 47. Print.
• Amanda Sawyer, “Camp MacArthur,” Waco History, accessed July 6, 2016, http://wacohistory.org/items/show/48.
• Stanton, John. “Camp MacArthur.” FortWiki. MediaWiki, 7 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 July 2016.
• Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “Camp MacArthur,” accessed July 07, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qcc27.

See the still images in our Flickr set.

Research Ready: May 2017

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!

May’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Ordination of Pastor Peter H.H. Lee, 1939
Annie Jenkins Sallee and her husband Dr. William Sallee were missionaries to the interior of China in the early 1900s. This photograph shows the Sallees as guests at an ordination service in Kaifeng, the capital city of the Henan province. You’ll find these items in the Annie Jenkins Sallee papers, 1897-1967, undated (#715), box 1, folder 13, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

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

Thomas, Henry J., Mrs. The Prairie Rifles, or, The Captives of New Mexico: a Romance of the Southwest. New York: Beadle and Adams, [1868]. Print.

Thomas, Henry J., Mrs. The Prairie Rifles, or, The Captives of New Mexico: a Romance of the Southwest. New York: Beadle and Adams, [1868]. Print. 

This dime novel, one of nearly 400 in The Texas Collection, contains the fictional tale of two women who are captured by Comanche Indians.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

Catalogue of the West Texas Military Academy: a Church School for Boys. San Antonio, TX: The Academy, 1904-. Print.

Catalogue of the West Texas Military Academy: a Church School for Boys. San Antonio, TX: The Academy, 1904-. Print. 

This catalog was produced just eleven years after the 1893 founding of the West Texas Military Academy in San Antonio. Two-thirds of the volume explains rules and regulations, administrative information, and academic standards. The remainder is devoted to athletics.  Click here to view in BearCat.

Some of the Things 1909 Farmers Buy. Volume 1. Texas. New York: Crowell Publishing Company, 1909. Print.

Some of the Things 1909 Farmers Buy. Volume 1. Texas. New York: Crowell Publishing Company, 1909. Print. 

Published as a special issue of the national publication Farm and Fireside, this volume highlights a group of Grayson County, Texas farmers randomly selected from the publication’s subscription list. Included in the volume are photographs of homes and descriptions of farms.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

Research Ready: February 2017

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!

February finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Loading tires at the General Tire Plant, Waco, Texas, 1983
For over forty years, General Tire and Rubber Company ran a plant in Waco, Texas, that produced tires and other rubber products for the U.S. Army and domestic consumers. The old tire plant building was renovated in 2010 for use as a research facility. Currently, the building hosts scientists from Baylor University, Texas State Technical College, and various businesses. Rosemyrtle McLaughlin General Tire and Rubber Company photographic collection, 1957-1986, undated, Accession #3968, box 1, folder 5, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.
Donald I. Moore directing Golden Wave Band practice
This undated photograph features Donald I. Moore, longtime director of Baylor University’s Golden Wave Band, directing band practice. BU records: Donald I. Moore, 1939-2003, Accession #BU/383, box 18, folder 12, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

February print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Neal, Dorothy Jensen. The Cloud-Climbing Railroad: A Story of Timber, Trestles, and Trains. Alamogordo, NM: Alamogordo Print. Co., 1966. Print.

 

Neal, Dorothy Jensen. The Cloud-Climbing Railroad: A Story of Timber, Trestles, and Trains. Alamogordo, NM: Alamogordo Print. Co., 1966. Print.

Dorothy Jensen Neal provides a close look at the construction history of the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway, which connects Alamogordo and Russia, New Mexico. Filled with photographs and maps, The Cloud-Climbing Railroad explores the challenges of building a railway that climbs nearly 5,000 feet in 32 miles.  Click here to view in BearCat.

Lomax, John A. Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads. New York: The Macmillan Company [1945]. Print.

 

Lomax, John A. Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads. New York: The Macmillan Company [1945]. Print. 

Noted folklorists and musicologists John A. Lomax and his son Alan compiled this expansive volume containing sheet music, lyrics, and annotations of cowboy and frontier songs. This volume is revised from the original 1910 edition, which can also be found in The Texas Collection.  Click here to view in BearCat.
Corpus Christi: The Ideal Summer and Winter Resort of Texas. Corpus Christi, TX: Noakes Brothers, [1920]. Print.

Corpus Christi: The Ideal Summer and Winter Resort of Texas. Corpus Christi, TX: Noakes Brothers, [1920]. Print. 

Like similar promotional books printed in the early 20th century, this volume is filled with beautiful full-color images that highlight the many resources found in Corpus Christi, including the abundance of game, fish, and fruit. Click here to view in BearCat.

Research Ready: December 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!

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

anderson
Nan Allene Anderson’s photo album depicts life as a Baylor student pre-1910, such as this image of students working in the chemistry lab. (Nan Allene Anderson papers, 1906-1923, undated, Accession #2267, The Texas Collection, Baylor University).
  • Nan Allene Anderson papers, 1906-1923, undated (#2267): This collection includes a photo album that documents the Baylor University campus pre-1910, including photographs of sports, Burleson Quadrangle, and other images of campus and student life. Also included are two commencement addresses.
  • Emmanuel Henderson Civil War diary, 1862 (#3964): This collections contains documentation of a Confederate soldier through a small leather bound journal. Henderson served as a private in the 14th Texas Calvary in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.
  • Helton family papers, 1866-1998 (#4004): The Helton family collection contains correspondence, items from World War I, and other materials about the family as they lived near Clifton, Texas and as various family members went off to war.
  • Thomas Mitchell Bartley Jr. photo album, circa 1920s (#3914): This photo album shows the voyage of Thomas Mitchell Bartley Jr., who sailed the western Pacific Ocean in 1929. He was a crew member on a cargo vessel and took pictures in the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal.
  • J.L. Walker papers, 1861-1949 (#4): The J.L. Walker papers provide a glimpse into the life of a Texas Baptist preacher, who was deeply interested in religious and secular history. Walker wrote extensively and the collection contains many of his writings on Texas history, Baptist history, and sermons. The collection is especially useful for researchers looking for background information on R.C. Buckner and the Waco Regional Baptist Association.
  • Emma Louise McDonald Harrison papers, 1947-1990 (#1607): Emma Louise McDonald Harrison was a local Waco woman and the first African American woman to serve on the Waco Independent School District. She was well-known in the community for her contributions to organizations concerned with civic improvement, education, health, medicine, and youth. Her collection includes photographs, clippings, correspondence, and other collected materials.
  • Lawrence Westbrook papers, 1933-1971 (#331): The Lawrence Westbrook papers provide a picture of life as a Works Progress and New Deal administrator during the 1930s and 1940s. His papers hold literary productions, most notably Westbrook’s The Boondogglers, which reflects on his work and the work of other members of the Works Progress Administration.

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

westAyer, I. Winslow. Life in the Wilds of America: and Wonders of the West in and beyond the Bounds of Civilization. Grand Rapids: The Central Publishing Company, 1880. Print.

In 1880, the American West was still a largely mysterious place. Ayer believed that Americans, many of whom travel abroad and have extensive knowledge of other countries, should have knowledge about the West. This volume, which also serves as a travel guide, describes many areas of the frontier. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

 

 

Jackson, foundationAndrew Webster. A Sure Foundation. Houston: [1940]. Print.

This expansive 644-page volume contains biographical sketches and photos of African-American Texans. The author’s intent was that the people highlighted would “serve as an inspiration” for readers because he believed that studying the successful lives of others could help build a solid foundation for one’s life. Click here to view in BearCat!

nativeDunn, James Erle. Indian Territory: a Pre Commonwealth. Commonwealth Publishing Company, 1904. Print.

Published three years before Oklahoma became a state, this volume provides a brief history of the Five Civilized Tribes and also provides information about the resources, government, schools, customs, etc. of the Indian Territory. Also included are a number of images of Native Americans, including Quanah Parker, as well as photos of buildings, homes, and farm lands. Click here to view in BearCat!