Tag Archive for Photos

(Digital Collections) “Modern, Functional and Beautiful” – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moody Memorial Library Groundbreaking

October 21, 1966 marked a major event in the history of Baylor University when students, trustees, faculty and supporters gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a “modern, functional and beautiful” new library. Named in honor of a generous gift from the Moody Foundation of Galveston, the Moody Memorial Library building was a much-needed expansion of Baylor’s physical plant and a crucial element in a long-range plan called Projection 68 that sought to grow the university’s physical footprint and enhance its reputation as an institution of higher education.

A Key Component of Projection 68

A new library facility was identified as one of three major components of Projection 68, an ambitious plan aimed at rejuvenating the aging infrastructure of Baylor’s campus. Parts of the campus built environment dated to the mid 1880s with buildings like Old Main and Burleson Hall, and the library facilities housed in the Carroll Library building were woefully inadequate for the swelling numbers of students enrolled in classes by the 1960s.

Tom Parrish, director of development and a participant in the Moody ceremony, called Projection 68 “a plan which when realized ‘will raise Baylor to a new plateau of service. We must think big and act big because the challenge is big at Baylor.'” In addition to the new library, Projection 68 called for construction of a new wing on Waco Hall for the School of Music; improvements to the auditorium at Waco Hall; and construction of a new science building.

Moody Memorial Library was slated for construction at the far end of what is known today as Fountain Mall, just across Third Street from the main campus. In 1966, the land across Third Street from campus was residential all the way to the Brazos River. This aerial photo by Windy Drum, from The Texas Collection Photographic Archive, shows the general area in the mid-1950s.

area_aerial_map

Click to enlarge. See the full photo in The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

As part of a major redevelopment project called Urban Renewal – which radically transformed the landscape of Waco during the 1960s – the area between Third Street and the Brazos River was acquired and ceded to the university by the Baylor-Waco Foundation, and plans to expand campus toward the river began immediately.

A call for proposals for the library’s new design went out and the winning bid went to the Dallas architecture firm of Jarvis Putty Jarvis. An early rendering of the library – proposed to be situated on Burleson Quadrangle, not the area across Third Street where it would eventually be built — looked like this:

Architects' renderings of proposed new library for Baylor University, 1964.

Architects’ renderings of proposed new library for Baylor University, 1964. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

Moving the library’s site to the new area across Third Street also allowed for changes to be made to the proposed elevation of the facility, and the more-or-less final design was available for presentation by Jarvis Putty Jarvis at a meeting on October 14, 1966.

Photo of Jarvis Putty Jarvis representatives with library building rendering from the October 14, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

Photo of Jarvis Putty Jarvis representatives with library building rendering from the October 14, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

 

The same rendering can be seen in this photo of Joe Allbritton and Abner V. McCall from around the same time.

Photo of Joe Allbritton and Abner V. McCall with library building rendering.

Photo of Joe Allbritton and Abner V. McCall with library building rendering. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

Images of the Ceremony

The day of the ceremony dawned clear but breezy. As Baylor Lariat reporter Mike McKinney noted in his front-page coverage of the event, “Speakers held down their notes, women covered their blowing hair and most everyone had on sunglasses” during the festivities.

 

Mike McKinney's article on the ceremony, from the October 22, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

Mike McKinney’s article on the ceremony, from the October 22, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

 

Dignitaries took their places on the viewing stand for a program that included speeches from Joe Allbritton (chair of the Board of Trustees’ Library Committee), Baylor University librarian James Rogers and Baylor president Abner V. McCall. A brass ensemble provided musical accompaniment to the festivities, and the event concluded with the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt being turned by Mrs. Mary Moody Northen of the Moody family. To make things easier for all involved, McKinney notes that a pile of sand was trucked in for the ceremony by maintenance crews so as to “make digging a little easier.”

We also know that no university has achieved true greatness without excellent library facilities.”

– Joe Allbritton, from groundbreaking ceremony address

Scenes from the ceremony were captured by commercial photography Lavern “Windy” Drum. The originals are available as part of the photographic holdings of The Texas Collection, with digital surrogates viewable in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections. Selections of those digital versions are presented here.

Ceremonial shovels await the beginning of festivities next to the speakers' platform.

Ceremonial shovels await the beginning of festivities next to the speakers’ platform. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

Mary Moody Northen turns the first shovel of dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

Mary Moody Northen turns the first shovel of dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

View from behind the speakers' platform at the groundbreaking ceremony. Note Pat Neff Hall in background and Marrs McLean Science building on right. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

View from behind the speakers’ platform at the groundbreaking ceremony. Note Pat Neff Hall in background and Marrs McLean Science building on right. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

Ceremony participants (from left) Joe Allbritton, Hilton Howell and Baylor University president Abner V. McCall with ceremonial shovel.

Ceremony participants (from left) Joe Allbritton, Hilton Howell and Baylor University president Abner V. McCall with ceremonial shovel. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

The speech delivered by committee chair Joe Allbritton was released as a press release after the ceremony, but it is reproduced here in non-ALL CAPS FORMAT for your review. Note that several sections of it are quoted directly in the coverage provided by the October 22 edition of the Baylor Lariat.


Text of Baylor trustees’ library committee chair Joe Allbritton’s speech at the Moody Memorial Library groundbreaking ceremony, Friday, October 21, 1966

There have been many momentous occasions in the 121-year history of Baylor University, but none excels the cause that brings us together this morning and none will mean more to the future greatness of our university.

I’m sure there are those who will disagree with that conclusion. Some may even contend that the winning of the Southwest Conference football championship in 1924 was a more auspicious achievement.

Suffice it to say we have somehow managed to survive on the gridiron for 42 years without another conference title and likewise we have progressed and grown into a respected and reputable institution of higher learning despite inadequate library facilities for at least that long a span of time.

I think it is reasonable, and certainly delectable, as we return to campus for homecoming, to speculate on the possibility of achieving both goals this year.

Of course, football fortunes come and go because they largely depend on the transitory nature of human elements — or translated into the Bridgers’ vernacular, manpower or personnel. School presidents, professors, even chairmen of library building committees are of but fleeting importance in the long-range scheme of building a great university.

But a library, and the wisdom and knowledge contained therein, is of a different nature.

Thomas Carlyle put it appropriately some 100 years ago when he said: “After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.” If true then, all the more is it true today. The explosion of knowledge since World War II, particularly in the physical sciences, makes it imperative that this relatively new knowledge be made readily accessible to the university student.

And certainly just as important as the new, mushrooming technology of the space age, are the truths, the opinions, and the philosophies of old — some of which, when brought into perspective can be of invaluable assistance in solving the social problems that still defy solution.

Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review, addressed himself to this phase of a library’s importance when he wrote: “… one of the unhappy characteristics of modern man is that he lives in a state of historical disconnection. He has not put his experience to work in coping with new dangers. He has tended to segregate himself from the wisdom so slowly and painfully built up over long centuries. He has made the mistake of thinking that because there is so much that is new in the nature of contemporary crisis the past has nothing of value to say to use …”

“it is in this sense,” Cousins continued, “that the library may be able to speak to the human condition in today’s world. For books serve as the natural bloodstream of human experience. They make it possible for the big thoughts of big minds to circulate in the body of history. They represent a point of contact between the past and future.”

As we break ground today for the magnificent Moody Memorial Library I feel that we are commencing a new era of academic achievement and excellence at Baylor University. Today marks the beginning of the end of Projection 68 which was designed in 1963 to provide the physical improvements so necessary to further the academic maturation of our University.

Already completed are the improvements to our School of Music and the Auditorium in Waco Hall, and the new science building is well under way.

We have known for years that the inadequacy of physical facilities stood as a barrier to our objectives and that the lack of a modern, efficient, and excellent library was the major obstacle in the path toward a truly great university.

Through the dedication and hard work of many — the administration, the trustees, the ex-students, and the many friends of Baylor — we have been successful in raising most of the funds necessary to bring Projection 68 into reality.

While we must continue our efforts to assure our fundraising goals, we can now at least begin to shift our major development emphasis from the physical to the academic. While our physical plan needs were critical, we all realize that architecture, brick, and stone merely provide the proper setting and environment for those who work in the academic community and allow them to perform their tasks and services at a higher level of inspiration and efficiency.

We also know that no university has achieved true greatness without excellent library facilities.

Paul Buck, the former director of libraries at Harvard University, has pointed out that the quality of a university’s library is “a major factor in determining the quality of the education that an institution can provide and the quality of the faculty it can recruit. Strong libraries are essential to the full exploitation of intellectual resources and to the maintenance of free access to ideas,” he concludes.

In the past few years Baylor has reached the crossroads of excellence in education. The university administrators and trustees could have taken the path of least resistance — we could have patched the roof and taken other temporary measures and in so doing still maintained and improved a good university.

Rather, we took the more difficult path toward excellence, because it is the most logical road for Baylor to travel toward maintaining and improving and excellence undergraduate program and expanding the graduate program to meet the increasing demands of our state and nation.

So today, Baylor University, the oldest university in continuous service in the State of Texas, looks to the future with confidence and great expectations.

Our goal is not bigness, for this is not the function of a private, religiously oriented university. Rather, our objective is quality.

We have made great strides toward this objective. But always, the lack of physical facilities — particularly inadequate library space — has caused concern and slowed the pace of progress.

The modern, functional and beautiful Moody Memorial Library will be the catalyst that will move the university toward realization of its true potential.

NOTE: The preceding text was edited slightly from the original to address typographical errors. Read the full address in its original typewritten form in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.


A Final Look at Early Moody

The 1967 Baylor Round Up, the campus yearbook, shows how much progress was made by the time the official story of 1966 had been documented and told by Baylor’s student journalists.

Image from construction site of Moody Memorial Library toward Fountain Mall from 1967 "Baylor Round Up."

Image from construction site of Moody Memorial Library toward Fountain Mall from 1967 “Baylor Round Up.”

 

Today, we mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the building in which so many Baylor library staff, faculty and students have spent time – including those of us in the Digital Projects Group, whose offices are located on Moody’s Garden Level. We will be providing periodic updates to the construction and grand opening of Moody in advance of the 50th anniversary of its debut in 1968, so stay tuned to this blog for much more to come!

 

(Digital Collections) All Hallows’ Eve in Poetry, Prose and Photos: Excerpts from the “Roundup” and the “Phoenix”

It’s the week of Halloween and there’s no better time to highlight some items from our University Archives collections, specifically the Baylor Roundup (our campus yearbook) and The Phoenix (a literary magazine sponsored by the English Department). First up, a poem called Halloween from the 1902 Roundup.

1902_RoundupFrom the 1950 Roundup

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 1.54.04 PMA short story from the 1981 Phoenix titled Autumn

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.26.27 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.26.44 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.27.04 AMIn the 1981 Roundup, there were basically a ton of Morks and Richard Nixon together in a crowd. Seems legit.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.05.59 PMIn 1993, kids got in on the act

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.08.12 PMTwo cats and a vampire (?), 1996

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.10.37 PMAnd lastly, if it’s 1998, it’s a guy in a “ghost face killer mask” from Scream

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.12.30 PMThere’s a lot more instances of the word “Halloween” in the University Archives (639 to be exact) to explore. Happy Halloween from all of us at the DPG!

 

(Digital Collections) Where The Bears Made Their Dens Back Then: A Multimedia Visualization of Baylor Student Housing From 1913-1914

Student housing, 1913 style. From “Baylor University Students of 1913-1914: A Multimedia Project,” via the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.

Welcome back to a new year and a new post here at the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections blog! We’re excited to be back on campus and look forward to another year of providing you with unique insights into our ever-growing array of digital collections.

This week, we’re taking a multimedia look at a pair of resources related to Baylor University and Waco history: the 1913-1914 Waco City Directories and Baylor Round Ups

Abel Maud Miss, student Baylor Univ, res 727 S 17th

This entry for Maud Abel, a student at Baylor in 1913, is the first student-related entry in the 1913 Waco City Directory. The directory – which contains the names, addresses, ethnicities and occupations of Waco’s citizenry – is a rich resource for students of Waco history. While updating the navigation for a number of volumes this collection, I noticed a large number of entries for Baylor students and had an idea: what if we used Google Maps to plot the known addresses of those students on a current map of the city of Waco? And what if we added select photos of those students to the map, so modern researchers could get a sense of where Baylor students in the early 1910s lived during their tenure as Baylor Bears?

And so the Homes of Baylor University Students of 1913-1914 project was born. Using the names listed in the 1913-1914 directories and the 1913-1914 Round Ups, I plotted the hundreds of names in a custom Google Map, along with a sampling of photos of students, some single headshots and others group photos taken on the front steps of their boarding houses.

Exploring the Project

The Google Map plotting the student housing locations of 1913-1914. Click the image to access this resource.

The housing map is simple to navigate, but here are a few helpful tips to make your browsing more enjoyable.

–       You can navigate directly to an address by clicking on it in the list at the upper left of the screen. An entry marked with a blue star indicates a location marker that also includes a photo of the student(s) who lived there. Green markers indicate female students, yellow markers indicate male students, and brown markers indicate either mixed gender residences or students whose gender is unknown.

Navigation panel for the Google Map.

–       As you zoom closer to campus, you’ll see a green rectangle. This roughly represents the boundaries of campus as they stood in 1913-1914.

–       Clicking on a marker will pull up a list of the students who lived at that address. For large dormitories – like Burleson Hall – there are multiple markers with long lists of names.

Location marker for Maud Abel’s home address, 727 S. 17th St.

The photos for the project are housed as a set in our Baylor University Libraries Digital Collection’s Flickr photostream. In the descriptions of each photo, you’ll find a link to the corresponding page in the Round Up from which it was taken so you can explore each photo in its original context.

The Flickr set of images for the project. Click the image for access.

***

We hope you’ll enjoy exploring the topography of Baylor’s student housing in the earlier 1910s through this multifaceted project. Leave us your comments on what you found enlightening, interesting or confusing – we’d love to hear from you!

Images from the 1913-1914 Baylor Round Ups via the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections, digitized from originals held by The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX. To see the digital copies of the Waco City Directories or the Round Ups, visit our Digital Collections homepage. To arrange access to physical copies, or to see more resources related to Baylor and Waco history, contact The Texas Collection.

(Digital Collections) Collection Spotlight: The Keston Digital Archive

Baylor University is a long way from Kirov, Russia and the halls of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, but one digital archive unites these seemingly disparate places through the common bond of The Keston Collection.

The Keston Digital Archive currently houses more than 1,800 items related to the subject of religious persecution carried out under Communist regimes. It includes photographs, books, correspondence, petitions and more, with a majority of the items presented untranslated from their original Russian language. These items are drawn from the larger collection housed at the Keston Center for Religion, Politics & Society, a division of the Baylor University Libraries. Currently, all users can access the metadata for all records, with image access available only on-campus or via a virtual scholar request. (Read through to the end of this post to find out how to make a virtual scholar request.)

The Collection’s Early Years

According to its website, the Keston Institute was “founded in 1969 under the title of Centre for the Study of Religion and Communism, [and ]has specialised in the study of all religions and all forms of religious expression in Communist and formerly Communist countries.” The institute’s archive was housed at Oxford until 2007, when it was donated to Baylor and became the centerpiece of the Keston Center.

The Keston Institute bills itself as the “voice of the voiceless,” and focuses its efforts on educating and advocating on behalf of those whose religions are controlled, outlawed or otherwise restricted under Communist regimes. Over the past four decades, the Institute collected thousands of documents and photographs which were included in the donation to Baylor.

Baylor’s Involvement

Since 2007, Baylor has been home to the Keston Center for Religion, Politics & Society, the official archival repository of the Keston archives. The center’s mission is “To promote research and encourage the study of religion in communist, post-communist, and other totalitarian societies and the relationship between religion and Marxism.” Toward that goal, archivist Larisa Seago and director Kathy Hillman are working to digitize, via the Digital Projects Group, materials that can be of use to scholars around the world.

Using a graduate student to scan materials in the Riley Digitization Center and the expertise of Seago (a native Russian speaker) to add metadata and context, the digital archive has grown to include materials of great interest to researchers investigating the impact of state intervention in the private religious lives of its citizens.

Connect with the Collection

To view the metadata for materials available, visit the Keston Digital Archive. Once there, you’ll see examples of materials from categories such as:

Posters

Poster celebrating Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space; he announces he didn’t see God during his time in “Heaven”

Photographs

Kiev Museum of Scientific Atheism

Prints

Anti-religious brochure, 1938

You can also access a selection of Soviet posters found in this collection via our Flickr collection.

For access to materials from locations other than the Baylor University campus, or to make a virtual scholar request, please contact Larisa Seago at Larisa_Seago@baylor.edu.

If you are interested in more information on the Keston Digital Archive, please contact us at digitalcollectionsinfo@baylor.edu. And if you are utilizing its unique resources in your research, we’d love to hear from you. Your work could even be featured in a future blog post!

(Digital Collections) If You Scan Something, Set It Free: The Surprising Places We Find Our Digital Objects Online

An image from the Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music makes an appearance on “Gregg’s Blogg” at http://www.harpguitars.net.

For the parents among our readership, you well know that stepping back and letting your child experience life on their own – from their first unaided steps to the day they walk the stage at graduation – is one of the toughest things you have to master. And even though you know it’s part of their healthy development, you can’t help but feel a mix of bittersweet emotions when you see them take that next step on their own.

We experience something akin to this when we take a look around the Web to see where our digital collections objects are showing up online. The usual suspects turn up pretty frequently – Flickr, Pinterest and the like – but every now and then we see references to our materials in some pretty interesting places. So we thought we’d present a few examples to you here, in no particular order, of places you can see the results of our hard work presented by people all across the Internet’s spectrum of sites.

War of the Rebellion Atlas plate on a French language site registered in Djibouti

War of the Rebellion Atlas plate on a curated set of American Civil War images amalgamated by Photoree

Article on the Browning Letters Project from PublicLibraries.com

Wikipedia entry for Pat Neff featuring image from 1933 “Roundup”

An image from the Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music on a blog dedicated to “the harp guitar”

And these examples are just a smattering. Many of the images and references back to our collections stem from the major publicity we received from two viral stories related to our work that came out last year. One was the major media coverage related to the Valentine’s Day unveiling of the Browning Letters Project, and the other was our blog post from August, “So We Can Throw These Out Now, Right?” What We Learned from Microfilming Newspapers and How It Shapes Our Digitization Strategy.

One issue with the widespread proliferation of our materials does arise, however. Many of the references to our Digital Collections homepage link back to an old URL. We used contentdm.baylor.edu prior to an update to our content management system, CONTENTdm, which we implemented a couple of years ago. That means anything that was blogged about, posted to Flickr or referenced in some other way using a link from the old contentdm.baylor.edu address won’t work correctly today. Instead, it will redirect users to our homepage, where they’ll have to carry out their search again. We’ve added information about this issue to our Digital Collections homepage, and so far we’ve not received any negative feedback regarding these now-unavailable links.

So if you’re out scouring the fringes of the Internet one day and happen to come across a reference to our digital collections in a fun or unexpected place, drop us an email and tell us about it. Because if there’s one thing parents everywhere enjoy without question, it’s seeing their babies making a difference in the world.

(Digital Collections) Bonnie and Clyde (and Pat) and The Texas Collection Artifact That Ties Them Together

A page from the “Calaboose Register” of McLennan County, ca. 1930.
From the Pat Neff Collection, The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. (Click to enlarge)

Frank Jasek, the library’s resident bookbinder and preservationist extraordinaire, wheeled the book truck into my office, his face aglow with mischief.

“Have you ever seen one of these before?” he asked, gesturing to a large bound volume measuring about a foot tall by two feet wide. The words “CALABOOSE REGISTER” were stamped on its cover. “No,” I answered Frank. “I can honestly say I have not.”

With a knowing smile, he opened the register’s cover and began turning its lined pages, each covered with orderly columns of pencil-written text. “’Calaboose’ is an old slang term for ‘jail,’” Frank said. “This particular register lists all the people booked into the McLennan County jail between the late 1920s and the mid-1930s.”

He finished turning pages and pointed his finger at an entry on line number nine, page 148, dated March 1930. “Do you recognize that name?” The information, written by a nameless clerk almost a century ago, was easily legible. It read, in part:

Clyde Barrow. Denton. 12.40 AM. Suspect burglary theft of car.

The McLennan County Jail booking information for Clyde Barrow, March 3, 1930.
From the Pat Neff Collection, The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. (Click to enlarge)

And that’s when I realized that sitting in my office was an artifact from Waco’s direct connection to one of crime’s most infamous duos: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, known to the world as Bonnie and Clyde.

The First Temptation of Bonnie Parker
When nineteen-year-old Bonnie Parker of Cement City, Texas (a Dallas suburb) met Clyde Barrow in January of 1930, she was a married woman. However, her husband had been in jail since January 1929, so Bonnie was free to fall head-over-heels for the brazen young man with the criminal past. According to most reports, Bonnie and Clyde became inseparable almost from the start. But it wasn’t until March of 1930 that Bonnie’s adoration for Clyde would push her across the line separating infatuation from criminality.

Clyde Barrow’s mug shot from the McLennan County jail, March 1930.
(Image courtesy the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco, Texas)

Clyde Barrow was wanted on criminal counts out of Waco, and he was arrested in Denton County on March 2, 1930. He was transferred to Waco by officers Holt and Hatt on March 3 and on March 5, Clyde pleaded guilty to a total of seven criminal charges filed in McLennan County, including a charge of stealing W.W. Cameron’s automobile. (Cameron’s name is synonymous with Waco history due to his decision to donate hundreds of acres of land to the city of Waco in memory of his father, William Cameron; the land was named Cameron Park in his honor.) Clyde was sentenced to serve two years in the state jail at Huntsville. While awaiting transfer, he shared a cell with two petty criminals named Willie Turner and Emery Abernathy. Together, they hatched a plan for a daring escape, but for it to succeed they would need someone on the outside. Bonnie fit the bill perfectly.

Turner had hidden a gun in a home located at 625 Turner in East Waco. (Sadly, this building has long since been demolished.) If someone could retrieve it and smuggle it into the jail, they could steal the keys from a jailer and make their escape. Bonnie, who had been visiting Clyde repeatedly during his incarceration, agreed to help. On the afternoon of March 11, she retrieved the gun and secured it under her dress using a belt worn around her chest. A 1956 Argosy magazine article picks up the story from there:

“The night before moving Clyde to Huntsville from the Waco Jail, Bonnie brooded for several hours and then made preparations to go see Clyde in jail. Bonnie got a few minutes to tell Clyde good-bye and that was just enough time. From outside the cell, the jailer saw only the lover’s [sic] farewell embrace, but Bonnie whispered in Clyde’s ear, ‘Put your hand inside my blouse, honey.’ Clyde got a surprise; in between her breasts Bonnie had hidden a snub nose revolver. Bonnie shielded Clyde from the jailer’s eyes and Clyde shifted the gun to his pocket. Bonnie said, ‘Be careful, sugar,’ kissed him and left the jail.” (Argosy magazine, March 1956)

Although Clyde claimed he threw the gun used in his jailbreak into an Ohio river while on the lam from Waco, some scholars believe it was a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver similar to this one, currently on display at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.
(Photo courtesy the TRHFM)

Later that night, the Waco Times Herald reports:

“About 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night Jailer I.P. Stanford, unarmed, went to the second floor of the jail where the three were confined, to carry Turner a bottle of milk. When he opened the door of the cage he was stopped by Turner, then Abernathy poked a gun in to his ribs and ordered Stanford to ‘stick ’em up.’ Stanford was locked in a cell after he was robbed of his keys. Huse Jones, on duty at the turnkey’s desk downstairs, was then held up, and keys to the final jail door taken from him.” (Waco Times Herald, March 12, 1930)

The men fled into the night, dodging bullets fired by jail staff. They stole a series of cars on their way out of Waco, ultimately evading arrest for a week before being rearrested in Ohio. At the time, no one suspected Bonnie’s part in the jailbreak; the Times Herald’s coverage did not note anything “that even remotely linked Clyde’s female visitor” to the act (Guinn, 2009). Bonnie had committed her first criminal act and no one was the wiser.

The story of Bonnie and Clyde’s reunion and subsequent crime spree – and its bloody end in a shoot-out in rural Louisiana – became the stuff of legend. To this day, there are discrepancies and points of dissent woven throughout their brief, violent time together. In some cases, it can be hard to know exactly what is fact and what is fiction.

Which makes the rest of our story today even more fitting.

Governor Neff’s Collection
In our own way, the subject of this post – the calaboose register – is another part of the Bonnie and Clyde mystery. That’s because its provenance is only partially established, and as with any great mystery, it may never be fully solved.

We know for a fact that the register came to Baylor as part of the Pat Neff Collection. Neff, who served as governor of Texas from 1921 to 1925 and president of Baylor University from 1932-1947, left a huge collection of materials behind as part of The Texas Collection’s holdings. The materials cover such a large swath of Texas and Baylor history that it crosses over lines demarcating the University Archives and the Special Collections. It contains materials created by Neff during his time at Baylor and his time in Austin, as well as artifacts and documents he collected during his lifetime.

Which is why it is difficult to establish with certainty when the calaboose register became a part of Neff’s collection. Was it given to him by someone from McLennan County? Did he acquire it at an estate sale? Was it part of his law library or a curiosity he rescued from the scrapheap on a whim? To date, the exact path the register took from the desk of a McLennan County clerk to the collection of a former Texas governor is open for further research.

Just Another Day in the DPG
One question we can answer is how it came to the Digitization Projects Group. When Frank walked through our door with the register on a book truck, he had just finished restoring its cover. Benna Vaughn, the Special Collections and Manuscripts Archivist at The Texas Collection, had sent the register to Frank for repair after she spotted some mold damage on the binding. Frank expertly replaced the damaged section of the binding and even managed to preserve the original cover. Over the course of many hours spent poring over the volume in the course of his work, Frank noticed the dates covered by the volume and used his memory of the Clyde Barrow jailbreak to locate the entry seen above.

We routinely see these kinds of materials moving through the Riley Digitization Center. They are not scheduled as part of a larger collection but our expertise in scanning makes us a prime spot for people to bring materials like this. In some cases it’s because one of our colleagues knows someone in the DPG has an interest in the subject. In others, it’s a matter of sharing something too exciting to keep under wraps. For the most part, these one-offs will not make it online – although the register may one may day as part of the Pat Neff papers – but they do provide an opportunity for us to keep our scanning skills sharp, and sometimes they lead to a fun opportunity to share a story with a wider audience, as we’ve undertaken to do here.

If you’d like to see the Clyde Barrow calaboose register for yourself, call the fine people at The Texas Collection and ask to see the item from the Pat Neff Collection with ties to a high-stakes jailbreak involving two of America’s most notorious folk criminals. They’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.

For more great information on Bonnie and Clyde, including a display of weapons associated with their notorious partnership, visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco. Special thanks to Mary “Kate” McCarthy (Collections Assistant) and Shelly Crittendon (Collections Manager) for their most excellent help with this article.

Sources Consulted

Guinn, Jeff. Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Ramsey, Winston (ed.). On the Trail of Bonnie and Clyde: Then and Now. Battle of Britain Prints, 2003.

Veit, Richard. “The Waco Jailbreak of Bonnie and Clyde.” Waco Heritage and History magazine. December 1990.

“Killer in skirts.” Argosy magazine. March 1956. From the vertical files of The Texas Collection.

“Jail Break in Waco Was Early Episode in Clyde Barrow Career.” Waco Tribune Herald. October 26, 1975. From the vertical files of The Texas Collection.

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker entries from the Texas Sate Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online” (www.tshaonline.org)

(Digital Collections) Join the Crowd(sourcing): Turning to Our Readers for Metadata Help

We’re searching for the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

One of the most exciting trends in digital collections of late has been the emergence of “crowdsourcing.” The idea is simple: post some images about which you know nothing (or very little) and turn to the collective knowledge of a user group – say, a Facebook page or Twitter followers – for help. Using the power of the crowd, we can fill gaps in metadata content or other information that would take a single researcher or cataloger far longer to track down on their own.

We’re taking an excursion into the world of crowdsourcing with a small pilot project presented via our Flickr collection (www.flickr.com/baylordigitalcollections). Just follow the link at the end of this post to see a set of 6 images where we need a little help filling out our cataloging information. Some feature groups of people about which we know little; others take place in front of buildings we can’t identify; and still others are lacking a specific date, including a particular year.

If you’d like to try your hand at some metadata sleuthing, just click below and break out your magnifying glasses. If you spot something you’d like to tell us about, send us an email at digitalcollectionsinfo@baylor.edu and we’ll investigate your tips; if they’re accurate, we’ll add them to our digital collections – and give you the credit!

Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections Crowdsourcing Pilot Project

Special thanks to The Texas Collection and the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive for providing images for this project.

(Digital Collections) Hidden in Plain Sight: A Springtime Brazos Flood, 1908

The Brazos River at flood stage, 1908
(Click to enlarge)

For residents of early twentieth-century Waco, the Brazos River was a study in contrasts. It provided a reliable source of potable water for myriad daily uses, but its temperamental nature made it prone to violent floods that damaged property and took lives. The Brazos could be both savior and destroyer, a source of community pride – embodied in the suspension bridge built across it in the 1870s that still stands today – and of widespread destruction.

This panoramic view of the Brazos in flood stage was captured on May 24th, 1908. It is actually a series of five individual photos that were printed and pasted together onto a cardboard backing to create the appearance of a single, panoramic photograph. That approach accounts for the somewhat distorted and disjointed nature of the image when viewed as a whole. But owing to the technology available at the time, it is an effective way to capture a stunning view: the Brazos River at a flood stage level of 36 ft. 8 in. – the “highest ever recorded” according to a note written on the print.

Notes on the print also reveal the image was captured by a photographer from The Kodak Place who mounted the steps to the top of the Crow Brothers Tower to capture the scene. The Crow Brothers were long-time Waco launderers who had taken up residence in the former courthouse at 2nd and Franklin Avenue.

The scene captured by our anonymous photographer on May 24th is one of great devastation. The focal point of the photo is the river itself: a shining path stretching the entire length of the scene, it is easy to note how the Brazos has surmounted its banks and intruded into the city itself, especially east Waco along Elm Street. This low-lying region of the city contained a mix of industrial and residential buildings in 1908, much as it does today. Wacoans unlucky enough to find their dwellings on this side of the river repeatedly bore the brunt of the destruction left behind after one of the Brazos’ many floods.

A closer look at the various bridges across the river give some context for just how high the river had risen on this particular date. First up (from left to right in the photo) is the “iron” bridge (today’s Washington Street bridge), built less than a decade prior to the date of this photograph.

Washington street / “iron” bridge

Next is the suspension bridge, a sight familiar to residents of Waco since the 1870s. Although its facade was covered with stucco and “updated” in the 1970s as part of the American bicentennial celebration, its iconic towers and unsupported span are instantly recognizable. Also visible in this photo are ads on the bridge’s downtown side for the Miller-Cross Company and the Sanger Bros. dry goods and clothing store.

The suspension bridge

Finally, this view of two railroad trestles a bit further down the river shows two important links in the city’s commercial viability being seriously threatened by critically high water levels.

Railroad trestles

The photo below – of another Brazos River flood, this one in December 1913 – gives us a closer look at flood waters lapping the bottom of a railroad trestle as dozens of spectators risk being swept away for a chance at a first-hand perspective. Water levels for this flood were nearly identical to those from the 1908 flood pictured in the panorama above.

Spectators line a railroad trestle to view the flooded Brazos River, 1913

While nature’s destructive power is the central player in this panorama, it also bristles with small details about a prosperous Texas town at the dawn of the twentieth century. Scanning the image, we see the names of local businesses on buildings, signs and fences, including:

  • The Morning Star Lunch Room
  • Pippin & Fuston, Horses and Mules
  • T.J. Cunningham
  • Louis Lipshitz (A family name associated with a present-day business located on Elm Avenue)
  • Riverside Livery Stable
  • D. June Machinery Co.
  • Industrial Cotton Oil Co.

Advertisements for Miller High Life beer, Lawrence Barrett and Mild Havana Cigars and the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco) can also be spotted in the image.

Lastly, in the center foreground of the image is a single railcar sitting on a siding. It bears the name “Missouri Kansas and Texas,” the well-known “Katy” railroad with a major presence in Waco for decades.

An M-K-T boxcar on siding

While the obvious occasion of this series of photos was the record-breaking flood, the wealth of detail available to modern viewers helps us construct a better mental image of what Waco looked like on a late spring day during one of its most productive decades. And though the Brazos would continue to flood until engineers built a series of dams decades later, the people of Waco continued to rebuild after each one, proving their tenacity in the face of great difficulty.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this closer look at another of the panoramic treasures from the holdings of The Texas Collection. There are dozens of large format photos in the collection, with more being digitized and added online regularly, so be sure and check out http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu for more great photos.

Images enhanced for online presentation. Digitized from original prints housed in the photographic holdings of The Texas Collection. Visit The Texas Collection online at http://www.baylor.edu/lib/texas for more priceless Texana.

(Digital Collections) Hidden in Plain Sight: A Springtime Brazos Flood, 1908

The Brazos River at flood stage, 1908
(Click to enlarge)

For residents of early twentieth-century Waco, the Brazos River was a study in contrasts. It provided a reliable source of potable water for myriad daily uses, but its temperamental nature made it prone to violent floods that damaged property and took lives. The Brazos could be both savior and destroyer, a source of community pride – embodied in the suspension bridge built across it in the 1870s that still stands today – and of widespread destruction.

This panoramic view of the Brazos in flood stage was captured on May 24th, 1908. It is actually a series of five individual photos that were printed and pasted together onto a cardboard backing to create the appearance of a single, panoramic photograph. That approach accounts for the somewhat distorted and disjointed nature of the image when viewed as a whole. But owing to the technology available at the time, it is an effective way to capture a stunning view: the Brazos River at a flood stage level of 36 ft. 8 in. – the “highest ever recorded” according to a note written on the print.

Notes on the print also reveal the image was captured by a photographer from The Kodak Place who mounted the steps to the top of the Crow Brothers Tower to capture the scene. The Crow Brothers were long-time Waco launderers who had taken up residence in the former courthouse at 2nd and Franklin Avenue.

The scene captured by our anonymous photographer on May 24th is one of great devastation. The focal point of the photo is the river itself: a shining path stretching the entire length of the scene, it is easy to note how the Brazos has surmounted its banks and intruded into the city itself, especially east Waco along Elm Street. This low-lying region of the city contained a mix of industrial and residential buildings in 1908, much as it does today. Wacoans unlucky enough to find their dwellings on this side of the river repeatedly bore the brunt of the destruction left behind after one of the Brazos’ many floods.

A closer look at the various bridges across the river give some context for just how high the river had risen on this particular date. First up (from left to right in the photo) is the “iron” bridge (today’s Washington Street bridge), built less than a decade prior to the date of this photograph.

Washington street / “iron” bridge

Next is the suspension bridge, a sight familiar to residents of Waco since the 1870s. Although its facade was covered with stucco and “updated” in the 1970s as part of the American bicentennial celebration, its iconic towers and unsupported span are instantly recognizable. Also visible in this photo are ads on the bridge’s downtown side for the Miller-Cross Company and the Sanger Bros. dry goods and clothing store.

The suspension bridge

Finally, this view of two railroad trestles a bit further down the river shows two important links in the city’s commercial viability being seriously threatened by critically high water levels.

Railroad trestles

The photo below – of another Brazos River flood, this one in December 1913 – gives us a closer look at flood waters lapping the bottom of a railroad trestle as dozens of spectators risk being swept away for a chance at a first-hand perspective. Water levels for this flood were nearly identical to those from the 1908 flood pictured in the panorama above.

Spectators line a railroad trestle to view the flooded Brazos River, 1913

While nature’s destructive power is the central player in this panorama, it also bristles with small details about a prosperous Texas town at the dawn of the twentieth century. Scanning the image, we see the names of local businesses on buildings, signs and fences, including:

  • The Morning Star Lunch Room
  • Pippin & Fuston, Horses and Mules
  • T.J. Cunningham
  • Louis Lipshitz (A family name associated with a present-day business located on Elm Avenue)
  • Riverside Livery Stable
  • D. June Machinery Co.
  • Industrial Cotton Oil Co.

Advertisements for Miller High Life beer, Lawrence Barrett and Mild Havana Cigars and the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco) can also be spotted in the image.

Lastly, in the center foreground of the image is a single railcar sitting on a siding. It bears the name “Missouri Kansas and Texas,” the well-known “Katy” railroad with a major presence in Waco for decades.

An M-K-T boxcar on siding

While the obvious occasion of this series of photos was the record-breaking flood, the wealth of detail available to modern viewers helps us construct a better mental image of what Waco looked like on a late spring day during one of its most productive decades. And though the Brazos would continue to flood until engineers built a series of dams decades later, the people of Waco continued to rebuild after each one, proving their tenacity in the face of great difficulty.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this closer look at another of the panoramic treasures from the holdings of The Texas Collection. There are dozens of large format photos in the collection, with more being digitized and added online regularly, so be sure and check out http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu for more great photos.

Images enhanced for online presentation. Digitized from original prints housed in the photographic holdings of The Texas Collection. Visit The Texas Collection online at http://www.baylor.edu/lib/texas for more priceless Texana.

(Digital Collections) Hidden in Plain Sight: The Students of Baylor University, 1920

Photo of Baylor University students taken on Burleson Quadrangle, February 26, 1920
(Click photo to enlarge)

This installment of “Hidden in Plain Sight” features a group photo of Baylor students posed on risers on the Carroll Science Building side of the Burleson Quadrangle. The photographer – P.N. Fry of Kansas City, Missouri – would have been positioned near the Quadrangle side entrance of Carroll Science; this vantage puts portions of Old Main, Georgia Burleson Hall and Carroll Library in the background of this photo.

The students are segregated by gender, with female students and faculty members on the left of the photo and male students and faculty members on the right. One of the first things that jumps out at the viewer is a young man on the front row in the lower right of the frame.

Of the hundreds of students in the photo, he is one of two who managed to sneak in a copy of the day’s Lariat, which he made a specific point of positioning so it would be visible in the finished photo. Enhancing the scan reveals the headline for the issue: “Annual freshman reception will be brilliant affair.” This headline, coupled with the fish in the masthead of the issue led me to the February 26, 1920 issue. This just happened to be a special edition of the Lariat dedicated to the freshmen (alluded to in the masthead fish, as freshmen were called “fish” by upper classmen).

Above-the-fold portion of Lariat issue of February 26, 1920 (visible in panoramic photo)

Seated front and center in the photo is the president of Baylor, Samuel Palmer Brooks.


Brooks served as president from 1902 to 1931 (the year of his death) and is the namesake of Brooks Residential College at Baylor. Among his many notable achievements at the helm were allowing students to vote for the university’s first mascot (won by a bear, of course) and instituting Baylor’s first homecoming celebration.

Another notable Baylor luminary seen in the photo is Frank Allen.

Allen served as registrar for decades and was well-respected by students and faculty alike. In fact, the senior class of 1911 dedicated that year’s issue of the Round-up to Allen as a mark of their esteem for his service to Baylor and her student body.

A note written on the original of this photo indicates it was either owned by or autographed by O.B. Darby. A search of the 1920 Round-up uncovered this page:

Darby is shown in the first position at the top left of the page. A search of the panoramic reveals a student thought to be Darby, shown below first in a larger setting and then under magnification.

If this is indeed Darby, it is interesting to see where he was positioned in the photograph and to know that it was his decision to keep a copy that ultimately led to its digitization and presentation as part of his alma mater’s digital collections.

One last image of note concerns the architecture of Old Main, seen in the background at right.

The windows in this photo are the original configuration of windows found in Old Main. They are four-over-four sash windows, where the lower four panes slide up into the frame to allow air to circulate. A later renovation to the building installed single pane, energy efficient windows visible in current photos like this portion of a desktop wallpaper available from Baylor’s website.

Although the newer windows make good sense from an energy efficiency and modern craftsmanship point of view, some have lamented the change to one of Baylor’s oldest buildings, with one professor likening it to having the same effect as painting modern sunglasses onto the subject of a Renaissance painting.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this closer look at another of the panoramic treasures from the holdings of the Texas Collection. There are dozens of large format photos in the collection, with more being digitized and added online regularly, so be sure and check out http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu for more great photos.

Images enhanced for online presentation. Digitized from the original print housed in the photographic holdings of the Texas Collection. Visit the Texas Collection online at http://www.baylor.edu/lib/texas for more priceless Texana.