Research Ready: April 2016

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

April’s finding aids
Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

April’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of 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!

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.


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. Accessed April 19, 2016.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Research Ready: March 2016

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

March’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

March’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of 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.