Research Ready: September 2018

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!Continue Reading

Research Ready: July 2018

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!Continue Reading

Looking Back at Baylor: ‘Hurrah! It’s a BEAR!’

Bob Nelson carries Baylor's mascot on his back, 1940.
Bob Nelson carries Baylor’s mascot on his back, 1940.

This piece by former Texas Collection director Kent Keeth originally was published in The Baylor Line in June 1980, then was reprinted in Looking Back at Baylor (1985), a collection of Keeth and Harry Marsh’s historical columns for the Line. Blogging about Texas periodically features selections from Looking Back at Baylor, with hopes of sharing Keeth’s work with a new audience.

Students and alumni proudly say, “I’m a bear!” when speaking of their time at Baylor. But, had history played out differently, they could have been saying, “I’m a buffalo!” or even “I’m a bookworm!” Neither has the same charm. Today, in honor of National “Hug A Bear Day,” learn more about how the Baylor Bear came to be (Note: we do not recommend trying to hug Joy or Lady!). 

During the first seventy years of Baylor’s existence, the university chose no mascot with which to identify itself. Even when The University of Texas had become known as the “Longhorns,” Rice Institute had adopted the “Owls,” and Texas A&M employed the alternate designations of “Aggies and “Farmers,” Baylor’s intramural teams were known simply by the university’s name. After the selection of the school’s official colors in 1897, the athletes sometimes referred to themselves as the “Green-and-Golders.”Continue Reading

Looking Back at Baylor: The First Homecoming

This piece by former Texas Collection director Kent Keeth originally was published in The Baylor Line in September 1979, then was reprinted in Looking Back at Baylor (1985), a collection of Keeth and Harry Marsh’s historical columns for the Line. Blogging about Texas periodically features selections from Looking Back at Baylor, with hopes of sharing Keeth’s work with a new audience.

With Homecoming in full swing this weekend, it is the perfect time to take a moment and look back at how it all started. Baylor was one of the first schools to organize a Homecoming event for alumni over a century ago, and today it is one of the most widely celebrated Baylor traditions. 

Invitation to the first Homecoming in 1909

In 1909, when Baylor held its first Homecoming, a pattern was set which holds remarkably true even today. Though seven decades have passed, and generations of alumni have come and gone, the traditional highlights and festivities of Baylor’s annual “family reunion” have retained a remarkable likeness to those of their distant prototype.

The purpose of the original Homecoming in 1909 was “to give an opportunity for the joyful meeting of former student friends, an occasion when old classmates could again feel the warm hand-clasp of their fellows, recall old memories and associations, and catch the Baylor spirit again.” To this end members of student organizations, local alumni and representatives of each graduation class launched a campaign of correspondence and advertisements in major state newspapers, inviting all former Baylor students to spend Thanksgiving at the Homecoming celebration.

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From Page to Air: Sharing Baylor Football since 1951

by Sylvia Hernandez, BULAA Project Archivist

Cover of the 1951 Baylor Football Data guide.
Cover of the 1951 Baylor Football Data guide.

As football season gets underway, we find ourselves in the stands of our favorite stadium watching the game, hoping the best for our team. But what about the times you can’t make it? Have you ever listened on the radio or watched the television broadcast? Where do they get those stories? How do they know those stats? How do you say that name?

Media guides have all the answers. Most of them.

While processing a large collection of Baylor Athletics materials, a “Baylor University Football Data” guide from 1951 was found, one of the earliest in the collection. It features several players on the cover, season schedule, coach and player bio’s, school record holders, and yes, even a key for “those hard-to-say names.” These guides were, and still are, made available by the Athletic Department to sports editors, radio/television announcers, and several others who may be covering the game in some capacity.

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Research Ready: December 2014

Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here are December’s finding aids:

Letter from Onnie Clem Jr. to "Julie" Cecile L. Julian Clem
Letter from Onnie Clem Jr. to “Julie” Cecile L. Julian Clem during Onnie’s 1945 public relations tour in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. They would marry seven months later. Onnie Clem Jr. papers #3939, box 1, folder 3.
  • Grant and Donell Teaff Baylor Football collection, 1948-2006, undated (#3835): Contains correspondence, football programs, newspaper clippings, and audiovisual materials relating to Teaff’s career as head football coach at Baylor University. As usual, the materials described in the finding aid can be seen at The Texas Collection, but many of them also have been digitized as part of the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive in collaboration with the Electronic Library. Check out game films, ribbons, and more in the online collection!
  • Onnie Clem Jr. papers, 1944-1948 (#3939): Letters between Marine Corps members Onnie Clem Jr. and “Julie” Cecile L. Julian Clem during World War II. Also included is a transcribed interview with Onnie Clem Jr. about his experience during the Bataan Death March and as a prisoner of war for two and half years.
Tax receipt for land in Liberty County, Texas
Tax receipt from 1850 for John Herpin’s land claims in Liberty County, Texas. A dispute about ownership of this land was still going on in 1910, according to the collection. John B. Herpin papers #1636, box 1, folder 2.

 

 

Research Ready: November 2014

Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here are November’s finding aids:

  • John M. Bronaugh papers 1862-1887 (#63):                                                                     Contains Bronaugh’s records from his time as Confederate surgeon for the 5th Texas Cavalry during the Civil War.
History Honors exam
How would you answer the questions on this test? This comprehensive history honors exam represents one of various subject exams from 1938-1941. BU records: Honors Program #BU/108 , box 2, folder 10.
    • Foy Valentine papers, 1918-2000 (#2948):                                                           Materials documenting the life of Foy Valentine, a leader in various Baptist organizations and Baptist philosophy on ethics.
    • [Waco] Veterans Administration Medical Center records, 1938, 1945-1982 (#2608):                                                                                                                 Photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other materials about the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Waco, Texas.
    • Sarah C. Pier Wiley papers, 1838-1868 (#139):                                                     Includes letters, photographs, and a journal about life on the Texas home front during the Civil War.
Handwritten poem
It was popular in the mid-1800s to handwrite poems in the personal notebooks of friends and family. Here we see Sarah Pier’s grandmother dedicating a poem to her. What poems would you dedicate to your friends and family? Sarah C. Pier Wiley papers #139, box 1, folder 6.

Baylor Football: A Look at Carroll Field

Exhibit by Sean Todd; post by Benna Vaughan

As the anticipation of the first Homecoming in the new McLane Stadium builds, be sure to visit the Texas Collection in the Carroll Library and check out the new exhibit on Lee Carroll Field: Early Athletic Traditions at Baylor University…where Baylor football began!

Photograph by Fred Gildersleeve of Lee Carroll Field, Baylor University
Photograph by Fred Gildersleeve of Lee Carroll Field, Baylor University, circa 1933

 

 

 

Sharing Student Scholarship: Finance at Baylor, 1921-1930

For the next few weeks, we’re putting up teasers about the fascinating Baylor history, 1921-1930, that Higher Education and Student Affairs students analyzed and shared on the Foundations and History of Higher Education class blog. Last week we looked at Curriculum. This week we’re looking at Finance at Baylor, with papers examining gridiron finances and the town-and-gown relationship as seen in the Greater Baylor campaign. Did you know that…

  • The Southwest Conference was formed in part to ensure that college athletics remained “sport for sport’s sake,” and that no one school had a greater advantage over another due to uneven financial means. Read more…

    The arch of the 5th Street entrance to Baylor University's Carroll Field
    Baylor might have had the 1915 football championship on the Carroll Field sign, too, but a transfer rule in the newly formed Southwest Conference meant that Baylor had to forfeit the title. General photo files–Baylor–Buildings–Carroll Field.
  • When a proposal to move Baylor from Waco to Dallas arose in the 1920s (an effort intended to unite the university with the medical school and save money), the students, churches, and general Waco community rose up in opposition, helping to raise money for Waco Hall and other projects. Learn more…

We hope you’ll explore these blog posts and enjoy the benefits of the HESA students’ research and scholarship. If you’re inspired to dig deeper, most of their sources can be found in the University Archives within The Texas Collection and in our digitized materials available online in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.

Background on this project: Students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) masters program have taken on the challenge of creating original scholarship that adds to what is known about Baylor’s history. As part of Dr. Nathan Alleman’s Foundations and History of Higher Education course, students were grouped under the five class themes: curriculum, finance, students/student groups, access, and religion. In collaboration with Texas Collection archivists and librarians, students mined bulletins, newspapers, correspondence, and other primary resources as they researched their topics. Final papers have been posted on blogs.baylor.edu/hesabaylorhistoryproject and grouped by their particular sub-topic so that patrons, researchers, and other interested persons could benefit from these students’ work. This is the second installment of an annual accumulating project–see last year’s teasers here. Please visit again for future installments!

Sharing Student Scholarship Online: Finance at Baylor, 1900-1920

For the first five weeks of the spring 2013 semester, we’re putting up teasers about the fascinating Baylor history that Higher Education and Student Affairs students analyzed and shared on the class’ blog. So far we’ve explored students and student organizations and curriculum at Baylor. This week we’re exploring Finance at Baylor, from how athletics activities were financed, to fundraising tactics employed by Baylor administrators, to how students earned money to pay for their Baylor education. Did you know that…

HESA Baylor History blog

  • In 1915, alumni and Baylor’s athletics association raised $9,000 for a new bath house and grandstand to support Baylor football and other athletic endeavors. (With inflation, that would be around $200,000.) The 1915 grandstand seated only 1,000seems small to us today, compared to the efforts for the new Baylor Stadium, but that was pretty big at the time. Read about how athletics were financed in the early 1900s at Baylor.
  • J.B. Tidwell (for whom Tidwell Bible Building is named) didn’t come to Baylor initially as a Bible and religion instructorhe gave up the presidency of Decatur College (another Baptist institution) in 1909 to serve as Baylor’s Endowment Secretary. In 15 months on that job, he raised more than $90,000which would be more than $2 million in today’s dollars. Learn about the tactics Tidwell and other Baylor fundraisers used to persuade donors and organizations to support Baylor.
  • About one-third of the Baylor student body worked on campus to help pay for their education. Jobs ranged from library assistants to grounds keeping to teaching. Not so different from today! Explore other ways that Baylor students financed their education in the early 1900s.

We hope you’ll explore these blog posts and enjoy the benefits of the HESA students’ research and scholarship. If you’re inspired to dig deeper, most of their sources can be found in the University Archives within The Texas Collection and in our digitized materials available online in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.

Background on this project: Students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) masters program have taken on the challenge of creating original scholarship that adds to what is known about Baylor’s history between 1900 and 1920. As part of Dr. Nathan Alleman’s Foundations and History of Higher Education course, students were grouped under the five class themes: curriculum, finance, students/student groups, access, and religion. In collaboration with Texas Collection archivists and librarians, students mined bulletins, newspapers, correspondence, and other primary resources as they researched their topics. Final papers have now been posted on a University-hosted EduBlog site and grouped by their particular sub-topic so that patrons, researchers, and other interested persons could benefit from these students’ work. This is the first installment of an annual accumulating project–please visit again for future installments.