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
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!
November’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist
- Texas Sheet Music collection, 1836-1979, undated (#258): An assortment of songs and sheet music relating to Texas. Many of these songs pertain to the Texas War of Independence, famous military leaders, Christmas in Texas, the state flower, the state song, the city of Waco, and life in the American Southwest.
- BU Records: Home Economics Department, 1916-1993, undated (#BU/107): Includes correspondence, education materials, literary productions, and photographic materials relating to Baylor’s Home Economics Department.
- Esse Forrester O’Brien papers, 1933-1937, undated (#1799): Documents pertaining to the creation of the book Art and Artists of Texas, one of the earliest systematic attempts to catalogue artists in the state of Texas.
- BU records: Center for Jewish Studies, 1937-2011 (#BU/380): Materials relating to the center’s operations, with financial documents as well as materials relating to special events and programming.
- Clyde and Mae Porter collection, 1837-1957, undated (#16): Original manuscripts by the Porters concerning the history of German immigrants who moved to southern Texas in the middle of the 1800s. The Porters focused their efforts on the history of the Dresel, Spiess, and Soergel families.
- BU records: Army Specialized Training Program, 1943-1944, undated (#BU/13): Collection contains programs and rosters pertaining to the U.S. Army Specialized Training Program conducted at Baylor University from 1943 to 1944.
- Texas Council of Church-Related Colleges records, 1937-1982, undated (#713): Member institution files, administrative files, and financial records of the Texas Council of Church-Related Colleges (1937-1981).
- BU Records: Baylor Sheet Music collection, 1891-1941, undated (#BU/396): Assortment of songs directly related to events, traditions, and athletics at Baylor University.
November’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials
by Joseph Lipham, Student Assistant
As the chilling winter winds approach Baylor’s campus and the ominous cloud of finals looms near, so does one of Baylor’s most beloved traditions. Christmas on 5th Street ushers in the jolliness of Christmas right in the heart of the Baylor campus. While students are away spending Thanksgiving with their families, the campus is adorned with oversized candy canes, ornaments and as many Christmas decorations as one could possibly imagine. Returning home from Thanksgiving to find their campus completely remodeled into a Winter Wonderland, it is no wonder why this is every student’s favorite time of the year.
These traditions takes place on 5th Street, the central street on campus that runs by the Student Union Building (SUB) and Fountain Mall. Taking place on November 30 the every year, Christmas on 5th kicks off the winter holiday. A variety of activities are set up at Fountain Mall, including a petting zoo filled with animals and “Santa’s Workshop.” There’s even a life-sized Nativity scene set up in front of the SUB. While these activities take place throughout the entirety of the day, the most exciting and event begins roughly around 8:15 P.M each year.
The annual Kappa Omega Tau Christmas Tree Lighting has begun around the same time each year, since it began in 1965. The annual tree lighting is an opportunity to bring Baylor students and faculty together to bask in the bright lights of the ginormous tree. Housed in the center of Burleson Quadrangle, the large Christmas tree is decorated by Kappa Omega Tau and the Department of Student Activities. The tree is adorned with bright white lights and red bows. Accompanying these festive decorations are presents at the base of the tree, donated by Baylor students for children in need.
Christmas on 5th even brings snow to Central Texas; in Vera Daniel Plaza, a snow machine is set up to give students a true Winter Wonderland experience. While the weather may be chilly, and the threat of finals may loom near, Christmas on 5th pulls out nearly all the stops to warm the hearts of all Baylor students and instill the spirit of Christmas into every person who engages in the activities strewn throughout Baylor’s campus.
This year, the festivities will begin at 5:30pm on November 30th. For more information about this event, please visit this website.
If you are an alum who has photographs or materials related to the Christmas Tree Lighting and are interested in sharing these with The Texas Collection, please contact our University Archivist, Leanna Barcelona.
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
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.
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.