The Comprehensive Pat Neff: Texas Governor, Baylor President, and Much More

The name Pat Neff is known by every Baylor Bear. Perhaps his influence is most markedly demonstrated by Pat Neff Hall. Built in 1939 and named in honor of Baylor’s eighth president, its tower can be seen for miles and is a ready landmark for Wacoans and Texas travelers. But before Neff came to the Baylor presidency, he served the state of Texas in several offices, including two terms as Governor.

Pat Neff with horse
Neff maintained his ramrod posture and dapper dress even when riding horseback. Photo undated.

The Texas Collection is proud to house his papers and has been hard at work on processing his voluminous records (about 643 archival boxes). After a couple of years, multiple archivists and students, and generous gifts from Terrell Blodgett, among others, we have a completed finding aid for the Pat Neff collection.

The importance of these records can’t be overstated. They span a century of this important Texas family’s activities. Neff’s records offer a comprehensive view into the life and work of a public servant and educator.

And we do mean comprehensive—the man appears to have kept everything. Researchers, even those who know a lot about Neff, are bound to learn something they didn’t know. Here’s some of what you can discover, just from reading the biographical history in the finding aid.

  • He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives just four years after graduating from Baylor with his bachelor’s degree.
  • When he ran for governor, he was thought to be the first Texas candidate to travel by airplane for his campaigning efforts.
  • He was a staunch supporter of Prohibition—that you might already know. The stories about his public expulsions of students for drinking (and other misdeeds) are legendary at Baylor. But he also stood for everything from women’s suffrage to prison reform to water conservation.
  • After oil was discovered in Mexia, chaos ensued. Neff declared martial law in 1922 and called in the Texas National Guard and Texas Rangers. Later that year he declared martial law again, this time in Denison due to violence following a strike by the Federated Railroad Shopmen’s Union.
  • In the 1920s, Neff considered the possibility of running for US president and serving as president of the University of Texas.
  • As Baylor president, he accepted livestock as tuition payment and was known to occasionally pay part of a student’s bill out of his own pocket.
Pat Neff, "How I Spent the Holidays," 1890
The “how I spent my vacation” has long been a popular theme, as evidenced by this essay Neff wrote for his rhetoric class in his second semester at Baylor University in 1890.

Digging into the records themselves, you’re sure to learn much more about Pat Neff. We’ll highlight some of his records in upcoming blog posts and hope you’ll visit the reading room to explore Neff’s life and his impact on Texas and Baylor.

Learn more about Pat Neff:

Read a book—The Land, the Law, and the Lord: The Life of Pat Neff, by Dorothy Jean Blodgett, Terrell Blodgett and David L. Scott.

Listen to a podcast—Treasures of The Texas Collection: Pat Neff, an interview with Hans Christianson, hosted by Mary Landon Darden.

Explore an online exhibit—Pat Neff: “The Plain Democrat” Governor of Texas, 1921-1925, curated by Mark Firmin.

Find out about an interesting discovery made recently in the Pat Neff collection—Bonnie and Clyde (and Pat) and The Texas Collection Artifact That Ties Them Together.

Contact us for more information about the collection—the front matter of the finding aid is online as a PDF, but the box listing is so intricate that it didn’t translate well into that format. An archivist can help point you in the right direction for your research on Neff and his contributions to Texas.

And check out a few of our favorite photos from the Pat Neff collection. There is much more where this came from!

Young Pat Neff, 1890s
Young Neff, 1890s
Pat Neff with Native Americans
Neff with Native Americans, undated

 

Pat Neff breaks up illegal drinking and gambling in Mexia, 1922
Neff (sixth from right, behind the roulette wheel) breaks up illegal drinking and gambling in Mexia, 1922
Pat Neff at Mother Neff State Park dedication, May 14, 1938
Pat Neff at Mother Neff State Park dedication, May 14, 1938

 

Baylor President Pat Neff outside Pat Neff Hall, 1940s
Baylor President Pat Neff outside Pat Neff Hall, 1940s

 

Pat Neff studying a portrait of Texas hero Sam Houston
Neff studying a portrait of Texas hero Sam Houston, undated
Pat Neff tries out a saddle, 1930s
Neff tries out a saddle, 1930s

By Benna Vaughan, Manuscripts Archivist, and Amanda Norman, University Archivist

Reporting from the Battlefield: A Newspaper Account of San Jacinto

Although intriguing, newspapers as historical sources can be problematic. As history’s “first draft,” mistakes are bound to happen. But as a way to gauge daily life, contemporary reactions, or to read accounts of major historic events, newspapers are invaluable primary resources.

Albion (New York) Masthead
The Albion newspaper’s coverage of the battle of San Jacinto, along with John Quincy Adams’ speech against the annexation of Texas, indicates the importance of the Texas Revolution to the United States’ interests.

With this in mind, one particular issue of a New York newspaper—the June 11, 1836 issue of The Albion—caught my eye as I began to inventory newspapers at The Texas Collection. To anyone familiar with Texas history, the year leaps off the page—surely events of the recent Texas Revolution would be mentioned! In fact, news of the battle of San Jacinto had been slowly filtering to the New York media.

When a major event happens today, reports are instantly available, but in the 1830s, communication was still very dependent on the mail. Most newspapers didn’t have correspondents to report on national and international events. Instead, travelers often wrote letters back to their local editors or, more commonly, editors received copies of newspapers from other major cities. In the case of The Albion in 1836, an account of the  battle of San Jacinto on April 21 had reached their offices through two New Orleans newspapers.

The account was a firsthand description of the engagement at San Jacinto, though unfortunately anonymous. The author describes the shock of the unprepared Mexican army as the smaller Texas force charged through their camp: “Some of the men were sleeping, some cooking, some washing, in short, in any situation but that of preparation for battle, when they were pounced upon by us at about 4 o’clock P.M. of the 21st.” The Texas fighters are described as shouting “The Alamo and La Bahía” (La Bahía being a common name for the location of the Goliad Massacre) in an early version of the now famous battle cry.

Battle of San Jacinto McArdle painting postcard
The Battle of San Jacinto, by Henry A. McArdle. The original painting hangs in the Senate chamber of the Texas State Capitol. Postcard reproduction printed in 1985 by the Balcones Company, Austin, TX, for Texas’ sesquicentennial.

The description is very candid about the brutal close-contact fighting as the Mexican army fled. As the battle intensified, there was no opportunity to reload and firearms became clubs. Some heavy stocks were said to have been broken over the heads of the enemy. For all its intensity and political ramifications the battle was over quickly—just nineteen minutes before the Mexican army was routed. The author estimates that there were over 600 Mexican killed in the battle with only eight Texans killed. The casualty numbers in the account closely mirror Sam Houston’s official report (630 Mexicans killed and nine Texans), giving weight to its accuracy.

The United States was coming to grasp the battle of San Jacinto’s significance. By the date of this publication, the Treaties of Velasco had been signed and people began to speculate about Texas’ future. This was evident in the preceding pages of the June 11, 1836 issue of The Albion. A published speech by former President, and then current member of the House of Representatives, John Quincy Adams, addressed the “consequences” of the Texas Revolution. Adams strongly opposed Texas annexation, citing conflicts with Mexico and European powers, and an already unstable, ill-defended territory in the U.S. South. And so, of course, Texas did not become a state until 1845.             

In a single issue among thousands of newspapers at The Texas Collection, I found an example of Texas history at its most dramatic. Enjoy San Jacinto Day this weekend!

By Sean Todd, library assistant

Research Ready: March 2013

"Ask the American boy why he prefers Kellogg's"
A patriotic advertisement for Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes during WWI. The Thomas L. and Pit Dodson Collection has hundreds of similar early- to mid-twentieth-century art prints and clippings, providing a colorful window into American culture.

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’s the scoop for March:

Correspondence from the Adina De Zavala papers
A letter of recommendation written by the Mexican Consul in San Antonio, Dr. Plutarco Ornelas, for Adina De Zavala on her historical research trip to Mexico in 1902.
  • Thomas L. and Pit Dodson collection, 1710-1991, undated: The Thomas L. and Pit Dodson collection contains a wide variety of collected materials, including literary productions, books, photographic materials, and scrapbooks. While spanning three centuries, this collection consists primarily of early- to mid-twentieth-century art prints and periodical clippings.
  • Marvin C. Griffin papers, 1940-2010, undated: The Griffin papers contain literary productions, photographic materials, audio recordings, and other materials pertaining to Reverend Marvin Griffin, an African American pastor who fought for the spiritual and political freedoms of his congregations at New Hope Baptist Church (Waco) and Ebenezer Baptist Church (Austin).
  • Roxie Henderson collection, 1852-1919: This collection contains personal items and collected materials of Roxie Henderson, a Baylor graduate who served during World War I as an American Red Cross nurse. Learn more.
  • Isabella M. Henry papers, 1931-1981, undated: Henry’s papers features manuscripts detailing her career in the Women’s Army Corps and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II. Learn more.
  • Lula Pace collection, 1895-1969, undated: This collection contains student notebooks, topographical maps, and scholarly publications by Lula Pace, a PhD graduate of the University of Chicago who served as a science professor at Baylor University in the early 1900s. Learn more.

Setting a New Pace: Baylor University's First Female Professor with a PhD

1919 Baylor University Round-Up faculty page
When Pace was first hired at Baylor, she was one of only five female professors. Due in large part to the success of these individuals, the number steadily grew as time went along. Pace, a professor of botany, is pictured in the bottom left corner of this page from the 1919 Baylor Round-Up.

Today we might be tempted to take for granted the many female professors who teach at Baylor and the numerous women who are earning doctoral degrees. However, it wasn’t such a long time ago that female PhDs, JDs, and so forth, were few and far between at Baylor and at other institutions of higher education. So today, in honor of Women’s History Month, we look back at Lula Pace, one woman who proved that hard work and brilliance outweighed the gender-based stereotypes of her day.

Pace was born in Newton, Mississippi on November 3, 1868, a mere three years after the end of the Civil War. Before she had turned a year old, her parents decided to relocate to the central Texas area. The move proved to be advantageous for her. She was able to attend school at Baylor Female College—now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor—in Belton, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1890. Upon graduation, she began teaching in the public schools in Temple.

But Pace’s aspirations for education were not yet satisfied. During her summers off, Pace attended the University of Chicago, a newly constructed school whose reputation was rising thanks to the support of the Rockefeller family.

Cytology notebook, 1905
Lula Pace’s notebooks, which she composed as a student at the University of Chicago, comprise most of the collection. Cytology is the study of cells.

By 1902, Pace had attained her Master of Science degree, and she applied for a teaching position at Baylor University. When she was accepted, she became one of only five female professors at the school. Even more impressive was the fact that she was the only female professor in the male-dominated science department.

Drawing for botany studies, undated
In order to succeed as a student of botany, Pace had to learn how to draw diagrams. This cross-section of a plant is but one of the examples in which Pace demonstrated her artistic ability.

Seeking to increase her education and credibility, Pace continued taking classes during the summers and graduated with her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1907. Her dissertation focused on the study of plant cytology (cells). This achievement placed Pace in a class all her own: she became the first female professor at Baylor University to hold a PhD.

For 22 years (1903-1925), Dr. Pace taught courses in biology, geology, and botany. Not only was she accomplished as a scholar, but she also had a good reputation among students and offered innovative classes, such as a summer 1917 course held on-site at the Chatauqua grounds at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A student, J. Weldon Jones,  was a member of that class and recalls being “struck by Dr. Pace’s knowledge of organizing a camp, cooking, laying in provisions, etc…her knowledge of first aid—avoiding dangers in the mountains, edible wild fruits, poisonous plants etc. was far beyond that of a ‘plainsman’”—and on top of all that, she maintained an orderly classroom while in the field.

Reminiscence on Lula Pace by J. Weldon Jones, 1969
Dr. Pace had a reputation for being strict, but she often had a powerful impact on the lives of her students. This reminiscence from a former student records some of Dr. Pace’s most perceptible traits: her knowledge of botany, a quiet sense of humor, and even her physical stamina!

Her prowess as a scientist and skill as a professor led to Pace’s appointment as the Chair of the Department of Botany and Geology, another first—she was the first woman to be the chair of a science department at Baylor. She held the position until she died in 1925.

The Lula Pace collection represents the life work of a woman who followed her passions in spite of what society’s norms dictated. Researchers who examine this collection will find notebooks that Pace composed as a graduate student, scholarly articles she wrote as contributions to the scientific community, as well as various maps which Pace collected in her studies. (In the Burleson Quad, just outside Carroll Library, you also can see another part of Pace’s legacy—one of the gingko biloba trees she planted on campus.) Please come down to The Texas Collection and celebrate with us as we commemorate one of Baylor University’s history trailblazers.

The Geology of McLennan County, by Lula Pace, 1921 (published under the Baylor Bulletin imprint)
Even after securing her position as a professor in Baylor University’s science department, Pace continued to contribute to her field. In 1921, Dr. Pace published the “Geology of McLennan County, Texas.”

By Thomas DeShong, Archival Assistant and Digital Input Specialist

The Brazos River and the Baylor Archives: A History of Floods and Droughts, a Story of Resilience and Ideals

East Waco flooded by the Brazos River, 1908
Elm Street in East Waco flooded by the Brazos River, 1908. Photo by C.M. Seley.

Please join The Texas Collection for a lecture by Dr. Kenna Lang Archer,

The Brazos River and the Baylor Archives–
A History of Floods and Droughts, a Story of  Resilience and Ideals

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
3:30 pm
Bennett Auditorium
Baylor University

Reception to follow at The Texas Collection

More information: http://www.baylor.edu/lib/texas/brazos

Watch our YouTube video below to learn more about Dr. Archer’s research
at The Texas Collection and how the Wardlaw Fellowship Fund for Texas Studies
helped support her dissertation work.

Research Ready: January 2013

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. As we did in December, we have a few special entries from the Archival Collections and Museums class that worked on an archival processing project with us here at The Texas Collection. (Read more about that project from a student’s perspective.) Here’s the scoop for January:

Simons-Stoner-Rose Family Papers
During the Civil War George F. Simons served in the Confederate army Company K, 2nd Texas Infantry Regiment, and participated in the Battle of Shiloh. He received this certificate of parole in 1865, which can be found in the Simons-Stoner-Rose Family Papers.
    • Bertie Routh Barron Papers, 1897-1972, undated: These papers contain correspondence, financial documents, literary productions and photographic materials pertaining to Barron’s life, particularly the time she spent at Baylor Female College.
    • De Cordova Family Papers, 1845-1956: The chronology of the collection ranges from 1845 to 1956, but the bulk of the materials originated from 1845 to 1863 when Jacob de Cordova was most active as a land agent in Texas. Most materials are correspondence or legal documents related to land sales in central Texas, particularly Bosque and McLennan counties. (Archives class)
    • Olive McGehee Denson Papers, 1916-1957, undated: The bulk of the Denson papers are scrapbooks about Texas and church history. There are also photographs from Independence, Texas. (Archives class)
    • James M. Kendrick Jr. Papers, 1922-1945: Kendrick’s papers include various items of correspondence between family and friends of Kendrick, as well as some financial and legal documents. There is a large number of literary productions, comprised of an assortment of documents and Kendrick’s own diaries. Also present are several photographs and artifacts pertaining to his time at Baylor University. (Archives class)
    • Harry Raymond Morse Jr. Collection, 2000: This collection consists of four cassette tapes containing oral history interviews related to the Waco Tornado of May 11, 1953.
Southwest Conference meeting minutes, April 24, 1922 (page 1)
These minutes are from the papers of Henry Trantham, who served as Baylor University faculty representative to the Southwest Athletic Conference from 1916 to 1923, and from 1925 to 1941. Trantham was the president of the conference from 1918 to 1919, and from 1938 to 1941, and in that position he assisted in the establishment of the Cotton Bowl Association.
  • Simons-Stoner-Rose Family Papers, 1828-1977, undated: The Simons-Stoner-Rose Family Papers are comprised of original correspondence, legal and financial documents, literary productions, military records, printed materials, family histories, and photographs pertaining to five families (including Wells, Simons, Kay, Stoner, and Rose) in Texas from its pre-republic days to the late twentieth century. (Archives class)
  • Henry Trantham Papers, 1894-1962, undated: Trantham’s papers consist of correspondence, administrative and academic materials, and other loose materials related to Baylor University and the Greek and Classics Departments, the Southwest Athletic Conference, and the Rhodes Scholarship program. (Archives class)
  • Charles Wellborn Papers, 1945-2009: This archives contains sermons and other materials primarily from Wellborn’s time as pastor of Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.

Research Ready: December 2012

"Dialogue on Race Relations," Waco Community Race Relations Coalition flyer
The Community Race Relations Coalition (CRRC) began as a series of grassroots dialogues on race in Waco. The First Anniversary Dialogue was held in 2000.

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. This month we have a few special entries from the Archival Collections and Museums class that worked on an archival processing project with us here at The Texas Collection. (You’ll learn more about that in a guest post by a student in January.) We’re not quite done proofreading all of the students’ finding aids, so there will be a few more finding aids coming from that group. Here’s the scoop for December:

  • BU Records: Adelphian Theological Society, 1889-1916: The Adelphian Theological Society was formed in 1889 by Baylor ministerial students. The records group contains correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and ledgers that reflect how the Society operated. (Archives class)
  • Roberta Lucille Malone Bailey Papers, 1936, undated: This small collection contains two items: a letter written by Pat Neff to William and Ada May congratulating them on 50 years of marriage and a photocopy of a journal entry citing this letter.
  • Raymond E. Biles Collection, 1954-1973: The Biles Collection consists primarily of newspaper clippings covering the educational desegregation era in Texas from 1956-1973. Also included is correspondence to Mr. Biles and other materials relating to his role as an adviser to the Waco Citizen’s Advisory Committee, which was tasked with reviewing local desegregation policies. (Archives class)
  • [Waco] Calvary Baptist Church Records, 1929-1955, undated: Calvary’s church records consist of literary documents created by church members including church publications and a directory. (Archives class)
  • [Waco] Caritas Records, 1965-1988: The [Waco] Caritas Records represents organizational records from the Caritas Catholic charity located in Waco, Texas. The records follow the meetings, programs, and public image of Caritas from its creation in the 1960s through its continued service in the 1980s. (Archives class)
  • James Milton Carroll Papers, 1898-1929: Centered around Carroll’s writings, these documents include manuscripts, proof sheets, sermons, tracts, and other writings.  (Archives class)
  • [Waco] Community Race Relations Coalition Records, 1998-2011: The Waco Community Race Relations Coalition Records consist of correspondence, legal and financial documents, literary productions, photographs, and media documenting the coalition’s efforts to promote racial awareness in the community of Waco, Texas.
  • [Waco] First Baptist Church Collection, 1892-1978, undated: The First Baptist Church of Waco was established on 1851 May 31 by four charter members along with Noah T. Byars, who became their first pastor on June 1. Their records consist of correspondence, literary documents, and financial records. (Archives class)
  • Historic Waco Foundation Records, 1954-2005: The Historic Waco Foundation is a nonprofit institution that was created in 1967 after the merger of three Waco
    foundations: the Heritage Society of Waco, the Society of Historic Preservation, and the Duncan Foundation. These documents consist of correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, literary papers, and oversized materials. (Archives class)
  • Huston-Tillotson University Records, 1930-1935: The Huston-Tillotson University Records consist of correspondence and financial documents from Tillotson College as University President Mary Elizabeth Branch tried to keep the college open during the Great Depression.
  • BU Records: Philomathesian Literary Society, 1859-1951: Established in 1851 while Baylor University was located in Independence, Texas, the Philomathesian Literary Society was the first literary society to be established in Texas. The records include roll books, minutes books, general business records, library records, their constitution, contest records, and records on their fight with the Erisophian Literary Society from 1912-1913. (Archives class)
  • Quanah, Seymour, Dublin, and Rockport Railroad Records. 1836 (copy)-
    1922, undated: The Quanah, Seymour, Dublin and Rockport Railroad Records consist of correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, field notes and maps
    produced by the railroad company and associated small companies in South
    Texas. (Archives class)
Philomathesian vs. Erisophian debate letter, January 10, 1913
In this letter from J.W. Thomas to R.E. Dudley, Thomas refers to recent “squabbles” between the Philomathesian and Erisophian Literary Societies at Baylor. The question of who should debate first at the 1913 match apparently caused much controversy…and occasional name-calling.

An Independence Commencement: How Baylor&#x27s Earliest Graduates Celebrated

Baylor University Commencement party invitation, 1859
One of The Texas Collection’s earliest records of Baylor Commencement, dated 1859. The “managers” of the party, the Erisophians and Philomathesians, were prominent (and often rival) literary societies that began when Baylor was in Independence.

We introduced Margaret Hall Hicks, a Baylor alumna from the 1870s, this summer in our “Looking Back at Baylor: Simple Pleasures in Independence” post. We encourage you to read it for a view of Christmas celebrations in Baylor’s early years. Pretty different from Christmas on 5th Street, but as Hicks said, they enjoyed their Yuletide festivities “to the fullest.”

Now we look to Hicks’ remembrances of Independence again as another Baylor Commencement approaches. December’s commencement isn’t nearly as large as the spring celebration, but every graduation is an exciting day for the Baylor family. But what did Commencement look like back in Independence? For starters, people came from all over Texas, the celebrations lasted a week, and included the examination period. (Students spoke recitations that essentially were their final exams. Hey, class of 2012—aren’t you glad you didn’t have oral examinations for all of your classes?)

Baylor University Commencement invitation, 1888
The invitation hails the 1888 ceremony as Baylor’s 42nd commencement, but Baylor actually did not graduate any students until 1854, when the Board of Trustees voted to award Stephen Decatur Rowe his degree. This invitation is a good example of the deteriorating effects of tape on paper.

Hicks’ memoir, Memories of Ancestors, tells us that in 1866, “Commencement Week was the gala time of the whole year. People from all over the state made their plans to attend the Commencement of the two Baylor schools, and the little town of Independence was taxed to its utmost, both the hotels and private homes, to care for the great number of visitors.”

Of course, in Baylor’s early years, the university’s students all hailed from Texas (although many students’ families probably hadn’t been in the state for very long). But people came from all over the state to attend the fine university. That was a feat by itself, considering the small size of the school and the large size of Texas!

Baylor University Commencement in Carroll Chapel and Library, 1920s
Commencement was held in Carroll Chapel before the building burnt in 1922. This might have been one of the last graduation ceremonies hosted in what is now simply Carroll Library (and the home of The Texas Collection).

“Relatives of the students felt it a duty as well as a pleasure to attend Commencement exercises in the schools in which their children were pupils. So we had all kinds of visitors for this season. Very fashionable people from Galveston and Houston, moderately dressed people from the small towns and the country around Independence, and pioneer people with their primitive styles from the northern part of the State. Of course, we found much delight in seeing and mingling with all of these people. Many of them stayed in the rooms with us, and we thought it no hardship to sleep three or four in a bed or on a pallet on the floor that the visitors might have our beds.”

In addition to the public examinations, students held debates and gave speeches. Every night of Commencement Week, there was some kind of program, with the younger Baylor primary school students participating as well as the university students. Baylor University and Baylor Female College took turns hosting the “entertainments,” which culminated with a “grand Senior Concert.” On the last night of Commencement Week, the faculty and students of Baylor University hosted a party for the faculty and students of Baylor Female College.

Baylor University Commencement, 1966
Judge Baylor watches over the soon-to-be graduates of 1966 as they process into Waco Hall.

This “crowning event of the season” was held in the Burleson Domicile, which was President Rufus C. Burleson’s home and a dormitory for male students. The octagonal shape of the building created nooks that were perfect for courting on the third floor veranda, as Hicks tells us: “The veranda was furnished with chairs and benches, dimly lighted, just the place to fill young heads with thoughts of love and romance. Many of the young men and maidens, knowing this would be the last meeting of the happy school days, plighted their troth, which resulted in the future marriages of some of the best people of our state.” Well, that sounds familiar—plenty of marriage proposals still happen on or around Commencement day at Baylor! And we like to think that the best people in the state (and the world!) come here.

Students (and their families) come to Baylor Commencement from all over the world now, and the official Commencement ceremonies don’t span a week anymore. But the thrill of sending new Baylor graduates out to “fling the green and gold afar” hasn’t changed since Baylor graduated its first student in 1854. Congratulations, class of 2012!

Research Ready: November 2012

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’s the scoop for November:

Gene Autrey entertaining veterans at a military hospital, 1945
Gene Autrey entertains veterans at a military hospital in 1945. Hannibal “Joe” Jaworski’s photo album includes photos of several notable figures who visited soldiers during World War II.
  • Baylor-Carrington Family Papers, 1715-2007, undated: These family papers consist of correspondence, financial and legal documents, literary productions, books, photographs, artifacts, and scrapbooks pertaining to the Baylor and Carrington families. The bulk of the collection spans from 1840-1930.
  • Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Collection, 1944-1946: This collection consists of a scrapbook relating to Eleanor’s service in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.
  • Hannibal “Joe” Lucas Jaworski Papers, 1895-1987: The Hannibal “Joe” Lucas Jaworski Papers include correspondence, literary productions, books, and photographic materials related to his service in World War II and his response to the Waco Tornado of 1953.
  • BU Records: Student Volunteer Band, 1900-1957: This archives consists of organizational records, missionary correspondence, and a history of the origin of the band. The group originated to inspire students to missionary action and involvement by educating them about world missionary movements.
Baylor University Student Volunteer Band Minutes Book, 1940s-1950s
The Student Volunteer Band, or Foreign Missionary Band, kept meticulous minutes of the organization’s meetings, from its earliest days in 1900 through the 1950s. Note Dick Baker’s name on the right side of the book–Baker would go on to be a leader in Baylor’s Youth Revival Movement and began the Baylor Religious Hour Choir.

Mapping Waco: A Brief History, 1845-1913

Did you know that “Lamartine” was a proposed name for Waco? Or that “Waco Village” was once in Milam County? Do you know where Waco Female College was? Explore Mapping Waco: A Brief History, 1845-1913 to learn the answers to these questions and more.

1873 Bird's Eye View of the City of Waco
Bird’s eye view style map of the city of Waco, circa 1873. Lists points of interest including Waco University, Waco Female College, the City Ice Works and the Waco suspension bridge.

In this physical and digital exhibit, maps represent the changing landscape of Waco from its earliest days in the mid-1800s to the boom years of the late 1910s. Selections include bird’s-eye views of the city drawn in the late 19th century; illustrated maps of new additions and suburbs; and blue lines of individual plats on Waco city streets.

“We hope this exhibit of early Waco maps will spark an interest in local geography and history,” said John Wilson, director of The Texas Collection. “It may also begin a dialogue regarding other maps and resources that are in the community and could be shared.”

The maps are on display in The Texas Collection within Carroll Library, which is open from 8-5, Monday through Friday. We hope you’ll come and see them in person AND take a zoomed-in look at them on the Baylor Digital Collections site. The physical and online exhibits are up now and will be on display through December 2012.

We collaborated with the Digitization Projects Group on preparing the digital component of the exhibition–read about the digitization and curation process on Baylor Digital Collections’ blog–and enjoy the maps!