Research Ready: April 2019

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

Sharing Student Scholarship: Access at Baylor University, 1900-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the second of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Rachel Jones, Rachel Ticknor, Rachel Henson, Jillian Haag, and Lela Lam

Following its merger with Waco University in 1886, Baylor University set forth a series of initiatives that were progressive in terms of extending college access to various student groups-specifically to women and transfer students. These initiatives included Baylor’s promotion of coeducation and the university’s establishment of formal articulation agreements with Texas high schools and other Baptist colleges. Because of these efforts, a Baylor education had become more accessible to a wider network of students. However, despite these progressive strides, some students (mainly female students) still faced inequality and a lack of access to certain resources/activities once they actually matriculated on campus.

With the establishment of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT)’s Education Commission in 1897, Baylor focused on leveraging the Commission’s existing partnerships in order to create formal articulation agreements with the other correlated Baptist colleges. Under these agreements, students that completed a standardized two-year curriculum and graduated from the affiliated colleges could transfer to Baylor, without an entrance examination, in order to complete their four-year degree. Baylor utilized a similar model in order to establish formal articulation agreements with a variety of high schools. These two initiatives collectively increased access for, and enrollment of, students who graduated from the affiliated high schools and colleges.

Despite their successes, it is possible that some of Baylor’s most groundbreaking initiatives were inherently exclusionary towards students who did not belong to/identify with the parameters that had been established (e.g. students who did not attend the affiliated high schools or colleges). Moreover, Baylor did not ensure that all students would receive equal levels of access to campus resources and programs once they actually enrolled at Baylor, which resulted in a sense of tension among the university community.

Group photo of The R.C.B. Literary Society, 1908. Found in the 1908 edition of The Baylor Round-Up. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

This tension is perhaps most evident in the experiences documented by Baylor’s female students and faculty members between 1900 and 1910. Although Baylor had taken a rather progressive stance on coeducation and allowed men and women to meet in the classroom and in the chapel together, women still faced unfair treatment in terms of housing policies and educational, financial, and extracurricular opportunities. Two examples of this treatment are evident when one takes a closer look at the student literary societies and faculty job opportunities.

Photo of Dr. Lula Pace, 1908. Lula Pace was the first female professor at Baylor to hold a doctoral degree, and served as the chair of the Department of Botany and Geology. Found in the 1908 edition of The Baylor Round-Up. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

As with most topics regarding student access during this time, the issue of women’s participation in literary societies was complex. There was collaboration and partnership between the male and female societies, but this did not always result in equality for their respective members. Though there were a number of benefits that came from women’s membership in literary societies, it is evident that when compared to their male counterparts, female students who chose to participate in such societies faced marginalization. This marginalization is especially evident when one considers the limited opportunity for scholarships.

In a similar vein, female faculty members at Baylor also experienced inequality. Although Baylor had taken a progressive stance on hiring more female faculty members, women comprised less than half of the faculty, were paid less than their male counterparts, and were generally considered lower-level “instructors” rather than full professors. In addition, Baylor rarely hired married female faculty members, notwithstanding that the majority of male faculty were married. All of these examples confirm that Baylor female faculty members faced inequality that was similar to what Baylor female students faced.

As progressive as Baylor was in 1900 to 1910, it was still a far cry from the experience that Baylor women have today. Finally, as Baylor continues to extend access to a variety of students, the university should build intentional partnerships whilst remaining mindful of any possibilities of exclusion.

Young Texans During World War I

Drummond and an unidentified friend enjoy the outdoors during their junior college days. Drummond Webster Bartlett Papers #2877, Box 6, Folder 6.

by Amanda Neel, Graduate Assistant

Before Judge Drummond Webster Bartlett (1895-1963) began his illustrious law career and made national headlines for presiding over the world’s first televised trial in 1952, he was a social young man attending junior college.

This portion of his life is now a part of The Texas Collection through a donation of documents, known as the Drummond Webster Bartlett papers, 1911-1921. A sampling of letters drawn from the collection gives insight into the lives and minds of young adults in the early 20th century, specifically the years between the start of World War I and the United States’ entrance into the war in 1917.

Drummond and Lois Kirby gaze at each other from under the shade of a tree. Drummond Webster Bartlett Papers #2877, Box 6, Folder 7.

The largest portion of letters span the years 1915-1917 and come from Lois Kirby, a sweetheart of Drummond’s. Her letters showcase how the concerns of young Texans evolved through the years of World War I. Even though World War I started in 1914, Lois’ letters concerned parties, social calls, her work as a teacher, and, of course, her love and concern for Drummond. Not until 1917 does Lois address the war; she writes, “Everyone here seems to be getting enthused over the war. A Red Cross auxiliary was organized here last night.”

Nelle Gentry poses for a professional photograph. This image also serves as her photo for the 1918 Decatur Baptist College Yearbook.

A year later, Drummond joined the war effort himself. Another sweetheart, Nelle Gentry, wrote to Drummond in support of his military effort. In a letter addressed to her “Darling Soldier,” Nelle writes, “I have been crazy with joy for you…because you answered your country’s call and have given all ties of home and loved ones to go and do you[r] bit.” Her following letters contain accounts of friends and acquaintances involved in the war effort, as well as lines about her enduring love for Drummond.

Sadly, we do not have Drummond’s responses to the letters from his sweethearts. Though the sentiments expressed through the letters speak of undying love, the relationships did end. Bartlett’s marriage took place outside the scope of this collection. In 1933, Drummond Bartlett married a woman named Bessie Opal Smith. They remained together until Bartlett’s death in 1963.

Along with letters from sweethearts, Drummond’s papers also contain materials from his life as a junior college student, including homework assignments, society publications, and yearbooks. Also in the collection are military records documenting Drummond’s answer to the draft and his discharge in 1919, as well as a plethora of photographs that visually document his early life.

Research Ready: February 2019

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: January 2019

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

The Ellington Field Photographic Collection

Example of a moving carpet, used for bombardier training.

by Benna Vaughan, Manuscripts Archivist

The Ellington Field Photographic collection is one of two new photographic collections obtained by The Texas Collection that focus on World War I. Though currently divided and used for both civil and military purposes, Ellington Field bears a long history of being at the front lines of training for United States aviation services.

This first image is called a “moving carpet” and was used to train bombardiers for combat. Representing the landscape they would see from their sighting mechanism; these men were trained to recognize geographic features and potential targets. Some images in this collection also show WW1 military bi-planes and parts of their structure such as elevator controls and bomb releases. Photographs of soldiers recording bomb shots and the tools used to take bombing measurements are also included.

Planes flying in formation.

Other images of military bi-planes consist of planes on the ground and flying in formation. This time, 1917-1920, coincides with the infancy of aerial photography and there are some great photos of formation flying in this collection. A few images focus on the ground and areas around Houston, Texas, but the clear majority are of planes. The bi-plane in this photograph is a De Havilland 4 Bomber taken on January 4, 1919.

De Havilland 4 Bomber.

Images of plane crashes are also prominent in this collection. The back of this photograph reads:

Tail-spin from 5,000 feet – unhurt. Lt. Platt, pilot. Got up, smoked a cigarette, and wanted to walk away. Taken to hospital and discharged in 24 hours. Accident due to inexperience.

Another crash image tells us:

2nd Lt. W.C. Stalker, Pilot. August 30, 1918. Total Wreck. Ship came down in a spin from about 1,000 feet, and hit nose first, driving engine back into the gas tank, and tank back into front seat. Pilot probably was climbing too steep and slipped off into a spin. Seems unable to remember what happened, due probably to blow received when he crashed.

Tailspin from 1,000 feet.

One supposes that the images were studied and used as documentation for pilot and plane review.

The images from the Ellington Field Photograph collection depict a time of growth and change in the way America approached aerial maneuvers and combat. Photos displaying planes, flying formations, pilots, plane crashes and even images of workshops and hangers, come together in this collection and give a representation of what it was like to be a pilot in training during World War I.

This collection is open for research and those interested in viewing it are encouraged to contact us at txcoll@baylor.edu. All images in the post can be found in the Ellington Field Photographic collection, Accession #3937, Box 1, Folder 5, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Research Ready: December 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. The books included this month are not new to our holdings but were deemed appropriate as a celebration of the Christmas season. 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: October 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: 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