In case you haven’t seen it, there are quite a few articles about the Woodson’s various projects and collection in the most recent issue of News from Fondren. They include information on the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) archive, the Reginald Moore Convict Leasing research collection, the Shepherd School digitization project, the Houston Folk Music Archive’s Homecoming concert, and the Wilson Collection of Historical Cartography and Geography.
We hope everyone had a nice break. We’re back and ready for researchers, if you’re able to drag yourself in. If you’d rather stay at home, we’ve got you covered.
Our hardworking student archivist, Trevor Egerton created a new online exhibit entitled: A Soldier’s Story: WWI Letters and Diaries of Paul B. Hendrickson
It tells the story of Paul B. Hendrickson and includes an interactive map about his time here in Houston and in Europe. We hope you enjoy it.
Sunday, November 11 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. Armistice Day commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany, ending hostilities on the Western Front of WWI. The cessation took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. A formal peace agreement was reached at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
We recently digitized one of our World War I collections and it is now available in our digital archive. The Paul B. Hendrickson World War I collection contains correspondence written by Hendrickson to his family back home during his time in service. There is a diary kept during the year he was in France and almost 300 postcards which were sent home. Hendrickson was stationed in France near Saint Mihiel sector on Armistice Day and wrote to his parents: “This is a big day here. Every one is celebrating. We played quite a while, and some of our boys grabbed a couple Frenchmen and began dancing.”
Hendrickson enlisted on April 12, 1917 in Danville, Illinois in the Band, Headquarters Co, 5th Illinois Infantry National Guard, serving in the first enlistment. The regiment initially trained at Camp Parker in Quincy, Illinois. While there, he studied bugling and map drawing. On September 14, 1917, he traveled to Camp Logan, a newly created training camp in Houston, Texas. Hendrickson arrived at Camp Logan on September 17, 1917. While at Camp Logan, he trained in trench warfare, open formation maneuvers, and rifle range practice. He arrived in France on May 24, 1918. He served in the Amiens sector, July 21-August 18; Verdun sector, September 9 – October 17; and St. Mihiel sector, November 7-11, 1918. He returned to the U.S. on May 22, 1919. View the finding aid online.
The family of Peter Gardner had a large trove of over 100 reel-to-reels that they wanted to digitize. We worked with them to send the reels to The Media Preserve and now the music on the reels is alive once again.
A little background on Peter Gardner. He arrived in Houston in 1963 with his then wife and musical partner Isabelle. She now goes by Isabelle Ganz, expect an oral history from her in the coming months. The Gardners traveled the U.S. and Europe performing unique arrangements of traditional folk songs from all over the world. In 1963, Peter became the Director of Adult Activities at the Jewish Community Center. He started the radio program “The Sampler” on KRBE in 1965, which he recorded in his home. Peter also hosted pickin’ parties there in the mid-1960s, which is where Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt met.
The reels themselves shine a light on the early days of Houston’s folk scene and also provide a glimpse into the programming at the JCC. Live performers include Frank Davis, Kay (K.T.) Oslin, Ed Badeaux, Carolyn Terry, Sara Wiggins, John Lomax, Jr., Jerry Jeff Walker, perhaps the first recording of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and other surprising discoveries like The Gospel Mellowtones.
It will be a few months until the items are reading room ready, but we wanted to give everyone a sneak peek of what is to come.
The Houston Folk Music Archive has a couple of new oral histories that have been indexed and are ready for viewing.
The second is from Houston folk band Wheatfield. They talk about the band’s formation, becoming a regional powerhouse band, their lives post-Wheatfield, and the reformation of the band.
If you are interested in watching more oral histories about Houston’s folk music scene, you can find more here.
We have over 200 map drawers, which contain panoramic photographs, maps, posters, and other large pieces of paper.
Connected to our rare book collection and the Charles Woodring collection on Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts is their art in map drawers 103-105.
Here’s more about Beerbohm.
The activism highlighted in our collection entitled the Reginald Moore Sugar Land Convict Leasing System Research Collection took center stage last week. Articles in/on the Washington Post, CNN, the Houston Chronicle, and many others detail the discovery of 95 bodies believed to be former slaves and black prisoners leased to work on local sugar plantations.
It’s the final hodge podge addition of our series covering Gordon Russell West autograph collection. We’ve got a little bit of everything including activists, satirists, theologians, philosophers, and even a ballet dancer.
Sadly, Anthony does not get a write-up, but as one of the few Americans out of the bunch, it is notable that West kept her signature.
The Woodson now has a new addition to our Story Maps. We’ve used Esri’s ArcGIS software in conjunction with their Story Map application to create a map that follows the growth and decline of Houston’s folk music scene. Included are photographs of venues, posters, video clips of people describing the places, and some live audio.