In the Marguerite Johnston Barnes Research Materials for Houston, The Unknown City, 1830-1991 (MS 455), there is a box of multiple editions of The Aegis, a publication created by Houston High School, later known as Central High School, and now named Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center.
The yearly publication is filled with ads for a variety of things, many that would not appeal to high school students. Let’s take a tour of Houston ads from 1909-1911.
The Woodson staff will be participating in a regional conference this week and will be taking a reading room break next while working on collection management. Our reading room and reference services will resume on May 31st.
We recently updated our exhibits around the library. One which is located in the metal hallway, in the front cases near the main entrance, and the 3rd floor next to the Kyle Morrow Room is in conjunction with Archives of the Impossible conference. If you want to read more about the archives, Wired published an article about Jacques Vallée and his papers.
Inside the Woodson is an example of Covid-related art that has been donated.
This week’s blog post comes from Lauren DuBois who is working with the Doc C collection.
We are no strangers to creepy stories, haunted tales, or other unexplained phenomena here at the Woodson, so we felt it was appropriate to feature some ghostly Texas tales ahead of the holidays later this month.
These items have come into our possession (eek!) thanks to Dr. Gilbert M. Cuthbertson, who passed in 2019 and donated his extensive and wonderful rare book & manuscripts collection to the Woodson.
We are especially enchanted by Unsolved Texas Mysteries with its chapter on “Raiders of the Lost Archives.” Archive raiders may purloin rare documents to forge and reprint, steal and resell valuable items for personal gain, or might even be collectors themselves. Some important letters and historical artifacts from Texas’ long and colorful history are probably lost forever, but perhaps there are others you can help locate.
You can find these books on display in the exhibit case near the elevators. Happy Halloween!
While checking the transcriptions for Hispanic oral histories conducted in 2000 by HACER, I have relied heavily on the Campaniles and Threshers to track down the appropriate spellings of names. Is it Barbara or Barbra or which of the many spellings of Christie?
Interviewee Dorothy Farrington Caram ’55 threw me for a loop with one name, Yramategui. I heard “Martequiz.” I found him in the 1943 Campanile by searching his first name “Manuel.” Manuel Armando Yramategui ’44 in his short life made a long lasting impact on the Houston region.
He became the curator at the Burke Baker Planetarium and was president of the Texas Conservation Council. He was also the go to astronomy and paleontology expert for the Houston Chronicle. Yramategui’s quotes show up frequently in the WATCHEM section. In the 1960s, he would appear on KTRK as a nature expert, a bit like Jack Hanna.
In January 1970, Yramategui’s life was cut short in what appears to be a robbery gone wrong while on his way to view a comet.
A year later the Middle Bayou area that he loved was renamed Armand Bayou. In 1974, Hana Ginzbarg raised funds to start the Armand Bayou Nature Center.
Earlier in the week, while prepping our boxes for the move from Iron Mountain to the Library Service Center, I opened up a rather light box and discovered some pottery. I decided to revisit the box later.
Here are some of cups in the box.
But there was more . . . a male human skull. While it makes sense that the artist Hannah Holliday Stewart would want a skull as a model, it is rather odd that she chose this one. There are a variety of marks on the skull, along with tape residue. If you have any other thoughts on this, please share.
In case you are intrigued by skulls and have a strong stomach, you can check out this article on how human remains were made into skeletons in centuries past.
August has begun and it will soon be time to welcome everyone (faculty and students) back to campus. They will be now be greeted with new exhibits. Here’s a look at some of them.
Crowdsourcing transcription of historical documents – Location: 1st floor main hallway
This exhibit reveals a new software that we have been using to help small groups and/or the general public transcribe/translate historical documents. If you’ve got time on your hands and want to transcribe William Marsh Rice’s ledgers, we’d love to have your assistance. Click through the gallery to see how you can participate.
Remembering “Doc C” through his collection – Location: 1st floor exhibit case near front entrance
This exhibit, assembled by Doc C Copy Cataloguer, Lauren DuBois, shares highlights that she has discovered while working through his book collection.
Stewart Alexander Collection: Books and original recordings of trance and physical mediumship – Location: 1st floor exhibit cases outside of Woodson
These two exhibit cases showcase items from the newly acquired Stewart Alexander collection, which makes up part of the Archives of the Impossible.
Beauty from Above: Book Covers from the Anderson Collection on the History of Aeronautics – Location: 1st floor inside Woodson
In case anyone needs a dose of pretty, this exhibit simply puts a spotlight on some of the beautiful books in the Anderson collection.
We recently got in a new collection featuring Jimmy Don Smith. It includes posters, fliers, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other interesting items. Check out those embroidered jeans.
Smith (1948-10-28 – 1986-01-25) was a Houston transplant and made his name as a Blues guitarist and founder of The Cold Cuts, as well as other bands throughout the 1960s-1980s. He/His bands opened up for Blues musicians like Muddy Waters, B. B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King, the King trifecta. He had also been the lead guitarist for Billy Joe Shaver and Roy Head.
The collection includes a variety of unique posters that generally showcase the opening act, but Jimmy Don Smith or his band at the time served as an opening act.
A couple of years ago we featured The Red Book of Houston in a post. That post began a series of events that will conclude with an unveiling of an ArcGIS Story Map at a panel featuring local/regional historians on Wednesday the 28th.
While the library may not get as much foot traffic, the Woodson staff has continued to create exhibits to showcase the archives and our various projects.
A new one went up inside the Woodson entitled “One Night in Houston: Selections from the Ralph Fales photograph collection.” One thing I must admit is that many of these performers did perform more than one show in Houston and sometimes they performed a set of shows. But the title is catchy and concert-related, and a shoutout to the new film One Night in Miami.
Anyway, the new exhibit highlights photographs from the Ralph Fales collection that came in almost exactly a year ago. It also focuses on more specifically Black musicians that graced the stages in Houston in the mid-1970s. The performers include: Bob Marley, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, Houston’s own Lightnin’ Hopkins, and many others. If you are wondering why no Black women, there is only one image of Sippie Wallace from a show in Boston.
If you want to see more of this collection, it will be getting its own online exhibit later in 2021.