On March 2nd of each year, Texas celebrates its own independence day. On that day in 1836, 56 mostly Anglo settlers in Mexican Texas declared Texas to be independent from Mexico, and published a Declaration of Independence to that effect.
The most well-known battle during the Texas Revolution was the Battle of the Alamo. Many people know this battle through popular culture – either from their classrooms as children, or one of the many movies produced dramatizing the battle. The Texian combatants in the Alamo, however, fought not for the independence of Texas, but rather for a return to the Mexican constitution of 1824. Continue reading “William B. Travis Letter and Senator John G. Tower”
Boundaries(Two Ponds Press, 2017) is one of our newest acquisitions and a favorite fine press book among Special Collections staff. (N.B.: as of the post date, Special Collections is the only holding library for this title in Texas – Jason) With poems by Richard Blanco and photographs by Jacob Bond Hessler, the volume addresses social divisions that have burdened our country’s history and exposes the ways these boundaries continue to trouble us. Continue reading “Boundaries”
This object is one of the most remarkable things we have in Special Collections. I don’t recall when I first encountered it – I suspect it was several months into my first year when I retrieved this from its perch high on the shelves in one of our storage areas. Continue reading “Love Album”
This broadside, measuring five inches wide by seventeen and a half inches tall, advertises a bullfight (or, corrida) that never occured. We acquired the broadside this month from William Allison of Houston. I must admit to being taken aback when I first saw it – as with much of Carl Hertzog’s best work, it is visually arresting. Continue reading “Carl Hertzog and the Bullfight that Never Happened”
If you ask me what my favorite book is, I have two answers: my favorite “book-story” is Middlemarch by George Eliot, but my favorite “book-object” is the 1979 Arion Press edition of Moby-Dick. While I’ve never actually read Moby-Dick (sorry, Melville!) – this work for me represents unparalleled craftsmanship, my introduction to our rare book collection at Southwestern University, and my first professional exercise in descriptive bibliography.Continue reading “Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale”
When I first started my internship at Southwestern University Special Collections, Director Jason Dean suggested that we read the RBMS Competencies for Special Collections Professionals as part of our weekly special collections reading group. While this was a great exercise in examining my own skill sets and developing learning goals for the duration of my internship at Southwestern, it left me with concerns about my career-readiness with only two semesters left in my MSIS program. These lists of knowledge areas in particular struck me as overwhelming:
. . .“a working knowledge of the basic history, theory, and best practices relating to materials found in special collections research libraries, including but not limited to printed books, manuscripts, archival material, and ephemera; photographs, prints, maps and other graphic works; audio-visual material in all formats; born-digital and digitized media; art objects and three-dimensional objects” . . . . . .“knowledge of the production and dissemination of information resources, including the history of the book and the book arts, book construction, editions and variants, binding history, illustration techniques, digital printing and publishing techniques, typefaces, paper, parchment, paleography, and scribal practices, or other topics as appropriate for their collections” . . .
As the Christmas holidays approach and the library’s perennial Christmas tree of books (comprised entirely of volumes bound in green, of course!) shines bright downstairs in Periodicals, it seemed only natural to dig around in the archives for some of the Christmas cards we have here in Special Collections. Continue reading “A Special Collections Christmas”
This small book, seven and a half inches tall, and 19 pages in length; is one of the first books that really fascinated me when I arrived here. It’s easy to miss on the shelf as it is quite thin, even in cloth covered boards. The book focuses on the printing of Wendish in Texas in Giddings, Texas. Continue reading “Wendish Printing in Texas”