For the Record: Aug. 27, 2010

collections

For the Record: Aug. 27, 2010

Asteroid 213629 BinfordLewis Binford, Anthropology, Dedman College, has been honored with an asteroid named for him by the International Astronomical Union. The naming citation for Asteroid (213629) Binford reads, in part, “[Lewis Binford] was one of the main figures behind the development of the ‘New Archaeology’ or ‘Processual Archaeology,’ the major theoretical and methodological improvements to archaeology taking place during the 1960s to 1980s.”

The object was discovered in November 2004 on images taken in August 2002 by the 1.2-meter Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) telescope at Mt. Palomar, California. It is an MB II asteroid, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter with an orbital period of 4 years, a minimum distance to the sun of 2.38 astronomical units (AU) and an estimated size of slightly over 1 kilometer. See the asteroid’s 3D orbit diagram at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website. (Top right, a composite of three images documenting the asteroid’s discovery, showing it as a tiny moving dot. Click the image for a larger version. Images courtesy of NEAT/NASA.)

Lynne Jackson, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, has received a 2010 Meritorious Achievement Award from the Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA). TBA President and SMU professor Brian Merrill presented the award during the organization’s annual convention and clinic in July in San Antonio. The award honors “those who have made a difference in the lives of band students in Texas” and “who exemplify the qualities of a good band director.”

Cat with serape, ca. 1860Norwick Center for Digital Services, Central University Librares, has received a $20,000 TexTreasures grant to digitize, catalog and upload 2,500 items into the University’s Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs digital collection. The annual competitive grant program is designed to help member libraries make their special collections more accessible. Funding is available for projects that involve cataloging, indexing, and digitizing local materials with statewide significance.

NCDS and DeGolyer Library will digitize 19th-century photographs from the Lawrence T. Jones Texas photography collection . This collection, which contains 5,000 photographs, depicts Texans from a variety of cultural groups: Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and American Indian, as well as locations from all regions of the state. (Bottom right, Cat posed with Mexican serape, ca. 1860 from the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs digital collection.)

August 27, 2010|For the Record|

Fondren festival focuses on rare ‘race movies’

DVD box artSMU’s internationally famous collection of black independent films from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s will be showcased from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 26-27 as part of the Fondren Library AV Bi-Annual Film Festival.

The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library is home to the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection, from which the festival screenings were chosen. These “race movies,” shown mostly in the segregated movie houses of the mid-20th century American South, were discovered in an East Texas warehouse on miraculously well-preserved nitrate stock in 1983. Transferred to safety film in 1985, several were digitally restored and released in a 3-DVD boxed set in 2004.

“These films stand as a testimony to the history of black independent film in the United States, to the skill and artistry that have existed in the genre for much longer than many people may know,” says Tinsley Silcox, director of public services for SMU’s Central University Libraries (CUL). “They’re also an undistorted glimpse of African-American life in the early 20th century, devoid of the usual Hollywood stereotypes. They’re very representative of African-American self-consciousness of the time.”

Silcox and Rick Worland, professor of cinema-TV in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will host the festival and provide commentary on the films. All screenings will be held in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

The complete schedule:

Movie poster for 'The Broken Earth'Monday, Oct. 26

  • Introduction by Tinsley Silcox
  • The Broken Earth (1939) – A one-reel drama starring Clarence Muse as a hard-working sharecropper whose son becomes ill with a fever. In its acting, writing and cinematography, “this is a powerful, powerful statement that shows the depth and breadth of talent in these films,” Silcox says. It’s an especially important showcase for Muse, whose acting career spanned more than 60 years and included many major Hollywood releases, he adds. “At a time when most mainstream black film characters were servants and comic relief, Muse’s artistry in this role demonstrated the very high dramatic standards African-American performers could achieve.”
  • Juke Joint (1947) – Shot in Dallas, this feature stars pioneering actor-director Spencer Williams and Texas native Robert Orr (credited here under the screen name July Jones) as a pair of con artists, down and out in the Southwest, who pose as theatrical experts to help a girl win a beauty pageant.
  • Midnight Shadow (1939) – Carnival performer Prince Alihabad takes an interest in the daughter of an Old South family when he learns they have oil property in Texas. The daughter’s boyfriend becomes jealous, and murder ensues.

    Movie poster for 'Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A.'Tuesday, Oct. 27

  • Introduction by Rick Worland
  • Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946) – In a screenplay based on W. Somerset Maugham‘s short story Rain, a sexy dancer shakes things up in a sleepy Caribbean island resort.
  • By-Line Newsreels (1953-56) – Newsreels featuring interviews with black government officials in the Eisenhower administration, including Carmel Marr, United Nations employee; Ernest Wilkins, Assistant Secretary of Labor; Samuel Pierce, Undersecretary of Labor; E. Frederick Morrow, one of President Eisenhower’s top aides; and Lois Lippman, the first black member of the White House staff.
  • Vanities (Harlem Hot Shots) (1946) – Charles Keith is the master of ceremonies of a nightclub act.

    For more information, contact Lisa Wall at 214-768-4397.

    Read more about the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection
    Find more digitized content at the CUL Digital Collections homepage

  • October 23, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News|

    Belo Corp. donates historic papers to SMU

    Bullock perfecting press used by The Dallas Morning News in 1885Belo Corp., owner of WFAA-TV and former parent company of The Dallas Morning News, is donating the Belo Corporate Archives to SMU’s DeGolyer Library. The thousands of documents in the archives include materials from A.H. Belo Corporation, which was formed to own The Dallas Morning News and other newspapers that were spun off from Belo Corp. in February 2008.

    “Since 1985, Belo Corp. has invested in updating its archival collection that traces the history of the Company as well as the City of Dallas. We are proud of this collection and believe it is best situated in a permanent curatorial setting such as the DeGolyer Library,” said Robert W. Decherd, chairman of Belo Corp. “The board of directors and management of Belo Corp. are very pleased that SMU will be home to the archives and thereby enhance the University’s already significant collections.”

    Belo was established in 1842, making it the oldest continuously operated business institution in Texas. The archives include the private and business correspondence and private and business papers of company leaders such as G.B. Dealey, E.M. “Ted” Dealey, Joe M. Dealey, James M. Moroney, James M. Moroney Jr., H. Ben Decherd and Robert W. Decherd.

    The archives also contain the operational papers of the company itself, including annual reports to management and shareholders, and recordings of important company-related events, beginning with audio recordings from the 1920s and 1930s and continuing to the present.

    “The Belo gift is a magnificent trove of primary materials, covering the multi-faceted operations of the oldest continuously-operated business in Texas,” says Gillian McCombs, dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries. “We are truly grateful to Belo for making these materials accessible to the public by donating them to SMU, where they will be used for teaching and research in a wide range of fields, from journalism, business and history to literary and cultural studies.”

    (Above, an original Bullock perfecting press used by The Dallas News at its beginning in 1885. On the far right is G.B. Dealey, then the business manager of the newspaper. Photo courtesy of DeGolyer Library.)

    Read more from SMU News

    October 13, 2009|News|
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