CUL Digital Collections Update: November 2014

In November 2014, SMU Central University Libraries (CUL)’  uploaded 611 items into our CUL Digital Collections. CUL now has approximately 41,464 published items.

Highlights include:

131 Texas railroad negatives from the Everett L. DeGolyer Jr. Collection of United States Railroad Photographs as part of the TexTreasures FY2015 grant.
Images include Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company locomotives and railroad cars from 1935-1974. Locations include Brownwood, Amarillo, Slaton, Dallas, Cleburne, Plainview, Lamesa, Fort Worth, San Angelo, and El Paso.

Sola-motor at the Ostrich Farm, 1902

Sola-motor at the Ostrich Farm, 1902. This early example of solar energy was used to irrigate the the ostrich farm, transforming it from a “dry, dusty farm to a lush garden full of flowers.” Source: Solar Resources – The Future of Energy.

Tourist album: Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah, containing 287 items: 139 items are in U.S. West: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints and 152 items are in Mexico: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints collection. The photographs show markets, silver mining, churches, national parks, and people. Among the locations included are Mexico City, Chapala, Guanajuato, Pikes Peak, Santa Catalina Island, Salt Lake City, and the Cawston Ostrich Farm with a solar power energy dish in Pasadena.

Indian Detours: Most Distinctive Motor Cruise Service in the World, ca. 1930s, by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company.

3 pamphlets and 1 book created by Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (the state-owned railroad company operating from 1938-1998) between 1952-1960. These publications, which describe railroad stations in Ciudad Juarez, Torreón, San Luis Potosi, and Xalapa (Jalapa), are Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México publications, including Instalaciones Ferroviarias de la Terminal de Ciudad Juarez, ‘Puerta de Mexico’, 1960; Torreón, Instalaciones Ferroviarias, 1960; Terminal Ferroviaria de San Luis Potosí, 1958; and Nueva Terminal de Jalapa. Plan Aleman de Rehabilitación Ferroviaria, 1952.

65 shop drawings from the Potter Art Iron Studio Collection from Box 07. Drawings consist of light fixtures, including lamps, hanging lights, pendant lights, and chandeliers.

Shown left: [Table Lamp with Branch Design on Red Base and Fleur-de-lis Motif on Shade], 1932, by the Potter Art Iron Studio.

117 items from the George Albert Converse Papers and Photographs, 1861-1897, including two undated notebooks of lectures, notes, and specifications, one of which is authored by George Albert Converse. Also among the items are a stencil of Converse’s name; 28 newspaper articles concerning torpedo boats spanning the 1870s-1880s for publications including The Daily Telegraph and The Times; 9 design drawings and two other illustrations related to torpedoes and torpedo boats; 71 blueprints, ca. 1893-1894; 1 document of Congressional testimony on February 23, 1897, discussing torpedo boat destroyers at a hearing before the Committee on Naval Affairs in the United States Senate; and 1 document on June 7, 1894 explaining broadside pivoted tubes and giving directions for their use at the Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island.

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CUL Digital Collections Update: October 2014

[Costumed Group, Casino de Aguascalientes], December 1909, by E.B. Downing y Cia

In October 2014, SMU’s Central University Libraries (CUL) uploaded 1,019 items into CUL Digital Collections. CUL now has approximately 40,853 published items.

[Andirons with Swan Design], 1935, by Potter Art Iron Studio

[Andirons with Swan Design], 1935, by Potter Art Iron Studio

Highlights include:

136 shop drawings from the Potter Art Iron Studio Collection, including Box 03 and Box 04. Drawings mainly include a variety of andirons, as well as chandeliers, lanterns, and other lighting fixtures.

57 Texas railroad negatives from the Everett L. DeGolyer Jr. Collection of United States Railroad Photographs as part of the TexTreasures FY2015 grant. The images depict Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company locomotives, ca. 1937-1965. The photographs were taken in various locations in Texas, including including Dallas, Temple, Houston, Cleburne, Garland, Gainesville, and Paris.

Mrs. W. D. Haynie, ca. 1890s, by E. G. Williams & Bro., New York

Mrs. W. D. Haynie, ca. 1890s, by E. G. Williams & Bro., New York

Piadoso devocionario en honor del sagrado corazon de Jesús dispuesto por un religioso de la compañia de Jesús de Mexico, para utilidad de los devotos congregantes de la pia union, 1819, published by D. Alejandro Valdes.

3 prints of Viola and William Haynie, ca. 1890s, from the Margaret Wilbur Papers. Viola Sessions (April 18, 1844 – July 10, 1928) and William D. Haynie (April 29, 1837 – October 14, 1906) married in February 1860. William Haynie, along with others, helped build the city of Rice, Texas. Viola Sessions Haynie was a steward of the family’s estate following her husband’s death, doubling its value under her watch, and a benefactor of educational and religious institutions. Among the recipients of her generosity (more than $100,000) were Southern Methodist University ($47,000), Haynie Memorial Methodist Church in Rice, and Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, to name a few.

15 currency notes from the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency, including a 25-cent note issued by Stringer’s Hotel, 1862, redeemable in Confederate notes and an ornately decorated 25-cent note issued by the Travis County Road and Bridge Company, ca. 1870s, redeemable for tolls.

26 documents from the George Albert Converse Papers, 1861-1897, including torpedo boat specifications, test documents, memoranda, questionnaires, and contracts.

782 issues of the SMU Campus, SMU’s student newspaper, from 1951-1963.

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CUL Digital Collections Update: September 2014

CUL Digital Collections

[Saudi Arabian Airline Airplane at Airport Terminal in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia], ca. 1947, by Robert Yarnall Richie Incline up Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tenn., November 3, 1913, by S. H. Kress & Co. Western thoroughbreds, 1909, by L. Peterson [Union Pacific, Locomotives 4014 and 4001], June 16, 1956

In September 2014, CUL uploaded 494 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 39,834 published items.

Highlights include:

63 photographs, documents and ephemera from the Horn Family Papers, a collection of the family papers of Thomas Lora Horn, his wife Blanche, and their two sons in St. Louis, Missouri. Their son Leslie, a second lieutenant in the 110th infantry, 28th division, lost his life on October 1, 1918 at the Battle of Argonne during World War I. This collection includes materials regarding Leslie’s death and Blanche’s visit to his grave at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in 1930 as part of the Gold Star Mothers and Widows Pilgrimage funded by the U.S. Government.

24 bank notes from Austin, Travis County, from the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency. Particularly decorative notes include a State of Texas $10.00 (ten dollars) treasury warrant, 1862, and a Republic of Texas $5.00 (five dollars) “Redback” note, July 10, 1839.

John N. Rowe III collection of Texas centennial and sesquicentennial posters. The Texas Sesquicentennial posters are re-creations of stamps designed for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition held at Fair Park, Dallas, Texas. The event celebrated Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836.

82 shop drawings from Box 2 of the Potter Art Iron Studio Collection. Drawings in Box 2 depict decorative weathervanes, several different styles of planters, and a handful of signs and plaques, with the majority of the material being hanging light fixtures.

34 issues of the Asiatic Mirror, 1813. The Asiatic Mirror, written in English, originated from Calcutta, India, known today as Kolkata. Dates for newspapers in the collection range sequentially from July 14, 1813, through November 17, 1813. Newspaper entries focus on topics such as legislative actions taken in the British House of Lords, world events including excerpts from other national papers, and global military actions such as the capture of American frigates.

6 New York Bridge Drawings, 1903-1907, by the New York Department of Bridges for the Manhattan and Blackwell’s Island bridges.

Act of incorporation and by-laws of the Suffolk Savings Bank for Seamen and Others, 1870.

Two Years Among the Spirits in the Godless Town of Liberal: The Experience of the Famous Medium, Dr. J.B. Bouton, Liberal, Mo., 1888, by J.B. Bouton.

The Great Union Pacific Railroad, Excursion to the Hundredth Meridian: From New York to Platte City, 1867, published by The Republican Company.

Old Mexico, 1897, a tourist album containing 175 photographs, many by Mayo & Weed, collected by F. M. White. Included are photographs of cities, towns, volcanos, markets, cathedrals, bull fights, trains, South American Indian ruins, cathedrals, a coffee plantation, American tourists, and Mexican people. Among the locations included are Tampico, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Zacatecas, Queretaro, Tlaxcala, Cholula, and others.

Manifiesto documentado sobre la conducta publica y privada del Doctor José María Guerra, arcediano de la Santa Iglesia Catedral de Yucatan. Se da al público con el motivo que en él se espresa, 1832, by Pedro Marcial Guerra y Rodríguez Correa and published by Martin Rivera.

O la Inquisición se pone, ó la religión se acaba, 1822, published by José Maria Ramos Palomera.

Wildcat well, Beechcraft airplane, and camel, 1946, by Robert Yarnall Richie

Wildcat well, Beechcraft airplane, and camel, 1946, by Robert Yarnall Richie

41 Aramco aviation images from the Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection. Richie completed three assignments for the the Arabian American Company between 1946-1948, during which time he photographed numerous oil exploration and aviation-related images in Saudi Arabia and surrounding areas. Aramco acquired airplanes for geological reconnaissance missions as well as to transport employees from the United States to Saudi Arabia and back. The company’s first plane used for reconnaissance was the Fairfield 71. Other important planes included the “Flying Camel” and “The Colosseum”.

 

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Texas Industry Photographs, 1936-1970, by Robert Yarnall Richie

[Pilots Walking Towards Aircraft Hangar, Pepperell Manufacturing Company], Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, February 1943, by Robert Yarnall Richie

[Pilots Walking Towards Aircraft Hangar, Pepperell Manufacturing Company], Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, February 1943, by Robert Yarnall Richie

Now online are 1,066 photographic prints and negatives depicting non-oil-related Texas companies (ca. 1936-1970), taken by Robert Yarnall Richie (1908-1984). The photographs are part of the DeGolyer Library’s Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection, which consists of industrial and corporate photographs taken by Richie throughout his career. The photographs complement a previous project to digitize and make available 1,238 of Richie’s Texas oil-related negatives. Both projects were funded by Texas Treasures grants from the Texas State Library and Archives.

The non-oil-related images showcase over three decades of Texas industrial growth, including companies, places, and events that helped shape Texas during the mid-20th century. The photographs include both well- and little-known businesses in sectors, including heavy industry, machinery, chemicals, airlines and aircraft , railways, shipping, automobiles, food and beverage production, entertainment, technology, and electricity and power.

[1952 Pontiac Chieftain DeLuxe Catalina, Dow Chemical Plant, General Motors Corp.], by Robert Yarnall Richie

Workers at a Dow Chemical Company plant in Freeport, Texas, with a 1952 Pontiac Chieftain DeLuxe Catalina in the foreground.

Richie’s photographs, which include many aerial shots, provide a unique context by documenting industrial facilities (many of which have been greatly altered since the images were taken or no longer exist), along with the equipment and processes critical to their operation. Also featured are many images taken during World War II that are valuable from a socio-cultural point-of-view, including, for example,  images of workers. Of note are photographs of women workers in various industries during World War II as well as women working after the war.

[Coronation of Rose Queen, Frances Connally, Life Magazine], September 30, 1938, by Robert Yarnall Richie

[Coronation of Rose Queen, Frances Connally, Life Magazine], September 30, 1938, by Robert Yarnall Richie

Photographs of many hallmarks of Texas society, culture, and infrastructure are depicted in Richie’s work, including Texas football and stadiums, cityscapes, and urban development. Annual events such as the Texas Rose Festival in Tyler, Texas and the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show  are included. There are several images of buildings and features around the University of Texas at Austin campus in 1949, such as The Tower, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, and Littlefield Fountain. Other notable Texas structures and monuments include the Texas Capitol Building, San Jacinto Monument, and Pecos River High Bridge.

The aerial photographs digitized as part of this grant depict myriad aspects of Texas. Whether viewing Houston, Dallas, Texas City, the company town of Newgulf (considered a virtual ghost town today) or specific estates or ranches, these unique views capture Texas’ history, art,  and culture throughout the mid-20th century. Some of these ranches and estates belong to notable individuals in modern Texas history such as Paul Raigorodsky, Eddie Rickenbacker, J. B. O’Connor, Everette Alan Craft, and Theodore Newton Law. There are a number of aerial and non-aerial photographs related to James Smither Abercrombie, his family, property, business interests and charitable works. Forty-three images pertaining to the Raigorodsky family and property are in the collection. Paul M. Raigorodsky testified before Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President’s Commission (the Warren Commission) on March 31, 1964. His testimony described his relationship with George De Mohrenschildt, a friend and associate of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Richie, a mid-century modernist, had a lengthy list of Texas-based industrial clients, and the number of Texas assignments represented in the collection is indicative of this fact. The companies he photographed include Continental Carbon Company, Texas Gulf Sulfur (Sulphur) Company, General Motors Corporation, Galveston Wharf Company, American Airlines, Lone Star Cement Company, Champion Paper and Fiber Co., Houston Power & Light Company, Lockheed Aircraft/Delta, Sloane-Blabon Corporation, United Carbon Company, Moran Towing Company, National Lead Company, Dayton Rubber Co., Eastern Airlines, Jones and Lamson Machine Company, Texas & Pacific Railroad, DuPont, E.I. de Nemours & Company Inc., Texas-Illinois Company, Sakowitz Bros. Department Store, Southern Pacific Railroad, and more.

Texas State Library and Archives CommissionInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesA total of 2,304 photographs of Texas industry, 1936-1970, were made available from grant funds. In FY2013 digitization of 1,238 of Richie’s Texas-oil related photographs was funded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission as part of the TexTreasures program. A follow-on grant in FY2014 supported the digitization of 1,066 non-oil related Texas photographs. The TexTreasures program was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

by Brandon P. Murray, Digitizer/Metadata Creator, Central University Libraries, SMU

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CUL Digital Collections Update: August 2014

CUL Digital Collections

[Whiffen, Bridgeman, Minor and Wolfe, the shovel gang.], April 10, 1913, by Jules Bourquin [Sun Foyer, Theodore Newton Law Residence], October 30, 1965, by Robert Yarnall Richie [Artillery on flat car.], July 20, 1916, by Jules Bourquin
Ebano, ca. 1910-1911, from page 4 of Oil fields in Mexico

Ebano, ca. 1910-1911, from page 4 of Oil fields in Mexico

In August 2014, CUL uploaded 330 items into our CUL Digital Collections web site. CUL now has approximately 39,340 published items.

Highlights include:

Oil fields in Mexico, an album entitled “Photographs: Mexico I” containing 180 photographs of oil fields and camps owned by the Mexican Petroleum Company and the Huestaco Oil Company. Depicted are Ebano, Casiano, and Cerro Azul, along with Pearson’s Potrero and Dos Bocas wells. Also included are views of oil company executives and employees, asphalt production, the countryside, rivers, and Mexico City.
Both the complete album and the individual photographs in high resolution are available.

Chihuahua Oil Lands, ca. 1910-1929

Chihuahua Oil Lands, ca. 1910-1929

18 Mexico oil-related items from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Part of the Everette Lee DeGolyer Sr. Papers, these items include 7 maps, 6 pamphlets or leaflets, and 5 clippings from journals that are part of a scrapbook held by Mr. DeGolyer. The maps include Chihuahua Oil Lands (ca. 1910-1929); Theoretical Section Through Alazan Nos 2 & 3, Potrero del Llano No 31 & 5 and Tumbadero No 4 (1912); Section Tanhuijo Wells (ca. 1910-1913); Reconnaissance Geologic and Topographic Map of Hacienda Llano Grande (1910); Reconnaissance Geologic and Topographic Map of Hacienda Tierra Amarilla (1910); Potrero Oil Field Well Location Sheet (1910); and General Plan of the Tampico Region, Mexico (1913). Pamphlets/leaflets include Facts Relative to the Existence of Oil in Mexico (1910), Pearson contra Pierce en la “Guerra Petrolifera Mexicana.” (ca. 1910),  La Cuestion Petrolera ante la Camara de Diputados (1914), Test for Oil in Rocks (1915), The Geology of Cape Colony, Excerpt] (1909), and The History of Mining in Mexico and Its Economic Development (1916). Clippings include Federal Leasing of Oil Lands (1913), The Derivation of Oil-Well Logs (1913), Bitumen and Oil Rocks (1904), Geological Notes on West Coast of Mexico (1910), and [Noticia historica de la Riqueza minera de Mexico y de su actual Estado de Explotacion] (1884).

San Xavier Church, Tucson, Arizona, 1882, a print from the book “From river to sea: a tourist’s and miner’s guide from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean via Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and California” by Gleed.

Olive Oatman, 1857

Portrait of former Northern American Indian captive, Olive Oatman, 1857, from her biography.

3 prints, 1869, from “Adventures in the Apache country: a tour through Arizona and Sonora, with notes on the silver regions of Nevada” by Browne. Two of the images depict Tucson, Arizona and the San Xavier mission in Tuscon, and the third depicts the Casas Grandes Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona.

Olive Oatman, 1857, a portrait print of former North American Indian captive, Olive Oatman, from the book “Captivity of the Oatman girls: being an interesting narrative of life among the Apache and Mohave Indians” by the Reverend Royal B. Stratton.

City of Tucson, 1884, a lithograph showing a cityscape view of Tuscon, Arizona, from “The resources of Arizona. Its mineral, farming, grazing and timber lands; its history, climate, productions, civil and military government, pre-historic ruins, early missionaries, Indian tribes, pioneer days, etc., etc.”

Ruins of Pecos – Astek Church, 1848, a lithograph depicting a mission church in the ruins of Pecos Pueblo.

5 chromolithographs, ca. 1855-1860, from “Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.” Two of the images depict the Rio Colorado and various North American Indians on its banks, a third depicts the Zuni Pueblo and surrounding mesas, and the last two depict members of two separate North American Indian tribes, the Navajo and the Mojave.

[Bracket Holding Flower Pot], 1948, Henry Potter Iron Art Studio

[Bracket Holding Flower Pot], 1948, Henry Potter Iron Art Studio

5 lithographs, including 1 chromolithograph portrait of three Mojave Indians and 4 lithographs documenting the exploration up the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, all taken from “Report upon the Colorado River of the West, explored in 1857 and 1858″.

Box 1 of the Henry Potter Iron Art Studio, which includes 109 shop drawings that were uploaded into a new digital collection for the Bywaters Special Collections. The Henry Potter Iron Art Studio collection contains some 1,700 shop sketches and accompanying invoices from Potter Metal Studios in Dallas, which fashioned lighting fixtures, furniture, and other items, primarily in iron, for North Texas businesses, private residences, and institutions (e.g., Dallas Little Theatre, SMU, Highland Park Shopping Village, Highland Park United Methodist Church, and Highland Park Presbyterian Church) from the 1930s through the 1960s.

 

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CUL Digital Collections Update: July 2014

Emily Hahn, ca. 1937-1939

Emily Hahn, ca. 1937-1939, DeGolyer Library. Hahn was an American journalist and author who lived in Shanghai during the 1930s and was a close friend of Sir Victor Sassoon. Photograph by Sir Victor Sassoon.

In July 2014, SMU’s Central University Libraries uploaded 459 items into our CUL Digital Collections web site. CUL Digital Collections now contain approximately 39,000 published items.

Highlights include:

Two albums of photographs by Sir Victor Sassoon. Landscapes, China and India, “Eves” and Garden, 1937 includes 24 images depicting boats and ships near Shanghai, China, as well as the transport of cars by a pontoon ferry in India. Portraits, Lucas Twins and Others, 1937-1939 includes 25 portraits and images, including Emily Hahn, Lorna and Kathleen Lucas, and other Sassoon contemporaries.

[Front of Engine #1566 (4-6-0) after falling into turntable pit.], October 17, 1911, by Jules Bourquin

[Front of Engine #1566 (4-6-0) after falling into turntable pit.], October 17, 1911, by Jules Bourquin, DeGolyer Library.

112 photographs from the Jules A. Bourquin photographs, featuring images the Horton Depot and the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company. Of particular note are photographs of train wrecks, as well as images of military personnel passing through Horton, Kansas, en route to the Border War with Mexico. The collection also includes photographs of railyard workers, locomotives, trains, and everyday-life scenes in Horton.

Untitled charcoal drawing of an African-American man by Texas regionalist H.O. Robertson.

Untitled charcoal drawing of an African-American man by Texas regionalist H.O. Robertson, Bywaters Special Collections.

10 builder’s specification cards from the Baldwin Locomotive Works builder’s cards, including the Central of Georgia Railway, the Central Iron and Coal Company, and the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

20 pencil drawings, charcoals, and lithographs from the H.O. Robertson Papers, featuring portraits as well as landscapes depicting the southwest. Subjects depicted include portraits of people, as well as churches, sheep, houses, and landscapes in Texas, Mississippi, and Illinois.

''Seeadler,'' Germany, at the  the Columbian Naval Parade, held in New York on April 27, 1893

”Seeadler,” Germany, at the the Columbian Naval Parade, held in New York on April 27, 1893, DeGolyer Library.

48 photographs from the album, Columbian Naval Parade. The April 27, 1893, parade was held in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition, which commemorated Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the in the New World 400 years earlier. The images include ships from the U.S. Navy, as well as vessels from other countries. Also included are images of replicas of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.

2 photographs by William Henry Jackson, including Pueblo de Taos, New Mexico and The Rocky Mountains, Scenes Along the Line of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, ca. 1875-1884.

Geronimo - Apache, 1907, by Edward S. Curtis

Geronimo – Apache, 1907, by Edward S. Curtis, DeGolyer Library.

5 stereoviews, ca. 1880-1890 from the Collection of New Mexico stereographs.

Geronimo – Apache, 1907, by Edward S. Curtis.

H. Willard, Son & Co., Dealers in Raw Furs… Prices Current – Season 1903-1904, a circular distributed by H. Willard, Son & Co. of Marshalltown, Iowa, advertising prices offered to trappers for animal furs.

Prediger seminar der Deutschen Evangelischen Synode des westens bei Marthasville, Mo. (Preachers’ seminary of the German Evangelical Synod of the west in Marthasville, Mo.), ca. 1870-1883.

Pictorial Monogram of the State Government of Texas, 1873, H. B. Hillyer, Photographer. A composite photograph of the 1873 Texas legislators, including five African Americans, in the original frame.

Peruna V, 1949, by Laughead

Photograph from front page of The SMU Campus, September 23, 1949, with caption: About as Big as a Firecracker but loaded with dynamite is the new Peruna. Born during last year’s football season, 28 inches high and black as a cinder track, Peruna the Fifth is a he. Students will see him at an assembly today and a rally tonight. Photo by Laughead. Held by SMU Archives.

114 issues of SMU’s student newspaper, The SMU Campus, covering the years 1949-1950.

Topham Family Letters, Folder 1. Simon Thornton Topham, a polygamist, wrote these letters to his second wife, Mary “Lucinda” Robinson Topham, during the years 1887-1908. Simon and his family were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Under the Edmunds-Tucker Act the government was allowed to intercept the mail of those thought to be polygamists. These letters between Simon and Lucinda are part of a larger collection of letters from the Topham family.

Hyer Hall, SMU, 1927, by Joseph Neland Hester

Hyer Hall, SMU, 1927, by Joseph Neland Hester. Held by SMU Archives.

11 photographs of SMU campus buildings, including several no longer present, all taken in 1927 by Joseph Neland Hester. The buildings depicted are Atkins Hall, the Basketball Pavilion, Dallas Hall, Highland Park Methodist Church, Hyer Hall, Kirby Hall, McFarlin Auditorium, Ownby Stadium, Snider Hall, Virginia Hall, and the Women’s Gym.

Fort Worth Rail Yard, ca. 1923, a hand-colored print of a rail yard in Fort Worth, Texas. The photograph was taken in the early 1900s when the yard was owned by the Texas and Pacific Railway Company. At that time the yard was called Lancaster Yard after the president of the railroad, John L. Lancaster. Since then both ownership and the name of the yard have changed, and it is now known as Davidson Yard.

[Statue of Liberty During Blackout], November 9, 1965, by Robert Yarnall Richie.

[Statue of Liberty During Blackout], November 9, 1965, by Robert Yarnall Richie, DeGolyer Library

11 negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie of the Statue of Liberty at sunset and night on November 9, 1965, including before and during an electrical blackout.

64 non-oil-related Texas negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2014 grant, bringing the total number to 1,066 negatives. The images uploaded in July are from 1950-1965. Major companies and organizations depicted include United Carbon Company, Inc., Southern Pacific Railroad, Seatrain Lines, Monsanto Chemical Company, General Motors Corporation, and Caddo Chemical Company, Inc. Images of note include aerial views of J. B. O’Connor Ranch, Dallas, Texas; aerial views of Downtown Dallas; aerial views of the Houston skyline at night; Diesel Locomotive 346 and freight cars, location of silver spike, Southern Pacific Railroad; aerial view of railroad yard tracks in El Paso, Texas, Southern Pacific Lines; aerial view of Aransas Pass Plant, United Carbon Company, Inc.; Seatrain Louisiana vessel at dock, Texas City, Texas, Seatrain Lines; aerial views of Monsanto Chemical Company’s Texas City Plant; aerial view of Houston Ship Channel; diesel engine trucks used by the Caddo Chemical Company, Inc.; and aerial views, external views, and interior views of Theodore Newton Law Residence, Houston, Texas, including the Picasso Living Room

Figure 42: Index map showing location of Tampico Quadrangle on age 268 from The Oil Fields of Mexico with particular reference to the fields of The Tampico-Tuxpam Region, 1916, by Everette DeGolyer, Sr.

Figure 42: Index map showing location of Tampico Quadrangle on page 268 from The Oil Fields of Mexico with particular reference to the fields of The Tampico-Tuxpam Region, 1916, by Everette DeGolyer, Sr., DeGolyer Library.

The Oil Fields of Mexico with particular reference to the fields of The Tampico-Tuxpam Region, 1916, an 858-page report written by Everette DeGolyer, Sr. According to Mr. DeGolyer, the report “is a study of results achieved in exploration and exploitation by various companies engaged in the Mexican oil fields, a study of the observations made by various geologists who have worked in the region, particularly of the results obtained by these with whom the writer has been associated, and observations made by the writer during a residence of five years in the Mexican fields as a geologist to the Mexican Eagle Oil Company.”

Shown right: Figure 42: Index map showing location of Tampico Quadrangle on age 268 from The Oil Fields of Mexico with particular reference to the fields of The Tampico-Tuxpam Region, 1916, by Everette DeGolyer, Sr.

Posted in aerial photographs, American Indians, Railroads, Robert Yarnall Richie, SMU Student Newspapers, Texas artists, U.S. West | Leave a comment

CUL Digital Collections: June 2014

In June 2014, CUL uploaded 261 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 38,550 published items.

Highlights include:

52 non-oil-related Texas negatives, August 1949-August 1954, by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2014 grant. Major companies and organizations depicted are Southern Pacific Railroad; Seatrain Lines; Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; St. Louis Southwestern Railway; General American Transportation Corporation; and Champion Paper and Fibre Company. Also uploaded were aerial views of Houston and Eddie Rickenbacker’s Bear Creek Ranch, Hunt, Texas.

7 color transparencies relating to World War II aircraft by Robert Yarnall Richie, including a Dawn Patrol of warplanes over Lake Charles, Louisiana; Boeing Flying Fortress (B-17s) over Mount Rainier, washington; and U.S. fighter pilots, machine gunners, and navigators in Boeing aircraft at Mitchel Field Air Force Base in Long Island.

14 stereographs taken by John Carbutt and Andrew J. Russell, ca. 1866-1869, depicting views of the Union Pacific Railroad. Eleven stereographs document a group of excursionists viewing the progress of the railroad after it reached the 100th meridian of longitude in October 1866. The group included company directors, senators, congressmen, and other dignitaries.

Four railway images, including ‘‘The Lark” Southern Pacific train which began operation between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, on May 8, 1910.

China and Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1939, album by Sir Victor Sassoon, which includes
24 images depicting ships near Hong Kong and Shanghai, China. Many of the images document the damage, death, and civilian strife during the Second Sino-Japanese war.

10 builder’s specification cards from the
Baldwin Locomotive Works builder’s cards
, including the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the Chapman Timber Company, the Charcoal Iron Co. of America, the Charleston & Western Carolina Railway, the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway, the Cherry River Boom & Lumber Co., and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

[Ferrocarriles Unidos De Yucatan, No. 39], ca. 1860-1905, by H. Tyron Photo

[Ferrocarriles Unidos De Yucatan, No. 39], ca. 1860-1905, by H. Tyron Photo

12 large format builders’ photographs of locomotives built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for Lehigh Valley Railroad Company; Canadian National Railway Company; Chicago, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway Co. of Indiana; Wabash Railway Company; El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Company; Seaboard Railway Company; Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad Company; Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company; Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company; Internacional Mexicano; Lehigh Valley Coal Company; and Ferrocarriles Unidos De Yucatan.

Maverick Hotel, ca. 1885-1889, from the San Antonio View Co.

Maverick Hotel, ca. 1885-1889, from the San Antonio View Co.

139 stereographs, including 98 stereoviews of Texas.
In the upload were 26 stereoviews from the Henry A. Doerr Texas Stereographs depicting missions and everyday city life in San Antonio during the late 19th century; 8 stereographs from the San Antonio, Texas stereos; 11 stereoviews from the Collection of Texas Stereographs, primarily showing the cotton industry in the Dallas area, such as cotton fields, the process of weighing, packing cotton into bales, and the carding machinery used on the raw cotton; 38 stereoviews from the Texas Centennial stereo set, created as part of the Texas Centennial celebration in 1936, showing many historic landmarks such as the location of the first Texas capitol and the Confederate memorial to Dick Dowling at the Sabine Pass, as well as early photographs of several Texas learning institutions, including Texas A&M, TWU, and Texas Tech. The Amateur stereos of Louisiana, Texas and Mexico, ca. 1895-1905, includes 15 stereographs of Texas, as well as 24 stereographs of Mexico.

7 pamphlets, reports, books, presentations, and documents in the George Albert Converse Papers and Photographs, 1861-1897. The Torpedo Station, ca. 1882, is a pamphlet describing the history and functions of the Naval Torpedo Station on Goat Island in Newport Harbor. Navy (Torpedo Boats). Return to an Order of the Honourable The House of Commons, dated 4 August 1887 is a pamphlet containing the response of the Admiralty of the Royal Navy to a House of Commons inquiry regarding tests of the Navy’s torpedo boats conducted in May 1887. The Whitehead Torpedo. U.S.N., 45c/m Mark I. General Description, 1894, a book containing technical descriptions and 17 cyanotype diagrams of the Whitehead Torpedo and its components. The information was prepared at the Naval Torpedo Station on Goat Island in Newport Harbor (Rhode Island) by order of the Bureau of Ordnance and approved for use in the Navy. The Whitehead Torpedo. U.S.N., 45c/m. Marks I and II. Notes on Care and Handling, Disassembling and Assembling, etc., 1895, a book containing instructions for the care, handling, disassembling, assembling, manipulating, and adjusting of the Mark I and Mark II Whitehead Torpedoes and their accessories, as well as a list of names and reference numbers of parts. Collisions at Sea. A Letter by John Donaldson, M. Inst. C.E., M.I.N.A., etc., 1882, a reprint of the letter written by John Donaldson to the editor of The Times of London and originally published on April 15, 1882. Donaldson, a marine engineer and partner in the shipbuilding firm John I. Thornycroft & Co., decries the loss of life that typically resulted from ship collisions of the day and recommends several key changes to the structure and fittings characteristic of ships at that time, including the fitting of all merchant ships with an overhanging bow. Some Experiments to Test the Resistance of a First-Class Torpedo-Boat, 1883, a leaflet containing the text of a paper read by Sir Alfred F. Yarrow on March 15, 1883, at the 24th session of the Institution of Naval Architects. Description of the Electrical Launch Built Last Year, 1884, a pamphlet containing the text of a paper read by Sir Alfred F. Yarrow on April 2, 1884, at the 25th session of the Institution of Naval Architects. The paper describes an electric launch built by the Electric Storage Company, the Siemens Brothers, and Yarrow Shipbuilding Limited. In addition, the results of various trials undertaken with the launch are reported.

Map of Mexico City and Valley, Designed by Carlos Merida, Published by Frances Toor Studios, 1935Map of Mexico City and Valley Business Directory, 1935, by Carlos Merida and published by Frances Toor Studios, and the associated envelope. Carlos Merida was a Guatemalan artist who joined a Mexican mural painting school and worked with fellow artist Diego Rivera circa 1919. Along with Rivera, Orozoco, and Siqueiros, Merida helped establish the Union of Workers, Technicians, Painters and Sculptors. At various points in his career, Merida’s work reflected the Maya and Zapotec heritage of his native village, geometric designs, elements of Surrealism, and an interest in various art mediums, like glass. American-born Frances Toor (1890-1956) became interested in Mexico’s indigenous cultures and folk traditions while traveling in Mexico in the early 1920s as she worked on her Master’s thesis. In 1925 in Mexico City she started the bilingual cultural magazine ‘Mexican Folkways,’ which remained in publication for 12 years. From her studio in Mexico City, Toor edited various tourist guides, “A Motorist Guide to Mexico” (1938), a volume titled “Mexican Popular Arts” (1939), and “A Treasury of Mexican Folkways,” first edited by Crown Publishers in 1947. (Sources: Carlos Merida (Guatemala, 1891 – 1984), 2014, LatinAmericanArt.com; Schuessler, Michael K. Frances Toor and Mexican Folkways, Inside Mexico, March 2003, Editorial Manda.)

Posted in aerial photographs, George Converse Papers and Photographs, Railroads, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas photographs, U.S. West, World War II | Leave a comment

CUL Digital Collections Update: May 2014

In May 2014, CUL uploaded 398 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 38,289 published items.

Highlights include:

2 items from the George Albert Converse Papers and Photographs, including the 17-page Specifications for Illuminating Outfits for Ships of the U. S. Navy, 1903, and Description and Tests of Electrical Appliances, Monitor No. 10, U.S.S. Wyoming, 1902, a 136-page document consisting of test reports, descriptions, information, and blueprints relating to the U.S.S. Wyoming with sections on Turret Turning Gear; Endless Chain Ammunition Hoists; Ammunition Whip Hoist; Ventilating Sets, Long Arm System – W.T. Doors; and Name Plate Data – All Motors.

two items from the Collection of Adelsverein Documents, 1845-1864

Texas and German Emigration Company Certificate of Stock, June 15, 1859. The share is signed by Henry F. Fisher, one of the leading figures in the German Texas colonization. (Inset) Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas, a promotional piece for the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, February 1846, signed in type by E. Karl, Prince of Leiningen (President of the Adelsverein), Karl, Count of Castell (Vice President and Business Manager), and Philip Cappes (Special Commissioner). Includes a description of the colony, the number of emigrants who have gone to Texas, and adds numerous other details about the means of transportation, costs, etc.

44 documents from the Collection of Adelsverein Documents, 1845-1864. This collection includes documents relating to the German colonization of Texas and the Adelsverein, also known as Society for the Protection of German Emigrants to Texas (Verein zum Schutze Deutscher Einwanderer in Texas). The Adelsverein brought thousands of German emigrants to Texas beginning in 1844. These documents include land grants, emigration contracts, promotional materials, and fiscal documents.

78 non-oil-related Texas negatives, 1951-1952, by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2014 grant, bringing the total number to 950 negatives for the FY2014 grant. Companies and organizations depicted, or as clients, include Southern Pacific Railroad, Southland Paper Mills, Inc., United Carbon Co., and Texas Gulf Sulphur Company, Inc. Notable images include the Pecos River High Bridge and Historical Marker; Diesel Locomotive No. 206, Sunset Limited; Silver Spike, Southern Pacific Railroad; Work Crew for Southern Pacific Railroad; views of Aransas Pass Plant; aerial views of Houston; the Shamrock Hotel; Prudential Building Construction; E. A. Craft Ranch; and the Newgulf Production Plant and Airport.

[Last Words of Maximiliano, 'Mexicans may my blood be the last that spills and may it restore this unfortunate peasant'], 1867, by Adrian Cordiglia

[Last Words of Maximiliano, ‘Mexicans may my blood be the last that spills and may it restore this unfortunate peasant’], 1867, a photomontage depicting the execution of Emperor Maximilian and two of his generals at Santiago de Queretaro on June 19, 1867, by Adrian Cordiglia from the Thayer-Nagle Album of Scenes in Mexico.

Thayer-Nagle Album of Scenes in Mexico, containing 50 views of tourist interest along the Ferrocarril Mexicano (Mexican Railroad) in Orizaba, San Marcos, Tlapacoya, Castillo de Chapultepec, Amecameca, Mexico City and Veracruz including tracks, bridges, mountains, tunnels, cathedrals and the Museo de Nacional de Mexico.

17 builder’s specification cards from the Baldwin Locomotive Works Builder’s Cards, including several from the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway.
19 Baldwin Locomotive Works Extra Order Books, 1890-1909, containing orders for locomotive parts from the owners of the locomotive in the order. These orders can be used to document ownership of the locomotive, as well as configuration changes in the locomotive.

Manchuria, ca. 1903-1919, from the Views of the Chinese Eastern Railway

Manchuria, ca. 1903-1919, from the Views of the Chinese Eastern Railway.

47 photographs from the Views of the Chinese Eastern Railway album, ca. 1903-1919. The photographs depict depots, railroad shops and yards, buildings, car interiors, tracks, health resorts, and other views along the line. Captions for the photographs are in Russian, Mandarin, and English. The Chinese Eastern Railway is the Trans-Manchurian line of the Trans-Siberian Railway that runs from the Transbaikal region to Vladivostok.

11 real photographic postcards of the Tulsa Race Riot, showing the racially-based violence that took place in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 31 and June 1, 1921. Pictures illustrate the devastation to the African American community, including whole blocks burned to the ground, bodies of victims, and the convention hall.

Hot Spring and Castle Geyser by William Henry Jackson, from Photographs of the Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories, published in 1873

Hot Spring and Castle Geyser by William Henry Jackson, from Photographs of the Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories, published in 1873.

58 issues of The SMU Campus, SMU’s student newspaper from 1948. Highlights include an April Fool’s Day edition and the introduction of radio station KSMU.

Photographs of the Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories, a book containing 50 mounted photographs taken by William Henry Jackson for a United States Geological Survey landscape survey conducted in the Yellowstone region in 1871. Jackson’s photographs helped convince the U.S. Congress to vote for the Yellowstone National Park bill in 1872. Each photograph is accompanied by a guard sheet with descriptive letterpress.

Posted in George Converse Papers and Photographs, Mexico photography, Railroads, Robert Yarnall Richie, U.S. West | Leave a comment

Octavio Medellin and Mesoamerican Art: Influences and Inspirations

Octavio Medellin's art and sculpture was profoundly influenced by South American Indian cultures. In this case, he photographed a Mayan bas-relief sculpture of a hummingbird during his trip to Chichén Itzá in 1938 and made a tracing. The colorful linocut of the bird was created in 1975.

Octavio Medellin’s art and sculpture was profoundly influenced by South American Indian cultures. In this case, he photographed a Mayan bas-relief sculpture of a hummingbird in the Lower Temple of the Jaguar during his trip to Chichén Itzá in 1938 and made a tracing. The colorful linocut of the bird was created in 1975.

Xalapa Museum, Veracruz, La Venta, Olmec, 1959, slide by Octavio Medellin

Xalapa Museum, Veracruz, La Venta, Olmec, 1959, slide by Octavio Medellin

The Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes digital collection contains nearly 4,000 digitized slides, sketches, photographs, and works of art held by the Bywaters Special Collections, a division of SMU’s Hamon Arts Library. More than 1,000 of the items depict or relate to Medellin’s travels to Guatemala and Mexico. In many cases, Medellin traveled to these countries to study Mesoamerican art, which had a profound influence on his own work. The art and ruins from a variety of South American Indian cultures are depicted in the digital collection, including the Aztec, Chichimec, Maya, Olmec, Toltec, Totonac, and Zapotec.

Bywaters’ digital collections are part of CUL Digital Collections, which contain thousands of digitized photographs, manuscripts, imprints, and works of art held by SMU’s Central University Libraries special collections.

Medellin’s Early Background

[Temple of the Jaguar. 19B. Block print.], 1938, slide of print by Octavio Medellin

[Temple of the Jaguar. 19B. Block print.], 1938, slide of print by Octavio Medellin. During his trip to Chichén Itzá, Medellin made great efforts to replicate the colors originally used by the Mayan Indians.

Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, of Otomi Indian heritage, Octavio Medellin (1907-1999) made a home and career in the United States beginning in the 1920s when he studied at the San Antonio Art Institute with well-known Spanish artists José Arpa and Xavier Gonzales, as well as the Chicago Art Institute. In 1929, Medellin returned to Mexico in order to work with Guatemalan painter, Carlos Merida, and Colombian sculptor, Romulo Rozo, who were both living in Mexico City. Medellin eventually left Mexico City on foot to travel extensively through the Gulf Coast, where he studied local crafts and ruins as he lived in various South American Indian villages and worked alongside fishermen based out of Veracruz. Such experience is evident when considering that the following has been said of his work, “His principal concern has always been with the people—all kinds, though notably the American Indian race. His feeling for them is strong and simple and he translates it as simply and strongly into stone”  (Peck, August 9, 1942, ¶  5, 3).

Maya-Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938

[Relief Carvings, Mayan Ruins, Chichen Itza] from Maya - Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938

[Relief Carvings, Mayan Ruins, Chichen Itza] from Maya – Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938, photograph by Octavio Medellin

By 1931, Medellin had returned to San Antonio where he spent several years teaching and pursuing artistic projects, some for commission. It was during this period that Medellin met Lucy Maverick, who became a longtime friend and patron of Medellin’s works. Maverick had traveled in Mexico in the 1920s and became enamored with Mexican culture, participating in early archeological excavations. Medellin met Lucy Maverick in San Antonio, Texas, at the La Villita Art Gallery that he and several other artists opened in the early 1930s. It was Maverick who encouraged Medellin to return to his native Mexico to study Mayan culture and eventually funded Medellin’s six-month trip in 1938 to the Yucatan in order to study Mayan ruins and artwork (Peck, August 9, 1942). Medellin brought along his family, wife, Consuelo, and their two children, Patsy and Sergio. The Medellin family’s trip is documented in the Maya-Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938 photograph album containing 181 black and white images.

The Medellin’s journey began in New Orleans and then to Progreso, Yucatán. They visited towns as well as historical sites and ruins, which included Merida, Izamal, and Uxmal. Medellin and his family were accompanied by American artist and sculptor David Slivka and his wife, Kayla. Their trip culminated in Piste, located four miles from Chichén Itzá. After staying in Piste for three months, Medellin and family were invited by Dr. Sylvanus Morley to stay at the Carnegie Institute research center, located next to the Chichén Itzá ruins. In 1913, Dr. Morley had been instrumental in initiating and directing the first Chichén Itzá project, funded by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, but excavations did not start until 1923 due to the Mexican Revolution and World War I. The Carnegie Institution continued to support excavations at the site until 1944.

The photographs in Maya-Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938 contain images of Medellin’s travels in Mexico, his family, the ruins at Chichén Itzá, people associated with the ancient Mayan sites, and his art and travel friends David and Kayla Slivka. Several photographs towards the end of the scrapbook [beginning on page 85] are of the Mayan site at Uxmal. One photograph is that of Mrs. Marrufo [first name unknown] and her daughter, Ophelia Marrufo. Mrs. Marrufo’s father was Edward Herbert Thompson, who was an archeologist and U. S. Consul in the Yucatán in 1885. In 1894, with the assistance of Chicago patron, Mr. Allison V. Armour, Thompson purchased the land that included Chichén Itzá and the old Hacienda Chichén. Thompson rebuilt the hacienda that would later become the compound for the Carnegie Institute research center established by Dr. Morley. Thompson is known for dredging the Cenote Sagrado, a natural sinkhole at Chichén Itzá which the Mayans considered to be a sacred well, from 1904 to 1910.  Mayan artifacts were found including items made of gold, copper, and jade.

Xtol: Dance of the Ancient Mayan People, [front cover], 1947

Xtol: Dance of the Ancient Mayan People, [front cover], 1947, portfolio by Octavio Medellin

Granted access to the ruins whenever he wished, Medellin would work from morning to night sketching the ruins’ artwork or creating paintings of that artwork in hues akin to the colors used by those who first created them. “Medellin would work his way inside the tombs where the color is still pure and bright, making careful notes on shades and tones. These completed, he would wait for the rain. The dampness would bring out patches of the original color of the figures carved there…” (Peck, August 9, 1942, ¶ 7-8 ). Medellin was able to reproduce the Mayan art, resulting in many sketches and paintings of the figures throughout the ruins. In 1947, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts published Medellin’s portfolio of 11 block prints titled, Xtol: Dance of the Ancient Mayan People; Murals from the Temple of the Tigers at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.

Untitled (Temple of the Tigers, Chichen Itza), 1938, sketch by Octavio Medellin

Untitled (Temple of the Tigers, Chichen Itza), 1938, sketch by Octavio Medellin

Bywaters Special Collections has two pencil-on-paper sketches and a color block print of an image of a hummingbird, which are available online in the Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture and Works on Paper digital collection, as well as a linoleum block for printing. All images are from the bas-relief carvings in the Lower Temple of the Jaguar at Chichén Itzá. Plans were made to make three additional portfolios using the remaining three registers of the bas-relief carvings, but funding kept future publications from materializing. One pencil sketch from the first register was used for the Xtol portfolio, and the other sketch is from the second register. The linoleum print block is of an image also on the second register. The image of the hummingbird is from the lower register. Some of Medellin’s drawings were reproduced in the article, “The Shower of the Road:  The Democratic Approach to Mayan Mysteries” by American writer and anthropologist Oliver La Farge (Town and Country, September 1942).

Other Trips to Mexico and Guatemala

Medellin made several subsequent trips over the decades to Mexico to study not only the Mayan ruins, but also the art and architecture of the contemporary Mexico of his visits. The images and artwork Medellin documented are part of the digital collection’s Travels to Mexico series. Medellin’s 1959 trip to Guatemala is highlighted in the series Travels to Guatemala, in which he visited, among other locations, the Museum of Guatemala City and the ruins at Kaminaljuyu and Quirigua.

Text by by Brandon P. Murray, Digitizer/Metadata Creator, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University and Ellen Buie Niewyk, Curator, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Additional Source:

Patricia Peck, “Plaster for Victory is Medellin’s Medium,” Dallas Morning News, August 9, 1942, 4D, America’s Historical Newspapers database.

 

 

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Forensic Railroad History: Detecting Hidden Orders for Locomotives

Locomotive Historian Gilbert H. Hoffman ordered the digitization of 19 Baldwin Locomotive Works’ Extra Order Books, 1890-1909, held by SMU’s DeGolyer Library. The handwritten ledgers, which contain orders for locomotive parts from the owners of the locomotive, can be used to document ownership and/or configuration changes in the engine. A self-described “genealogist for locomotives,” Hoffman has been digitizing locomotive histories for the U.S. builders, particularly Baldwin, and has accumulated around 15,000 histories.

Page 133 from the Baldwin Extra Order Notebook (Box 24, Folder 1) in 1905 that shows new information about the ownership of a locomotive built for Central Resulta, a Cuban sugar plantation, along with its locomotive history, carefully crafted by Locomotive Historian Gilbert Hoffman.

Page 133 from the Baldwin Extra Order Notebook (Box 24, Folder 1) in 1905 that shows previously unknown information about the ownership of a locomotive built for Central Resulta, a Cuban sugar plantation, along with its locomotive history, carefully crafted by Locomotive Historian Gilbert Hoffman.

Hidden within the books is a wealth of information, provided someone is patient and knowledgeable enough to detect it. “To understand the significance of the material in these Extra Order (XO) books requires an extensive knowledge of Baldwin locomotive nomenclatures and the railroads of different countries, which I have acquired over some 30 years,” he says. “As you might guess, this kind of work is very tedious and takes someone with a large sense of delayed gratification.”

“I work in conjunction with like-minded locomotive historians around the country,” he says. “I am told by my compatriot in California that I am the first person to make extensive use of the Baldwin Extra Orders in discovering owners heretofore unknown, i.e., unknown to anyone else and not in the Baldwin Register.”

According to Hoffman, there are some notable orders in the DeGolyer Library’s Baldwin Extra Order Books, “in the sense that they reveal new owners not in the other Baldwin records, or they reveal configuration changes, such as adding a front truck or rear truck to the engine. Thus an 0-4-0 might become a 2-4-2. There are other orders for complete new boilers and these are significant. Some of these are indicated cryptically in the Spec Books while many others, listed in the Extra Orders, are not in the Spec Books.”

“An example of a significant find is XO-2643, dated 5/22/05,” he says. “Baldwin 13839 (engine 10-24 E 147) was built as Central Vitoria #4, for the Central Vitoria Cuban sugar plantation and, as Extra Order 2643 shows, was sold to Central Resulta, a different Cuban sugar plantation. The Central Resulta ownership is completely new information, not shown in any other Baldwin records.”

“There are others of this type … everything is in my all-encompassing lists compiled from both sets of XO books,” he continues. “As to the use of my material, I share it with whomever requests it free of charge.”

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