CUL Digital Collections Update: April 2018

In April 2018, SMU’s Central University Libraries uploaded 808 items into CUL Digital Collections.

Highlights include:

The story of the Highlands., ca. 1936, DeGolyer Library, SMU

The story of the Highlands, ca. 1936, DeGolyer Library, SMU.

23 documents, ca. 1867-1936, into the Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts and Imprints digital collection as part of the TexTreasures FY2018 grant program, sponsored by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Two notable Texan writers are featured: Frank Reeves, Sr. was a journalist and photographer with an abiding interest in the cattle trade, agriculture, and in the American West. His writing has been published in several Texas newspapers, including The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Reeves authored the short book, The Story of the Highlands, which contains his photographs as well as writing. William Gilliam Kingsbury, the Texas Commissioner of Immigration, authored A Description of South-Western and Middle Texas…, published in London. The book, designed to attract British immigrants to Texas, contains advertisements for shipping companies and information about international travel and transportation.

Other promotional materials contain information, illustrations, and photographs about Texas counties, towns, and citizens. Generally, they emphasize land values and purchasing or leasing opportunities; geographical attributes; crop production; railway facilities and travel; the size of populations; agricultural, soil, climate, irrigation, commerce, manufacturing, and employment conditions; banks and businesses; and schools and churches. Several booklets were sponsored by railroad companies whose main purpose was to attract passengers by highlighting the towns and counties along their train routes. One such document is the personalized bound volume, The Texas and southwestern railway guide and hand book for the State of Texas. Thirty-two railroads and routes with railroad schedules, the names of railroad officers, maps of railroad routes, and advertising are featured. Rail travel is frequently romanticized in these publications. Due Southwest : through fields of virgin soil : for the farmer and planter, stockman, lumberman and business man generally : a description of the country, traversed by the “Cotton Belt Route”…, 1891, says, “We meet at Cairo, we voyagers by the Cotton Belt, but not by appointment, for we have not yet even scraped a passing acquaintance. We need not describe ourselves. We are typical Americans, intent on the business we have in hand, but not so absorbed by it that we are oblivious to our surroundings.”

Additional literature describing rail travel, the Texas coast, the Texas Short Line, and Texas in general originates from railroad companies, including the Texas & Pacific Railway, Southern Pacific, the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific Railroad Company, and the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway Company. These works include maps, summaries of local history, descriptions of the climate, lists of natural resources, and discussion of other points of interest in Texas.

Estatua de Cuahutemoc. [No. 163], ca. 1885-1889, DeGolyer Library, SMU.

Estatua de Cuahutemoc. [No. 163], ca. 1885-1889, DeGolyer Library, SMU.

22 photographs from the Collection of Abel Briquet views of Mexico. Highlights include three photographs of parks, two photographs of the statue of Cuauhtemoc, and a photograph of two men posed to fight, humorously titled “Un Pleito” (“A Lawsuit”).

1 photograph album, ca. 1923-1925, featuring images taken throughout Mexico. Areas appearing within the album include Mazatlan, Guanajuato, Morelia, and many more, and images show various landmarks, local residents and tourists, churches, and holidays, including Christmas and Palm Sunday.

1 city plan for the City of Brownsville, 1930-1931. This typewritten document features images of local landmarks and buildings, as well as geographic features, including the Rio Grande.

1 diary kept by Sir Ellice Victor Elias Sassoon in 1929 to Sir Ellice Victor Elias Sassoon Papers and Photographs.

379 issues of The Daily Campus, SMU’s student newspaper, from 19851986, and 1987. Included among the stories in these issues are reporting on the discovery of dinosaur bones in Texas, the completion of the Hughes-Trigg building, and commentary on continued parking shortages on campus.

58 obsolete and canceled notes and treasury warrants, ca. 1839-1865, to the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency. All notes were issued by the State of Texas in the city of Austin, with the majority dating to the U.S. Civil War. Most notes were authorized by Comptrollers Clement Reed Johns and Willis L. Robards, and the Texas State Treasurer, Cyrus Halbert Randolph. The notes list various payees as recipients of funds due for civil and military services.

Piramide con nichos., 1947, DeGolyer Library, SMU.

Piramide con nichos., 1947, DeGolyer Library, SMU.

144 color slides, 1940s-1960s, from the Isabel T. Kelly Ethnographic Archive, illustrating the rich history and daily activities of the Tajin Totonac. During Kelly’s ethnographic fieldwork, she interacted with local residents. Kelly’s photographs allow viewers a candid glimpse into the lives of the Totonac people in the mid-20th century as seen in the portrait of Modesto Gonzalez, and the portrait of the daughter of Basillio Gonzalez. Kelly’s fieldwork also included surveys of major sites of historical importance to the Tajin Totonac including the archeological site of the pre-Hispanic city of El Tajin.  Kelly and her friend and colleague, Bertha B. Harris, photographed masterpieces of Mesoamerican architecture, including the Piramide con nichos and details of El Tajin’s many ball courts.

Also added from the Isabel T. Kelly Ethnographic Archive were 121 negatives, contact sheets, and inventories, created between 1947 and 1949. These images, taken in Mexico, illustrate the lives and culture of the residents of Tajin and Papalanta, including the Totonac Indians, a group of indigenous people who reside in the area. Images in this collection feature religious festivals and holidays, the construction of homes and other buildings, pottery work and textile crafts, and the daily lives of this area’s inhabitants. Of particular note are images of flying dances, or Danza de los Voladores, a Mesoamerican ritual strongly associated with the Totonac people.

Untitled, by Jerry Bywaters, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library.

Untitled, by Jerry Bywaters, Bywaters Special Collections, SMU.

45 drawings, cutouts, and sketches from the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest. Bywaters created most of the art; however, Henry Nash Smith, Bob Howe, and Martha Jane Reed also made contributions. Self-portraits of Jerry Bywaters or portraits of Jerry Bywaters by others comprise the majority of the items. Other content includes landscapes; buildings, homes, and towns; handwritten notes; people, some associates of Jerry Bywaters; and fruit. Of special note are two self-portraits that contrast negative and positive space. Another interesting self-portrait is Self-Portrait Sketch, Paris – Imperator which is a profile portrait with a cityscape of Paris in the background.

This entry was posted in American Indians, Mexico photography, Railroads, Sassoon, SMU Student Newspapers, Texas artists, TexTreasures2018. Bookmark the permalink.

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