September 15, 2021
Documenting Student Organizations
An introduction to a bi-monthly blog post on the uncoverings of past to present student organizations at Southwestern University.
June 25, 2018
Why We Collect Texana
On the collection of Texana in Special Collections at Southwestern University.
June 11, 2018
William S. Reese, 1955-2018
Special Collections at Southwestern University mourns the passing of William S. Reese.
May 28, 2018
My Time as a Student Worker in Special Collections
Recent SU graduate Natalia Kapacinskas ’18 shares how her time in Special Collections transformed her both academically and professionally.
April 30, 2018
New Exhibit: Ancient Mediterranean Ceramics
Special Collections collaborated with a history and ceramics course this semester to create a unique new exhibit.Read More
April 23, 2018
Special Collections in West Texas
Special Collections at Southwestern University takes the work of Carl Hertzog to West Texas
April 16, 2018
John Tower’s Long Hot Summer of 1967
Race and politics are heated in a summer known for violent riots, through the lens of the Tower Collection correspondence files.
April 9, 2018
Lost and Found
Our reality in Special Collections is that items sometimes go missing or are presumed stolen. Some of these stories may never have a happy ending, but some of them do.
April 2, 2018
The Rare Printed Works of J. Frank Dobie
J. Frank Dobie, a 1910 graduate of Southwestern and Texas native, was a prolific writer on the Southwest throughout his lifetime. He turned history into literature and brought folklore to life. Most of Dobie’s works can be bought cheaply online or found at a local library, but there are some specific editions that are more unique and notable. We are lucky enough here at the Southwestern University Special Collections to have a significant number of Dobie publications that are somewhat scarce.
March 8, 2018
William B. Travis Letter and Senator John G. Tower
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.Read More
March 5, 2018
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.Read More
February 19, 2018
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.
I love this object so much that I’ll admit to having a hard time writing about it. One’s connection to it is immediate, deep, and emotional – it really has a strong sense of nostalgia.
February 5, 2018
Carl Hertzog and the Bullfight that Never Happened
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.
January 29, 2018
Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale
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.
December 19, 2017
LIS Education and the Special Collections Internship
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.
December 12, 2017
A Special Collections Christmas
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.
December 5, 2017
Wendish Printing in Texas
This book started me down a rabbit hole of the best kind. Or, really, two different avenues – the history of the printing of Wendish in Texas, as well as the history of Wendish immigration to Texas in the 19th century.
November 28, 2017
Letter from F. Warren Roberts to Edward A. Clark
In preparation for an essay about Edward A. Clark in the publication The Book Collector, I have been going through the multitude of boxes that comprise the papers of Ambassador Clark. The letter, above, and draft, below, surprised me, as it is a direct connection between Clark, who gave his collection of Texana to Southwestern in 1967; and F. Warren Roberts, whose family gave his collection of Texana to Southwestern in 2016.
November 21, 2017
This Bitterly Beautiful Land
I’ll confess to having more favorite books in the collection than I can name from memory. It’s an occupational hazard, and a side effect of having such an outstanding collection here. The book above is consistently in my “most favorite” books, and a recent discovery in the papers of Edward A. Clark prompted me to share this breathtaking book with you.
November 14, 2017
Carl Hertzog Exhibition Preparation
Readers of this blog know that we are in the midst of what I am calling “the year of Hertzog.” As I’ve discussed in the past, I have an unabashed love for the work of the Printer at the Pass, and the recent acquisition of the collection of Dr. Llerena Friend dramatically expanded our Hertzog collection. It seems only fitting, then, that the third of our four exhibits this year will be focused on the work of Carl Hertzog held here in Special Collections.
November 10, 2017
Homecoming 2017 Historic Campus Walking Tour
This year, Special Collections celebrated Homecoming with a walking tour! We hosted around 30 alumni, students, and staff members on a tour that explored how our campus has developed institutionally and geographically since its inception.
October 31, 2017
J. Frank Dobie Sign
Last week we hosted Jeff Roberts and Vicki Tullius – the children of F. Warren Roberts. I brought out some of the great material Jeff and Vicki donated from their father’s library – outstanding Texana items, association books, and Tom Lea material. Perhaps the single most significant item in the collection is the unassuming sign you see above.
October 26, 2017
Friend Collection Association Copies
Today is the final post highlighting particularly notable items from Llerena Friend’s collection. Of course, there is a great deal of material we have not even discussed, and so this is not the last you’ll see of Dr. Friend’s library. This post focuses on association copies, although I must confess that the last two choices are perhaps here out of personal attachment.
October 24, 2017
We’ve been discussing the connection between Carl Hertzog, Stanley Marcus and the store Marcus led: Neiman-Marcus. This post is the culmination of those connections in that it looks at the last book commissioned by Stanley Marcus for sale in Neiman-Marcus.
October 19, 2017
Friend Collection Surprising Finds
This is the third of four posts highlighting especially notable material from the Llerena B. Friend collection – and this post is focused on some of the surprising material that we found in the collection.
October 17, 2017
A Letter From Texas
Several weeks ago, Natalia wrote about a book titled The Captive Boy, a miniature book that was the final collaboration between Stanley Marcus and Carl Hertzog. I added a note in her post that we would feature the first collaboration between the two – and today’s post fulfills that promise.
October 12, 2017
Friend Collection Ephemera Highlights
This is the second of four posts highlighting especially notable material from the Llerena B. Friend collection – and this post is focused on the notable ephemera found in the collection.
October 10, 2017
Kendall, Falconer, and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition
This is Thomas Falconer, British citizen and participant in the Texan-Santa Fe Expedition of 1841-1842. Some of the most significant material in the Clark Collection in Special Collections is from Falconer and his family. I was reminded of this material as I looked through the William Reese Company‘s most recent catalog, which revisited the now-famous Streeter sale.
October 5, 2017
Friend Collection Hertzog Highlights
This is the first of four posts highlighting especially notable material from the Llerena B. Friend collection – and the first post is focused on the most significant items from Friend’s collection of Carl Hertzog.I will freely admit to this being the hardest of these four highlight posts to do – there is just so much Hertzog material in the collection. A rough count tells us that over 100 of the items in her collection are printed by Hertzog, but these five items are the best of those Hertzog items.
October 3, 2017
Heteroglossia, Libraries, and the Tower of Babel
In an attempt to describe the essential features of the novel, the Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) selected the enigmatic term “heteroglossia.” The concept of heteroglossia encompasses the novel’s unique tendency to be a “heteroglot, multi-voiced, multi-styled, and often multi-languaged” literary form, as compared to poetry, drama, or the epic.For Bakhtin, the novel stands apart, a distinctive member of the realm of Literature, precisely because it combines such a diverse conglomeration of voices – those of social classes, ethnic groups, generations, political ideologies, etc.
September 26, 2017
Hockley Payment Voucher
A few weeks ago in a post about the Tower Musket, I promised a post about a payment voucher made out to George W. Hockley. The voucher, pictured above, is interesting for several reasons. The voucher is connected to several of the most important people in the Republic of Texas, and it has a connection to Edward A. Clark and Carl Hertzog.
September 18, 2017
Llerena B. Friend Collection
Special Collections is proud to announce the acquisition of the library of Llerena B. Friend. Her library, consisting of over 700 titles, contains some of the most important books and printed material about Texas in the 20th century and is a significant addition to Special Collections.
September 13, 2017
The Captive Boy
Special Collections is currently preparing for an inventory of our holdings produced by Texan printer Carl Hertzog. Hertzog designed and printed a variety of beautiful volumes throughout the twentieth century. Between my personal fondness for miniature books and our recent departmental focus on Hertzog, The Captive Boy seemed a natural choice to share on our blog.
September 5, 2017
Today I want to talk about an object that crosses two of our major collecting areas – the musket you see above. Firearms, and realia in general, are not really actively collected by Special Collections, as we lack the facilities to care for more than just a few pieces. The significance of this musket requires an exception to this rule, as it combines two of our collecting areas – Texana/Texas history and the life of Senator Tower.
August 29, 2017
For God and Texas
The first exhibit on display in Special Collections for the Fall 2017 semester is entitled For God and Texas: Southwestern and the Methodist Mission for Higher Education. Inspired by a question I had about why Southwestern and so many other Texas schools are affiliated with the Methodist Church, I curated this exhibit to increase my own familiarity with the history of this institution and to situate Southwestern as a Methodist university.
August 22, 2017
Carl Hertzog and The King Ranch
One of the joys of my job has been developing an unabashed love for the work of Carl Hertzog. We have a wide array of his work, and are currently processing a gift that will significantly enhance our holdings of Hertzog’s work. I want to focus here on what has been described as Hertzog’s Gutenberg Bible: The King Ranch. This book is arguably the magnum opus of Hertzog’s career, and is certainly among the best Texas books of the 20th century.
August 17, 2017
Keeping Southwestern University in Georgetown
Efforts to remove Southwestern University from Georgetown in Central Texas to a more urban setting in Fort Worth or Dallas gained considerable traction during the academic year 1909-1910. Removal efforts had appeared before, but Southwestern had completed construction of a large Main Building in 1900 that quieted them. In 1909-1910 they reappeared with renewed intensity.
August 10, 2017
Tom Lea’s Lost Adams Diggings
Special Collections has a large collection of materials associated with J. Frank Dobie, a 1910 graduate of Southwestern. These materials include holograph manuscripts, typescripts, and an almost exhaustive collection of his printed works. These all are expected in a collection of Dobie – but the piece you see above is not. My recent work with my colleague, Joan Parks, on her art and art history lib guide led me to revisit this work, and explore why we have this piece.The piece – and the focus of this essay – is Tom Lea’s original pen and ink illustration titled Nat Straw’s Poem. The drawing came to Special Collections amongst the donations of the papers and possessions of Dobie.
August 9, 2017
Special Collections at Southwestern University is a special place, filled with stories about our forebears in Texas and at Southwestern.