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Message from Director Don Carleton

March 2018

Dr. Don Carleton, Executive Director of the Briscoe Center

Last Friday, I spoke at the Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My talk was titled, “1968: The Press and Photojournalism.” ‘68 witnessed riots, assassinations, resignations, and many other events that left a deep imprint on the American psyche. The Vietnam War, Prague Spring, and Paris riots show how the turmoil of that year was global. The talk was a great opportunity to speak about the center’s photographic archives, which capture so many aspects of that tumultuous year. I’d like to thank the Monroe Gallery for inviting me to speak. 

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of ’68, the center is launching a new web resource that chronicles the events of that year month by month. You can view the site, which currently has entries for January, February, and March, here. With each e-newsletter we’ll update the site with new content — and this summer we’ll dedicate our print newsletter, CenterPoints, to an extended discussion of the events of '68. We’ll also be announcing some case exhibits and collection acquisitions related to '68 in the near future.

Several weeks ago, the center dedicated the Dr. Thomas M. Hatfield Seminar Rooms. Tom has been a colleague of mine for many years and a leader at UT since the 1970s. As a former Dean of Continuing Education and as the founder of the university’s Normandy Scholars program, Tom has left a permanent legacy of outreach and service at UT. Dedicating the seminar rooms in his honor was made possible by the generosity of many people who have been impacted by that legacy.

The discussions and remarks from the dedication program can be viewed below:

I was delighted that Comte Denis de Kergorlay of Normandy was able to join us as a special guest that evening. Tom and Denis have collaborated on educational travel programs in Normandy for many years. During World War II, the de Kergorlay family residence—the Château de Canisy—was occupied by the Nazi regime. It was liberated during Operation Cobra in 1945 and used as an Allied field hospital through the end of the war. A visit to the château has become an important cornerstone of Dr. Hatfield’s educational travel programs. Thank you Denis for joining us.

The dedication event brought together many people with a shared appreciation of military history. Since its founding, UT has been committed to collecting, preserving, and maintaining military history resources. The Briscoe Center houses the vast majority of these collections. However, we’ve also built upon this foundation through the acquisition of oral history records, photographic archives, and news media papers, as well as the personal effects of soldiers, generals, and diplomats.

Our vision for the collection is to recruit a nationally recognized curator who can guide future acquisitions, oversee the preservation of the collection, and ensure it is readily available to students, scholars, and history enthusiasts. An endowment of $5 million will fund the curator, an archivist, a graduate intern, and research fellowships for visiting scholars, as well as resources to support a variety of programs in military history from exhibitions to speaker series and digital projects.

There are a variety of naming opportunities open to those who want to support this goal. For more information, please contact the center’s Director for Development, Lisa Avra (l.avra@austin.utexas.edu or 512-495-4696).

 

Don Carleton, Ph.D.
Executive Director
J. R. Parten Chair in the Archives of American History

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