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Image Professor Norman Birnbaum

American Intellectual History

American sociologist Professor Norman Birnbaum is a renowned intellectual who has been active in politics, academia, and journalism on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s. The Norman Birnbaum Papers includes his correspondence with academics, journalists, and other intellectuals; documents relating to his political activism; conference materials and presentations; lecture notes and teaching materials; draft copies and research notes from editorials, books, and other published works; as well as unpublished materials and restricted items.

See press release.
 

   
Image of Flags of All Nations card game; di_09014

American History

The Whitney Smith Flag Research Center Collection documents the development of the academic discipline that seeks to understand the symbolism and significance of flags and heraldry. The collection includes the contents of the Flag Research Center: thousands of books, charts, pamphlets, serials, clippings, flags, associated memorabilia, and research materials related to American history and Americana, with detailed information about the development of the Stars and Stripes as well as state flags.

See press release.
 

   
Image of dust jacket for

News Media History

Print journalist Seth Kantor was deeply involved in coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy. Kantor was traveling in the White House press bus behind the presidential limousine as the motorcade made its way through downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963. He authored the book, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978), which questioned official accounts of the assassination and remains a valued piece of investigative journalism. The Kantor Papers include draft versions of Kantor's publications, research notes, photographs, news clips, correspondence, ephemera from the House Committee on Assassinations, and cassette recordings of his personal remembrances and journalistic interviews.

See press release.
 

   
Foodways Texas logo

Texas History

The Foodways Texas Oral History Archive is a diverse collection of interviews that document the history and culture of Texas cuisine. The archive includes stories about craft breweries, barbecue restaurants, gardening and food co-ops, and iconic Texas restaurants. The collection documents restaurant owners, pitmasters, brewers, farmers, ranchers, and grocers through over 75 hours of audio interviews; 7000 photos; documentary footage; and ephemera including menus, advertising materials, cookbooks, and posters. Social media posts have also been digitally preserved as part of an archive that will continue to grow.

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Detail from1769 letter from George Washington

American History

The Briscoe Center’s George Washington letter was written to John Armstrong on August 24, 1769. It finds Washington between wars, actively pursuing his financial and domestic interests. During the period of time between his marriage in 1759 and the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, Washington lived a busy life, serving as a vestryman and as a member of the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg, purchasing land and managing his plantations.

See press release.
 

   
Detail from image by Matthew Naythons, Vietnam, 1975

Photojournalism

Matthew Naythons is an award-winning TIME magazine photojournalist. The Matthew Naythons Photographic Archive, ca. 1972-2009 is a substantial collection, which documents iconic historical events such as the Vietnam War and the Nicaraguan Revolution, offers a window into the processes and rhythms of late 20th century photojournalism.

See finding aid.
 

   
Book cover of "The Crusade Against Slavery" by Louis Filler.

American Intellectual History

Louis Filler was a leading scholar in the study of American social reform movements, particularly the antebellum abolitionist movement. The Louis Filler Papers, 1944-1993, provides in-depth coverage of his teaching, writing, and research career, and serves as an illustration of the shifts in college-level history curriculum during the three decades following World War II. Filler's papers feature his correspondence with important scholars and literary figures, including some of the most influential historians of the post-World War II era.

See finding aid.
 

   
Detail from a letter to Ira R. Lewis from William Bryan dated October 2, 1841.

Texas History

Letter to Ira R. Lewis from William Bryan dated October 2, 1841 is part of Ira Randolph Lewis Papers. The letter concerns unfavorable loan terms afforded to the Republic of Texas by the United States. William Bryan, an early Texan revolutionary, was serving as the new republic's Consul at New Orleans when he penned this letter. The recipient, Virginia-born Ira Lewis, was an attorney and soldier.

See page one of this document.
 

   
Detail from the Thomas Babb Account of the Battle of Galveston Bay, 1863

American South

The Thomas Babb Account of the Battle of Galveston Bay, 1863 is a handwritten eyewitness account offered as testimony in the case of Lieutenant Commander Law. Thomas D. Babb served aboard the Union ship Owasco during the Battle of Galveston Bay. He describes the attack, counterattack, and surrender of the Union ship Harriet Lane, as well as other details of the engagement. Ultimately the Confederate ships prevailed, breaking the Union blockade of Galveston Bay and leaving the Port of Galveston in Confederate hands for the remainder of the Civil War.

See page one of this document.

   
Detail from he Ramon Musquiz letter to the vice-governor of the state of Coahuila y Texas, March 11, 1833

Texas History

The Ramon Musquiz letter to the vice-governor of the state of Coahuila y Texas, March 11, 1833. The three-page letter penned in Spanish relays a need for additional funds to organize and administer the archives at Bejar.  At the time of this writing Musquiz had been involved in the Mexican administration of Texas for some ten years. A supporter of colonization and a friend of Stephen F. Austin, Musquiz would become vice-governor of Texas in 1835.

See page one of this document.

   
Detail from the Albert Sidney Johnston Letter to Colonel Samuel Cooper, May 27, 1856.

Texas History

The Albert Sidney Johnston Letter to Colonel Samuel Cooper, May 27, 1856. The letter is regarding the movement of troops under the leadership of Lt. Col. R.E. (Robert E.) Lee for the purpose of addressing Indian hostilities in western Texas, namely the Comanches under the command of Sa-na-co. Albert Sidney Johnston commanded the 2nd Cavalry regiment in Texas at the time of this letter and previously served as Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas.

See page one of this document.

   
Detail from the Thomas F. McKinney letter to Sam Houston, Dec. 3, 1841.

Texas History

The Thomas F. McKinney letter to Sam Houston, Dec. 3, 1841. The letter withdraws his request to be appointed as Texas Consul at New Orleans and promises an explanation of his actions upon his next visit with Houston. McKinney warns against the appointment of P. Edmunds a known forger living in Galveston that is interested in the position. The letter states that Edmunds "left the United States for forgery and since he has been in Galveston has again been guilty of the same offense."

See page one of this document.

   
Detail from the William W.S. Bliss Letter, November 30, 1845

Texas History

The William W.S. Bliss Letter, November 30, 1845, a two-page letter from Assistant Adjutant General William W.S. Bliss to Colonel W.S. Harney, commanding at Bexar, relates the command of General Zachary Taylor that Harney move his troops out of Bexar in anticipation of increased Indian hostilities. Bliss served as chief of staff to General Taylor during the Mexican War. 

See page one of this document.

   
Detail of a photo of Harry Truman from the The Harry Truman Collection, 1945-1948

The Harry Truman Collection, 1945–1948, created by Secret Service agent John T. Gorham, contains 15 black and white photographs of Truman, a telephone directory prepared for Truman's trip to Mexico in 1947, and a souvenir airline certificate signed by Truman. The photographs show Truman at various events, including the Potsdam Conference with Joseph Stalin, and on the occasion of Winston Churchill's 1946 "Sinews of Peace" speech in Fulton, Missouri. 

See a photo of Harry Truman.

   
Detail from a cartes de visite of Kitty Anderson. Kitty Anderson Civil War Diary, 1861.

American South

The Kitty Anderson Civil War Diary chronicles events occurring between September 29, 1861, and November 30, 1861, including the arrest of Colonel Charles Anderson, his escape to Mexico, and the family's reunion. Kitty Anderson recorded her original diary in 1861; she copied the original diary directly to the diary in this collection in 1871. The collection also includes three cartes de visite contained in the diary, portraying Colonel Anderson, his wife, and Kitty Anderson.

See a cartes de visite of Kitty Anderson.

 
Detail from a letter by John S. “Rip” Ford to John L. Dix, Jr., dated July 15, 1896, The John Salmon “Rip” Ford Papers, circa 1836-1896.

Texas History

Letter from John S. "Rip" Ford to John L. Dix Jr. dated July 15, 1896.  The letter references the economic decline in San Antonio, Texas following the panic of 1893 and opinions on the presidential campaigns of William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley.

See page one of this document.

 
Detail from "The Alamo Enters into Immortality" by J. Frank Dobie. The James Frank Dobie Papers, 1923-2008.

Texas History

"The Alamo Enters into Immortality" by J. Frank Dobie is a three-page document on the battle of the Alamo. The article is a self-edited working draft written in pencil circa 1936.

See page one of this document.