As the project developed, the scope grew to include not only material that
had been exhibited before, but also items that were new to the Center's
collections. My intention from the start was to showcase a variety of
materials. Therefore, in this resource, you will find letters, government
records, diaries, newspapers, broadsides, maps, drawings, books, sheet
music, and photographs. I also intended to feature the unknown alongside the
famous in Texas history. So, not only will you find material from Stephen F.
Austin, Sam Houston, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis, but you will also
discover documents from female Texas pioneers Mary Rabb, Mary Maverick,
and Rebecca McIntosh Hagerty as well as items from Victoria mayor John Joseph
Linn; empresario Henri Castro and his agent Ferdinand Louis Huth; and doctor, diplomat, businessman, and higher-education advocate Ashbel Smith.
Part of the Center's mission is to preserve the material in its care and, to this end,
I identified items needing conservation treatment. In most cases, treatment could be
scheduled after scanning; but in certain instances, a document required stabilization
before scanning. One such letter needing intensive treatment was the William F. Hale
letter to his brother Philip Smith Hale (txu-crra-2B256-04111836-01/02-03/04).
Because the letter had a previous treatment with silk that had made the paper
especially brittle, I passed the letter along to the Centerís conservation intern for
silk removal and mending
Just as preservation of our collections is a Center priority, so too is providing access.
I'm particularly proud that this resource will offer lesson plans to teachers interested
in supplementing their existing curriculum.
I want to thank the following for their assistance on this project. The Center for American
History staff, especially, Alison Beck, Stephanie Malmros, Evan Hocker, and Sonja Reid.
A special thanks to Lynn Bell for maintaining such excellent exhibit records. And to Dr.
Cynthia DuBois, who wrote the curriculum and became a fan of Mary Maverick in the process.
A big thanks also to the Digital Library Services staff who coordinated, scanned, designed,
and built the site: Uri Kolodney, Mairi Reyer, Alisha Little, and Carolee Mitchell.
Assistant Director for Research and Collections, Center for American History