The SHSU University Archives is currently processing nearly 3,000 pieces of older format audio-visual materials received from the Criminal Justice Media Center which included fifty-one 16mm motion picture films.
Within these fifty-one motion pictures we discovered three empty film boxes. The film box pictured above, (post marked December 27, 1968) caught our eye here in the Archives because of the return address combination of Los Alamos Research Labs in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This box came originally from the Los Alamos Scientific Labs Library and was probably sent to MIT many times. Note the multiple stickers from both places.
Seeing this label presented an intriguing mystery. What happened to the film that was in the box, what was the title and content of the film, was the film something top-secret, and how did the empty box end up here in the older Criminal Justice audio-visual materials. So far we have found no documentation to explain the empty case.
The answer to this mystery is likely much simpler. Back before VHS, digital streaming, or Red Box, there was 16mm films and services that rented out motion pictures films across the country. Generally educational in nature, you would request a certain film, view it and sent it back and then the service would send it out again to the next requester.
So the mystery box may not be a mystery at all. (Or is it?)
Come visit the empty film box or tour the SHSU University Archives. We are open Monday through Friday, 8-5.
The Miss Sam Houston pageant has been crowning lovely ladies for over 50 years. This photograph from The Alcalde shows the Miss Sam Houston court from 50 years ago in 1965. Janet Melaun of Dallas, who was a music education major, was chosen from 19 candidates. The theme for the pageant was “007” from the James Bond movies which were very popular at the time.
Come visit the University Archives to learn about Miss Sam Houston pageant history and other SHSU beauty contests over the years. The University Archives is in room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.
On September 3, 1930, Col. John W. Thomason arrived in Beijing, China to take a position as a commanding officer of a machine gun company within the United States Legation Guard. The Legation Quarter, which was created in 1861, was the area of Beijing that housed several nations’ diplomatic officers. The area had its own banks, hotels, stores, and security forces, as well as a baseball diamond and polo grounds. The area was independent of Chinese control and approximated a defended military zone.
Thomason would spend 3 years in China. He documented his time through his drawings and photographs. Many of these photographs capture the Legation and its inhabitants during the winter months. These photographs show members of the United States Legation Guard marching in formation in the snow.
We are currently digitizing the John W. Thomason collection, so hopefully we will have more pictures to show you in the future.
Yes Virginia, it does snow on the SHSU campus. When it does it brings out the BearKitten in our BearKats. In this Houstonian newspaper clipping from January 19, 1982, SHSU students are “sledding” down the Old Main Hill. At the top of the hill you can see the Old Main Building which stood where the Old Main Memorial or the “Pit” is now. In less than a month the Old Main Building would be lost to a tragic fire on February 12, 1982.
For more information on the Old Main Building or snow on the SHSU campus come visit the University Archives.
This headline from The Houstonian, November 28, 1928, announces the arrival of our rivals the Stephen F. Austin Lumbarjacks. The BearKats beat the Axmen 19-2 in what was described in the next issue of The Houstonian as the most brilliant game of the season.
To see the entire issue of this, Houstonian, come visit the SHSU University Archives in room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr was the first person to quote the saying, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” translated as: the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing. Or as we would say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.
Parking at Sam Houston State University is no exception. This newspaper clipping is from, The Houstonian, dated September 30, 1970. As you can see, 44 years ago they had the same parking woes we have today. In 1970 there were 8,500 students and in 2014 we have hit over 19,000 students. You do the car math. Too many cars; not enough space.
Note in the top photograph (front of AB-1) in 1970, Ave J went right through the mall area. It wasn’t until 1979 that this part of the Ave J was closed and became the mall area for the Centennial of Sam Houston State University.
The original paper copies of The Houstonian can be seen in the University Archives.
During my last weeks as the Archives and Special Collections intern, I spent time designing and putting together a physical display that is located on the second floor of Newton Gresham Library. The physical display is called “SHSU Athletics: A Winning Tradition” and features prints from the Sports Slides Collection, as well as some older photographs, SHSU Alcaldes from the 1920s, 40s, 60s, and 90s, and a selection of sports history books from the main library collection that are available for check-out.
With this display I intended to showcase just a few of the many achievements accomplished by SHSU student athletes, as well as showing how far back most of our sports programs go and the many changes that have taken place over the decades. I also wished to highlight the diversity in our athletics department, showing as many different sports as I could with the space and materials that were available to me, as well as the many different athletes from diverse backgrounds that have played for Sam over the years. I also pointed out challenges that athletes faced at Sam, including participating in college sports during wartime in the 1940s, and the new opportunities that Title IX introduced for female athletes in the 1970s.
I really enjoyed putting this display together and seeing the results, and I hope you do too! I also feel I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over the summer while working in the Special Collections, Archives, and Digital Resources departments. I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow through this experience, and I hope that others also get some use and enjoyment from the results.
1969 Alcalde and football photos.
Some of the prints.
1942 Alcalde. This one is behind the glass because it is rare.
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This is a photograph of students studying in the Peabody Library in 1915. The Peabody Library, which began as a one room library in Old Main, was constructed in 1902.
It served as the main library until 1929 when it was moved to the bigger Estill building. After renovations in the 1980s, it was rededicated in 1991 and became the home of University Archives from 1991-2004. The building now serves as a social hall for meetings and events.
A postcard of the steps leading to Old Main in 1929. The postcard was created for the 50th anniversary celebration of the college.
A postcard from the S.C. Wilson Collection that was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sam Houston Teachers College in 1929. The school was founded in 1879 when it was called the Sam Houston Normal Institute. It became the Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1923. From 1965-69, it was Sam Houston State College. In 1970, it became Sam Houston State University.