Miss Sam Houston 1965


Miss Sam Houston 1965

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.


Beijing in the Snow


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.


Snow on the Hill


Snow 1982

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.

Axmen Invade BearKatland!


Houstonian 1928 Lumberjacks

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.

Cars, Cars, and More Cars


Parking 09 30 1970
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.

The SHSU Athletics Display

The display.

The display.

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.

Huntsville Newspapers react to D-Day


This gallery contains 5 photos.

  On June 06, 1944, the largest amphibious landing in history occurred off the beaches of Normandy, France. News of the landing traveled throughout the US in radio broadcasts and newspaper headlines. This is how people in Huntsville, TX received … Continue reading

Students Studying at the Peabody Library


peabodylibrary 1915

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.


Postcard from SHSU


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.


Goree Family Papers, 1833-1996

Goree-BlinksThomas Jewett Goree was born in Alabama on November 14, 1835.  The Goree family moved to Huntsville, Texas and lived on a plantation near the Trinity River.  Goree went to war in 1861 and served under General James Longstreet.  Thomas J. Goree promoted to Captain and served as aide to Longstreet throughout the war.  He and Longstreet became good friends and remained in contact with each other after the Civil War ended.  In 1868, Thomas J. Goree married Eliza Thomas Nolley and moved to Midway, Texas to run a mercantile business.  Thomas and Eliza returned to Huntsville in 1873 where Thomas J. Goree practiced law in Huntsville until 1877 at which time when he accepted the position of Superintendent of the Texas Prison at Huntsville.  Later, Thomas Jewett Goree became Superintendent of Penitentiaries.  Thomas Jewett Goree died in 1905.

The Goree Family Papers consists of documents, correspondence, articles, and photographs concerning the Goree family of Walker County, Texas.  The majority of the collection is the original correspondence of Thomas Jewett Goree who served as aide to General James Longstreet during the Civil War.  The collection also includes the correspondence of Eliza T. Nolley and E.K. Goree.  Eliza Thomas Nolley was an early settler of Walker County and was one of the first teachers at Andrews Female College. The Goree Papers contain transcribed correspondence of Thomas J. Goree, Eliza T. Nolley, and various other members of the Goree family including a transcription of Thomas J. Goree’s brother-in-law Dr. Pleasant Williams Kittrell’s private journal.  The Goree Papers hold numerous photographs and negative images of members of the Goree family.

View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.