Adventures of Hailey, Special Collections Intern

Welcome to our guest blogger, Hailey from UNT, Spring 2020’s, SHSU Special Collection practicum intern. She is going to tell us about her adventure in the Special Collections Thomason Room before the pandemic hit.

When researching sites to complete my practicum, I decided to see what Sam Houston State University could possibly have to offer in the field I wanted to peruse. SHSU was where I received my Bachelor’s degree from, so I was familiar with the library. Realizing that they had a special collections/archives department, which I have always been interested in as I am following the archival studies program for my degree. Special Collections libraries and Academic Libraries were both institutions that I was curious about but have never been able to experience firsthand. Luckily, I was told that they were interested, and I began my practicum experience in the Special Collections Department at the Newton Gresham Library during the Spring 2020 semester.

I was given my first task of creating a display for the library. I was told that it could be over anything and I could use any of the library’s resources to create it. I decided that since I would be working with the special collections department for most of my practicum, I wanted to use some of the materials they had, especially since these materials are not often seen by many staff and students.

First, I needed to browse through the collections in order to know what my options were. The Special Collections Department has a variety of collections ranging from a very large criminal justice collection to a collection of Mark Twain ephemera and books. After browsing through the finding aids online, I decided that I wanted to look at the Minnie Fisher Cunningham collection and the staff pulled the box so that I could look through it.

I was not familiar with Minnie Fisher Cunningham to begin with, but after looking through the materials they had on her, I acquired a greater knowledge of her as a person and an activist. She played a very big part in the second women’s suffrage movement, helping women win the right to vote. As this year is the centennial of the 19th Amendment, I thought she was the perfect person to create a display over.

After deciding my topic, I then dove head first into her collection in order to figure out which materials I wanted to showcase. I decided I would provide a summary of her achievements, and then select the materials that best represented them. She was a major player in getting women the right to vote, but she also ran to be a Texas senator and Texas Governor, so I wanted to represent that as well. Eventually, I decided to use nine materials in the display, most of which came from her collection but a few from other collections, as well as my summary panels.

It was a very good first task, in my opinion, because it allowed me to become familiar with the Special Collections Department and all of the collections they hold. I was able to learn how the Thomason Room was set up, how the finding aids were organized, and how the Special Collections Department promotes their collections. I finished my display in March 2020, which is also Women’s History Month.

The above photograph shows what the final display looked like when it was finished on the second floor of the Newton Gresham Library.

Happy 60th Anniversary NASA!

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NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is 60 years old this year! To celebrate the occasion the Newton Gresham Library, Special Collections, Thomason Room, would like you to visit the NASA Collection Materials, 1964-2011. The NASA Collection of Materials were donated to the Special Collections, Thomason Room, in part by Mrs. Robert Everline. Her husband, Robert Everline, worked with NASA from 1961-1982.

The image you see here (which oddly resembles a Star Wars movie poster) was part of an information packet given out at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the mid 1970s. The Johnson Space Center opened in Houston, Texas, on November 1, 1961.

This information packet is one of the many interesting items you will find in the NASA Collection. Click here to see the finding aid for the entire collection: https://archon.shsu.edu/?p=collections/findingaid&id=114&q=

The Special Collections, Thomason Room, is on the fourth floor of the Newton Gresham Library and is open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.

Police Department History Collection, 1865-1986

The materials in this collection represent various police departments reports and histories, namely: Phoenix, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, San Diego, Baltimore, Indianapolis, New York, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Wisconsin, Miami, Atlanta and Boston. There are also some reports that focus on the history of women in police divisions.

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

Police Department History Collection finding aid

Daisy Smith Writings on Sam Houston, 1922

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Daisy Lauretta Smith was born in Kansas in 1893.  She was a student of Sam Houston Normal Institute, class of 1919.  She earned her B.S. degree from SHNI in 1922 and the M.A. from Peabody in 1934.  Daisy L. Smith went on to teach for over 43 years for Houston Independent School District.  She died in Houston, Texas in June 1979.

The Daisy Smith writings on Sam Houston (1922; one file folder) contain reminisces of General Sam Houston gathered from the citizens of Huntsville, Texas in February 1922.  The writings consist of 34 handwritten pages by Daisy Smith.

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.

Daisy Smith Writings on Sam Houston, 1922

Criminal Justice Clipping Collection, 1864-2011

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Credit to the Huntsville Item

The Texas Criminal Justice Newspaper Clipping Collection (1864-2011; three boxes) contains newspaper clippings concerning criminal justice in the state of Texas.  The collection’s main focus is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and includes many articles from the Huntsville Item and various other publications.  The Texas Criminal Justice Newspaper Clipping Collection contains many Texas prison subjects including: death row, prison personnel, prison administration, facilities, escapes, convict labor, the prison rodeo, court cases, corruption, and female inmates.

The picture featured above is an article from the Huntsville Item concerning the possible ending of the Texas Prison Rodeo which was held in Huntsville, TX.

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

Criminal Justice Clipping Collection finding aid

Grover McCormick, Sr. Papers, 1886-196

Back in June of this year, the Marketing Department at SHSU highlighted one of our recently donated collections: the Grover McCormick, Sr. Papers, 1886-1968. The collection was donated by faculty member Cutty Gilbert and her family and contains correspondence, pictures, and other ephemera from her grandfather Grover McCormick, Sr. who was a lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee.

McCormick argued before the Supreme Court in Ashcraft v. Tennessee which dealt with self-incrimination and laid the foundation for Miranda v. Arizona and the establishment of Miranda Rights. McCormick was also the lawyer for Jerry Lee Lewis during his marriage to 13 year old Myra Gale Brown.

If you are interested in the Grover McCormick Papers, take a look at this wonderful video that the Marketing Department made for us about the donation of the collection and check out the accompanying article.

If you want to know exactly what is in the collection, click here for the finding aid: Grover McCormick, Sr. Papers, 1886-1968