Adventures of Hailey, Special Collections Intern, Part 2

Welcome back! To our guest blogger, Hailey from UNT, Spring 2020’s, SHSU Special Collection practicum intern. This week she is going to talk about Special Collection Departments and the librarians that work in them.

When most people think of special collections, they think of old, rare materials that need to be looked after, handled carefully, and preserved. One of the most important jobs for special collections librarians is to provide collection preservation so that the materials are available for patrons to access in many formats. Special collections librarians have many tasks besides preservation of materials.

Special collections departments in academic libraries also have a unique opportunity to use their materials to promote and support their institution. Librarians typically use outreach, social media, tours, and classroom instruction programs that help promote their collections to the university and community.

Many students can be intimidated by the special collections departments in their libraries due to the stricter rules and regulations that come with special collections. In reality though, special collections departments can provide some of the most important primary resources to university students. As most of us know, a majority of the assignments students have to complete in university are academic papers, essays, etc. In many cases, professors ask students to provide evidence by using primary sources which can be difficult to find. Special collections departments, however, have plenty. As special collections in academic libraries seek to support the faculty and students of the institution, a lot of the materials in the department pertain to the subjects being taught at the institution, which can be helpful to students by providing a starting place to begin their research. In addition to simply providing the primary sources, special collections librarians also aid in the instruction of how to use and conduct research with these materials.

In addition, special collections provide valuable resources to other researchers and scholars that are interested in rare books and materials. The students of the university that can access special collections, but also patrons from the community, and people from around the world can visit and utilize the collections.

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.

Show and Tell: Archives Style

Well it happened fellow BearKats, the Newton Gresham Library is closed and your University Archivist had to retreat to her humble double-wide outside of town. No worries, all of us here at Sam Houston State will keep going cause that is what BearKats do.

So I decided to do my idea of show and tell. Throughout this shelter- in -place, I will show you and tell you a little bit about digital materials I have squirreled away in what we call the NGLSpecialCollections drive. So come along and we will check it out.

For our first online show and tell, we have Sam Houston State postcards from different decades in the school’s past.

The top postcard is of the Lowman Student Center in the 1960s.  Built in 1964 to replace the original student union building the LSC is now just a vision of its former self.  With the recent and ongoing renovation to the LSC it truly has become, “The Campus Living Room.”

The next postcard down is of what most of us call, “Sorority Hill”. These 1959 era small houses have had many names and pantie raids over the years. They no longer service as student housing but now housing various departments and offices.

The third postcard down is an aerial view of the campus during the 1970s as seen by the fact that the Women’s Gym addition and the Agricultural Building are both still standing. Old Main is in the middle of the postcard standing tall.  All three of these building are no longer standing on campus.

Next week the Out of the Box blog will have a special guest author Hailey, Special Collection Intern.

Currently the University Archives and the Newton Gresham Library are closed.  If you wish to contact, the University Archives e-mail lib_bak@shsu.edu

Happy 50th Golden Anniversary to the Newton Gresham Library!

The images you see are two of  SHSU Archivist Barbara Kievit-Mason’s favorite early images of the new University library in 1969 and 1970.

Fifty years ago, the brand new three million-dollar University Library opened its doors to the students of the Sam Houston State College. It would be 4 months before the College would officially become, Sam Houston State University.

The University Library took its own sweet time to make its appearance. Waiting patiently as its sister buildings, AB-1 and the Business/Economics Building was built, the new library managed to go up stopping now and then for weather, building workers strikes, and moving of all the book shelves and books coming over from the older Estill Library.

Finally, on January 5, 1969, the doors opened and the sparkling new University Library started its time as the new temple of knowledge on the university campus. Decked out in the most up to date library equipment and furniture the students flocked to the new library.

Fifty years later, they are still flocking in for the most up to date library electronic equipment and trained staff and librarians. Some things remain the same, furniture, basic floor plans and elevators. However, many things have changed. These changes include: In 1985 the University Library was dedicated to Newton Gresham, SHSTC alumni, and friend of the University, the library catalogue is seen across the world, fancy coffee is bought and consumed within the library, books are checked out in a flash, computer are everywhere for the students to use, and nearly everything is electronic.

In addition, come 2020 another new era will begin for the NGL. There will be a major renovation going on for the first and second floor. The renovation will give the students even more reason to flock to the NGL for another 50 years.

Time Travel Stamps: one book set’s 120-year journey through four SHSU libraries

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It is not often that you find a title in the Sam Houston State University’s Newton Gresham Library that’s in the library collection since 1899.

In the above image of the book’s front, inner cover, you will see library book plates and stamps, like stamps on a passport or destination stickers on luggage, they tell the history of this title and the University libraries where it was used for the last 120 years of its life.

The title of this set is, “Confederate Military History, Vol. 1, A Library of Confederate States History, In Twelve volumes, written by Distinguished Men of the South.” Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Georgia, and published by the Confederate Publishing Company in 1899.

This 12-volume set was first used in the Reference Library of the Sam Houston State Normal School, which was officially known as the Sam Houston Normal Institute. In this time period the library was, “a large and beautiful room,” in the Main Building, which later became known as Old Main. The above top image is of the Old Main Building Peabody Library room where the title was first used in 1899.

In 1901, The Peabody Memorial Library was finished and the book received its next book stamp. From 1902-1928, the book was used as reference material in the Peabody Memorial Library. In 1928 the new and vastly larger, Sam Houston State Teachers College Library. (Which would soon become the Harry F. Estill Library), was opened and the book received it next stamp.

In 1965, the Sam Houston State Teachers College was renamed Sam Houston State College. The book received another new stamp that lasted until 1969 when Sam Houston State College was renamed Sam Houston State University.

In 1969, the four floors, 3 million dollar, University Library (which would become the Newton Gresham Library) was finished and opened for the spring semester.

The 12-volume set was now 70 years old and had traveled through four libraries. The new University Library featured a brand new Special Collections Department that was perfect for all 12 volumes of this title.  The set was placed in the Special Collection’s Thomason Room of the new University Library without a new, “Sam Houston State University,” stamp. Special Collection items are not stamped owing to the fact they are rare and can be damaged by the stamping.

Once again used as a primary reference source the set will be celebrating its 120th anniversary along with the Newton Gresham Library, which is celebrating its own 50th anniversary.

Sam Houston State University Special Collections in the Thomason Room, is open from 8-5, Monday-Friday.

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.

Holiday Greetings from the Special Collections & University Archives at the NGL

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The Special Collections and University Archives would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and good wishes for the New Year!

This 1922 Christmas Greetings card is part of a two-card collection of greeting cards done by Albert Rutherston and published in London by the Crown Press.

Albert Rutherston was a British artist who painted figures, landscapes, illustrated books, posters, and stage sets. He was the author of a book called, “Decoration in the Art of the Theatre,” 1910. This title can be found in the main library collection at call number, PN2091 .S8 R89 1919.

You can find these greeting cards in the Special Collections, Thomason Room, under John Drinkwater Christmas Cards, 2016.S12, single item collection.

We look forward to everyone coming to visit the Newton Gresham Library Special Collections and University Archives at Sam Houston State University in the coming year.

GROW THE GROWL! BEARKAT FOOTBALL IS BACK!

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1950 SHSTC Offical football program jpg 2

It’s time for the 101st season of BearKat Football!

Come this Saturday the BearKats will be back on Bowers Field to meet the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies. This game will be the annual BearKat, “Orange Out,” so the stadium will be covered in a sea of orange, white, and blue.

The image above is from a recent donation to the University Archives. This football program is from the October 28, 1950 game featuring Sam Houston State Teachers College BearKats vs. East Texas State Teachers College Lions.

The Sam Houston State University Archives collection of BearKats Football programs dates from the 1930s to the present. It you would like to look at these programs come visit the SHSU University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

#WBW – They called it, “The Giant.” Cybernetics comes to Sam Houston State College in 1967.

the Giant comptuer 1967

They called it, “The Giant.”

It arrived on campus in August of 1967. Its lair was room 107 in Sam Houston’s three year old Computer Center in the ACB Building (Academic Classroom Building- AB-1) where it sat purring all day long, absorbing information about the campus, its educational programs, its students and faculty. The price tag to feed this giant was $50,000 dollars per year in rental fees.

The “Giant” consisted of a room full of electronic equipment, storage, files and an IBM 360, Model 30, 25/19 data processing computer.

The University Library (now the Newton Gresham Library) would become one of the top users of The Giant. The Estill Library in 1967 was already using IBM automated typewriters and the tape produced by the IBM typewriters could be converted to tape readable data to be read by The Giant which would help the library in its automation plans.

If you worked on, “The Giant” or have photographs or materials about the early days of SHSU campus computing the archives would love to talk with you.

To learn more about the history of computers on the Sam Houston State University campus stop by the University Archives in room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library. The University Archives is open m-F, 8-5.

Happy 180th Birthday Samuel L. Clemens, better known as “Mark Twain.”

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“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work”- Mark Twain

Samuel L. Clemens was born in Hannibal, Missouri on November 30, 1835. The American author is overwhelming known by his pen name of Mark Twain. Born shortly after the appearance of Hailey’s Comet in 1835 Clemens said he came in with comet and would go out with it. His death came one day after the comet’s return on April 20, 1910.

His pen name of,”Mark Twain,” Clemens said came from Captain Isaiah Sellers who wrote down paragraphs of practical information and signed them Mark Twain and send them to the New Orleans Picayune. Clemens took up the pen name after Captain Sellers died in 1869.

The cover of the magazine featured in this post is from 1874 and was illustrated by R. T. Sperry. Note that the frog is reading the same title as the magazine.

The Special Collections Department in the Thomason Room of the Newton Gresham Library holds the Mark Twain Correspondence and Ephemera Collection, 1874-2002. This Twain collection is said to be one of the best in Texas.

Click here to go to the finding aid in the NGL Finding Aids Online:
https://archon.shsu.edu/?p=collections/findingaid&id=80&q=