The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Texas State Historical Association Moves to Denton

Texas State Historical Association
Moving to University of North Texas in Denton
By Jesus F. de la Teja,  Now Past President TSHA
[Frank offered this for distribution last spring, and matters are certainly bright in North Texas.]
For the past year, as president of the Texas State Historical Association, I have been working on our departure from the University of Texas in Austin, where we had been housed since the organization was founded in 1897. Those of you interested in the history of TSHA's first century may consult our organizational biography by Richard McCaslin, At the Heart of Texas: 100 Years of the Texas State Historical Association, 1897-1997 (TSHA, 2007). In it, the reader will know that there were past periods of turbulence as the association evolved into its current form.
Founded by among others U.T. historian George Garrison, until 2005 the TSHA always had at its head a member of the university's history department. In 2005 the Center for Studies in Texas History, the university unit responsible for collaborating with the association, was transferred from the College of Liberal Arts to the Center for American History. Efforts by the association's officers at the time to negotiate a new status for the TSHA with the university's administration were unsuccessful. In May 2007 President Bill Powers informed the association that given the divergence in interests between the two organizations, the university needed the TSHA to vacate its space in Sid Richardson Hall by no later than the end of the year. Further efforts to gain a reconsideration of the decision proved unavailing.
In light of the situation, J.C. Martin, TSHA interim director, and his staff have done an outstanding job of keeping all of our programs on track even as the offices have moved to business center at Spicewood Springs and Mesa in northwest Austin. Aside from desks, inventory, and files, the association has had to acquire a phone system, set up a new network, and move its Internet presence to a commercial hosting service. You will find the association at and 512-697-1200. Of course, the new quarters are temporary, as we will be making a permanent move come fall 2008.
Our new home will be at the University of North Texas in Denton. UNT's response to the request for proposals that the association issued over the summer was nothing short of comprehensive. Aside from offering prime office space in the center of campus that will be remodeled to our specifications, UNT will be contracting for services in the areas of education and technology. The collaborative agreement will allow each organization to support the work of the other in numerous areas. For instance, as a history department training many Ph.D. students,  UNT can offer training and employment to a number of them by having them work on TSHA projects. TSHA will be housed next to the UNT Press, allowing for possible collaboration on future publication projects. The Online Handbook of Texas is a marvelous research tool that can serve as a training ground for students in the library sciences even as the UNT libraries offers its expertise in expanding the look, feel, and content of the Handbook in the future.
The board of directors, the staff, and I have embraced these challenges as an opportunity to move the TSHA to a new level. I do not want to give the impression that this can be accomplished without some pain, however. In particular, as a 501c3 with limited revenues, the association has to conduct major fundraising efforts to make up for the additional expenses involved in moving off campus. In addition, we have to raise funds to make sure that we remain capable of meeting our present program goals and expand upon them in the years to come. Our partnership with UNT cannot and should not be taken as an indication that all our needs are taken care of. We look forward to continuing our work with other colleges and universities across the state, with foundations and corporations, and with the many individual Texans who feel strongly about the TSHA's mission to teach, document, and promote Texas history.

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