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, December 31, 2009

Heisman Trophy Longhorn History

Earl Campbell (1977) and Ricky Williams (1998) won the Heisman Trophy in college footabll as University of Texas Longhorns.  But can you name Longhorn also-rans.  Well here's a list.
1947 Bobby Layne, Sixth-Place
1961 James Saxton, Third-Place
1963 Scott Appleton, Fifth-Place
1970 Steve Worster, Fourth-Place
1973 Roosevelt Leaks, Third-Place
(Yes, a drought for three decades, except for Campbell and Williams as winners)
2004 Cedric Benson Sixth-Place
2005 Vince Young: Second Place
2008 Colt McCoy, Second-Place
2009 Colt McCoy, Third Place
Read the story behind each at the Bleacher Report, a UT Football newsletter

Elmer Kelton Statue Nearing Completion

Rick Smith in the San Angelo Standard-Times article ,"Elmer Kelton statue nearing completion," relays the news:

— A life-size sculpture of the late West Texas author Elmer Kelton is nearing completion at a Lubbock foundry said Raul Ruiz, the San Angelo artist commissioned to create the work.
"I just came back from Lubbock last week," Ruiz said. "Right now, I'm at the point where I'm putting on the finishing touches."
He said the sculpture, now made of clay, will be cast in bronze.
"I think it's looking really good," Ruiz said. "It just takes time."
The bronze, which will show the West Texas author casually leaning on a wooden fence, will be placed in the new Tom Green County Library when it opens in 2010.
Ruiz said the Kelton family will travel to Lubbock to see the clay sculpture before it is cast into bronze.
The project has had several unexpected delays.
First, the foundry changed hands after owner Jerry House died in July. Then, Ruiz said he was jolted by Kelton's death in August.
"That's been the hardest part of this — Mr. Kelton's passing," Ruiz said.
Donations to fund the $85,000 project are being accepted through the San Angelo Area
For more information information, see  or call 325- 659-3788."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Musings from Sam Houston's Stomping Grounds

Newton Gresham Library
"Musings from Sam Houston's Stomping Grounds"
The Special Collections librarians up at Sam Houston State University Newton Gresham Library are casting their pods.  Back in 2006 Paul Culp and Cheryl Spencer started talking into one of those talking machines and called them "Musings." 
Somebody plugged them into the internet.  Before long it got to be a habit (a good one) and twice a month they'd find some old historical or news article to read or just recollect (no doubt with a bit of research) history about the University, ol' Sam himself, or other local matters.  They read about 2 to 5 minutes each, but sometimes up to 7 minutes.  Rather interesting listening.  Now there's quite a collection online for you. 
Should you prefer reading it quietly to yourself, transcripts are available.  And the entries can be arranged by topical place or person.  And here's a bit of news.  They started putting slide shows together to go with the audio.  Well, a good thing gets noticed and sometimes other librarians get their moment in the sound booth.
Two recent entries are self-described as:
Harmon L. Lowman - 15 Nov. 2009:
Cheryl Spencer reads an article about Dr. Harmon Lowman, one of Sam Houston's most beloved presidents. Dr. Lowman was president of Sam Houston State Teacher's College from 1941 - 1964. Episode originally aired 1 March 2007. (2:30) Read the transcript.
Dia de la Muertos - 01 Nov. 2009:
Erin Cassidy, Reference Librarian, reads a short essay about Dia de los Muertos (the Days of the Dead), written by Norma Beth Williamson, Spanish pool faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages. (4:19) New format! See more images while listening! (4:35) Read the transcript. Get audio only.
I swear, sometimes a college education sure pays off.  I guess what I like best is that the staff is actually expected to know the contents of their archives a trend to encourage.
Or peruse the Special Collection Thomason Room at   

Texas Observer - Back issues of Summer and Winter Books Issues online

The Texas Observer, Texas' own guardian of the left bank of the Colorado River. has a book blog "Texas Bound" which occasionally addresses a Texas volume (they prefer the broader view of the nation).   No posting has been made in "Texas Bound" since last October.  But now of note is the TO's online availability of the Summer and Winter Books issues.  The archives go back for ten years.  On the Texas Bound blog's page in the upper right are clicks to those back issues.  For the illiterate with no interest in books, but just their causes of the day, under TO's homepage is the complete list of issues, back for the same ten years.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Dies

You may have already learned of Cynthia Woods Mitchell's death on the 27th at age 87. 
Her obituary is in today's Wednesday Chronicle.  Should you not have a hardcopy at hand, an electronic link is at
The obituary is the loveliest and most memorable one I've ever read, no doubt enabled by the lovely person, mother, and wife that she was. 
Through the obituary, I laughed, cried, and came to admire her and the obituary's author, one of her children.  I recomend you take time from your busy holiday season to read of this remarkable, modern woman, a force behind Galveston's.historic revival, early advocate of sustainable living (The Woodlands), inspiration of and care-taker of the Cynthia Woods Pavilion, wife of dynamo George P. Mitchell, and mother of 10.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Land Steward Awards

Lone Star Land Steward Awards Program

Self-described as:  "Private landowners are the key to effective habitat management in Texas, since more than 90 percent of Texas is privately-owned. The Lone Star Land Steward Awards program recognizes and honors private landowners for their accomplishments in habitat management and wildlife conservation. The program is designed to educate landowners and the public and to encourage participation in habitat conservation."
Lone Star Land Steward

New Deal for Texas Parks - interactive exhibit from TPWD

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has developed an interactive exhibit on the New Deal for Texas Parks:
A New Deal for Texas Parks, main page.
It's self-description begins:
"Welcome to a New Deal for Texas Parks - an online exhibit and education center for teachers and students of Texas history, made possible in part through the generous support of Humanities Texas' Linden Heck Howell Texas History Grant. Humanities Texas is a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Flip through the pages of the scrapbook to explore how individuals, communities and landscapes in Texas were impacted by the New Deal Era. Discover how the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed many of the state parks we enjoy today. Explore a variety of primary source documents such as photographs, oral histories, letters and music that help tell this American story through the eyes of Texas."  Read more at
Open the Table of Contents or select a theme.  Click on a page's corner and turn the page.  The "My Keepsake" pdf on the left of each section's first page offers a type of lesson plan.

Historic Texas Rancho de las Cabras Buried Under Sand

Old Texas mission ranch buried in funding limbo

Dec 24, 2009 3:32 AM (6 hrs ago) By Michelle Roberts, AP
Examiner news story begins: "FLORESVILLE, Texas (Map, News) -
Ruins that archeologists call one of the last links to the original ranches and cowboys that shaped Texas have been kept behind a gate, literally buried, for more than two decades - awaiting the funding that would allow people to see them.
The 18th-century Rancho de las Cabras complex, with its stone building remains, was a birthplace of the large commercial ranching operations that would help define the state. Preservationists have long hoped it could be fully excavated and opened to the public, but so far, the site has been unable to attract the money it would need from Congress or the National Park Service's stretched budget. 
"It's one of these kind of once-in-a-lifetime sites. You're not going to be able to see something like this anywhere in the world," said National Park Service Archaeologist Susan Snow. "The mission ranches brought what we know today as the modern cattle industry."
The 100-acre site about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio was donated 32 years ago to the state, which handed it to the National Park Service nearly 15 years ago as addition to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park."  Read more at

Monday, December 21, 2009

Laredo's Last Bookstore

News of the closing of  Laredo's last bookstore has finally hit the Wall Street Journal of all places.  Apparently literacy in Texas is worth the attention of those who tend the national economy.  Do you suppose that being able to read actually matters?
Stephanie Simon's article is headlined:

City Tries to Rewrite Lone Bookstore's Last Chapter :  Laredo Residents Campaign to Prevent Closing of B. Dalton Shop That Serves as Community Resource, Gathering Place

and begins:
"LAREDO, Texas -- Mary Benavides steps from behind the cash register several times a day to embrace the mourners.
For more than 30 years, she has managed the mall's B. Dalton outlet -- the only bookstore in Laredo. It will close next month.
All B. Daltons nationwide are closing, as corporate parent Barnes & Noble shutters the chain. In this era of mega-bookstores with cafes and cozy couches and 150,000 titles -- and with more than a million books available online -- B. Dalton's cramped outlets no longer make economic sense."  Read more at
Those of us at the Parlor speculate if we lived in Laredo, we'd go to the City Librarian and begin (now just ask or just try) the process of allowing the  City Library discards and the discards from other nearby libraries (hint, hint TAMU-I)  to form the basis of a used book store (with serious intent) through a commodious and convenient, well-lighted space.  In short time, new books could be added to the line.  If  free enterprize will not address the obvious public needs, the government should.  Or you can offer a different idea.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Poking Around in the UT Dallas Archives

Press release begins:

Archivist tour  Paul Oelkrug (foreground) leads archivists on a tour of McDermott Library's Special Collections.

Archivists Get a Glimpse of UT Dallas Library Rarities

Dec. 14, 2009
"Visiting archivists got acquainted with some of UT Dallas' most exclusive holdings recently when they met at McDermott Library to tour the Special Collections department.
Paul Oelkrug and his staff in Special Collections led visitors through the History of Aviation Collection, which features a world-class aeronautical archive. The collection is the department's largest section.
The saw the Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library, a regional resource for philatelic and postal history; and the Louise B. Belsterling Library, a collection of rare botanical books, including the library's oldest volume."  Read more at

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ron Stone Academy for the Teaching of Texas History

University of Houston New Release
Texas History Academy links late Ron Stone, UHFoundation Gift Launches New Resource for Texas History Teachers
It begins:  "June 3, 2009 - Houston - The rugged history of the Lone Star State is revealed in landmarks, cities and tales.  Now, a new resource at the University of Houston Center for Public History helps Texas teachers harness that rich history for the classroom.

The University of Houston Center for Public History has announced a $75,000 gift from the Ron Stone Foundation to begin the Ron Stone Academy for the Teaching of Texas History. The gift will be matched by a $75, 000 contribution by the university."
For more information about The Ron Stone Foundation, visit

Texas Music History Lecture Series in El Paso

The El Paso Newspaper Tree report begins
"New Texas Music History Lecture Series

Thursday, December 3, 2009

El Paso Museum of History Begins New Texas Music History Lecture Series

"Beginning September 3 and continuing through December, the El Paso Museum of History will celebrate Texas' influence in Zydeco, Jazz, Women in Texas Music and Blues music. The lecture series will take place the first Thursday of each month. It is the first series of events that the museum will charge an admission fee for: $4 for members and $8 for nonmembers. The goal of this series is to offer something special for the museum's membership and to attract potential new members."  Read more at
Museum of History or visit the museum at

National Literary Landmarks in Texas

Earlier this December, the Lorenzo de Zavala Texas State Library and Archives Building  received designation as a National Literary Landmark, the fourth in Texas.  The other three are the O. Henry Home in Austin, the Katherine Anne Porter Home in Kyle, and the Menger Hotel in San Antonio.
Learn more about the National Literary Landmarks at
The Dallas News carried an article about the announcement at
Hmmm, only four.  Sure wouldn't take long to round up a few more.  What're the qualifications?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dollar Store Dirt and Marshall

Locals angry over store's proposed site
Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen

Friday, December 11, 2009
[This article from Marshall reveals Dollar Store's intent to build in a historic neighborhood on Burleson.]

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

General Land Office - Teachers Guide

Teachers Guide:

Three Centuries on the Land: The Archives of the Texas General Land Office (The Story of Texas is told through the history of its public lands).

Table of Contents


History of the

Texas General Land Office.............................................4


of Land Grants in Texas................................................10

Mineral Files..................................................................15

Digital Preservation Project............................................16

The Campaign to Save Texas History…………………17

Appendix A

Commissioners of the General Land Office....................18

Appendix B

Sources for Further Reading..........................................19
This 20-page document is available online at

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wooster to edit Gulf Historical and Biographical Record

Lamar University News release:

Wooster to edit Gulf Historical and Biographical Record

Texas Gulf Historical Society
Ralph Wooster, distinguished professor of history emeritus at Lamar University, will serve as editor of the Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, Curtis Leister, president of Texas Gulf Historical Society, has announced.
Wooster is a prominent and prolific historian, having authored nine books and more than 70 articles dealing with the history of Texas, the South, Secession, the Civil War and World War II."
The Record comes from the Texas Gulf Historical Society.

This Week in Texas Music History

KERA in North Texas sponsors Art & Seek: A Community for Arts, Culture, and Creative People.  A part of their postings, usually on Friday, are "This Week in Texas Music History." 
In order to find a long list of entries, select "Features" and search for "This week in Music History" and you'll receive many entries.  Click on each entry and you'll receive a fuller essay, and, yes, Virginia, audio is an option.
Navigation notes remind you that "You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you."
The current listing is on Scott Joplin, the ragtime man.

Connect 2 Texas web site

Self-described as "

Welcome to the
Connect2Texas web site!

The purpose of this site is to promote programs offered by interactive videoconferencing providers in the State of Texas. Click here to see the list of providers

TEACHERS: Not sure what to expect with a content program? Click here to see a sample program from Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, or click here for a brief overview of Connect2Texas (these files will play in Windows MediaPlayer).

An interesting development worth checking out .

Houston Chronicle's Today in Texas History

    The Houston Chronicle blog Texas on the Potomac for last several months has been rather steady in adding 2, 3, or 4 entries a week to their Today in Texas History postings.  Enough to keep regular tabs on, good reading.  I've added it to my Yahoo homepage.  You may want to try it.

Quarter Horse - Official Texas State Horse

Logan Head, a youngster in Bonham, led the posse that established the Quarter Horse (Steel Dust and all that) as the official Texas state horse.  Logan's effort has been noted elsewhere, but here's the anticipatory news as reported in New Zealand.  Good going Logan!
The American Quarter Horse Association is headdquartered in Amarillo, of course.  Logan is a Youth member.
While eating a supper of the official state dish CHILI, seasoned by the official state peppers JALAPENO and CHILTIPEN official state vegetable SWEET ONION and the official state small mammal the ARMADILLO and the official large mammal the LONGHORN, prepared in the official state cooking implement the DUTCH OVEN, cowboys and cowgirls, dressed in their offiicial fabric COTTON shirts and blouses, can tether their quarterhorses to the offical state vehicle the CHUCKWAGON which is always among a field of the state flower the BLUEBONNETS and the official grass GAMMA and the official state plant the PRICKLEY PEAR CACTUS and the official native shrub the PURPLE SAGE. If the chili is quite ready, sing the official song TEXAS OUR TEXAS and snack on the official snacks TORTILLA CHIPS and SALSA. Along with the chili, you'll want the official state bread PAN DE CAMPO.  Afterwards enjoy some official state dessert STEUDEL and SOPAIPILLA and the official health nut the PECAN. Relax under the official tree the PECAN, listen to the offiicial bird the MOCKINGBIRD and the official musical instrument the GUITAR supply music for the official folk dance the SQUARE DANCE, and watch your official dog the BLUE LACY snap at the official insect the MONARCH BUTTERLY, root around the gamma for the official reptile the HORNED TOAD and gaze in puzzle at the official flying mammal the MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BAT.  Non-dancers can chat about the official sport the RODEO, their last sighting of the official fish the GUADALUPE BASS, whether a saddle blanket can be made from the official tartan the BLUEBONNET TARTAN and whether one prefers our current state artist, historian, or poet laureate.

Texas Tech Stadium History etc.

Texas Tech Guns Up Gallery   At  "Texas Tech Today"
you'll find a very nice essay on the history of the Red Raiders football stadium 1920's onward.  Hmmm, seems like somebody a the Texas Tech University Press could assign an industrious journalism student to compile an anthology of Texas college stadiums (stadia) histories.  The autumn leaves pigskin fans across the state would surely wish to purchase a copy.  It may challenge our many "churches of Texas" volumes.

Salado Library Texas History at the Movies

In their Texas Ranch House blog, the Salado Public Library reports it has just finish a month long series on Texas history in cooperation with the local Silver Spur Theater with a showing of "Giant," which flickered a hour after their presentation of Ramon Carter's "Texas Profiles."

Friday, November 27, 2009

San Antonio Radio Memories website

Let yourself drift across the last 50 year of San Antonio, Texas radio at
Self-described as "The purpose of San Antonio Radio Memories is to provide a clearinghouse for those who would like to share and preserve their personal San Antonio Radio Memories for future generations. Our mission is to provide a repository for those memories, to collect the stories, and eventually, compile them into book form for everyone to enjoy. "
It begins "Remember that incredible, unique sound that was San Antonio radio in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s? There was that "nothing like it before" music that rocked us, but more importantly, there were those incredible air "personalities"…who literally blew us away! These giant talents did more than spin "stacks of wax." They created a whole world of entertainment that we could be a part of at the flick of a switch or the press of a button. Real, live DJs, who chose their own music, created imaginary sidekicks, made us laugh, and filled our days and nights with companionship and joy."
Building toward a book.

Fantastic Science Fiction & Lou Antonelli

Lou Antonelli, a Texan science fiction writer who occasionally uses Texas as a setting, self-describes himself as "Lou Antonelli has had 43 stories published in the past six years in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia in magazines such as Asimov's Science Fiction, Jim Baen's Universe, Dark Recesses and Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine. He has had nine honorable mentions in "The Year's Best Science Fiction" (St. Martin's Press, Gardner Dozois, ed.). He lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, with his wife, Patricia (Randolph), and is managing editor of the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune."
He also posts in his blogs about his work and other science fiction in two places
Fantastic Texas
This Way to Texas: Lou Antonelli's Dang Old Blog
For example, a rocket ship lifts off from the Republic of Texas and
Buddy Holley is President.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oral history, Bexar, and Photography Digitization

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has awarded six digitization grants via the  TexTreasures Program, addressing these local (and state) historical locales:  Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Corpus Christi, and Austin with attention to these population segments: general, Tejano, African American.

  • "Houston Oral History Project" ($25,000) – The Houston Public Library is partnering with Houston Mayor Bill White to preserve and make the video-recordings of significant Houstonians available on the web. This grant will convert an additional 288 hours of audiotapes from cassette or reel-to-reel to digital format along with transcripts for the collection.
  • "The Bexar Archives" ($19,930) – The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin will create a research tool, called Bexar Archives Online, which joins digital images of the original Spanish documents with the corresponding English-language translations.
  • "Marion Butts Photography Negatives Project" ($17,571) – The Dallas Public Library will use the photographic records produced by Marion Butts, an African-American photographer and editor of the Dallas Express, as well as other primary source materials such as maps, Negro city directories and oral histories to develop a series of online Texas-focused, TEKS-based lesson plans targeting seventh grade students. The records chronicle Dallas and Texas history during the segregation and civil rights eras.
  • "Lady Bird Johnson Photo Collection Project" ($16,610) – The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin will digitize and provide access to a unique collection of photographs of Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson. She is the wife of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was born in Karnack, Texas. As the First Lady of the United States from 1963-69, she was an advocate for nature, beautification and conservation of natural resources. Most of the photographs in this collection date after her return to Texas.
  • "Itinerant Photographer Collection" ($14,389) – The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin will preserve and digitize a collection of glass plate negatives depicting local businesses owners and employees in Corpus Christi, which were taken by an unidentified photographer in February 1934 during the Depression. The center will provide an online finding aid, an online catalog record and an online exhibit of the fragile items now in danger of emulsion loss.
  • "Tejano Voices Project" ($6,500) – The University of Texas at Arlington Library will digitize and describe 13 oral history interviews from notable Tejanos and Tejanas from across Texas conducted in 1992-2003 by Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington. Many of the interviews emphasize the personal struggles, from individuals of Mexican decent, who are the first in their communities elected or appointed to government offices. The interviews also reflect the history of the Tejano community as it pressed for an end to racial segregation in the state and access to political power in the post-WWII period.
  • State Library & Archives Commissioners reappointed

    Last October the Texas State Library and Archives released a news release announcing that
    "The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is pleased to announce the reappointment of chairman Sandra J. Pickett of Liberty, Martha Doty Freeman of Austin and Larry G. Holt of College Station, to its governing board. Governor Rick Perry has reappointed them to a six-year term to expire on September 28, 2015.:

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Texas Tribune - new newspaper

           The Texas Tribune is described by the Texas Community College Teachers Association:

    The TCCTA description begins:  "A new approach to Texas journalism is getting cranked up, and you may want to have a look. It's the Texas Tribune, calling itself a "non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization," with promises to "promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern." 
    So far it looks like the effort will devote considerable energy to legislative and education issues."
    Or go to the new Texas Tribune, headed by the former head of Texas Monthly, Evan Smith
    Check its parts
  • Front Page
  • Topics
  • Library
  • Blogs
  • 2010
  • Calendar
  • CampusWire

    Writers include

    Julian Aguilar Brandi Grissom Reeve Hamilton Jim Henson Elise Hu Ben Philpott
    Ross Ramsey Emily Ramshaw Abby Rapoport Daron Shaw Evan Smith
    Morgan Smith Matt Stiles Brian Thevenot

    Railroad Commission Turns Over Stones in Oil Patch

    Digitizing Historical Records

    Self-described:  "With a federal grant and state matching funds, the Railroad Commission of Texas will digitize records of national historical significance from regulatory hearings involving fields in the East Texas region beginning in 1932 through 1972—the peak year of oil production in Texas."


    No doubt the limit of the project is East Texas because Jim Bowie's treasure is buried in Central Texas.

    Frank Jennings Died

    University of Texas at San Antonio Special Collections notes the passing of Frank Jennings.

    "Frank Jennings, a longtime donor and great friend of the Archives, passed away Sunday, August 16, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas."
    He followed San Antonio historian Ramsdell.

    THC fines Collin brutes

    Collin County sold a building (Brutish style architecture) to the City of McKinney which wishes to demolish it.  Texas Historical Commission says, NO, and fines 'em $1,000.

    Preserving Palo Duro Canyon

    A novel historical preservation challenge. 
    Wind turbines and the Palo Duro Canyon
    Read from the Industrial Wind Action Group
    Protect North Palo Duro Canyon

    James Nava on the Western novel

    James Nava, a Spanish native and American adoptee, hold forth on the Western.

    Paul Baker's Last Curtain Call

    Paul Baker-thumb-200x266-60946.jpg   Paul Baker, legendary theater figure in Texas, dies at 98

    "Paul Baker, the founding artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center and a legendary presence on the Texas theater scene, has died of complications of pneumonia. He was 98."
    Read more commentary sparked by his October 25th death in the Austin 360 at:  
    Or other links at
    No doubt somebody will shortly be working on article for the Handbook of Texas.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Handbook of Texas get HOTTER!

    Handbook of Texas Online          A recent electric edition of the Texas State Historical Association's Riding Line mentioned that the cross references in the Handbook were becoming hotlinks.  I checked with Laurie Jasinksi, Handbook Research Editor, and she affirmed in a progress report that now the MAJORITY of qv's (within the text) and cross references at the text's end are now hotlinks, making moving from topic to topic much easier for researchers.
    I checked articles on three bibliographers, Raines, Streeter, and Winkler, and, sure enough, most such opportunities are now hot.  Jasinki noted that the 25,000 articles compose a large and varied mountain to climb, and they will be continuing to put an electric plug on the remaining qv's (quod vide, Latin for "hey guys, look over there) and cross references.
    Congratulations and further good luck to the TSHA and the Handbook of Texas Online staffers.
    Click and try it out!

    Historical Commission appointments

    Last February's gubernatorial appointments to the Texas Historical Commission are summarized at
    It begins:  "AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has named Jon T. Hansen of El Paso Chair of the Texas Historical Commission. He also appointed five members to the commission for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2015. The commission works to preserve Texas' architectural, archeological and cultural landmarks."  Others include
    Thomas E. Alexander of Kerrville
    Leslie "Kirk" Courson of Perryton
    Sheri S. Krause of Austin
    Steven L. Highlander of Austin
    Nancy Steves of San Antonio
    Read the news release for further information

    Wright Texas fiction 1851-1875 - Indiana Univ.

    Wright American Fiction 1851-1875
    A simple search of this e-text collection of fiction for "Texas" produced 420 hits, many merely one hit within the volume, some merely on the publisher's advertisement page of other titles.
    Indiana University Digital Library Program describes the database as "This is a collection of 19th century American fiction, as listed in Lyle Wright's bibliography American Fiction, 1851-1875. There are currently 2,887 volumes included (1,763 unedited, 1,124 fully edited and encoded) by 1,456 authors. See this page for more information. Collection last updated on September 3, 2005. MARC Records are available for the entire collection."

    Texas publishers list

    For a list of 191 Texas Publishers go to

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    Book blogger Appreciation

    where last year and again this year Amy Riley declared a week in September as "Book Blogger Appreciation Week."  Hmmm, seems like a good opportunity to remind you of Will Howard's "Texas Blog Notes:  History, Literature, and Other Civil Blogs." at 

    Dana Lynn Smith - Publishing Consultant

               Dana Lynn Smith is quite pleased to be a 5th generation Texan, and she is strongly informed about how to sell books in Texas, but that doesn't stop her from opening her publishing consulting shop to folks beyond the three rivers.
    Check her  Texana Publishing Consultants  within her "Book Marketing Maven" website, an interestingly adapted blog format.

    Writers League Book Awards

    The Writers League of Texas Book Awards (formerly the Violet Crown and Teddy Awards) of 2009 area announced at: .  Some are Texana:

    Nonfiction Winner

    A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Big Horn, the Last Great Battle of the American West
    James Donovan, Dallas, TX (Little, Brown, March 2008)

    The Texas Rangers, Mike Cox, Austin, TX
    The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder, Stew Magnuson, Arlington, VA
    Island Journeys, Patti Marxsen Camden, ME
    The Texas Hill Country, Terry Thompson-Anderson, Fredericksburg, TX
    The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, Marion Winik, Baltimore, MD

    Fiction Winner
    The Story of Forgetting
    Stefan Merrill Block,
    Brooklyn, NY (Random House, April 2008)
    The Condition, Jennifer Haigh, Hull, MA
    The Theory of Light and Matter, Andrew Porter, San Antonio, TX
    Purple Hearts, C.W. Smith, Dallas, TX
    Northline, Willy Vlautin, Scappoose, OR

    Children's Book Winner

    The Underneath,
    Kathi Appelt
    College Station, TX
    (Atheneum, May 2008)

    Man in the Moon, Dotti Enderle, Richmond, TX
    Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid, Xavier Garza, San Antonio, TX
    How Not to Be Popular, Jennifer Ziegler, Austin, TX


    Poetry & Literary Prose Winner

    Meditations on Rising and Falling
    Philip Pardi
    Phoenicia, NY
    (University of Wisconsin Press, February 2008)

    Shadow Mountain, Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan, Houston, TX
    A Poetry of Remembrance, Levi Romero, Albuquerque, NM
    Wild Flight, Christine Rhein, Brighton, MI

    Bookstore Day Nov 7

    National Bookstore Day on November 7 was a creation of Publishers' Weekly magazine.  Maybe next year Texas could adopt it as something more broadly used across the state, kind of in the tsunamic wave following the Texas Book Festival.

    Sunday, November 08, 2009

    Southwestern Literature @ TTU

    At Texas Tech University, "Multicultural Literature of America" is taught with an eye on modern Southwestern, and elsewhere, literature by Dr. Claudia Sadowski-Smith and Dr. Wallis Sanborn.
    See their course outline at

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    Library Design Institute in Dallas "Going Green"

    David Darnell at the Dallas Public Library (aka Library-on'-the-Triniity) sends along this information:

    "The Dallas Public Library is honored to host the
    6th Annual Library Journal's  Design Institute
    We are expecting a great turnout for this year's conference. Though attendees from across the US participate in the Institute, we would like to encourage our Texas neighbors in this year of limited travel budgets to take advantage of this opportunity while it is being held in our geographic area. 
    If your library system is planning to build new facilities or planning to renovate current libraries, this is the chance of a lifetime to ask the experts for advice about incorporating "Going Green" ideas and practices into your building plans.
    We look forward to having you join us in Dallas in December.

    in partnership with Dallas Public Library

    Admission is FREE! Attendance is limited. Sign up today to secure your spot.
    DATE: December 11, 2009 / TIME: 9AM–6PM
    LOCATION: Dallas Public Library / 1515 Young Street / Dallas, TX 75201

    More information
    Questions? Contact

    For its sixth cycle, Library Journal Design Institute moves to Texas for a one-day think tank on green design. We'll bring together leading architects, designers, librarians, and vendors to hone in on the challenges and solutions we face in creating 21st century sustainable libraries. With every Green Design Institute, we've taken a leap forward in knowledge and understanding, but there is so much more we can learn from these experts and each other. Join us for a day-long series of green-themed presentations, panels, and breakout sessions, and learn the latest developments, options, costs and strategies being adopted.

    Limited to 100 attendees, the seminar is for those considering a new building project or renovation, in the fundraising or pre-bond stage, or in the early building process.

    Register today at

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    University of North Texas Press

    A thumbnail history of the University of North Texas Press, now with over 250 titles to its experience, being founded by Frank Vick and James Lee.

    Collin County Farm Museum Website

    Cultivate some Texas history at the Collin County Farm Museum now managed by the North Texas History Center


    Protesting SAPL Texana Room Cuts

    New leaked out that folks in the San Antonio Public Library are considering cutting staff in their Texana Room, a heavily used resource of quite productive service.  Some protests have been noted in the My San Antonio website.  Read on .........

    Best Texas Movie?

    Best of Texas started a string on what's your favorite Texas movie.  They start with "Giant" and "Last Picture Show."

    Favorite Texas Book - Dallas News

    Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for voiceslogo-thumb.jpgWell, Michael Landauer at the Dallas Morning News
    last June kicked off a "Favorite Books about Texas"  in the Sounding Off column
    Find it at

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Saving Our History - GLO

    Saving Our History is an e-newsletter published by the the Texas General Land Office's Historic Preservation Program.  Its 6th volume, fall issue is available online at 
    Subscription is free.  The contents include









    Leslie Johnson

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Virtual Landscapes of Texas - UT

    Virtual Landscapes of Texas
    The University of Texas various geological type departments, schools, etc. have published for about a hundred years about a thousand publications about our earthen basis which have been captured here in full text with searching capacity.  The UT Library has been a partner in this process and has them on its website.  If you want the real dirt on Texas and have it diluted by water reports as well, it's merely available at the snap of a finger or a click at least.

    Repositories of Primary Resources - UI

    The University of Idaho has a long list of repositories across the nation at
    The list of Texas repositories is about 100 institutions long.

    Documenting the American South - UNC

    Documenting the American South
    Self-described:  "Documenting the American South (DocSouth), a digital publishing initiative sponsored by the University Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provides access to digitized primary materials that offer Southern perspectives on American history and culture. It supplies teachers, students, and researchers at every educational level with a wide array of titles they can use for reference, studying, teaching, and research.
    The texts, images, and other materials come primarily from the premier Southern collections in the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These original Southern materials can be found in several library locations, including the Southern Historical Collection, one of the largest collections of Southern manuscripts in the country; the North Carolina Collection, the most complete printed documentation of a single state anywhere; the Rare Book Collection, which holds an extensive Southern pamphlet collection; and Davis Library, which offers rich holdings of printed materials on the Southeast. "
    A search for "Texas" brought over 4,000 hits.
    At you can find a map of the US with states delineated.  Click on Texas and you'll find the 100 or so LC subject headings under which Texas documents are files, including the almost 30 subject headings for Texas African Americans.  Rather nice option.

    LC American Memory Collections

    American Memories is a section of webpage by the Library of Congress.
    Searching for "Texas" one finds 250 pages of items, each page with 15 items, and 250 is the maximum number of pages retrievable.  So Texas likely has far in excess of 5,000 items.  Can so be useful for schools.
    What items?  Photographs, maps, sheet music, architecture, books, laws, just all sorts of things - graphically depicted !!!
    The items are mostly from the LC, but other institutions contribute, e.g., UT-Austin.
    In all probability your town has material there, maybe dozens, maybe hundreds.
    Topics are broad.  American Memories has bluebonnets, armadillos, longhorns, etc.
    You can search by place - lotsa hits for Dallas, Galveston, Houston, and of course my hometown of Marshall, and my places of education Jacksonville, Nacogodoches, Kingsville, and Austin.  You can browse by time period..
    You can also browse by topic

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Texas Slavery Project

    Texas Slavery Project Logo
    What is it?  Self-description:  "The Texas Slavery Project takes a deep look at the expansion of slavery in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico in the years between 1837 and 1845. Based at the Virginia Center for Digital History, the project offers a number of digital tools that allow users to explore the changing face of slavery in early Texas ...."
    Need a some statistics, by area within early Texas, need direction to some primary sources (letters, laws, documents, etc.),  need some maps that show distribution of slaves and slave-holders across the years?  This is a notable place to come.
    Torget's self-description: "Andrew J. Torget is the project's founder and director. Andrew is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Texas, where he is completing a book titled Cotton Empire: Slavery, the Texas Borderlands, and the Origins of the Mexican-American War. Andrew received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia while serving as the founding director of the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond. He is also the co-editor of two books, Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration (University of Virginia Press, 2006) and Two Communities in the Civil War (W. W. Norton, 2007)."
    An excellent website substantially derived from the work at the University of Virginia.
    Does not address slavery among Native Texas tribes or the previous military system or peonage systems among the Spanish and Mexican elite, or the slavery in post-annexation Texas, or the prison labor system conducted by the state in subsequent years..

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Anti-Ku Klux Klan in Marshall, Texas

    Lead Image   Historical anti-Klan activities from Marshall, Texas are  posted on the Marshall News Messenger websites in a series of articles.  The information is good, but another thing that's good is that the articles' umbrella projects the articles as the Ku Klux Klan against Marshall, not just against Afrrican Marshallites - a good step ahead.
    The articles (now in the archives, not as hotlinks) include

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    West Texas History Fellowships

    San Angelo State University offers 2 fellowships ($40K each) in their EXCELLENCE IN WEST TEXAS HISTORY FELLOWSHIPS program with the application deadline of January 31, 2010.  The fellowships come though the the West Texas Collection at Angelo State University.  Awards will be announced in April 2010.

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Angela de Hoyos Died

    Angela de Hoyos (Angelina Sandoval), poet, publisher, song and writer, born in Coahuila in 1923 and a long-time San Antonio resident just recently died on September 24.  At age 86, she was a widely respected poet of South Texas and beyond the state, becoming a an icon of the Tejano Chicano literary movement.  Her collections, Chicano Poems: For the Barrio, Woman, Woman, Selecciones, and Arise Chicano!, will be valued.  And her contributions, with Moises, her husband, through publishing others via the M&A Press will be prized more as the years pass.  Folks with deeper interest may read the work edited by Luis A. Ramos and Jose Armas, Angela de Hoyos: A Critical Look (1979).

    Will's Texana Youtube Channel

    I've developed a Youtube channel, Will's Texana Youtube Channel.  It's free, It's easy.  An account is called a channel.
    Yes, I know and groan about the junk and ephemera that's there, but this last summer I wondered, just what IS there?  So I looked.  It took a while to get the hang of it all, but using a very undisciplined method which was also very unconsistent, I cobbled together 1,000 videos from other folks' channels and centralized them into 100 topical playlists
    There are some drawbacks (e.g., Youtube doesn't allow for alphabetizing the 100 playlists, so you'll find them in a jumble of 100.)  I working on a means where by they can be alphabetizing on somebody's separate page, and this alternative would also enable the addition of other folks' playlists on other channels.
    I'm issuing a report on Will's Texana Youtube Channel as a special issue of my Will's Texana Monthly.  If you'd like a free copy just let me know.  That report also includes a list of the 50 or so Youtube channels to which I subscribe, some rather professionally done - historical, contemporary, nature, gardening, media, etc - and some casually produced by individuals but worthy of notice and maybe your own subscription.
    The WT Channel was first intended just as a device to record what I found.  Now it serves as a repository (if temporary) to nudge librarians, archivists, historians, teachers, and other interested folks to further explore Youtube and other video repositories for their long-term value.  Already one WT channel viewer, Joan Hood, has since begun her own channel, Joan's Texas Women Channel, to collect videos exclusively on that topic which I wouldn't be able to do as well at .
    Actually, I encourage you to start your own channel, if not so much to produce your own videos, but to collect along special lines.
    And tell me where to go and what to do when I get there!  It's a broad prairie with only slow rolling hills.  I could use some talk and thought.
    See the whole shebang at