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, March 26, 2009

International Association of Business Communicators History

Houston SkylineDowns Matthews begins his history (A GENEALOGY FOR IABC/HOUSTON) with " The place is Houston, Texas. The year, 1946. A young man named Walter Beach, editor of The Humble Way, published by the Humble Oil and Refining Company of Houston, has just returned from a business meeting of the Southwestern Association of Industrial Editors (SAIE) held in Little Rock, AK. He is inspired to start a chapter of SAIE for industrial editors of Houston."  Includes a list of presidents.  Read more at

Austin is for Archivists

Austin is for Archivists self-describes itself as
"This blog is an attempt at a comprehensive, grassroots-level compendium of things to do in Austin while you are here for the 2009 Joint Meeting of the Society of American Archivists and the Council of State Achivists."  "This blog and its contributors would like to thank the Ischool of the University of Texas at Austin for hosting this blog."
I'm wishing they would continue the blog past the convention and focus on Austin area archives - collections, news, events, practices, etc.

Video of map conservation

Watch a brief video of delicate, professional map conservation of a Pecos County map at the General Land Office, courtesy ABC news, KTRK

Monday, March 23, 2009

Postcards from Texas - TV 55 documentaries

  Postcards from Texas, is a new television program about Texas 19th and 20th century history, currently focusing on the greater Houston area.  It is broadcast by Channel 55 on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. and repeated the next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. 
Most segments are about 5 minutes, but some approach 10 minutes.  Each segment splices together interviews from 2 or several historians or other informed folks and many historical photographs using the "Ken Burns" pan-and-zoom technique to elicit a dynamism from the photos.  The interviewee's comments or each photo last on the screen for a couple of seconds to at most 10 seconds, so the viewers are kept entertained as well as informed.  The audio on my computer system leaves the sound occasionally a bit blurry, but still communicable.  Each segment is accompanied by an edited version of the narration.  Music often plays in the background.  The segments are archived on the channel's website.  A companion blog gives occasional extra details.  All rather well done by Mike Vance, producer.
Read more about it or jump right in and see how Houstonian "Jesse Jones Saved the Houston Banks" back in the depressed 1930's.  Jones was the principal financial architect of Roosevelt's national economic recovery.  Jones had been earlier recommended to President Herbert Hoover by the powerhouse Texan John Nance Garner who went on to become FDR's veep.  Jones even set salaries for some bankers! Did they have bonuses in those days?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

San Jacinto Symposium

The Battle of San Jacinto Symposium meets Saturday, April 18, 2009, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, University of Houston under the title of "New Light on Old Stories. 

The Battle of San Jacinto Symposium is sponsored by the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground as a forum for promoting public awareness of the events of the Texas Revolution era.  Read more at


The five panelists are:

Roger Moore, founder ofMoore Archeological Consulting, a group which studies sites and deposits in the complex context of modern cities. In work ongoing since 2003, he has led the first systematic, methodologically appropriate investigation of the Battle of San Jacinto;

Gregg Dimmick, author of Sea ofMud: the Retreat of theMexican Army after San Jacinto and editor of General Vicente Filisola's Analysis of Jose Urrea'sMilitary Diary, translated by John R.Wheat.  Dimmick, a pediatrician, works closely with the HoustonArcheological Society in tracing theMexicanArmy's retreat in the 1836 campaign;

Douglas D. Scott, a professor in anthropology at the University of Nebraska, has a special interest in 19th century military sites and forensic archeology. The innovative research he started at the Little Big Horn

Battlefield NationalMonument won the U.S. Department of Interior's Distinguished ServiceAward in 2002;

Douglas Mangum co-manages the San Jacinto Battleground field work and developed and manages the GIS database of maps for the project. Mangum worked on sites in Scotland, England,Mississippi, NewMexico and Texas before joining MooreArcheological Consulting;

Manuel Hinojosa is an architect, artist, avocational historian and acknowledged authority on theMexicanArmy of the nineteenth century. His research of the "Mexican Soldado" at the PaloAlto Battlefield won the battleground's 2006 MeritAward.

Speakers on specific topics are:

H.W. Brands will emphasize the importance of interpreting battlefields and set their meanings in modern context.  Brands is the DicksonAllenAnderson Centennial Professor of History at the University of Texas atAustin and author of more than 20 books, including the awardwinning Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story for Texas Independence.

Sam W. Haynes will compare Texas with other post-colonial societies in their struggles to define themselves after winning independence. Aprofessor of history at UTArlington, Haynes' focus of study is the western expansion of the U.S. in the 19th century. He is the author of James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse.

James P. Bevill will discuss his new book, The Paper Republic: The Struggle for Money, Credit and Independence in the Republic of Texas, and the San Jacinto soldiers who helped structure these

finances. Bevill is past president of the Texas NumismaticAssociation.

James E. Crisp, North Carolina State University, will moderate the symposium for the seventh year. His book, Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett's Last Stand and otherMysteries of the Texas Revolution,

won theT.R.FehrenbachBookAward in 2006

Texas Map Society Spring Meeting

Logo.jpg (5980 bytes)    Texas Map Society spring meeting this year is in San Antonio, April 3-5. The principal sessions on the 4th include

John Hébert, Chief of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress

Topic: "Cartographic Reflections of the Urrutia Map"


David Buisseret, formerly Garrett Chair Holder, UT at Arlington

Topic: "Another Perspective on the Urrutia Map"


Richard Kagan, Professor of Early Modern History, John Hopkins University

Topic: "Urban Images in Hispanic Maps"


Ricardo Padrón, Associate Professor of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, University of Virginia

Topic: "The Spacious World of Spanish America"


John Miller Morris, Associate Professor of Geography, UT at San Antonio

Topic: "Colonial Cartography on the Far Frontier"


John Wheat, Center for American Studies, UT at Austin

Topic: "From Old Maps to Modern Books; Jack Jackson's Colonial Cartography"

Friday, March 13, 2009

State of Texas Publishing - Parsons

Noel Parsons, former director of the Texas Tech University Press and recently retired with family in Florida, in 2005 had some excellent comments for the folks in Conroe and you. 
The State of Texas Publishing
Parsons begins:  "In his book The Ornamental Hermit, which Texas Tech Press published in 2004, essayist Robert Murray Davis, long-time professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, includes an essay on the state of Oklahoma writing and publishing. In doing so, he must compare Oklahoma, and every other state, to Texas. He notes that no other state except New York, of course, and perhaps California (and I would include Mississippi) has a literary culture to compare to that of Texas."
Further down he askes the questions "Why is this? Why, except perhaps for Mississippi, does no other state away from the great publishing centers of the northeast have anything approaching the literary tradition of Texas?"
From a presentation at the conference "The State of Publishing," Montgomery College, Conroe, Texas, November 19, 2005.
Read more about Texas literature at
In February 2008 Texas Tech announced "Texas Tech Press Director Elected to State Literary Group: Noel R. Parsons will be inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his work in advancing Texas literature."  
      Read more of Sally Post's article at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

E-book Week

Apparently, it's Read an e-book week.  Booksforabuck has a special offer and some are Texana.

Texas Intercollegiate Press Assn Hall of Fame

WWW.TexasIPA.ORG      The TIPA Hall of Fame has several entries for each year.  The first year, 2002,  includes older historical persons.  The TIPA began in 1909, yes, a century ago!

State Bibliographic Guidelines

Oh!  The Joy!  Inquiring minds may wish to peruse at their leisure the reading of the 2004  6-page clarifications from the Texas State Library to Texas government publishers.
It begins 

"Identifying a publication accurately ensures its usefulness and accessibility to people who may start out with no knowledge of the publishing agency or institution, of the material's history or of the environment that produced the document.


Approach the identification of your publication as if you are solving a mystery. Let the publication's audience know the who, what, when, where and how (and sometimes the why) of its creation and distribution. Always place this information on a title page that immediately follows the cover of the publication. By using a title page with appropriate identifying information on it, you guarantee that in the future your own organization's staff, as well as researchers in general, will be able to understand the context in which it was produced."


West Texas Collection - Angelo State U

The Angelo State University Porter Henderson Library in San Angelo has a Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection.
Their mission statement is
"The mission of the West Texas Collection is to collect, store, preserve and make accessible for scholarly research selected historical and genealogical manuscripts, records, books, pictorial and other related materials. The primary focus of the Collection is West Texas. The Collection also serves as the primary depository for documents and records related to the history, development and operations of Angelo State University. The Collection also participates in the Texas State Library's Regional Historical Depository Program serving twenty-two West Texas counties."   Suzanne Campbell is the Collection Head.
Portions include



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Texas Centennial Markers

Sarah Reveley, Ferdinand Lindheimer Chapter DRT, New Braunfels, has embarked on a broad project to identify and preserve the Texas Centennial landmarks throughout the state.  She provides this report:
"Most of us are familiar with those big granite markers with the bronze Texas star, but have no idea what a phenomenal project they represent.
Back in 1936 the State of Texas decided to hold a Centennial celebration, and like everything else Texas does, it was the biggest and best celebration of a Centennial the world has ever seen. The Exposition was held in Dallas, but the celebration itself involved another exposition in Fort Worth, and statewide celebrations including construction of  9 memorial museums, 5 community centers, 16 restorations of historical structures, 2 park improvements, 20 statues of  important Texans, and over 1,000 historical markers, grave markers, and highway markers.

TexasEscapes offered to create a space for the Centennial on their popular site, and I got started photographing, and soon others began to help. Sadly, many of the markers have been vandalized, damaged by weed-eaters and mowers, or discolored by algae. Some have disappeared when a roadway was widened, or made inaccessible by landowners. Others have been forgotten in neglected cemeteries.   Half of the markers have been photographed, and 25% of those have some form of neglect.   When the THC said they had neither the manpower nor the funding to maintain the markers, and few County Historical Commissions have made any efforts to save them, I decided to do something. A grassroots effort, by volunteers brought together via the internet with a mutual interest in Texas history, got underway to locate and photograph all of the markers, and when the DRT became aware of the problem, they volunteered to help state-wide..  A mailing list now spreads the news, and two websites are documenting the Centennial."
Read more about it at - Centennial overall


The Onion and Texas Humor

Texans wishing to laugh at themselves can go the infamous "The Onion" newspaper and search their database for "Texas" at . Sample articles include

Texas Penguin Truck Accident

Last week, a truck carrying exotic fish, penguins, and an octopus overturned on a Texas highway, spilling its cargo. What do you think?
August 14, 2006 | Issue 42•32 American Voices

Texas Governor's Mansion Burned

A fire that severely damaged the Texas governor's mansion was intentionally set. What do you think?
June 10, 2008 | Issue 44•24 American Voices

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Moving Vince's Bridge?

The Heritage Society (in Houston) presents "A Strange Case for Moving Vince's Bridge" by C. David Pomeroy, Jr., Thursday, March 19, 12-1 P.M.


News release: "Occasionally we need to review our history to make sure that the facts and their interpretation are accurate. If appropriate, corrections must be made to insure a meaningful understanding of our history. Unfortunately some revisionist history is based on a predetermined conclusion and often without confi rmation by the facts. Local historian C. David Pomeroy, Jr. will discuss an attempted high jacking of the location of Vince's Bridge and a few other incorrect historical matters associated with the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1936."  Read more at


David's own website

Monday, March 09, 2009

Western Heritage Awards

Western Heritage Awards
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
April 17 - 18, 2009
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Logo 
Awards are self-described as:  "First presented in 1961, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Western Heritage Awards were established to honor and encourage the legacy of those whose works in literature, music, film, and television reflect the significant stories of the American West. The awards program also recognizes inductees into the prestigious Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers as well as the recipient of the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award, named in honor of the Museum's founder. Each honoree receives a Wrangler, an impressive bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback."
The recent awards include
Juvenile Book  Journey to Gonzales  Author: Melodie A. Cuate  Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Magazine Article  Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses  Author: Dan Flores  Publisher: Montana, The Magazine of Western History
Hall of Great Westerners Inductees   Anne W. Marion    Texas   1938 –
Chester A Reynolds Memorial Award Recipient  Nolan Ryan Jr.  Texas    1947 –

Poster images

All Posters . com offers over 2,000 images of Texas, via the search box for "Texas."  Many are old postcards, many are recent photographs (lotsa urban and rural shots), some painted images.  You can browse by locale.  Most cost in the $20.00's range.  Seems as though libraries across the state could use a similar system for their photos display and potential reproduction.

Friday, March 06, 2009

East Texas Histoical Awards

The East Texas Historical Association presents a variety of awards
Self-described as
C. K. Chamberlain Award honors the article judged (by a panel of peers) the best to appear in the East Texas Historical Journal within a year
Ralph W. Steen Award honors those who have served the Association through activities primarily other than writing
Lucille Terry Historical Preservation Award, also sponsored by the Texas Forestry Museum, honors outstanding works of historical preservation of landmarks in East Texas
Ottis Lock Endowment Awards honors outstanding teaching, the best book on East Texas each year and research grants for those who study East Texas historical topics; A number of research grant awards are made annually, usually in amounts of $500 to $1000.
Best of East Texas Award is awarded for one-of-a-kind and best-there-is promotion of East Texas and its historic importance. The Best of East Texas Award is endowed by Bob and Doris Bowman of Lufkin, owners of Best of East Texas Publishers and Bob Bowman & Associates, Inc.

Drought Monitor

So, you've notice a dry spell?  Well, see it graphically.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Southwestern Historical Quarterly online

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly's first 100 volumes are online at
Go to SHQ Online
Self-described as: "The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to present the first 100 volumes of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, the oldest continuously published (since 1897) scholarly journal in Texas. This service will remain online free for an extended period, but will eventually become a benefit of membership in the Texas State Historical Association.

About the Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online consists of more than 57,000 images of the pages of the first 100 years of the Quarterly as well as volume tables of contents and volume indices. The process of publishing the Quarterly Online involved locating printed copies of the 100 Volumes presented, unbinding them, scanning the 57,000 pages with a high resolution scanner, generating text via Optical Character Recognition or "OCR" software, encapsulating the document structure and text in approximately 2500 XML files used to produce the Tables of Contents and Indices, and compressing the 25MB page image files. "

Bowie Mine Literature

During these economic times, readers may wish to chuck their volumes and grab their spades, going in search of buried treasure.  Townsley takes you on a tour of the literature.

The Bowie Mine
A Literature Review by Bill Townsley

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Libri Vox

Free audio recordings are available to hear at LibriVox for copyright free works.  The search box, which does NOT allow for subject searches, returned only one title item for "Texas," see Lafferty below, a short story.  Other Texana may be there.  A glance at the top of their alphabetical list showed Andy Adams "Cattle Brands."
and there's some Robert E. Howard

Declaration of Independence

File:Texas Declaration of Independence.jpg March 2, 1836 - Texas Declaration of Independence from the Convention of 1836.  Take a digital tour, chase a few rabbits, learn a little.
Texas State Library
Handbook of Texas Online
Texas Almanac
UT Tarleton Law Library
Yale University's Avalon Project
Humanities Texas traveling and online exhibit
Portal to Texas History lesson plan
Dawn Bishop's lesson plan
Texas Tides lesson plan
Texas State Cemetery
Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Weblog
Lone Star Junction commentary
Wkipedia, of all places
Greatness to Spare: The Heroic Sacrifices of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence  by T.R. Fehrenbach
The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence by Louis Kemp
The Texas Declaration of Indepedence in Exact Facsimile by Anson Jones Press
Greer, James K. "The Committee on the Texas Declaration of Independence," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 30 and 31 (April and July 1927), 239-251, 33-49.

Shuffler, R. Henderson. "The Ark of the Covenant of the Texas Declaration of Independence." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (July 1961), 87-100.

Shuffler, R. Henderson. "The Signing of Texas' Declaration of Independence: Myth and Record." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (Jan. 1962), 310-332.