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

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