300 for SA300: Photos celebrating San Antonio’s history on display at ITC

Looks magnificent

The Top Shelf

As a way to celebrate San Antonio’s 300th anniversary this year, the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) teamed up with Special Collections to create a new exhibit, “San Antonio: 1860s-1990s A Photographic Chronology from UTSA Special Collections.”  The exhibit, which opened on August 4th, is made up of 300 images selected by Photographs Curator Tom Shelton to span the portion of San Antonio’s history that can be represented with this artistic medium.

The photos are grouped together by decade, enabling visitors to view the city’s past chronologically and get a taste of the spirit of the times.  Visitors are able to move from the 1860s forward through subsequent decades, and observe changes in San Antonio. The images showcase the flow of the city’s growth, as it developed from narrow streets with horses and buggies into the downtown skyline and urban footprint that we know today. …

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Special Collections travels to Mexico City

Beautiful

The Top Shelf

During the first week of this month, Rare Books Librarian Agnieszka Czeblakow and I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico City for the annual Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) conference. This year’s theme was “Sites/Cites, Texts, and Voices in Critical Librarianship: Decolonizing Libraries and Archives.”

As a first-time attendee, I was excited to learn that SALALM is so interdisciplinary; the event brought together librarians, archivists, book dealers, curators, scholars, and other professionals. Our shared goal was to think critically about how processes of selection, organization, and description give shape to research and teaching on Latin America, Iberia, and the Caribbean.

I was able to participate in a wide variety of activities, including panels composed of experts discussing issues relevant to all institutions that collect Latin American materials (UTSA included). I learned how other institutions think critically about their holdings, develop innovative workflows…

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Willie Velásquez Day

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willie day The official memorandum for Willie Velasquez Day from the SVREP Collection

Today we celebrate Willie Velasquez Day here in Texas! May 9th also marks Willie’s birthday where he would have celebrated his 73rd birthday! We encourage everyone to make sure you and your loved ones are registered to vote. More importantly, encourage everyone around you to go out and vote! It is great to take the first step to register but it is VITAL that we allow our voices to be heard in the upcoming election by showing up at the polls. “Su Voto Es Su Voz!” We can celebrate and honor Willie’s history and legacy by continuing to empower Latinos by participating in any way possible in our country’s democratic process.

As the UTSA team continues to work towards completing the SVREP Collection, we hope that not only researchers, but the community as well can use the work completed…

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The Casablanca Conference – Unconditional Surrender

Such a great look at the Casablanca Conference.

Forward with Roosevelt

By Paul M. Sparrow, Director

In January, 1943, President Roosevelt embarked on a secret mission that would determine the course of World War Two, and ultimately the world we live in today. His destination – Casablanca, Morocco. His goal – to finalize Allied military plans with the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. It was a precedent shattering odyssey. No president had ever left the United States during wartime, or ever visited Africa, or even ever traveled in an airplane. No president since Lincoln had visited an active battlefield. And FDR did all of those things without the press finding out.

The Allies had landed in North Africa just two months earlier, and after a series of bloody setbacks had Germany’s Field Marshall Erwin Rommel – the Desert Fox – on the run. The looming question was – what to do next? The conference would force top military leaders of Great…

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SVREP Collection : Looking Back at 2016

An incredible collection

The Top Shelf

The month of December marked my six month anniversary here at UTSA working with the Southwest Voter Registration Project. Since then, I have met so many wonderful people that had once worked with Willie or had a lasting impact in his life. It has been an amazing adventure organizing and looking through the documents, and yet our team has so much left to discover as we continue processing the collection. We are proud that we have accomplished so much in a short amount of time, especially the video that was completed and posted last month. If you missed it, here is the link:

UTSA Libraries | History Irreplaceable

Also, if you haven’t already please watch the amazing documentary that aired on PBS earlier this year!

Willie Velasquez Your Vote is Your Voice

This month is also bittersweet as we say congratulations and goodbye to out student worker, Karina Franco. Karina…

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The Significance of Numbers, 43: Cuarenta y Tres.

Fascinating. The book is beautiful.

The Top Shelf

This post was written by our rare books cataloger, Stephen Dingler.

The Significance of Numbers

by Stephen Dingler

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Many people have emotional or superstitious attachments to numbers; for example, thirteen is widely viewed as an unlucky number, whereas many think of seven as a lucky number. The number 43 has had particular significance for many people in Mexico for almost two years now. In late September 2014 a group of student teachers commandeered several buses in the town of Iguala, Guerrero State, so that they could attend a rally in Mexico City scheduled to take place on the 26th. Forty-three of the male students disappeared. It was widely reported locally and internationally that the mayor of Iguala and his wife, angry that a planned local event had been disrupted by the students, ordered police to round them up and hand them over to a drug gang. The gang…

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New Books! 4/26/15

A great list

BookPeople

Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer, the Man Who Killed Bonnie and Clyde by John Boessenecker (speaking & signing this Sunday at 3PM!)

To most Americans, Frank Hamer is known only as the “villain” of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. Now, in Texas Ranger, historian John Boessenecker sets out to restore Hamer’s good name and prove that he was, in fact, a classic American hero. Written by one of the most acclaimed historians of the Old West, Texas Ranger is the first biography to tell the full story of this near-mythic lawman.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand…

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San Antonio Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fantastic presentation

The Top Shelf

Today over 200,000 residents of San Antonio and the region are expected to march side by side through the streets of the city’s East Side to commemorate and honor the memory of the civil rights leader, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The 29th annual MLK March will begin at 10 a.m. at the MLK Academy located in the 3500 block of MLK Drive and end at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa (march route and info).

Although various civic and community organizations have been organizing memorial processions and ceremonies on Dr. King’s birthday in the 1970s, it was not until 1986 that the City officially recognized, sanctioned and supported the celebrations.

On April 3, 1986, the San Antonio City Council through City Resolution No. 86-15-19 under the leadership of then-Mayor Henry Cisneros established a volunteer organization “The MLK, Jr. Commission” to organize and oversee the march…

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