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The Betty Trapp Chapman Papers

categories: Carey C. Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, Finding Aids, Guest Posts

portrait of Joyce Burg, from the Betty Trapp Chapman Papers (undated)

undated portrait of Joyce Burg, from the Betty Trapp Chapman Papers

The University of Houston Special Collections is proud to announce the publication of a new finding aid for the Betty Trapp Chapman Papers. Emily Brooks, Graduate Assistant for the Carey Shuart Women’s Archive, has recently completed the processing of the papers, penned the new finding aid, and was generous enough to share some of her thoughts on the new collection.

In 2004, Ellen Elkins Grimes, Chair of the Women in the Profession Committee of the State Bar of Texas was asked to give a speech about the history of female lawyers who paved the way for today’s women in law. She quickly realized that there was very little information available, especially regarding the early female pioneers of the law in Texas. She decided that the State Bar association should sponsor a book on the history of Texas female lawyers and appointed Betty Trapp Chapman, a prominent Houston historian to complete the research and writing of what would become Rough Road to Justice: The Journey of Women Lawyers in Texas (2008). Chapman is the author of several books on Houston and Texas history such as Historic Houston (2011) and Houston Women: Invisible Threads in the Tapestry (2000).

"A Woman Lawyer" (El Paso Herald Post, May 20, 1902, Betty Trapp Chapman Papers)

“A Woman Lawyer” (El Paso Herald Post, May 20, 1902, Betty Trapp Chapman Papers)

From Edith Locke, the first woman licensed to practice in El Paso in 1902, to nationally prominent Texas women like Sandra Day O’ Connor, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Sheila Jackson Lee, Rough Road to Justice tracks the journey of these women as they overcame discrimination and harassment to succeed in the legal profession. Chapman explores broad social issues that impacted women in the legal profession as well as individual trailblazers that made it possible for women to pursue careers in law today. One such woman was Joyce M. Burg, the first woman to practice law in Houston after she graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1926 – one of only four women in her class. She went on to become the “grand dame of Houston’s family law system,” practiced law for 60 years and founded the Harris County Women Attorneys Association. When she passed away in 1997 at the age of 96, she was the oldest member of the Houston Bar Association.

This collection enriches the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection with the often-untold stories of Texas women in the law, unique correspondence with these women and their descendants, as well as original photographs of several of the women featured in Rough Road to Justice. For more information, we invite you to visit our reading room where the Betty Trapp Chapman Papers can be explored.

Betty C. Jukes, Claudia Kolker, and Marcella Perry Among the Shuart Women’s Archive

categories: Carey C. Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, Finding Aids

Betty Jukes, President of the Houston Junior Woman's Club (1968, Betty C. Jukes Papers)

Betty Jukes, President of the Houston Junior Woman’s Club (1968, Betty C. Jukes Papers)

The following comes to us courtesy of Julia Taylor, Graduate Fellow for the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive & Research Collection.

This week marks the opening of three new collections from the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection, highlighting the lives and accomplishments of three Houston women—Betty C. Jukes, Claudia Kolker, and Marcella Perry. The University of Houston is proud to feature these diverse collections surrounding these very different, historically significant women.

The first finding aid belongs to the Betty C. Jukes Papers. Jukes worked for more than fifty years as an event planner, philanthropic fundraiser, and patron of the arts in Houston and beyond. She founded the Houston Junior Woman’s Club in 1968, and is a lifelong member of The Woman’s Club of Houston. Betty served as president of both organizations, and was also involved in the West Point Cadet Glee Club’s Houston performances. Betty even coordinated a World Wildlife Event where Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the guest of honor!

Marcella Perry and others enjoy a breakfast with Mayor Louie Welch (1965, Marcella Perry Papers)

Marcella Perry and others enjoy a breakfast with Mayor Louie Welch (1965, Marcella Perry Papers)

The Claudia Kolker Papers, the second collection to be released to the public this week, catalogues the journalism and authorship of a Claudia Kolker, a journalist who has served as bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, on the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle, and more. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Economist, O: The Oprah Magazine, Slate, and Salon. She has reported from El Salvador, Mexico, India, and the Caribbean on politics, religion, and more. In 2011, she published her first book, titled The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn from Newcomers to America about Health, Happiness and Hope. The collection contains Kolker’s research material and drafts of her book and an extensive catalogue of her published articles.

The papers of Marcella Perry are now also available to the public. Perry, a Houston Heights resident, was appointed to the board of directors of Reagan State Bank in 1950, making her one of the first female bank executives in Houston. In 1973, Marcella was appointed by Houston City Council to serve as the city’s first female commissioner of the Port of Houston Authority. She also served on the board of regents for Texas Woman’s University and was politically active for much of her life. Perry’s collection includes photographs, correspondence, and press clippings related to her work as a bank executive and Port of Houston commissioner.

Come by the reading room (located on the second floor of MD Anderson Library) to view these exciting new additions to the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives and Research Collection! For any inquiries about these collections, please contact archivist Vince Lee.

Flashback 1997!

categories: Carey C. Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, Houston Hip Hop, In the News, University Archives

The Beloit College Mindset List, a must-read for anyone who wants to feel time quickly slipping away, was recently published for the incoming collegiate freshman class, the majority of which were born in that magical year of 1997 (?!). While it might make some of us feel just a little bit older, the list is worth a read and always provides some eye-opening perspective.

Ron Nief, Tom McBride, and Charles Westerberg (the creators of the list) provide some real marvels, reminding us that, “Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa.” They came into the world around the same time as Dolly the sheep and Michael “Prince” Jackson, Jr. In addition, these young’uns have never licked a postage stamp (#3) and, frankly, it can get a little confusing when old people say, “around the turn of the century” (#17). The one that makes these old bones ache a little more this evening? “The eyes of Texas have never looked upon The Houston Oilers.” (#26)

In a salute to the University of Houston Cougars Class of 2019, we have gone digging through the archives and share with you a few highlights from the year 1997 housed here at your University of Houston Special Collections.

And, no, we’re not trying just to make you feel old.

Mosaic Fellowship Benefits Behind the Scenes

categories: Carey C. Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, Department News, Digitization, Finding Aids, Guest Posts, Hispanic Collections, Houston & Texas History

The following piece appears courtesy of Dan Johnson, 2013 Mosaic Fellow, wherein he provides a look at a sampling of projects benefiting from his internship with the University of Houston Special Collections.

I was selected as a Mosaic Fellow in the Fall of 2013 by the Association of Research Libraries and the Society of American Archivists.  I’m presently a MSLS student at the University of North Texas, studying Archival Studies and Digital Image Management. The Mosaic Fellowship included an internship component, pairing up fellows with host ARL institutions; I was glad to have the opportunity to intern here at UH Special Collections since September 2014.  I’ve since had the pleasure of working on a variety of special projects, working hands on with archival materials.

I first started a digital audit of the Ewing Family Papers, comparing the physical archival collection to its finding aid and existing digital collection.  In that review of the Ewing family scrapbooks, I worked with Valerie Prilop, Digital Collections Librarian, and we discovered that the finding aid for one of the scrapbooks provided descriptions for only the front side of each scrapbook page, but did not describe the reverse side, while the digital collection had page-level descriptions for both front and back sides of the pages.  Ultimately, we were able to identify places where the finding aid could be improved, and we made some recommendations to combine two digital collections, one per scrapbook, into a single consolidated digital collection, a project for a later date.

I then started a project under the guidance of University Archivist Mary Manning, processing and describing additions to the William C. Moffit Papers.  The collection was originally donated by Dr. Moffit himself, but several additions were later donated by his wife and family after he passed away.  I was able to process and describe some additional manuscript parts, published musical arrangements, and Patterns of Motion training materials, among other things. Working with a member of the faculty from the School of Music who was intimately familiar with Dr. Moffit’s work helped me better describe and arrange the materials in a way that will make the most sense to researchers using this collection.

I started work on a third project with Hispanic Collections Archivist Lisa Cruces, auditing the physical material of the Alonso S. Perales Papers and comparing the physical archival collection to the finding aid.  There were a handful of items in the physical collection that were not reflected in the finding aid, and I have been correcting the finding aid to more faithfully represent the collection.

Most recently, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with Librarian Emerita Pat Bozeman on a project transcribing and contextualizing some handwritten letters.  Two of these items were taken from the Early Texas Documents collection. One item is a letter from Sam Houston written after he was wounded in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. It documents his request to be transferred from New Orleans to a more northern location upon the advice of several physicians.  Another item is a letter that highlights Stephen F. Austin’s efforts to gather support from the United States government and people for Texas Independence and was written in Nashville, Tennessee days before Texas declared independence from Mexico.  Working intimately with historical documents such as these has been a very exciting and rewarding experience.

#LoveWins at Houston’s 36th Annual Pride Celebration

categories: Carey C. Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, Events, Guest Posts, In the News

The following comes to us courtesy of Julia Taylor, Graduate Fellow of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection.

While Friday’s SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality marks a milestone in the struggle for LGBTQIAP rights, Special Collections’ booth at this year’s Houston Pride documented the genealogy of LGBT activists who set the stage for this historic win.

Edward Lukasek’s copy of Liberace: Your Personal Fashion Consultant, a book of Liberace paper dolls emblazoned with life mottos, was a crowd-pleasing favorite.

Edward Lukasek’s copy of Liberace: Your Personal Fashion Consultant, a book of Liberace paper dolls emblazoned with life mottos, was a crowd-pleasing favorite.

This year’s Pride festival and parade took place in downtown Houston instead of the usual shady Montrose locale, making the air-conditioned atmosphere of the LGBT History tent a welcome respite from the Texas heat. Special Collections proudly exhibited rare books and artifacts from the Edward Lukasek Gay Studies Collection and the Norma Lee Gay Studies Collection, as well as papers and ephemera from the Houston Area NOW Collection, the Debra Danburg Papers, and the Kanellos Latino Literary Movement Book Collection. Library staff and volunteers stood by to answer questions and show support as families, couples, and friends perused the display of historical and literary materials.

The LGBT history tent, which was sponsored by AT&T, also housed exhibits from Rice University Special Collections, the Botts Collections of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History, the Houston Public Library, and the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project.  To learn more about the history of Houston Pride, visit their website.

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