Do you watch Mad Men? A lot of us here in Special Collections do, and we noticed that on last night’s episode (no spoilers here, we promise) the book that Don Draper is reading on the airplane is Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show. Not only do we have in our stacks a copy of that exact edition in Draper’s hands (a first printing of the Dell paperback from 1967), but we also have in our archives Larry McMurtry’s first draft of the typescript of the novel, complete with handwritten notes, a character list, an outline, and some discarded pages. Researchers and fans of McMurtry’s work can visit us here to follow the evolution of this novel from first draft to second draft to publisher’s copy, and compare these to the final published piece. (We highly recommend the 1971 film version of the book as well, available in the Anderson library’s DVD collection.)
So, what does it mean for Don Draper to be reading The Last Picture Show? Well, we have some ideas, but don’t want to give away any spoilers in case you haven’t watched the episode yet.
Special Collections is delighted to announce that it has recently acquired the records of The Art Guys, a Houston-based art duo. The Art Guys (Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth) work in a variety of media, including performance art, drawing, installation, and video. The records accessioned by Special Collections date from the 1980s to present and include the Art Guys’ business records, publicity material, and exhibition invitations.
The Art Guys met at the University of Houston in 1983 and have been collaborating ever since. Their work has been featured in more than 150 exhibitions throughout the United States and the world. On their biography, the Art Guys state that they “use humor and everyday materials as a way to demystify art in an attempt to welcome a broad range of audiences into the discourse of contemporary art.”
In 2013, The Art Guys have a year of celebration planned for their 30th year working together, so check out the events they have listed for their monthly 12 Events series! Meanwhile, archivists will be hard at work on making the Art Guys Records available for research, so keep an eye out for further news from Special Collections.
2013 marks the 25th anniversary of The Engines of Our Ingenuity, a nationally-syndicated radio program that started at UH. Professor John Lienhard created, wrote, and hosted 1856 episodes of the show, including episode 1, which was broadcast by KUHF-FM Houston on January 4, 1988.
The show was soon airing nationally and resulted in Dr. Lienhard giving talks around the country as well as publishing a book. The Professor John Lienhard Papers in Special Collections document both the history of Engines through audio recordings and transcripts, as well as Dr. Lienhard’s professional career through correspondence, personal papers, and drafts of published works.
The University of Houston Special Collections, home of the Larry McMurtry Papers, was pleased to see that Amazon.com has named McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove Texas’ top love story. Amazon writes, “Part love story, part adventure, this Pulitzer Prize winner is as ambitious and mythic as the Lone Star State itself.” Indeed, Lonesome Dove is a brilliant novel centering around the fictional border town of Lonesome Dove, where former Texas Rangers endeavor to drive cattle north into Montana.
The McMurtry Papers include a plethora of material documenting McMurtry’s writing, including notes, typescript drafts, and copyedited typescripts. If you’d like to take a look at the original material that lead to Texas’ top love story, come see us in Special Collections!
Crowned by the groundbreaking of the new football stadium last Friday, the rapidly changing University of Houston campus is ushering in a new era on Cullen Boulevard. Improved academic facilities, an improved University Center, and a dozen other projects around campus—crowned with a new state-of-the-art football stadium—play a key role in the development of UH into a Tier One institution. The development of the UH campus has been made possible by President Khator’s outreach to the state legislature, Houstonians, and the city of Houston. 76 years ago, a young University of Houston made a similar appeal to the city and its residents to create a first-class campus on previously undeveloped land southeast of Houston.
The document “Greater Houston Needs the University of Houston” is a fascinating look at the three year-old university, its ambition, and how it presented itself to Houstonians. Founded in 1927 by the Houston Independent School District as a junior college, the institution gained university status in 1934. Three years later, the campaign for a new campus began under the leadership of President Edwin E. Oberholtzer. While the language and specifics of the university have changed over 76 years (particularly in regards to student housing), the core message that the university plays an important role in the city educationally, economically, and culturally remains largely the same.
Below are selected pages from the booklet which may be viewed in the Special Collections reading room in its entirety. Additionally, numerous images of the early UH campus and buildings are available online in the Digital Library.