Our latest digital collection, and the first from the Houston History Archives, is now available in the UH Digital Library. The Park People Annual Awards Dinner Invitations includes invitations for events that reflect the mission championed by The Park People: to preserve and expand green space in Houston.
The awards began as a simple affair in 1981, and invitations from from 1992-2005 are included in this digital collection. These creative invitations reflect not only The Park People’s success but also the spirit of woodsy and easy elegance that characterized the organization.
The Park People emerged in 1978 as an organization devoted to advocacy for parks and green space in the Houston area. Following the environmental protest organizations of the 1960s, The Park People became a model for collaboration and cooperation by inviting government, business interests, non-profit organizations, and private citizens to join the effort to preserve and expand Houston’s green spaces.
The Park People relied on multiple avenues of community outreach to carry their message and expand support, and the awards ceremony became an anticipated avenue of outreach. An innovation in 1981, the awards event grew into a gala affair welcomed by those who spearheaded community-wide efforts to promote parks and green space.
For more information about The Park People Records and the invitations, contact Dr. Terry Tomkins-Walsh.
This collection of 49 videos recorded between 1995 and 2009 document the Living Archives series. This series of events, sponsored by the UH Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and the Friend’s of Women’s Studies, consist of panel discussions and interviews with topics covering diverse aspects of women’s lives in Houston and the issues that affect them.
The videos in this collection cover such topics as women in sports, female politicians, women and religion, motherhood, and breast cancer survival. Among the notable women interviewed are former mayor Kathy Whitmire, women’s activist Nikki Van Hightower, and former city councilwoman Eleanor Tinsley.
The digital collection formerly called Photographs from the Alonso S. Perales Papers has been expanded and renamed Selections from the Alonso S. Perales Papers. In addition the the previous published photographs, the collection now contains documents that further highlight Perales’ life and career as a civil rights lawyer, diplomat, and political leader.
Alonso S. Perales (1898-1960) was one of the most influential Mexican Americans of his time. Perales saw himself as a defender of la raza, or race, especially battling charges that Mexicans and Latin Americans were inferior and a social problem. Perales was one of the founders of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1929 and helped write LULAC’s constitution, and he served as the organization’s second president.
An intellectual who firmly believed in the law, Perales wrote about civil rights, religion and racial discrimination, which he argued “had the approval of the majority.” His work included the pamphlet “Are We Good Neighbors?” and the two-volume set, “En defense de mi raza.” A member of the American Legion and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Perales was also a columnist for “La Prensa” and other Spanish-language newspapers.
View the complete collection in the UH Digital Library, or learn more about the conference that accompanied the release of the original digital collection, In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals.
The Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters collection contains issues of newsletters and similar periodicals from more than a dozen feminist and lesbian organizations and community groups from Houston, Austin, and other areas of Texas. These publications highlight the political, social, and cultural interests of the various organizations and groups, primarily during the 1970s and 1980s. These groups were concerned with such topics as women’s equality, gay and lesbian rights, and sexual and domestic violence.
Among the specific topics addressed in these publications are the Equal Rights Amendment, Title IX, and a number of local and national elections. Relevant issues and events, such as appearances by popular and sometimes controversial activists and celebrities, equal rights negotiations with businesses, offensive fraternity hijinks, and the portrayal of women in popular culture, are also documented. Some periodicals provide information about networking and social opportunities.
The newsletters are part of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection, which contains the records of women’s organizations and the papers of prominent Texas women. These materials document the range of women’s concerns, the ways in which women have come together to achieve their goals, and the impact they have had on the world around them.
Special Collections is happy to announce the publication of our latest collection in the UH Digital Library, the William Slough USS Houston Letters. This collection of letters from William (Bill) Slough to his family while he was aboard the USS Houston (CA-30) vividly documents what life was like for sailors prior to World War II. The letters were sent from 1934-1936, starting just after he enlisted in the Navy on May 15, 1934.
In the letters, Slough discusses myriad aspects of the military life. He worries about family and money, how to spend his leave, and how to gain much desired promotions and pay raises. He also writes about learning to love travel and deciding to pursue a career in the military. Most of the letters originate from Long Beach, California, the Houston‘s home base at the time, but Slough also discusses the ship’s travels, including time spent at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The digital collection also includes a photograph of Slough in his dress blues and copies of his Crossing the Line certificate and subpoena.
William Slough was born on May 19, 1914, in Missouri but later moved to Texas, where he lived before joining the Navy. In addition to serving on the Houston, a heavy cruiser, he also served on the USS Cowpens (CVL-25), an aircraft carrier. He served in World War II, and after the war he continued in the Navy Reserves for 20 years. Slough was proud to say that with his service, every generation of his family had served in the United States military, beginning with Matthias Slough in the Revolutionary War. William Slough died on Dec. 9, 1991, in Victoria, Texas.