We had some special visitors in the Library on Thursday, led by the Australian Ambassador to the United States, the Hon Kim Beazley, AC, who was here to tour the USS Houston Exhibition. Located on the second floor of the library, the exhibition features original letters and artifacts from the World War II-era ship and POW camps, an American flag made by prisoners-of-war in Saigon, and vintage photographs of USS Houston crew members. Paintings of the ship are also on display, as well as a newly restored model, ship’s bell, two uniforms, and – of particular interest to the Ambassador – several items related to the Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth. As a native of Perth, Ambassador Beazley has long had a keen interest in the story of the ship and her crew.
The Perth joined the Houston as part of an ABDA (American, British, Dutch, Australian) fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea. The two ships’ fates were tied together, as both the Perth and the Houston survived that battle but found trouble the following night when passing through Sunda Strait, where they encountered a large Japanese force. Outnumbered and outgunned, both ships were sunk.
Mr. Beazley and his party toured the exhibit with curator Julie Grob and other University representatives. Attendees included Ambassador Beazley and his wife Susie Annus; Australian Consul General to the USA, Mr. Mauro Kolobaric, and his wife Silvana Kolobaric; Australian Honorary Consul General to Houston, Ms. Nana Booker; Capt. Carter B. Conlin, USN (Ret.) of the Naval Order of the United States; Don Kehn, Jr., Historian for the USS Houston Survivors Association/Next Generations; Dr. Marshall Schott, Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Outreach and Planning, University of Houston; Michelle Buhr, Director of Stewardship, University of Houston; and Julie Grob, Coordinator for Digital Projects and Instruction, Special Collections/Curator of Cruiser Houston Collection.
Grob presented Ambassador Beazley with a copy of Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of her Survivors by James D. Hornfischer on behalf of the University of Houston Libraries.
Materials for the exhibition were drawn from the Cruiser Houston Collection, which contains over 70 boxes of archival material related to the history of the ship and her crew. The collection forms part of the USS Houston and Military History Archives. For more information about what is contained in the collection, be sure to take a look at the finding aid. The original materials can be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room.
Just in time for tomorrow’s Homecoming parade and football game, Special Collections’ new online exhibit, From American Football to ZZ Top: A History of Robertson Stadium, is now live!
This exhibit documents the history of Robertson Stadium from its opening in 1942 when it was known as Public School Stadium. Built by the Houston Independent School District, the stadium was purchased by the University of Houston in 1970. Included in the online exhibit are images of the stadium’s construction and various events.
Robertson was the home of Cougar football from 1946-1950, and again starting in 1998. The Cougars are currently playing their last season in Robertson, which will be demolished to make way for a new stadium set to open in time for the 2014 season.
In addition to UH football, Robertson has hosted a number of athletic and non-athletic events. The online exhibit includes photographs of Olympic gold medalist and former Cougar Carl Lewis and the crowd at a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert, as well as images related to other musical acts that have performed at Robertson.
Take a look at the exhibit to get a glimpse of Robertson’s history before the demolition crews arrive!
This exhibit encompasses the sacred and secular music of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic peoples as well as the while considering manuscripts’ physical nature, their production by hand and development to print. In addition to materials from UH Special Collections, the exhibit includes items from other major Houston collections, including the Woodson Research Center at Rice University and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center.
For more information about the exhibit, visit the exhibit web page, which also includes audio and video related to the exhibit. The short slideshow below offers a sneak peek at the exhibit, including a copy of a book of hours which can also be viewed in the UH Digital Library. The exhibit is open to the public through Feb. 1 and can be visited during the library’s regular hours.
New Exhibit Coming Soon
The DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop exhibit has come down and Special Collections is busy prepping for the next exhibit, also related to music but from a completely different time and place.
The next exhibit, Sacra et Profana: Music in Medieval Manuscripts, encompasses the sacred music of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic peoples as well as the profane, or secular, music. It also considers manuscripts’ physical nature, their production by hand and development to print. It is scheduled to open on October 10.
The exhibit was produced in the context of a seminar taught by Dr. Judith Steinhoff entitled “Art Exhibition: Music in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts,” which engaged the students in all aspects of the creation of an art exhibit.
For more information about the exhibit and the class’ work, visit the exhibit page. And if you missed the DJ Screw exhibit, you can still learn about it or take a look at some of the featured items in the UH Digital Library collection, DJ Screw Photographs & Memorabilia.
Watch the blog for more information about Sacra et Profana: Music in Medieval Manuscripts as October 10 approaches!
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.