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Australian Ambassador to US Visits the Library

Events, Exhibits, USS Houston & Military History

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.


Pictured, L-R: Capt. Carter B. Conlin, USN (Ret.); the Hon Kim Beazley, AC; and librarian Julie Grob

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.


HMAS Perth

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.

Finding Aid Now Available for the Andrew Brown Texas Music Collection

Finding Aids, Houston & Texas History

Brown TX Music Collection Macy's Recordings

The finding aid for the Andrew Brown Texas Music Collection is now available online.

The collection consists of the research files of the Texas music historian Andrew Brown, who writes biographies and histories of music artists and record labels for books, magazines, and album liner notes.

The files are particularly strong in documenting the lives and legacies of Houston-affiliated musicians and record labels. Music scholars will be especially interested to learn that the collection includes administrative and financial files of Duke/Peacock Records. The collection also contains especially strong material pertaining to biographical information for various recording artists, publicity photographs, and songbooks.

Take a look at the contents of the collection by perusing the finding aid, or come and visit us in Special Collections to see the materials up close and in person!

Finding Aid for the Barbara Karkabi Papers Now Available

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

Barbara 5The finding aid for the Barbara Karkabi Papers is now available online. This collection includes articles written by Karkabi, correspondence, notes, and research materials.

Barbara Karkabi was a journalist for the Houston Chronicle. In 1979 she began her career with the Chronicle generating feature stories on a variety of topics ranging from health to women and religious issues to trends in the city’s minority communities. An article she wrote in 1990 about river blindness garnered the attention of local philanthropist John Moores. In response to the story, Moores donated $25 million to an effort by a University of Houston optometry professor, William Baldwin, to distribute a highly effective drug to those in need.

Besides her work with the Chronicle, Karkabi also spent time engaged in women’s organizations. She was a long time board member of Friends of Women’s Studies, a nonprofit that supports the University of Houston’s Women’s Studies program and wrote the first story about the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection at the UH Library. Karkabi also helped found the Association for Women Journalists Houston chapter in the 1990s.

A selection of her materials was also on display at the 16th Annual Table Talk hosted by the Friends of Women’s Studies.


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.

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