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DJ Screw Papers Finding Aid Now Online

Finding Aids, Houston Hip Hop

DJ Screw snapshotExciting news from Special Collections: The DJ Screw Papers are now available for research! This small but important collection is a cornerstone in our Houston Hip Hop Collections and documents the influential late hip hop artist DJ Screw’s activities as a DJ and mixtape creator. Some of the materials in this collection are available for online viewing in our DJ Screw Photographs and Memorabilia Digital Collection.

DJ Screw began DJing and making mixtapes as a teenager while living on the Southside of Houston. By the early 1990s, he began to develop his innovative “chopped and screwed” technique of using recording technology to repeat phrases (a process known as chopping) and slow a song’s tempo (known as screwing). DJ Screw began to receive requests to make tapes tailored for friends and local rappers. He began selling copies of these “screw tapes” from his home. The screw tapes helped to develop the careers of numerous major rappers in the Houston scene, who would subsequently become known as the Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.).

Screw tape list

DJ Screw achieved broader popularity in the mid-1990s, and he continued to sell tapes while releasing four studio albums on Bigtyme Recordz: “All Screwed Up,” “3 ‘N The Mornin’ (Part One),” “3 ‘N The Mornin’ (Part Two),” and “I Wanna Get High with Da Blanksta.” In 1998, DJ Screw opened the store Screwed Up Records and Tapes in order to meet demand for his mixtapes.

Especially interesting items in the collection include song lists for the screw tapes, music production equipment, business documents, and photographs. If you’d like to take a look, come visit us in Special Collections!

Special Collections Acquires The Art Guys Records

Collections, Performing & Visual Arts

Art Guys Jack Massing (left) and Michael Galbreth (right) look over their records.

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.


Archivists pack boxes for The Art Guys Records transfer.


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.

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!

Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove Named Top Texas Love Story

Collections, Contemporary Literature, In the News

The University of Houston Special Collections, home of the Larry McMurtry Papers, was pleased to see that 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!

Collection Highlight: George Fuermann “Texas and Houston” Collection

Collections, Houston & Texas History

Alamo Postcard from the George Fuermann Collection

The George Fuermann Collection has been housed in our archives for years and remains a sizeable, invaluable resource for the study of Texas and Houston history. Fuermann was a columnist, editor, and writer of Houston history who also voraciously collected historical materials. The results of his efforts are 41 boxes of rich materials that document the history of the state, beginning with its origins as a republic, the history of Houston, and Fuermann’s own professional activities.

The collection is divided into two primary series: the George Fuermann Historical Collection, 1836-1988 and the George Fuermann Professional Papers, 1951-2001. Highlights of the historical series include 19th century maps of Houston and Texas, over 800 photographs of Houston and its geography and industry, and documents pertaining to the history of 19th century Texas, including materials with the signatures of notable Texans like Sam Houston and Augustus C. Allen.

The historical collection series is supplemented by Fuermann’s professional papers, which include information about items in the historical collection, materials documenting Fuermann’s life and professional engagement, and creative materials — like typescripts and correspondence — pertaining to Fuermann’s work as a historian and writer. This series also includes correspondence from the prominent Texas writers Roy Bedicek and J. Frank Dobie about Fuermann’s work.

For a taste of the materials in the Fuermann Collection, take a look at our fun Historic Texas Postcards drawn from the collection. For a more in depth look at the Fuermann Collection, visit Special Collections!