banner for department blog

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.

Celebrating 25 Years of “The Engines of Our Ingenuity”

Collections, Department News, University Archives
This mechanical drawing is of the pneumatic system components of a B52-A Stratofortress bomber is from early in Dr. Lienhard’s career.

A working drawing of the pneumatic system components of a B52-A Stratofortress bomber from early in Dr. Lienhard’s career

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.

Anyone interested in The Engines of Our Ingenuity or Dr. Lienhard should take a look at Special Collections’ slideshow or stop by the Reading Room in M. D. Anderson Library.


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!

The More Things Change. . .

Collections, In the News, University Archives

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.

The Civil Rights Movement in Houston

Collections, Houston History Archives

During the University’s recognition of African American History Month, students and visitors might wish to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement as it took place on a local level here in Houston. A good place to start is with the Thomas R. Cole Desegregation Papers in Special Collections.

Thomas R. Cole was Creator and Executive Producer of a 1997 film documentary called The Strange Demise of Jim Crow, which traces the unique desegregation process and civil rights struggles that occurred in Houston in the 1950s-1960s. Part of the Houston History Archives, the Cole collection consists of 19 boxes of very rich material, including drafts of film scripts, topical files on significant segregation issues, film project proposals, correspondence, publicity material, and a photocopy of Negro Politics and the Rise of the Civil Rights Movement in Houston, Texas (1968), a dissertation by Franklin Chandler Davidson.

The 57-minute DVD The Strange Demise of Jim Crow is available for checkout in the main library and for viewing in the Special Collections Reading Room.

For more information about what is contained in the Thomas R. Cole Desegregation Papers, be sure to take a look at the finding aid. The original materials can be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room.

«« Newer Posts     Previous Posts »»