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Texas Music Festival materials acquired by University Archives

Collections, Department News, University Archives

The University Archives recently received materials from the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, an intensive classical music summer program held at the Moores School of Music. Founded in 1990, the Festival brings college-aged and young professional musicians from around the country to the University of Houston where they prepare for careers in music. The Festival holds around 25 performances, including a weekly concert by a 90-piece orchestra, in addition to workshops and classes. As an important part of the Moores School of Music—as well as the classical music scene in Houston—the University Archives is thrilled to preserve the history of the Texas Music Festival.

Materials given to the University Archives document the growth of the Texas Music Festival from its founding to the present day, and include publicity materials, such as posters, programs, and calendars as well as newspaper and magazine articles covering the Festival. On a more personal level, the collection includes letters from scholarship recipients to Helen Olshan thanking her for her support. Additionally, recordings of performances from 2000 to 2011 were included in the donation.

The CD recordings of Festival performances provide a challenge for the University Archives. In order to make the recordings accessible to the public, it is necessary to image the discs as well as implement access policies and procedures. The non-digital materials are currently viewable in the Special Collections Reading Room. In addition to the Texas Music Festival Collection, Special Collections holds significant musical material, including medieval sheet music, the David Ashley White Papers, and Houston Hip Hop.

Professor David Ashley White Papers Now Updated

Collections, Finding Aids, University Archives

The finding aid for the Professor David Ashley White Papers has been revamped and updated with an infusion of new materials. This collection, part of the University Archives, focuses primarily on Professor White’s career as a composer of both sacred and secular music, but also touches on his teaching career and directorship at the UH Moores School of Music.

Dr. White is a prolific composer whose works have been performed throughout Europe and North America, and his hymns have been published in a number of books. He began teaching at the University of Houston in 1975 and continues to serve as a professor of composition and theory. In 1999, he was appointed Director of the Moores School of Music.

The collection, spanning the years 1965-2011, contains published and manuscript scores, programs from performances of his music, correspondence, and audio recordings, among other items. Currently filling 51 boxes, the collection is expected to expand with the addition of further material donated by Dr. White.

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.

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!

Items Added to Perales Digital Collection

Collections, Digitization, Exhibits, Hispanic Collections
Service denials

A list of locations where Mexicans were denied service, from the Alonso S. Perales files, 1940s.

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.

Alonso S. Perales

Alonso S. Perales

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.

Photographs from the 1915 Galveston Hurricane

Collections, Houston & Texas History

Hurricane season is here, and people up and down the Gulf Coast have started crossing their fingers that we’ll be spared a major storm this season. That includes those of us in the Houston-Galveston area.

Galveston is most know for the powerful storm of 1900 that devastated the island and killed more than 10,000 people. After that storm, the city built the seawall, which was tested when the hurricane of 1915 hit the island. While the 1915 storm caused $50 million worth of property damage, only 275 people lost their lives — not a trivial number, but a far better outcome than in 1900.

To see more photos of the hurricane damage and repairs, take a look at the Galveston 1915 Hurricane Photographs in the UH Digital Library, taken from the collection of the same name located in UH Special collections.

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