The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Dr. Garrison called the meeting to order and explained its pur-
pose. He made a very deep impression on me when he said that
the first and most important work of the proposed organization
would be the collection of material for the use of the future in-
vestigators and writers of the history of our State, material much
of which, he warned us, had been lost beyond recall for want of
such a body. It was my first introduction to what is considered
historical material aside from state papers, and when he mentioned
such things as letters, circulars, old books, bills, lists of names,
personal recollections, newspapers, pictures, etc., I had a realization
of receiving something definitely educative in the, to me, entirely
new field of historical science-the first of a continuous series of
such experiences which I owe to this Association and which have
been among the most valued and distinctive features of my lifelong
efforts for myself, and others, in the field of education.
This ignorance of mine as to what constitutes historical material
must seem amusing to the company here before me this evening,
but I believe that at that time it was typical of the majority of
educated persons, even of many present on that occasion. History
was, to us, an art to be dearly loved and ardently enjoyed. That
it was also a science, calling for the cold, exact methods of scien-
tific investigation, was a fact just beginning to percolate down
from the specialists to the rest of us. So what Dr. Garrison was
saying struck the note most needed to arouse our immediate en-
thusiasm. It offered every one of us something tangible to work
for at the outset, an end, too, with the added charm of novelty and
thrill of patriotic feeling.
Anyone familiar with the wealth of historical material so safely
stored in the Archives Department of the University of Texas must
appreciate something of what we owe to the man who that evening
at about this very hour a little more than thirty-one years ago was
providing that documents of this kind should no longer remain
in danger of being lost. And he was taking steps to that end not
a moment too soon. Mrs. -JHatcher, from her post at the head of
the Archives Department of the University, could tell you many
a heart-rending tale of what still went on being lost until our
association had had time to educate the people up to an under-
standing of the value of such material. How many precious docu-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/10/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.