Heritage, 2008, Volume 2 Page: 21
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These images of a train derailment, left, and the other of a bandelero with his gun, right, are from the West Texas Collection at Angelo State University, San Angelo.
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One of the newer archives in the state, the West Texas Collection was
established in the mid-1970s as a repository for the Texas State Library &
Archives and for the collection of West Texas history. As the Special Collection
Department of the Angelo State University's Porter Henderson Library,
the WTC houses rare books, manuscripts, maps, letters and diaries,
microfilm, historic photographs, the university archives, and genealogy
from the region.
Major collection topics include: ranching, the sheep and wool industry,
local/regional history, Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway, early aviation,
geology and spelunking, World War II and the two military bases in
San Angelo, civic and fraternal organizations, Hispanic and Jewish history
in the area, the City of San Angelo, and the papers of prominent Texas
newspaper man Houston Harte.
Perhaps the most interesting and frequently used group of collections
of the WTC center around the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. This is
made up of five major collections and several smaller ones. The Williwood
Meador Collection focuses on Pancho Villa and the American forces sent
to Mexico under Pershing. It includes books, articles, photographs, correspondence,
and other memorabilia collected by Mrs. Meador, mostly during
her later years. Her papers were donated to the West Texas Collection
in 1986 through the estate of her son, Joel Tom Meador.
Another major group is the Elmer Powell Collection of revolutionary
paper money and includes money from most of the Mexican states participating
in the revolution, especially those in northern Mexico. The Don
and Lois Bailey Collection consists of coins from the Mexican Revolution
and adds to the numismatic story of the Powell Collection.
The Todd Collection is comprised of more than 12,000 picture postcards
from all parts of Mexico showing events, places, people, and every
day life in Mexico. Besides the postcards, the collection has a large number
of maps and travel brochures telling the history of how the nation of
Mexico encouraged American tourism from the 1890s into the 1940s.
The final collection in the group is the Dr. E. James Hindman Collection,
which features a large number of original photographs and documents
on Mexican General and President Alvaro Obreg6n. This collection
includes a set of glass plates depicting the history of the Cristero Rebellion
(1925-29), an uprising against the anti-Catholic Mexican government of
According to Suzanne Campbell, head of the West Texas Collection,
"Most of our researchers are from the community, but we see some from
outside of the area. Many are writers, some students from other schools,
and we even worked with a movie studio to supply them with photographs."
As word of mouth about the WTC travels, Campbell says she has
seen the numbers of both users and donors increase.
"More and more students are using the facility, and while we do purchase
some of our resources, we've had many donors come from out of the
blue. We had one person give us a collection of Elmer Kelton books simply
because our reading room is named for the San Angelo author."
The WTC is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and
stays open later on Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. For
more information, contact the West Texas Collection at 325-942-2164 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.angelo.edu/services/library/wtcoll/
HERITA GE / Volume 2 2008
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2008, Volume 2, periodical, 2008; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45358/m1/21/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.