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Key Dates in ahca history
  • 1993—With leadership of AHCA, AHC receives designation on National Register of Historic Places and Texas Historic Register; AHCA creates $500 Corporate Membership.

  • 1994—Oral History Project documents Mexican American Business & Professional Women’s 20-year history.

  • 1995—AHC closes to allow work to bring the building up to city code.

  • 1996—AHCA partners with several UT professors on a 5-year oral history project focusing on Mexican American history, including Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church.

  • 1997—AHCA linkage with APL Foundation is formalized through acts by boards of directors.

  • 1979—Sue McBee calls a meeting on the future of the 1933 Austin Library building. Austin City Council recognized creation of the Austin History Center Guild, later to become the Austin History Center Association.

Copy of the minutes from the Dec. 20, 1979 meeting of the Austin City Council related to discussion of the Austin/Travis County Collection.

  • 1980—Austin History Center Guild incorporated; City Council changes name of Old Main Library to Austin History Center.

  • 1981—IRS grants Austin History Center Guild 501(c) 3 status retroactive to January 1980.

  • 1982—Organization now known as AHCA honors Judge Trueman O’ Quinn for gift of O’Henry Collection to AHC; first AHCA Newsletter published.

  • 1983—Great Gold Gala held at Driskill Hotel by AHCA to mark the reopening of the Austin History Center after renovations and refurnishing funded by AHCA efforts; $33,000 raised and $5,000 dedicated to creating endowment at Austin Community Foundation.

  • 1984—AHCA funds restoration of decorative ceiling painting of 9th Street loggia & supports bond election for exterior restoration of AHC and in-house photo lab.

  • 1985—Evening with Tony Bennett fundraiser attracts 500 attendees, raising $20,000. AHCA hires part-time Executive Director Nancy Busbey.

  • 1986—Year-long fundraising drive led by Dealey Herndon and Charles Betts raises $100,000 to furnish in-house photo lab at AHC.

  • 1987—As part of photo lab fundraiser, AHCA hosts 100-person black tie gala, “Evening at the Center.”

  • 1988—Dedication ceremony for new AHC landscaping, provided by AHCA as a gift to mark the city’s 150th birthday.

  • 1989—AHCA acquires 25-year-old Waterloo Press from Library Foundation; co-sponsors Saltillo-Austin exhibit on roles people of two cities played in history of Texas and Austin; hosts exhibit on 150 years of music in Austin.

  • 1990—Efforts and funding for oral histories are enhanced by donations and workshop.

  • 1991—AHCA creates the Katherine Drake Hart History Preservation Award; Sue McBee first honoree; creates a Life Membership-Wilmot & Hallie Horton first Life Members.

  • 1992—AHCA backs $2.5M bond election to renovate AHC electrical, plumbing, HVAC and retrofit basement; membership rises to 34.

  • 1998—AHCA supports plan to build new Central Library and converting John Henry Faulk building for AHC expansion; leads successful citizen campaign to PREVENT de-funding of AHC in city budget.

  • 1999—Audray Bateman Randle Lecture Series begins; Austin Community Foundation begins funding Oral History projects - 47 interviews transcribed; Waterloo Press publishes 5th book since 1990.

  • 2000—Assists AHC in adding a Neighborhood Liaison staff for Mexican America Outreach.

  • 2001— Sue McBee hosts 20th Anniversary Luncheon of AHCA at Headliners Club; Sharmyn Lilly hired as AHCA Executive Director; AHCA helps fund new shelf system for AHC; hosts fundraiser “Gifts of the Magi” at Paramount Theatre.

  • 2002—AHCA and Waterloo Press produce Travis County Slave Narrative, a documentary film, for community distribution; raise $485,000 for interactive digital DVD history, Austin Past and Present.

  • 2003—Waterloo Press DVD development of Austin Past and Present continues, becoming a 3-year project finished in 2004. 

  • 2004—Eberly Event begins as a small breakfast at the Chateau Bellevue.

  • 2005—AHCA begins active participation in the National Blue Belly Oral History Project. 

  • 2007—Mike Miller becomes City Archivist with APL and manager of AHC.

  • 2008— Jeff Cohen hired temporarily to assist AHCA in financial crisis of 2009-10.

  • 2009—AHCA raises $50,000 for AHC to purchase the Pease Papers Collection.

  • 2010—Waterloo Press publishes first book in years by Dr. Jeffrey Kerr; Eberly Luncheon is revived.

  • 2011—AHCA Founder Sue McBee dies; AHCA establishes the George Attal Memorial Exhibit Fund with $17,000.

  • 2012—AHCA launches website and supports Exhibit on the First Century of African-Americans in Travis County; advocates for successful bond election for AHC.

  • 2013—Waterloo Press publishes Faces of Philanthropy; vision begins to emerge of a campus combining the AHC and Faulk buildings after new Central Library opens in 2018. 

  • 2014—AHCA website redesigned for online processing of book sales and membership; first Spring Fling held.

  • 2015—AHCA hosts the “first-ever” meeting of the newly-elected 10-district, 1-mayor City Council and former Austin mayors, who share wisdom on what to expect in assuming the position on the City Council; Waterloo Press publishes first book by noted local historical reporter Michael Barnes.

  • 2016—AHCA collects the oral histories of all nine living former mayors; Eberly Brigade membership level created; new Emergency Fund Endowment created. 

  • 2017—AHCA assists AHC in securing a Digital Archivist.

  • 2018—AHCA successful advocates for $16.5M in November election for code upgrade and renovations of the Faulk and AHC respectively.

  • 2019—New membership record set at end of fiscal year: 531 members, including first 3 Life Members since 1991; record financial year in revenue; membership events at Dirty’s Hamburgers, the Castle, and Millet Opera House; AHCA helps AHC by serving as fiscal agent for grants of $25,000 and $180,000, part of which funded AHC intern.

  • 2020—Katherine Drake Hart Award revived after 13 years and awarded to Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez; COVID 19 impacts all programs.

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