AHC Director’s Report: January 2021


Mike Miller is the Manager of the Austin History Center, a 14-person, $1.2 million division of the Austin Public Library, with responsibility for personnel, planning, and fiscal aspects. He represents the Austin History Center before library, city, and community groups.  Miller writes, speaks and consults about Austin history, managing local history collections, and preservation of historical materials.


January 2021


Programming & Outreach

  • On December 5, Asian American Community Archivist Ayshea Khan presented a Family album family archiving virtual workshop with the South Asian American Digital Archive. One of the 180 participants wrote, “Just wanted to say thank-you for hosting the event yesterday. It was very informative. This is information I have craved / sought after for many years. Recording our personal narratives is a very personal, sometimes lonely journey... so it is nice to know I now have a community of people that I can lean on. I look forward to future sessions.”

Collections

  • AHC received a donation of materials documenting Dr. Sidney White, Jr., the first Black dentist to be inducted into the Austin District Dental Society, who at the time of his induction in 1965 had been practicing dentistry for five years in Austin as the sole Black dentist in the city. The materials also document his wife, Helen Fields White, a teacher.

  • AHC launched the AHC Digital Collections site, a repository for the preservation and public access of digitized and born-digital historical artifacts from the History Center’s collections. The first collections published include thousands of historic photos documenting people, places, and events that have shaped Austin’s history. Existing digital objects and newly digitized collections are being added weekly and will include archival documents, oral history recordings, videos, maps, and additional photographs. Users can keyword search across all collections or browse the digital collections by material type or collecting units.

Reference

  • The AHC’s expanded reference and e-document delivery service received 65 requests and completed 92 this month, delivering 3519 scanned items. feedback from patron part of a UT-Austin working committee investigating the history of the UT alma mater “The Eyes of Texas”: “Wow, this is an amazing trove of articles. I am amazed at how rapidly you were able to bring this material together. I’m awestruck! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to share these findings with the committee!”

  • During this time AHC staff helped with research on the Pan American Roundtable, upcoming books about the 1983 UT baseball team and about mountain cedars of the Texas Hill Country, and a documentary film about women’s suffrage. We are also assisting the Watershed Department with a long-term research project on the names of the watersheds.

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