A&M-Corpus Christi Hosts ‘History Harvest’ to Celebrate and Preserve Community History

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Celebrating history is achieved through the commitment of collecting and preserving materials of distant and recent historical significance. Therefore, the preservation of South Texas history has become a top priority for leaders of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Together, with faculty, staff and students from around Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, they created the “South Texas: iRemember” committee, which focuses on the preservation and sharing of local history. Their first event, a “History Harvest,” was held Feb. 24, and was open exclusively to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council No. 1 members and their families. The event encouraged LULAC members to donate their personal family documents to the Bell Library’s archives to make them available to the public, students and scholars who are interested in studying the history of our community.

“Written documentation, including photographs, maps, and other papers, provides evidence of things as they happened, and can help share the truth about a community’s history,” said Ann Hodges, Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist at A&M-Corpus Christi.

More than 30 items, including 27 photographs and various pieces of wedding memorabilia that embody the rich history of South Texas, were donated during A&M-Corpus Christi’s first-ever History Harvest.

“In order to know where you are going, you must know where you came from,” said Dr. Nick Adame, president of LULAC Council No. 1. “Knowing past hardships, obstacles and experiences allows one to see how we’re progressed and what we still need to work towards. This is especially important for marginalized communities.”

During the event, which was held at the LULAC Council No. 1 Headquarters on Holly Rd., volunteers from the Island University, including several history faculty and students, an art student, the Dean of Libraries and the staff of Special Collections, collected personal photographs and documents of LULAC members. When materials were a good match, the owner had the opportunity to sign a deed of gift transferring the materials to the Bell Library archives. Donors were provided with digital copies of the materials they donated.

“We hope these efforts will strengthen the relationship between the University and the community we serve,” said Hodges. “We also hope the community will think of us when they have records they believe might be worth safekeeping for the preservation of South Texas history.”

With a goal of becoming an extensive repository of local historical information, the Bell Library plans to expand their collection by working with other organizations and hosting many more History Harvest events.

For more information on the library’s history preservation project, email specialcollections@tamucc.edu.