Eisenhauer Historical Postcard Collection Donated to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas –Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is the new home to more than 22,000 postcards from the family of respected local historian Anita Eisenhauer (1942-2019). The postcards date from the late 1800s to the 2000s, ranging in topic from Corpus Christi history, Texas towns and forts, natural disasters, and military wars. The postcards were donated by Eisenhauer’s two sons, and a portion of the collection will be digitized by staff in Special Collections and Archives in the Mary and Jeff Bell Library to provide easy access to the public.

According to Amanda Kowalski, Bell Library Information Specialist in Special Collections and Archives, both the photo and the writing of postcards help document history and give researchers a look into what life and interests were like during a particular time period.

“These postcards give a glimpse at the huge shift in our city’s growth and how lives were impacted. They show what the masses were interested in, in ways a government document cannot,” said Kowalski. “Many researchers are not looking at what is typically thought of as history, like political leaders. Instead, they want to know about the daily life of everyday people.”

A pillar in the efforts to both preserve and restore Corpus Christi historical landmarks, Eisenhauer was responsible for many of the Texas State Historical Markers dedicated in Nueces County. She also published a book with author Gigi Starnes in 1987 called “Corpus Christi, Texas: A Picture Postcard.”

Eisenhauer was involved with many community organizations where she held prominent leaderships positions, including president of both the Clara Driscoll Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Old Bayview Chapter of the National Society United States Daughters of 1812.

The Eisenhauer postcard collection will be organized into five series: United States, foreign, Texas, Corpus Christi, and a general category that entails holidays, advertisement, and military themed cards. According to Kowalski, the Corpus Christi series will be the focus of the digitization efforts.

“These cards highlight areas of history that are often overlooked,” said Kowalski. “Our daily life is history. Away from academic research, there is also a nostalgic quality to these postcards. I was born and raised in Corpus Christi and to see so many images of the past gives a sense of pride and history to our city.”

Special Collections and Archives is located on the second floor of the Bell Library. To access this collection in-person, a request must be made via email, by phone at 361.825.4500, or in-person. The digitized portion of the collection will be available at this link.

For more information on this special collection and others at the Bell Library, visit http://library.tamucc.edu/find/special-collections