library gift
UTSA Vice Provost David R. Johnson (left) and David Carter,
representative of family donating collection to archive
(Photo by Mark McClendon)
>> Read a San Antonio Express-News story (2/12/09) about
the Carter family gift to UTSA

UTSA Library receives historic 1830s documents

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Feb. 12, 2009)--UTSA officials announced Feb. 11 the donation of documents from the 1830s to the UTSA Library Archives and Special Collections at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures. The gift comes from the family of Aline Carter, poet laureate of Texas and former curator of the Alamo. Additionally, the family will establish an endowment to support and maintain the UTSA archives and collections.

Among the items in the Carter family's donation:

  • Aline Carter's manuscript, "Light Beyond the Hills," a recounting of the life of her great-grandmother, Elizabeth Canterbury, one of the first five female settlers in San Antonio
  • "The Perote Papers," written by Canterbury's husband, Wilson Riddle, they are his plea to a British minister for the release from a dungeon of him, his brother and other prisoners
  • "Indian Depredations Reports," which describe massacres, conflicts and cruelty inflicted by Indians on whites. In the 19th century, the term "depredations" was used universally to describe these actions. San Antonian George Brackenridge reported on "depredations" committed by Indians on the Texas frontier. He was appointed by the secretary of the interior to head an investigative committee
  • A telegram from Clara Driscoll, known as "Savior of the Alamo," who in 1903 provided funds to prevent the sale of the Alamo to a hotel firm

"We hope this collection serves as a great resource for public education," said family spokesperson Paul Carter. "If anyone is interested in doing a documentary on San Antonio or pursuing historical research on a class project, they would now have these resources available to provide accurate and first-hand accounts. We are grateful that the UTSA archives exist and want to spread the word about the many worthwhile endeavors UTSA is pursuing, which we will support with our donations."

Because such materials enhance the understanding and knowledge of early San Antonio, Carter said that his family hopes their donation spurs other local families to search through older photographs and papers and determine if they could be pertinent additions to the UTSA archives.

"We are pleased that the UTSA Archives and Special Collections will be the repository for this important San Antonio family collection," said David R. Johnson, UTSA vice provost for academic and faculty support and former interim dean of the library. "There is no doubt the collection will be a tremendous resource for historians and students researching 19th and 20th century San Antonio as it was experienced and described by the Carter family. Covering the family's activities for more than a century, the collection provides great insight into the fabric of life in the city and region."

UTSA Archives and Special Collections holds more than 300 collections, ranging from Mexican manuscripts from the 1500s to original Fiesta San Antonio Commission photos of the 1920s. The archive also serves as the repository for the university's primary source of materials on San Antonio regarding women and gender, authors and political activities of the San Antonio Mexican-American community since World War II.

Access to the UTSA Archives and Special Collections is free and open to all. For more information, call (210) 458-2381 or visit the UTSA Archives and Special Collections Web site.

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