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Institute of Texan Cultures: Buffalo Soldier -- Discovering Heritage on Texas Frontier

buffalo soldiers

Buffalo soldiers

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(July 21, 2010)--The Institute of Texan Cultures will open "Buffalo Soldiers: Discovering Heritage on the Texas Frontier" on Thursday, July 22. The new exhibit discusses the historic African-American military units formed after the Civil War and stories of Buffalo Soldier descendents rediscovering their heritage.

The institute's exhibit focuses on the Ninth Cavalry, which formed in New Orleans and moved to San Antonio in 1867 before dispersing to Fort Stockton, Fort Davis and Fort Concho. It resembles a campaign camp. Artifacts, uniforms, equipment and a full-size model horse with cavalry saddle are presented around the campsite. Exhibit developers collaborated with Fort Davis and Fort Concho national historic sites and historical organizations to acquire artifacts.

On the frontier, buffalo soldiers protected friendly Indians and settlers from hostile Indians and outlaws. They escorted U.S. mail and stagecoaches. They built roads and mapped the frontier. Folklore suggests that Indians nicknamed the units for the soldiers' short, curly hair, which they said resembled buffalo hair.

Several buffalo soldiers chose to remain in Texas after leaving the regiment. A portion of the exhibit tells the personal stories of buffalo soldier descendants and what they learned from researching family histories.

The opening weekend of the exhibit, July 24-25, features a buffalo soldiers encampment on the institute's Back 40 outdoor learning area. It is an opportunity for visitors to interact with more than 40 costumed Texas frontier characters including buffalo soldiers, pioneer families, merchants and other denizens of early Texas. These first-person interpreters will offer a true-to-life look at the frontier including daily chores, attending school, tending live animals and life in a military regiment.

The buffalo soldiers encampment is included with regular admission. "Buffalo Soldiers: Discovering Heritage on the Texas Frontier" will be on display through Jan. 3, 2011.

The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. Durango Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit

The Institute of Texan Cultures, through its research, collections, exhibits and programs, serves as the forum for the understanding and appreciation of Texas and Texans. The institute strives to become the nation's premier institution of contemporary cultural and ethnic studies focusing on Texans and the diverse cultural communities that make Texas what it is. An agency of the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Community Services and a Smithsonian affiliate, the 182,000-square-foot complex, featuring 45,000 square feet of exhibit space and five recreation Texas Frontier period structures, is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus in downtown San Antonio.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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