(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 TexanCultures.com.
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.
The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
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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.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.