The Public History program has had numberous opportunities to work with area archives and museums on projects such as exhibit development, collections processing, facility management plans, and other activities. This secion will present each class's project(s) as they pertaining to respective partner institutions. Our HIS570 Collections Management course (Introduction to the broad fields of museum and archival work from the history of both areas to issues of theory and practice, to the development, care and use of collections. Staffing and management concerns, educational and exhibition development, and the social, economic, and political trends that shape collections.) always includes hands-on projects with local archives and museums. HIS583 Practicum in Public History provides students with the opportunity to have a semester-long internship at an archive or museum of their choice.
HIS583 Summer 2012 - Hawk
- Hawk, Bell County Museum 6
- Hawk, Bell County Museum 5
- Hawk, Bell County Museum 4
- Hawk, Bell County Museum 3
- Hawk, Bell County Museum 2
- Hawk, Bell County Museum 1
The Drennen-Scott House is located in Van Buren, Arkansas and has been managed by the Historical Interpretation (B.A.) program of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith since 2004. The antebellum Greek Revival home was listed on the National Register in 1971 and is a living classroom and tourism site today.
- In Summer 2008 Thomas Wing (now director of the site) completed a practicum (HIS583) in which he conducted historic research and developed an interpretive program.
The Durst-Taylor House and Gardens is one of five historic sites owned, maintained, and interpreted by the City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Department. The second oldest structure in its original location in Nacogdoches, it was a farmstead located north of town in the eighteenth century. Today it seems to be part of downtown due to two centuries of urban growth, but with its gardens, blacksmith shop, sugar cane press, and chicken coop, it remains a place to interpret the agricultural history of early Nacogdoches.
- In Summer 2007 Laura Williams completed a semester practicum which became part of her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies capstone project. Ms. Williams work was to develop bi-lingual materials for early childhood education.
- In Fall 2006 Jennifer Brancato completed a semseter practicum (HIS583) cataloging archaeological artifacts recovered at the Durst-Taylor site and then designing and installing an exhibit based on those materials for display at the historic site.
June 13, 2016 - Exhibit Opening at the E. J. Campbell School, 449 South Shawnee Street - 6:00 p.m. NACOGDOCHES, Texas - An exhibition highlighting the history of African-American leaders in Nacogdoches is the final product for students in a history graduate course within Stephen F. Austin State University's College of Liberal and Applied Arts. "I taught a graduate-level history course at SFA this spring, and my students and I developed, designed and produced an exhibition titled, 'Leaders of Courage: Educating, Mobilizing and Preserving the African American Community of Nacogdoches,'" said Dr. Paul Sandul, Associate Professor in the SFA Department of History. "The title comes from a quote by local civil rights activist Arthur Weaver." The exhibition will be on display from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 14 through July 8, in the E.J. Campbell School, 499 South Shawnee St. An opening is schedule for the evening of June 13. "The focus of the exhibition is to highlight such Nacogdoches heroes and leaders as E.J. Campbell, Arthur Weaver and Birdie Wade and the good work they did toward sustaining the community, especially as they faced the difficulties of racism and violence in a Jim Crow Nacogdoches," Sandul said. "The exhibition highlights this last reality, while underscoring the courage and leadership of these three individuals-for the betterment of the African-American community and, really, for all of us calling Nacogdoches our home today." Students within Sandul's History 570 Collections Management course spent the entirety of the spring 2016 semester digging through East Texas Research Center archives to create 10 text-based, 40-by-32-inch poster boards. The Leaders of Courage posters will be filled with historical information, dozens of historical photographs, maps and an in-depth timeline. "This graduate course and project introduced students to the essential knowledge, skills and abilities required to conduct the management of archival and museum collections with a specific focus on serving and reaching a public audience," said Sandul. "In fact, each of these students aspires for a public history career in one of these fields and is the very reason each has enrolled at SFA. "While the students read essays, extended monographs and technical briefs to familiarize themselves with the processes and practices of archival and museum collections, they had a heavy 'hands-on' emphasis to provide them with real-world experiences. Functioning as a member of a team, the students thus created an exhibition highlighting collections at the local East Texas Research Center archive. The Leaders of Courage exhibition is the product of that hands-on experience," Sandul said. QR codes, or bar codes with the capability to be scanned by smartphones, also were developed by students for the exhibition. When scanned, the codes link to Internet sites with recorded oral histories and other additional historical information pertinent to the Leaders of Courage project. For more information, email Sandul at email@example.com.
Dr. Sandul and the graduate students (Annabella Gutierrez, Kurt Terry, Chris Cotton, Jennifer Kellum, Katie Hutto, Allison Grimes, and Hayley Hasik) discuss the project at the opening reception on June 13, 2016.
The East Texas Research Center is a state-designated regional repository and as its purpose is to collect, preserve, maintain and make available archival materials that support the educational and research goals of Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) and the surrounding East Texas community. The director, Linda Reynolds, is a Certified Archivist and has been approved by the SFASU Graduate Council to serve on theses committees.
- Students in HIS535 Fall 2015 have returned to the ETRC and the Kirby Lumber Company to continue maximally processing the collection. We are on the lookout for documents relating to labor relations, in particular the International Workers of the World (IWW), the Brotherhood of Timber Workers, and company attempts to stop unionization in the piney woods of East Texas. This extremely large collection was previously "processed" but not very usefully for researchers and thus our slow progress through 47 more boxes to created more detailed finding aid. Read about Chris Cotton's experience this semester. We also completed the transcriptions of 13 more interviews in the Bobby H. Johnson Oral History Collection.
- In Fall 2014 students in HIS536 Nonprofit Management wrote grants for the ETRC, all of which were approved by the ETRC and subsequently submitted for funding.
- In Fall 2013 students in HIS570 Collections Management rehoused small collections, processed some of the Kirby Lumber Company, continued to index photographs in the Robinson Collection.
- In Spring 2012 students in HIS570 Collections Management, produced an exhibit based on recently conducted oral history interviews and archival materials form the Charlie Wilson Collection. Click here to learn more about this project in the Oral History section.
- In Spring 2010 students in HIS570, each student spent at least twenty hours working in the East Texas Research Center processing archival material (see submission by Laura Blackburn). In groups the students utilized the dPlan (d-Lite version) to create disaster management plans then given to the respective organizations (East Texas Research Center, Newton County Historical Commission Museum, Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Heritage Center of Cherokee County, and the Stone Fort Museum).
- In Summer 2008 graduate assistants and an undergraduate student worker in the public history program processed the Hodges, Greve, and Pierce Collection. Chris Elzen served as project coordinator. The documents (ranging from 1830s to 1970s) consist of the papers belonging to three attorneys who practiced at the firm. They were acquired from the clearing out of the office of Judge Jack Pierce, the last attorney to practice at the firm. The collection includes letters, correspondence, land deeds, timber deeds, oil and gas leases, debt collection, civil court cases, criminal court cases, estate matters, various legal matters, maps, and approximately five photographs. The bulk of the materials are from the 1910s to the 1960s. The papers were supplemented by family members. Preservation and Processing was coordinated through the Center for Regional Heritage Research. The collection is now housed at the East Texas Research Center and was opened for research on October 8, 2009. Sara Baker produced a video chronicling the process. Cassandra Bennett and Chris Wilkins assisted on the project. Judge Jack Pierce died on August 30, 2012. Please see the video on this page.
- In Spring 2006 students in HIS581 Seminar in Public History (Material Culture) wrote descriptions for one hundred previously not described images in an archival collection at the East Texas Research Center. Students focused on the material culture evident in the images resulting in these two series: Nacogdoches Scenes and Events and the Thompson Family Lumber Enterprises.
- Since 2006 we have had several students complete individual semester-long internships at the ETRC (HIS583 Practicum in Public History or HIS465 Internship in Public History for undergrads): Laura Blackburn, Charlie Wilson Collection, Summer 2010; Chris Elzen, Hodges, Greeve, and Pierce Collection, Summer 2008; Emma Richburg Fall 2014; Makynzie Watkins Spring 2015.
The Heritage Center of Cherokee County is located in beautiful downtown Rusk, Texas. The organization collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Cherokee County from the early American Indians through the present. Its exhibits include a variety of artifacts, archival materials, and interpretive panels. The museum is open 10-5 on Saturdays and 1-5 on Sundays. Next door it has the restored Bonner Bank building, a registered Texas Historic Landmark that housed Cherokee County's first bank from 1884-1887.
- Amanda Carr scanned the museum's foundational archives in Spring 2015 and in Fall 2015 Hayley Hasik used contentDM to add selected material's to the museum's digital archive hosted by ETRC.
- In Spring 2010 students in HIS570 Collections Management used D-Plan Lite to develop disaster plans for the HCCC.
- Since 2006 we have had one student complete an individual semester-long internship at the HCCC (HIS583 Practicum in Public History): Pamela Ringle, PastPerfect and the HCCC collections, Fall 2009.
Located in Crockett, Texas in a former railroad depot. The HCVCM is staffed by volunteers and open upon request. Its address is 303 S 1st St, Crockett, TX 75835 and its phone number is 936-544-9520. Here is the HCVCM, Inc.'s listing on MuseumsUSA.
- In Fall 2006 the students in HIS535 Introduction to Public History developed for the Houston County Visitors Center and Museum.
Houston County Visitors Center and Museum (Fall 2006)
SFA Public History Students and Faculty Back Row (left to right): Nolan Boles, John Garbutt, Paul Maleski, Curtis Odom, Liam Foley; Front Row (left to right) Laura Williams, Tiffany Eurich, Jennifer Brancato, Dr. Perky Beisel
Presentation Alton Moore (from Houston County Visitors Center and Museum) presenting to the SFA students.
- The Group at Work
- The Group at Work
Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Inc.was begun by Lera Millard Thomas in the 1970s as a way to save threatended structures in Nacogdoches and the surrounding areas and as a place to display her extensive collection of antiques. A native of Nacogdoches, Mrs. Thomas had returned to home after she served as the first woman representing Texas in the U.S. House (1966-1968). Her husband, Albert L. Thomas, was a lawyer who had represented the 8th District of Texas (Houston) from 1936 until his death in 1966. Over the years the collection became a museum and after her death in 1993 the museum continued with the support of the Brown Foundation until 2005 when a group of local supporters established a 501(c)3 to own and operate the site. Today the museum welcomes approximately 9,000 tourists a year, 3,000 of whom receive personal tours and interactive activities. It is located at 6020 North Street and its phone number is 936-564-6631. It is open seven days a week and has several buildings available for private events.
- For eight years students in undergraduate- and graduate-level public history courses and History Department graduate assistants have worked on processing Millard's Crossing's extensive archival (and partially artifactual) collection. By the end of Fall 2015 we had entered over 2,000 items into PastPerfect, rehoused them in archival folders and boxes, and that semester the HIS535 class (Annabella Gutierrez, Shelby Winthrop, Jennifer Kellum, Chris Cotton, Conor Herterich, Amanda Carr, Katie Hutto, Katherine Jackson, Kathryn Schieferstein, and Kurt Terry) digitized and added selected items (c. 500) to the Village's digital collection hosted by the ETRC utilizing CONTENTdm. Over 20 boxes were returned to the village in July 2015. It has been a long process, but one that has identified many significant resources for national, state, and local history. Go to the Village's Digital Collection to see more! Special thanks to Amanda Carr, Erick Roy, Hope Hallmark, Kaitlin Wieseman, and Hayley Hasik for their seemingly endless GA hours spent on this project.
- In Fall 2013 students in HIS570 Collections Management wrote grants for Millard's Crossing. One group's application to the Texas Historical Foundation was submitted and approved resulting in a new roof for the Henry Millard House. Way to go Erick Roy, Jared McNeely, and Cody Stanley.
- In Fall 2012 the students in HIS535 Introduction to Public History formed two groups to create exhibits for Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Inc. about its founder, Lera Millard Thomas, and her husband, U.S. Representative Albert Thomas. These exhibits will be installed at Millard's Crossing in 2015. In addition, the graduate students used the initial work by previous undergraduates to add materials to the the Village's Digital Collection hosted by the East Texas Research Center's Digital Collections constructed on the ContentDM platform as well as to the Village's Past Perfect software for internal management.
- In Spring 2012 the students in HIS570 cataloged archival materials using PastPerfect 5.0 software as part of the museum's THC Collections Management Grant (see summaries of work by Lisa Bentley and Samantha Van Pelt).
- In Summer 2010 the students in HIS308 Introduction to Public History for undergraduates described and photographed artifacts donated by the Millard family. Each student utilized a spreadsheet with ContentDM keywords and categories.
- In Spring 2010 students in HIS570 Collections Management accessioned and re-housed documents and photographs using Past Perfect software. In groups the students utilized the dPlan (d-Lite version) to create disaster management plans then given to the respective organizations (East Texas Research Center, Newton County Historical Commission Museum, Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Heritage Center of Cherokee County, and the Stone Fort Museum).
- In Spring 2007 students in HIS570 cataloged artifacts in the Millard-Lee House at Millard's Crossing Historic Village using Past Perfect 3.0 software.
- Since 2006 we have had several students conduct semester-long individual internships (HIS583 Practicum in Public History) at Millard's Crossing: Matt Tallant, Agriculture in East Texas, Spring 2011; Jessica Wood Sowell, Lera Millard Thomas's Clothing and Sheet Music, Summer 2009; Paul Maleski, Sitton Dogtrot Historic Structure Report, Spring 2007; Angie Love, Interpretation for Children & Women's History, Fall 2006; Janice Watkins, Burrows House History, Summer 2006.
Millard-Lee House at Millard's Crossing Historic Village (Spring 2007)
Sitting Room Paul Maleski
Sitting Room Janice Watkins
Sitting Room cataloged artifact
Sitting Room Paul Maleski
Sitting Room cataloged artifact
Weber Bedroom child's bedroom
Weber Bedroom child's bedroom
Weber Bedroom (child's bedroom) Angie Love and Liam Foley
Dining Room Jennifer Brancato and Laura Williams
Dining Room cataloged artifact
Dining Room cataloged artifact
Dining Room Jennifer Brancato, Laura Williams, Tiffany Eurich
Dining Room Janice Watkins and Paul Maleski
Dining Room Jennifer Brancato and Laura Williams
- Bedroom cataloged artifact
Bedroom John Garbutt and Curtis Odom
HIS535 Spring 2011
- Materials for archival processing from Millard's Crossing
- Cassie Bennett examining materials from Millard's Crossing
- Laura Blackburn examining materials from Millard's Crossing - determined NOT archival!
- Joy Pitts examining materials from Millard's Crossing
- Greg Garcia examining materials from Millard's Crossing
Millard's Crossing Archival Collection (2010-2015)
- MXing Collection June 2015-018
- MXing Collection June 2015-014
- MXing Collection June 2015-007
- MXing Collection June 2015-003
- MXing Collection June 2015-005
- MXing Collection June 2015-001
The Newton County Historical Commission Museum is located in Newton, Texas.
- In Spring 2010 students in HIS570 Collections Management used D-Plan Lite to develop disaster plans for the NCHCM.
The Sam Rayburn House Museum in Bonham, Texas is operated by the Texas Historical Commission. Each year the THC offers a paid internship for students to work with the site's collections.
- In Summer 2007 Cassandra Benett (an undergraduate in HIS474 Internship in Public History) completed a summer practicum at the SRHM. Ms. Bennett developed an interpretive tour for children and researched a set of Syracuse china in the collection.
The Stone Fort Museum is located on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. The Stone Fort is a 1936 replica of the Antonio Gil Y'Barbo's 1788-1791 structure which once stood on the edge of the Nacogdoches Square as a gateway to the city along the El Camino Real. Fortunately we have been able to partner with the museum several times to have students complete mini-internships working on collections mangement issues in HIS535 Introduction to Public History and HIS570 Collections Management as well as individual semester-long projects.
- On November 13, 2015 Carolyn Spears provided a wet textile cleaning workshop for students in the HSI535 Introduction to Public History course. A few items of the Stone Fort's collections are a cleaner as a result. Video 1 The same afternoon Gary Parker gave a Power Tools for Historians workshop at the Stone Fort. We used circular saws, drills, hammers, and other powerful tools needs to maintain historic sites, build exhibits, and make repairs. Video 1 Video 2
- In Spring 2010 students in HIS570 Collections Management, each student spent at least twenty hours working at the Stone Fort Museum researching an accession (see submissions by Kaitlin Wieseman, Mary Alice Cook, and Jason Hose). In groups the students utilized the dPlan (d-Lite version) to create disaster management plans then given to the respective organizations (East Texas Research Center, Newton County Historical Commission Museum, Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Heritage Center of Cherokee County, and the Stone Fort Museum).
- In Spring 2015 Marina DonLevy completed a semester internship (HIS465) at the SFM.
- In Summer 2009 Meg Geddie completed a semester practicum (HIS583) at the Stone Fort Museum.
- In Fall 2007 Angela Henderson completed a semester practicum (HIS583) at the Stone Fort Museum.
Wet Textile Cleaning 11-13-15Special thanks to Carolyn Spears, Curator of the Stone Fort Museum, for giving us a demonstration of wet textile cleaning. Video 1
- Textile Cleaning at the Stone Fort Kurt Austin gently uses a sponge to clean a handkerchief from Millard's Crossing
- Textile Cleaning at the Stone Fort Carolyn Spears gives an introduction to wet cleaning to (l-r) Hayley Hasik, Katherine Jackson, Katie Hutto, Connor Herterich, and Kurt Terry.
- Textile Cleaning at the Stone Fort Hayley Hasik, carefully, transports a cleaned bonnet on its glass support.
- Textile Cleaning at the Stone Fort Katie Hutto and Katherine Jackson clean textiles.
- Textile Cleaning at the Stone Fort Joint work to pour out the de-ionized water!
- Textile Cleaning at the Stone Fort Carolyn Spears give an introduction to the Smithsonian Institution's textile cleaning packet.
Power Tools for Public Historians 11-13-15Gary Parker, exhibit designer, installer, and fabricator extraordinaire gave us a thorough introduction to power tools for small museums. We proudly helped lift the wire panels to the top of the Stone Fort's new grape arbor! Video 1 Video 2
- Power Tools for Public Historians A discussion of safety with power tools - beware the box cutter! l-r Gary Parker, Katherine Jackson, Katie Hutto, Conor Herterich, Kurt Terry, Hayley Hasik, Amanda Carr, and Carolyn Spears.
- Power Tools for Public Historians Conor Herterich makes his mark before cutting cedar with the miter saw.
- Power Tools for Public Historians Amanda Carr drills into the grape arbor.
- Power Tools for Public Historians An introduction to the tasks which can be completed with a miter saw (l-r) Gary Parker, Katherine Jackson, Katie Hutto, Hayley Hasik, Amanda Carr, Conor Herterich, and Kurt Terry.
The Texas Forestry Museum located in Lufkin, Texas has been a strong supporter of our program. Established as early as 1957 when the Texas Forestry Association began to collect foretry industry related materials, it is now the largest museum of its kind in the United States. Fortunately we have been able to partner with the museum several times to have students complete mini-internships working on collections mangement issues in HIS535 Introduction to Public History and HIS570 Collections Management as well as individual semester-long projects.
- In Fall 2013 Kendall Gay completed a semester practicum (HIS583) cataloging the museum's Smokey the Bear collection. Her work resulted in a history of the famous bear and the development of an exhibit and 70th birthday celebration on August 9, 2014.
- In Fall 2013 several students in HIS570 assisted in the cataloging of American Indian points which had previously been glued to a green felt backing in geometrical designs. The students had to remove the backing, clean off the glue, measure the point, and then identify its era and type.
- In Fall 2009 Mary Alice Cook completed a semester practicum (HIS583) at the museum. Ms. Cook researched and installed a very well received exhibit about forestry industry products: Money Trees: The Economic Impact of the Forest Products Industry in East Texas.
- In Fall 2006 John Garbutt completed a semester practicum (HIS583) cataloging and indexing the museum's important collection of forestry periodicals and publications.