October Special Events at the DRT Library are a Hit!
Those who have visited the DRT Library know that during regular weekday business hours it is a non-browsing library, open to researchers only. However, during two Saturdays this October, the Library hosted Open Houses and invited visitors to peruse highlights from the archival collections that were on display.
The first Open House was held in conjunction with the Alamo’s living history program, Fall at the Alamo, on October 10. The second was held on October 24 as part of San Antonio Founders Day; as one of the fifty historical and cultural exhibitors at the celebration, the library also staffed a booth on the Alamo grounds. This was the first year the library was open with exhibits during Fall at the Alamo; it was also the first year the library participated in Founders Day, which in the past was held at other locations in San Antonio. These events coincided with American Archives Month, which promotes the significance of archives.
More than 2,000 people visited the library during the two October events.
The exhibits at both Open Houses showcased outstanding examples of different types of materials in the collections, including maps, photographs, letters, newspapers, government records, books, artifacts, and items of popular culture. During both events, visitors were able to see one of the library’s two copies of the Texas Declaration on Independence; a letter written by Alamo defender Daniel Cloud; examples of redback currency printed by the government of the Texas Republic; a copy of the Telegraph and Texas Register from March 1838; and a cased ambrotype of Alamo survivor Anglina Dickinson. The remaining items on display, however, were different for each Open House. Since the focus of Fall at the Alamo was daily life in Texas during the Republic period, the library’s exhibit for that event focused on materials from approximately 1836 to 1846. By comparison, visitors who came to the library during Founders Day saw items dating from 1579 to 1932; they were especially interested in seeing a petticoat that belonged to Susanna Dickinson and using a stereoscope from the early twentieth century.