UH Libraries News

Texas Arts and Culture Documentaries Added to UH Special Collections

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce receipt of a unique collection of materials from Texas Foundation for the Arts.

Archival footage from documentaries written, filmed, and produced by Texas Foundation for the Arts that aired on Houston Public Media (KUHT-TV, Houston PBS) will be added to the Houston and Texas History Research Collection in UH Special Collections. Materials include videotapes and transcripts, research materials, and photos and 35mm slides of Texas historic county courthouses. 

Founded in 2001 by Jim Bailey and Kim Bjork Lykins, Texas Foundation for the Arts’ mission is to capture the uniqueness of Texas arts and culture through the creation of documentary films and other television programming. 

“It is an honor to have our work reside in the UH archives,” said Bailey. “Our programs over the past 20 years include so many interviews and raw footage that never made it into the half-hour and one-hour programs due to television time constraints. We are happy that the b-roll footage and photos and all interviews will be available for everyone to use in perpetuity.”

Award-winning documentaries in the collection include:

Building Bridges of Understanding: Asia Society Texas Center
This film documents the design and construction of the Asia Society Texas Center, designed by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, and examines the Asian community in Texas. The film features on-camera interviews with University of Houston System chancellor and University of Houston president Renu Khator, Nancy Allen, Y. Ping Sun (Rice University), Stephen Klineberg, Charles Foster, and other eyewitnesses and experts on Houston’s Asian community, as well as b-roll scenes of the grand opening activities of the Center and the classic Tiger Ball.

Galveston Island
This documentary about the history and culture of Galveston, once the largest city in Texas and the Wall Street of the Southwest, includes the story of immigration through Galveston. It features rare footage of the destruction of Galveston streets, homes and businesses immediately after Hurricane Ike, as well as modern-day footage of Galveston beaches, the Strand, Bolivar ferry, Mardi Gras, historic homes, Grand 1894 Opera House, the port, cruise ships, churches, Bishop’s Palace, restaurants, and other landmarks. The documentary includes interviews with Joe Jaworski and Barbara Crews (former mayors of Galveston), residents, authors, and historians.

Houston Arts Television
This 30-minute television program features various cultural institutions in Houston including the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Houston Children’s Chorus, as well as behind-the-scenes visuals at the Menil Collection, Houston’s civic art, Discovery Green, and profiles of individual artists. It includes iconic postcard-type scenes of Houston’s Hermann Park and other locations and interviews with Houston cultural leaders and artists such as Bert Long, Jr.

The Art of Architecture: Houston
This program profiles leading architects and architectural experts and explores modern office towers, public buildings, historic buildings, Houston homes, and quirky sites, all of which combine to create Houston’s unique architectural landscape. Included are  interviews with UH Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design dean Patricia Oliver, UH and Rice University architectural students, Houston architects, and architectural historian Stephen Fox.

1910 Harris County Courthouse
This documentary features the history and recent restoration of the historic 1910 Harris County Courthouse, including rare video scenes of the building before and during restoration, the completed building showcasing the atrium and dome, and interviews with Harris County archivist Sarah Jackson, author Jim Parsons, architects, attorneys, eyewitnesses, and historians.

“We are so pleased to have these documentaries and other programs produced by Texas Foundation for the Arts to add to our collection,” said Vince Lee, UH Special Collections archivist. “These films are an important record of Houston and Texas history.”

The collection is currently being processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact Vince Lee.

Written by Esmeralda Fisher on November 27th, 2019 and filed under Announcements