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Community Resources

External Collaborations
The University Archives is proud to contribute to these community projects that celebrate, explore, and share the history of Black East Austin.

Among the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel’s digital exhibits, the collection “To Elevate: The Legacy of Huston-Tillotson University” celebrates “the legacy of Huston-Tillotson University, the roots of which span from the oldest institutions of higher learning in Austin, Texas. It is the story of those that planted the seeds of its beginnings, those that carefully tended and spent their life’s energy managing, improving, and building upon, and those that continued to pass the torch onward in the elevation of its mission.

To Elevate” contains many photographs from the University Archives. Read more about the exhibit here.

Reflections on a Legacy: East 12th Street is “a 17-minute documentary short film curated and produced by Stephanie L. Lang and Rachel E. Winston in partnership with director/curator Funmi Ogunro. The film features three native East Austin residents Volma Overton Jr., Diane Gilmore Lang and Margaret Wright on their experiences living near, and patronizing numerous, historical E. 12th Street businesses, and how those businesses contributed to the larger East Austin narrative.

The University Archives houses this documentary and can provide viewing access. Request access here.


The Translating Community History project, a partnership between Open Chair, The Projecto, the City of Austin Historic Preservation Office, and the National Park Service, “uses creative archival practices to highlight the significance of East Austin neighborhoods“. It collects local stories and the history of the development, culture, families, and landscape of East Austin.

See photos of Huston-Tillotson University in its incarnations as Tillotson College, Samuel Huston College, Huston-Tillotson College, and the University of today, as well as an interview with Library Director and Archivist Danielle’ McGhee, in the “College Heights & African American Heritage” issue of this ongoing project, published in December 2020


Downs Field has been “home to the Negro Baseball League’s Austin Black Senators, the Austin Black Pioneers, the Austin Greyhounds, the Austin Indians, and the Austin Palominos. Baseball greats like Satchel Paige, Willie Wells, and Buck O’Neil played here.” Today, the Huston-Tillotson Rams call it home.

Forklift Danceworks created and hosted “Take Me Out to Downs Field“, a year-long celebration of East Austin’s storied and well-loved East 12th Street baseball field. “Take Me Out to Downs Field” incorporated “tailgates, performances, poetry slams, and story circles that celebrate the legacy and future of this historic place“, as well as a radio show, a portrait series, and a virtual art exhibit.

The University Archives contributed photographs and histories to “Take Me Out to Downs Field”, and contains recordings of the interviews and stories collected during this project.

Featured External Research Sites
To continue your research beyond the University Archives, please consider the following organizations:
From the Austin History Center:

The Austin History Center’s mission is to procure, preserve, present, and provide the historical records that make up Austin’s unique story.

As the local history division of the Austin Public Library, the Austin History Center provides the public with information about the history, current events, and activities of Austin and Travis County. We collect and preserve information about local governments, businesses, residents, institutions, and neighborhoods so that generations to come will have access to our history.

The Austin History Center is located at 810 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX 78701. Please call 512.974.7480 or visit their website for visiting hours and policies.

From the Texas State Historical Association:

“The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) is dedicated to fostering “the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the rich and unique history of Texas and, by example and through programs and activities, encouraging and promoting research, preservation, and publication of historical material affecting the state of Texas…

“TSHA focuses on two major service areas: education programs and historical publications…the Association’s most widely used publication is the Handbook of Texas. TSHA also…publishes the Southwestern Historical Quarterly journal and numerous books on Texas history, such as the biennial Texas Almanac.”

The Texas State Historical Association is located at 3001 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin, TX 78703.



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