The Texas Observer, Texas' own guardian of the left bank of the Colorado River. has a book blog "Texas Bound" which occasionally addresses a Texas volume (they prefer the broader view of the nation). No posting has been made in "Texas Bound" since last October. But now of note is the TO's online availability of the Summer and Winter Books issues. The archives go back for ten years. On the Texas Bound blog's page in the upper right are clicks to those back issues. For the illiterate with no interest in books, but just their causes of the day, under TO's homepage is the complete list of issues, back for the same ten years.
Read more at http://www.texasobserver.org/texasbound/
Will's Other Texana Blogs
Here at the Parlor, we eat BBQ, and there are a three jillion sites, and this one strikes as worthy of mention. Includes book reviews. It's self-description is:
"Some food does more than sustain us. Through the alchemy of smoke and time, there is food that can also nourish your soul. This site is dedicated to praising those that have mastered this art and perhaps even teaching a few to fish for themselves. While most BBQ review books, magazine articles, and websites will tell you the best places, this website will tell you which places are good, mediocre, and awful. We suffer through bad BBQ so you don't have to."
The Houston Chronicle blog Texas on the Potomac for last several months has been rather steady in adding 2, 3, or 4 entries a week to their Today in Texas History postings. Enough to keep regular tabs on, good reading. I've added it to my Yahoo homepage. You may want to try it.
This visually created blog features occasonal historical stories around Texas. It is self-described as "
Welcome to Texas...
Growing up in Texas when we traveled anywhere, my dad would always pull over at each landmark and take a picture of it and then he'd take a picture of the family around the landmark...Do you realize how big Texas is, and just how many landmarks there are here? Well, I have a pretty good idea [and I probably have a picture to prove it]! Join me as I "travel" through Texas and discover family stories...one landmark at a time..."
The blogger Caroline Pointer describes herself as "Wife, mother, genealogist, dog & cat owner [or they own me], chauffeur, doctor/nurse, counselor, teacher, basketball team equipment/uniform manager, and the list goes on. Oh well, you get the picture... "
Teachers may wish to consult the Tejana Pundit regarding profiles in Tejano history.
The Pundit also has a good list of Tejano blogs and self-describes her blog as ".
"It's all about finding strength from within. It's about learning from the past, persevering in the present and having the ganas, or desire, to flourish in the future. I'm an American, but I'm also Indigenous, Mexican, French and German and that's a wonderful thing. One can't be anything if one doesnt know who they are. For centuries people have been trying to break through barriers and I've gone and continue to go through them as if they dont exist."
Just established and self-described as
"Urban Architecture (UAH, Inc.) was founded by Paul E. Martin, AIA, in 1973 and has been active in forging new perspectives for the practice of architecture in Texas. Urban Architecture has been a leader in the development community, designing commercial office buildings and retail projects. Here, all members of Urban Architecture, as well as anyone who chooses to join the conversation, will discuss current events in the worlds of Architecture, Design, and Houston."
An excellent adaptation of the blog format as an archive of architectural images and news of older structures and for preservation advocacy.
Self-description: "Mission Statement:
To photographically document and archive buildings and sites in Houston and surrounding areas, promote activism for present and future preservation of local architecture, and to increase awareness of Houston's architectural history.
This site was created as a repository for mainly architectural photos...."
Provides for several grouping options, e.g., architect, date, news, oddities, status, type, and zip code.
Has a good list of related websites.
where last year and again this year Amy Riley declared a week in September as "Book Blogger Appreciation Week." Hmmm, seems like a good opportunity to remind you of Will Howard's "Texas Blog Notes: History, Literature, and Other Civil Blogs." at http://texasblognotes.blogspot.com/
Dana Lynn Smith is quite pleased to be a 5th generation Texan, and she is strongly informed about how to sell books in Texas, but that doesn't stop her from opening her publishing consulting shop to folks beyond the three rivers.
Check her Texana Publishing Consultants http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/texana/ within her "Book Marketing Maven" website, an interestingly adapted blog format.
|A blog from the Texas Historical Commission.|
Self-description: "telling the real stories at the Texas Historical Commission's real places
From western forts to Victorian mansions and pivotal battlegrounds, the Texas Historical Commission's 20 state historic sites exemplify a breadth of Texas history. Come explore the real stories at the real places.
I've developed a Youtube channel, Will's Texana Youtube Channel. It's free, It's easy. An account is called a channel.
Yes, I know and groan about the junk and ephemera that's there, but this last summer I wondered, just what IS there? So I looked. It took a while to get the hang of it all, but using a very undisciplined method which was also very unconsistent, I cobbled together 1,000 videos from other folks' channels and centralized them into 100 topical playlists.
There are some drawbacks (e.g., Youtube doesn't allow for alphabetizing the 100 playlists, so you'll find them in a jumble of 100.) I working on a means where by they can be alphabetizing on somebody's separate page, and this alternative would also enable the addition of other folks' playlists on other channels.
I'm issuing a report on Will's Texana Youtube Channel as a special issue of my Will's Texana Monthly. If you'd like a free copy just let me know. That report also includes a list of the 50 or so Youtube channels to which I subscribe, some rather professionally done - historical, contemporary, nature, gardening, media, etc - and some casually produced by individuals but worthy of notice and maybe your own subscription.
The WT Channel was first intended just as a device to record what I found. Now it serves as a repository (if temporary) to nudge librarians, archivists, historians, teachers, and other interested folks to further explore Youtube and other video repositories for their long-term value. Already one WT channel viewer, Joan Hood, has since begun her own channel, Joan's Texas Women Channel, to collect videos exclusively on that topic which I wouldn't be able to do as well at http://www.youtube.com/user/JoanHood1 .
Actually, I encourage you to start your own channel, if not so much to produce your own videos, but to collect along special lines.
And tell me where to go and what to do when I get there! It's a broad prairie with only slow rolling hills. I could use some talk and thought.
See the whole shebang at http://www.youtube.com/willstexana
He self-describes the blog as:
"Light T. Cummins, Bryan Professor of History at Austin College, blogs about things related to Texas History. In May, 2009, the Governor of Texas appointed him to serve as the Texas State Historian. This blog contains postings about his activities as he seeks to advance the cause of history and historical understanding across the state."
Cummings is a widely respected historian with awards, volumes, articles, and students passing under his tutelage.
He's been blogging since January. Some recent August postings include
Hmm, how do you solve a interpretative problem like the Texas Cockroach.,. seems to have started just this month.
It's not under your sink, it's at MySanAntonio http://voices.mysanantonio.com/texascockroach/
It's a blog companion site to their website at http://www.texascockroach.com/ .
Their self-description: "The Texas Cockroach is a satirical newspaper from the mythical small town of LaCucaracha, Texas. In LaCucaracha, football is king, and citizens have a choice of 137 churches. The Texas Cockroach parodies the unique culture, lifestyle and politics found nowhere else but Texas. Pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea, sit back, and take a virtual stroll through the streets of LaCucaracha. God Bless Texas."
The blog takes pieces from the website and posts partials here with a "Read more" link which takes you to their main website. It's so new, we'll watch to see if it takes on its own life as well. Yes it's about a small Texas town, La Cucaracha, with the distilled, reduced essences, flavors, and quirks of Texas life. Popular life styles, sports, religion, politics enjoy deflation. Surrender your imaginary grip on sanity and be prepared to laugh at yourself and others
Visit the online store http://www.cafepress.com/texascockroach
And a Facebook page
Terrell Texas Daily Photo: photos taken in the burbs east of Dallas.
The emergence of these "daily" images websites with a geographical focus may seem light in their use, but if they continue as Brian has done here, a substantial contribution is made.
Other daily sites include
Since August of 2008, the Writers' League of Texas has had a blog entitled "A Brief Word" at
The posts categories include
T H E T O P S H E L F -
Blog of the UT San Antonio Library Archives and Special Collections
Seems that around about last December 2008, UTSA's A&SC started a blog. Rather pleasantly done too. It's a mixture of new collections, spotlights on single items of interest, personnel matters, departmental themes, preservation techniques, exhibits, newsclippings, hot links to collections along topical lines, hot links to new collections descriptions, etc. A good all-purpose media to serve the public with content information, technical news, and provision of mini-exhibits.
At http://lib.utsa.edu/Archives/ you'll find a departmental self-description
"The Archives and Special Collections Department serves as the Library's repository for primary source materials. The department acquires, catalogs and preserves special collections of rare books and manuscripts chiefly documenting the history of San Antonio and South Central Texas, and additionally holds UTSA's University Archives.
The mission of the Archives and Special Collections Department is to support and enhance the University's instructional, research, and public service activities by providing access to information resources for learning and scholarship to University students, faculty, and staff.
Materials and services are available to UTSA faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as to the local, national and international community."
Out of the El Paso region comes "Chicano Literature Latino Literature - Pluma Fronteriza," a blog on the title's topic.
Self-described as: "Raza Literature from the Borderlands. Raza Literature from Cd. Juarez, Las Cruces, and El Paso. Chicano Writers. Chicana Writers. "Pluma Fronteriza" has become one of the most widley distributed publications in the history of Chicana(o) literature. Founded in 1999, PF showcases Chicano(a) and Latino(a) writers from the El Paso, TX/Cd. Juarez, Chih, Mex/Las Cruces, NM tri-state region. This region has created the largest geographic niche in the genre."
Some previous posts include
Recently the Texas Historical Commission began a blog "See the Sites." The postings' focus on particular historical sites, with some attention to current events at those. The narrative is supplmented with colorful photos. And there's a touch of experimentation with embedding video. Over a dozen postings so far.
See the Sites: telling the real stories at the real places of Texas: From western forts to Victorian mansions and pivotal battlegrounds, the Texas Historical Commission's 20 state historic sites exemplify a breadth of Texas history. Come explore the real stories at the real places.
See more at http://seethesites.blogspot.com/
TexDraft's Blog is architectural and Austin centric. And it also has a considerable historical building interest. The blog bears watching to see if it can maintain its historical theme over time. Good images.
It's self-description is "TexDraft, LLC is an architectural services company specializing in the measurement of existing structures. Francis Mougne founded the firm in 2006 and brings over 12 years of experience to every project. Our as-built drawings are of the highest quality with exceptional detail and accuracy. Delivered in a timely manner TexDraft will streamline all your projects. Our Clients include architects, engineers, building owners and home owners and we measure buildings of all shapes and sizes, residential, commercial or otherwise. Give us a call today or drop us an email."
Recent posts include
Angela Valenzuela (based at UT) founded the "Educational Equity, Politics & Policy in Texas" blogsite. It is self-described as "This blog on Texas education contains posts on accountability, testing, dropouts, bilingual education, immigration, school finance, race, class, and gender issues with additional focus at the national level. This blog reflects the work and contributions of both University of Texas Professor Angela Valenzuela and UT Education, Policy and Planning graduate student, Patricia Lopez." Some recent posts include
Read more at http://texasedequity.blogspot.com/
KENS Channel 5 television has a history blog of San Antonio - SA History. Chris Marrou is the reporter. Marrou files stories weekly at about 300 words in length with two or more graphics each. The images are from diverse repositories and services. The stories are often spurred by a story of modern times with a historical connection, eg.,.
http://www.beloblog.com/KENS5/sahistory/2009/03/comparing-today-to-the-depress.html but some are just good to re-live, like when Elvis came to town http://www.beloblog.com/KENS5/sahistory/2009/04/the-day-the-music-began.html
Thanks, Chris and Belo. More newspapers should capitalize on their information resources this way. http://www.beloblog.com/KENS5/sahistory/
San Antonio Public Library's Texas / Genealogy departmental Texana staff started a blog last February called "San Antonio Remembers." It combines at least 5 identifiable components: selected typical images (photos, posters, etc.), newspaper clippings, a "this day in San Antonio history," occasional interpretative essaylets of the material, and occasional gestures to San Antonio snippets on other webpages. It's a good combination. A particular bright point is their ability to insert photo slide shows as well as single photographs. The website is more dynamic and useful. I do suggest that they adopt a logo for easy visual remembrance. Maybe they'll be able to provide short lists of new SA books (librarians are like that). Congratulations!
This continuing sharing of SAPL's material is admirable. Instead of hiding behind procedures, policies, prices, and protocols, they've found an easy way of promoting the institution and increasing the public's awareness of this public commodity, enabling users to use the material in this fashion, to solicit public infomation about the collection, and demonstrate SAPL's genuine desire and ability to serve the public while maintaining the material's physical integrity. They also do a good job of tagging the entries.
Other Texana collections are advised to see SAPL's work for possible emulation.
Stephen F. Austin State University's successful TIDES program to assist teachers and students now has its own blog at http://tidessfasu.blogspot.com/ in addition to its regular site http://tides.sfasu.edu/
TIDES: Teaching, Images, & Digital Experiences
Its self-description : "Providing a free database of primary source documents, lesson plans for educators, and virtual expeditions while building community partnerships and preserving the history and culture of East Texas and beyond."
Austin is for Archivists self-describes itself as
"This blog is an attempt at a comprehensive, grassroots-level compendium of things to do in Austin while you are here for the 2009 Joint Meeting of the Society of American Archivists and the Council of State Achivists." "This blog and its contributors would like to thank the Ischool of the University of Texas at Austin for hosting this blog."
I'm wishing they would continue the blog past the convention and focus on Austin area archives - collections, news, events, practices, etc.
Read more at http://www.archives2009.org/
Last Sunday Judy Alter wrote in one of her occasional Dallas Morning News "Texas Letters" column about Will Howard, publisher of Will's Texana Monthy and host of the Texas Parlor etc. Her kindness and generosity are exposed. Thanks to Judy. Hmm, she surely knows how to put the carrot out in front of this bibliographer. Read more at
Keep up with Judy at http://judys-stew.blogspot.com/
"A Forest Woodlot" is provided by Jeff Clark up in Red River County. The blog's self-describes itself as
"My goals on the property are sustainable personal wood production while increasing wildlife habitat and biodiversity, managing the pond for wildlife and enjoyment, and creating accessibility for my disabled wife to enjoy nature. I have found that most forestry literature is for midwest and northern states, and Texas agencies are set up for the large property owners and corporations. I will be posting any information I find useful, reviewing forestry books, and documenting the work."
As a forest steward, Clark will be recording his progress using diverse sources with an eye toward shaping information, much techical but some more personal to his situation, useful to Texans. He's posted 12 book reviews so far.
A rather civilized approach to our tall, brown and green citizens.
The Official Blog of the Western Literature Association
The new (January 2009) blog of this long established association has few entries called up by a search for the word "Texas," but Texas western writers have long kept the association in their bearings. It's still new; give it a chance to grow.
Its self-description begins "The blog is associated with the Western Literature Association, and our intended goal with the WLA Blog is to provide a forum for accessible and readable commentary on and analysis of the literature, culture, and popular culture of the American West.
In keeping with the Western Literature Association's goals and purposes, the WLA Blog is interested in the study of the West in all its varied aspects, the frontier, the Trans-Mississippi United States, the frontier experiences of other nations (especially Canada and Mexico), and in the multiple forms (film, literature, music, etc.) through which the West has been represented.
We hope the WLA Blog will provide a lively forum for readers and writers interested in the American West."
Read more at http://westlit.wordpress.com/
Being Texican - Mexican life adapting to the great nation of Texas
Being Texican: Mexican Life Adapting to the Great Nation of Texas
Her self-description is "My name is Laura Garcia. I was born in Mexico City a 25th of July in 1987. I have lived almost all of my life in Monterrey Mexico and am currently studying at UT Austin for a year exchange program. I will be going back home in May. Since being here I have learnt to appreciate where I come from and cherish the valuable cultural heritage I was born into. I hope this exploration of my own culture and experiment of living in Texas can prove useful and entertaining to you =)"
Laura's blog is new. It offers her (and maybe us) the opportunity to watch her compare, contrast, and mix being Mexican and Texan. She studies journalism and media. She has posted, among other things, one book review, Mexican Enough by Stephanie Elizondo Griest.
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas begin their website with this information:
"Nestled in a quiet, green corner of the bustling modern capital of the State of Texas, the French Legation was originally built in 1840-41 to be the residence of the charge d' affaires who represented the government of France in the Republic of Texas.
The Legation became the home of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Robertson in 1848, remaining in their family until 1949, when it was acquired by the State of
The French Legation Museum Blog http://frenchlegation.wordpress.com/ was started in December 2008.
Henry Chappell, novelist, essayist, journalist, blogs under the title
Home Range: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances
About Me begins: "Henry Chappell was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1960 and grew up in central Kentucky in the small town of Campbellsville. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1982 and moved to the Dallas, Texas area where he worked as an electrical engineer in the defense industry. Weekends, he explored Texas through hunting, fishing, and birding trips.
In 1986, he read John Graves' Goodbye to a River and knew then and there that he wanted to write. Shortly thereafter, his articles, essays and short stories began to appear in various regional and national magazines. Over the past decade, he has written scores of articles for publications such as Orion, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Gray's Sporting Journal, Concho River Review, Texas Highways, GORP.com and Texas Parks & Wildlife."
His books include Blood Kin, The Callings, 6666: Portrait of a Texas Ranch, and At Home on the Range with a Texas Hunter
The blog "Houston Radio History: A salute to Houston broadcasters and broadcasting" is about to post its 100 posting on their topic.
Its quite admirably done. It's not just a collections of anecdotes out of chronological sequence. The side bar allows readers to select the period of their interest or even scoot into television history of the Bayou City. And the graphics are attractive.
The annotation for HRH given in "Texas Blog Notes" is
"A History of broadcasting in
You may wish to get Chris Varela's book "Kotton, Port, Rail Center: A History of Early Radio in Houston" reviewed at
Well, folks, here's a corral full of Texas romance writers - the TARF blog is dedicated to just that. The entries includes books BY Texas authors and some books of Texas romance are included. Most are not Texana by content. I haven't figured out whether they'll include Texas romance by non-Texans - probably not. But in the meantime, snuggle up, toss your hair, cut a glance, or whatever serves your fancy. Apparently, vampires may apply.
Sarah, blogger at http://northtexashistorycenter.blogspot.com/2009/02/news-from-history-center.html posts that Kate's go the the TSHA. Good going, Kate. Now let's watch Natalie, see if she can do the high wire act.
" My partner in crime and original author of the blog, Kate, has accepted a position at the Texas Historical State Association. My new partner's name is Natalie and she is a great addition to our crew."
The "Austin, Texas Daily Photo" occasionally has historic photos.
The Houston Chronicle blog "Texas on the Potomac Washington News with a Texas Accent" has a recurring feature on "Today in Texas History."
Lisa Waller Rogers has a blog. Very interesting, but little Texana. However, in her "About Lisa Waller Rogers" notes she shows her several books of Texana for young readers.
· The Great Storm: The Hurricane Diary of J.T. King, Galveston, 1900 (middle grade historical fiction, TTUP, 2002) won the 2002 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Juvenile Book and was a 2004-2005 Lamplighter Award Finalist. In acknowledgment, the Texas House of Representatives adopted House Resolution No. 995 stating that "Ms. Rogers has distinguished herself as one of the premier storytellers of our time."
· With the publication of Remember the Alamo: The Runaway Scrape Diary of Belle Wood (middle grade historical fiction, TTUP, 2003), "Lisa Waller Rogers has created a new children's classic of Texas literature," wrote Deborah Hardin in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (October 2004), the oldest continuously published scholarly journal in Texas.