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Vann Victorian Collection: An Exhibit at UNT Libraries Special Collections

Vann Victorian Collection: An Exhibit at UNT Libraries Special Collections

Date: 2014
Creator: Vann, J. Don (Jerry Don), 1938-
Description: The Vann Victorian Collection is a treasure of the University of North Texas Libraries and an exceptional resource for the study of Victorian literature. This exhibit showcases some pieces from the collection, including rare first editions, part-issue editions, and association copies. Dr. J. Don Vann, Professor Emeritus at UNT, curated this exhibit. Don and Dolores Vann began collecting Victorian books in 1962, when they acquired a first edition of Dickens’s Bleak House. They spent the summer of 1965 in London, conducting research in the British Library and buying first editions of works by Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray. During their subsequent trips to London, the Vanns came to know many of the city’s booksellers and were offered first editions they kept hidden from all but their most favorite customers. In 2004 Don and Dolores established the Vann Victorian Endowment to provide a permanent fund to purchase Victorian books for the Vann Victorian Collection in Special Collections at the University of North Texas Libraries. Since 2004 the Vanns have made additional contributions to the collection, most recently in 2014.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012

The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Getschow, George
Description: This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2012 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Original Guitar Hero and the Power of Music: the Legendary Lonnie Johnson, Music, and Civil Rights

The Original Guitar Hero and the Power of Music: the Legendary Lonnie Johnson, Music, and Civil Rights

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Date: April 2014
Creator: Alger, Dean
Description: Lonnie Johnson (1894–1970) was a virtuoso guitarist who influenced generations of musicians from Django Reinhardt to Eric Clapton to Bill Wyman and especially B. B. King. Born in New Orleans, he began playing violin and guitar in his father’s band at an early age. When most of his family was wiped out by the 1918 flu epidemic, he and his surviving brother moved to St. Louis, where he won a blues contest that included a recording contract. His career was launched. Johnson can be heard on many Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong records, including the latter’s famous “Savoy Blues” with the Hot Five. He is perhaps best known for his 12-string guitar solos and his ground-breaking recordings with the white guitarist Eddie Lang in the late 1920s. After World War II he began playing rhythm and blues and continued to record and tour until his death. This is the first full-length work on Johnson. Dean Alger answers many biographical mysteries, including how many members of Johnson’s large family were left after the epidemic. He also places Johnson and his musical contemporaries in the context of American race relations and argues for the importance of music in the fight for civil ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
In the Governor’s Shadow: the True Story of Ma and Pa Ferguson

In the Governor’s Shadow: the True Story of Ma and Pa Ferguson

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Date: 2014
Creator: Wilson, Carol O’Keefe
Description: In 1915 Governor James Ferguson began his term in Texas bolstered by a wave of voter enthusiasm and legislative cooperation so great that few Texans anticipated anything short of a successful administration. His campaign was based on two key elements: his appeal to the rural constituency and a temporary hiatus from the effects of the continuous Prohibition debate. In reality, Jim Ferguson had shrewdly sold a well-crafted image of himself to Texas voters, carrying into office a bevy of closely guarded secrets about his personal finances, his business acumen, and his relationship with Texas brewers. Those secrets, once unraveled, ultimately led to charges brought against Governor Ferguson via impeachment. Refusing to acknowledge the judgment against him, Ferguson launched a crusade for regained power and vindication. In 1925 he reclaimed a level of political influence and doubled the Ferguson presence in Austin when he assisted his wife, Miriam, in a successful bid for the governorship. That bid had been based largely on a plea for exoneration but soon degenerated into a scandal-plagued administration. In the Governor’s Shadow unravels this complex tale, exposing the shocking depth of the Fergusons’ misconduct. Often using the Fergusons’ own words, Carol O’Keefe Wilson weaves together the ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Small Town America in World War II: War Stories From Wrightsville, Pennsylvania

Small Town America in World War II: War Stories From Wrightsville, Pennsylvania

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Date: April 2014
Creator: Marcello, Ronald E.
Description: Historians acknowledge that World War II touched every man, woman, and child in the United States. In Small Town America in World War II, Ronald E. Marcello uses oral history interviews with civilians and veterans to explore how the citizens of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, responded to the war effort. Interviews with citizens and veterans are organized in sections on the home front; the North African-Italian, European, and Pacific theatres; stateside military service; and occupation in Germany. Throughout Marcello provides introductions and contextual narrative on World War II as well as annotations for events and military terms. Overseas the citizens of Wrightsville turned into soldiers. A veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Edward Reisinger, remembered, “Replacements had little chance of surviving. They were sent to the front one day, and the next day they were coming back with mattress covers over them.” Tanker Mervin Haugh recalls, “The next thing we knew, the German tanks attacked us. They knocked out five of our tanks quickly, and they all burned up in flames.”
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places

Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Olstad, Tyra A.
Description: Although spare, sweeping landscapes may appear “empty,” plains and prairies afford a rich, unique aesthetic experience—one of quiet sunrises and dramatic storms, hidden treasures and abundant wildlife, infinite horizons and omnipresent wind, all worthy of contemplation and celebration. In this series of narratives, photographs, and hand-drawn maps, Tyra Olstad blends scholarly research with first-hand observation to explore topics such as wildness and wilderness, travel and tourism, preservation and conservation, expectations and acceptance, and even dreams and reality in the context of parks, prairies, and wild, open places. In so doing, she invites readers to reconsider the meaning of “emptiness” and ask larger, deeper questions such as: how do people experience the world? How do we shape places and how do places shape us? Above all, what does it mean to experience that exhilarating effect known as Zen of the plains?
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Horrell Wars: Feuding in Texas and New Mexico

The Horrell Wars: Feuding in Texas and New Mexico

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Date: June 2014
Creator: Johnson, David
Description: For decades the Horrell brothers of Lampasas, Texas, have been portrayed as ruthless killers and outlaws, but author David Johnson paints a different picture of these controversial men. The Horrells were ranchers, but some thought that they built their herds by rustling. Their initial confrontation with the State Police at Lampasas in 1873 marked the most disastrous shootout in Reconstruction history. The brothers and loyal friends then fled to New Mexico, where they became entangled in what would later evolve into the violent Lincoln County War. The brothers returned to Texas, where in time they became involved in the Horrell-Higgins War. The family was nearly wiped out following the feud when two of the brothers were killed by a mob. Only one member of the family, Sam, Jr., lived to old age and died of natural causes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Captain W.W. Withenbury's 1838-1842 Red River Reminiscences

Captain W.W. Withenbury's 1838-1842 Red River Reminiscences

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Date: April 2014
Creator: Bagur, Jacques D.
Description: A selection of letters written to the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper from 1870-1871 about steamboat travel on the Red River in 1838-1841. W. W. Withenbury was a famous river boat captain during the mid-1800s. In retirement, he wrote a series of letters for the Cincinnati Commercial, under the title "Red River Reminiscences." Jacques Bagur has selected and annotated 39 letters describing three steamboat voyages on the upper Red River from 1838 to 1842. Withenbury was a master of character and incident, and his profiles of persons, including three signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, reflect years of acquaintance. The beauty of his writing ranks this among the best of the reminiscences that were written as the steamboat era was declining. “Bagur is an expert on the Red River in the nineteenth century, and it shows in this work. Informative and entertaining.” —Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, author of Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State “This will rank as a great assistance to researchers if anyone wants to attack history of the Red River again. Some of his in-depth research was fabulous.”—Skipper Steely, author of Red River Pioneers
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
D-day in History and Memory: the Normandy Landings in International Remembrance and Commemoration

D-day in History and Memory: the Normandy Landings in International Remembrance and Commemoration

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Date: April 2014
Creator: Dolski, Michael R.; Edwards, Sam & Buckley, John
Description: Over the past sixty-five years, the Allied invasion of Northwestern France in June 1944, known as D-Day, has come to stand as something more than a major battle. The assault itself formed a vital component of Allied victory in the Second World War. D-Day developed into a sign and symbol; as a word it carries with it a series of ideas and associations that have come to symbolize different things to different people and nations. As such, the commemorative activities linked to the battle offer a window for viewing the various belligerents in their postwar years. This book examines the commonalities and differences in national collective memories of D-Day. Chapters cover the main forces on the day of battle, including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, France and Germany. In addition, a chapter on Russian memory of the invasion explores other views of the battle. The overall thrust of the book shows that memories of the past vary over time, link to present-day needs, and also still have a clear national and cultural specificity. These memories arise in a multitude of locations such as film, books, monuments, anniversary celebrations, and news media representations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
In the Permanent Collection: Poems

In the Permanent Collection: Poems

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Date: 2014
Creator: Wortman, Stefanie
Description: Trying to make sense of a disordered world, Stefanie Wortman's debut collection examines works of art as varied as casts of antique sculpture, 19th-century novels, and even scenes from reality television to investigate the versions of order that they offer. These deft poems yield moments of surprising levity even as they mount a sharp critique of human folly.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
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