The UH Libraries’ Architectural Retail Catalog Collection is comprised of a diverse array of historic retail brochures, pamphlets and catalogs from the William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library’s Rare Books Room. The collection spans 45 years, from a Jap-A-Lac Varnish pamphlet published by Glidden in 1890, to a 1935 Homestead Fires catalog of “truly appropriate fireplace heaters.” In addition to these, the collection also features various other paint and varnish pamphlets as well as brochures from companies dealing in plumbing fixtures, fireplace heaters, lace curtains, cedar shingles, furniture and more. Beyond product illustration, the images herein capture descriptive text, specifications and price lists. The collection includes: Jap-A-Lac, The Home Beautifier (1890), A.W. Faber's Price-List of Superior Lead and Colored Pencils: Writing and Copying Inks, Slate Manufactures, Rulers, Penholders and Erasive Rubber (1897), three volumes from Red Cedar Shingles (1910-1912), How to Paint, from Sears, Roebuck & Co. (unknown), Slumber Davenports (1911), Sectional Come-Pakt Furniture (1912), Modern Plumbing #10 from J. L. Mott Iron Works (1921), Scranton Laces’ New Outlooks for Every Home (1923), Peerless Built-In Furniture (1926), Architectural Varnish List from C. Schrack & Co. (ca1930) and Homestead Fires “Truly Appropriate Fireplace Heaters” (1935).
Enter the world of Carlos “DJ Styles” Garza, who has in turn been a high school b-boy and aspiring graffiti artist, an up and coming club DJ, producer for the highly creative hip hop artists Odd Squad and Devin the Dude, and an independent producer and audio engineer. This digital collection contains approximately 50 artworks, sketches, fliers, and promotional items from the eighties to the 2000s, related to Garza’s life in hip hop.
Carlos Garza was born in Reynosa, Mexico in 1968, and settled in Houston with his family in the 1970s. As a teenager in Bellaire, he fell in love with hip hop through the music of the original pioneers, and films like Wild Style. In the mid-1980s Carlos began break dancing under the name DJ Pace Master. He and a few friends formed the Dynamic Crew, a break dancing group which performed at parties and participated in contests. They and other friends also sketched hip hop style artwork and practiced making potential graffiti tags. After a year of break dancing, Garza decided to switch to DJing and began performing at house parties and school events under the name DJ Styles.
Garza got a job at Soundwaves Records on South Main in 1987, where he worked until 1992 as the store’s buyer for hip hop (at a time when many music stores in Houston were not stocking hip hop). During that period, he launched the career of the legendary producer DJ Premier by recommending his friend to a New York label owner who was looking for a member to join the group Gang Starr.
In the early 1990s, Garza began working with the group Odd Squad (Rob Quest, Devin, and Jugg Mugg) as a producer, contributing to their classic Rap-A-Lot album Fadanuf Fa Erybody. He has also done production for Devin the Dude and the Coughee Brothaz, and these artists are represented in the digital collection.
This collection includes photographs, handwritten rap lyrics and song lists for “screw tapes,” and flyers related to the late DJ Screw and his rap collective the Screwed Up Click. These materials document how DJ Screw developed the production technique known as “chopped and screwed,” which is closely associated with Houston hip hop. The collection also includes obituaries (memorial service programs) for DJ Screw.
DJ Screw was born Robert Earl Davis, Jr. in 1971. As a teenager on the South side of Houston, he began DJ-ing and making mixtapes of his favorite rap songs for friends. By the early nineties, he had begun slowing down the music on his tapes to a hypnotic crawl and emphasizing certain words and phrases by repeating them manually. Screw sold these “chopped and screwed” mixtapes directly to eager fans.
Friends and local rappers began ordering personal tapes from Screw, and he invited the rappers to freestyle, or improvise, over beats at the beginning and end of the tapes. Over time, the rappers themselves developed followings and many released successful independent solo albums. Prominent members of the Screwed Up Click included the Botany Boys, Fat Pat, HAWK, Lil’ Keke, E.S.G., Big Pokey, Big Moe, Lil’ O, Al-D, Yungstar, and Lil’ Flip.
It is estimated that DJ Screw sold hundreds of thousands of mixtapes throughout Houston and the South. He also released four studio albums on Bigtyme Recordz: All Screwed Up, 3 'N The Mornin' (Part One), 3 'N The Mornin' (Part Two), and I Wanna Get High with Da Blanksta. As a member of Dead End Alliance (D.E.A.) with Fat Pat, HAWK and Kay-K, he appeared on the album “Screwed for Life.” In 1998, he opened Screwed Up Records and Tapes, a shop that sold only his mixtapes.
On November 16, 2000, DJ Screw was found dead in his recording studio at the age of 29, his death ruled an overdose of codeine and other drugs. His legacy continues to be honored by Houston rappers and fans from around the world.
These materials were part of a larger exhibition, DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop, on view at the M.D. Anderson Library from March 19 through September 21, 2012.
This digital collection provides insight into Houston’s music history, particularly into the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, and soul. Publicity photographs from the Duke and Peacock record labels depict artists, musical groups, and performances, while master books from Houston’s Audio Company of America document recordings that took place at ACA Studios. In all, the collection contains 90 photographs and 4 master books.
Most of the publicity photographs feature artists on the Duke and/or Peacock labels, both of which were owned by Don Robey, a Houston nightclub owner and businessman. These photographs date from the 1950s and 1960s, and feature artists including Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and many others. Most are headshots or posed group photos, but several capture artists as they perform. A small number of photographs contain handwritten inscriptions by the artist.
The master books contain handwritten logs of recordings cut at the Audio Company of America Studios, with entries that often include songs titles, artists, record labels, and dates. Many Duke and Peacock artists recorded at ACA Studios, and this is reflected in the master books. Three of the books contain entries from the 1950s only, while the fourth begins in the 1950s and continues all the way up through the 1990s.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries Special Collections in the Texas Music Collection.
The Emilio R. Ypiñia Journals is a manuscript collection consisting of 5 distinct journals authored by Emilio R. Ypiñia (1905-1936). A self-educated Mexican national born in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico, Ypiñia immigrated to Houston, Texas, following the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Each volume contains approximately 100 pages and 10-20 poems, essays, and journal entries authored throughout the 1930s, the bulk in 1933.
There are approximately 50 distinct poems and sections of prose in the collection, as well as variations of certain works. Each “Scholastic” bound volume reveals Ypiñia’s observations of the world around him and his reflections on society, spirituality, international relations, and world history. A few of the specific topics mentioned include: masculinity, Asian philosopher Confucius, and the inequalities present in his local Houston neighborhood, Magnolia Park.
This digital collection provides a glimpse into the world of science fiction and fantasy conventions during the 1970s and 1980s. It features programs, pamphlets, newsletters, flyers, and other documents collected by writer Fritz Leiber as he attended science fiction and fantasy conventions across the United States and internationally. Leiber often actively participated in these conventions, as a planner, speaker, or presenter. In all, the collection contains over 200 items.
Items of particular note include programs from the Third Annual Nebula Awards containing signatures from several prominent science fiction and fantasy writers, including Ursula K. LeGuin, Poul Anderson, and Robert Heinlein.
Fritz Leiber, Jr. (December 24, 1910 – September 5, 1992) was an American fantasy, science fiction, and horror writer, and is considered a father of the sword and sorcery genre of fantasy literature. Leiber’s two most famous characters, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, appear in more than 30 of his sword and sorcery fantasy stories, written over a 50 year span. Over the course of his career Leiber won many awards, including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1976, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2001.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries Special Collections in the Fritz Leiber Papers.
This collection provides a window into the life of the late Houston rapper HAWK, a member of DJ Screw’s rap collective the Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.). Publicity photographs depict the style of HAWK and fellow rappers Fat Pat (his brother) and Big Moe, while snapshots capture HAWK, Lil’ Keke, Trae and other S.U.C. members performing or hanging out. Of special note is a handwritten notebook of HAWK’s lyrics in gold on black paper.
HAWK, also known as H.A.W.K. or Big Hawk, was born John Edward Hawkins in Houston on November 15, 1969. In the early nineties he began working with DJ Screw, an underground mixtape DJ who was developing a new style called “chopped and screwed.” Like many others, including his brother before him, HAWK ordered personal mixtapes on which he would rap. Through the popularity of these mixtapes, HAWK became locally famous. In 1998, HAWK, Fat Pat, DJ Screw, and Kay-K formed a group called Dead End Alliance (D.E.A.) and released the album Screwed for Life on Dead End Records.
HAWK released his first solo album, Under H.A.W.K.’s Wings, on Dead End Records in 2000. In 2002, he released his second album, HAWK, on Game Face Entertainment.
On April 9, 2006, HAWK married his longtime girlfriend, Meshah (Henderson) Hawkins. Shortly thereafter, in May 2006, HAWK was shot and killed. His murder remains unsolved. Another album, Endangered Species, was released posthumously on Ghetto Dreams Entertainment in 2007.
HAWK was especially respected as a writer of lyrics. In the pages of his notebook, he worked out the sixteen bars that make up a typical rap verse. Some pages of the notebook show sets of rhyming words that he was considering for a verse. Others capture the activities of HAWK’s everyday life, from phone numbers to scores for dominoes games.
The collection also includes obituaries (memorial service programs) for HAWK and his brother Fat Pat, and photographs of Fat Pat’s burial.
Some of these materials were part of the exhibition, DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop, on view at the M.D. Anderson Library from March 19 through September 21, 2012.
The Gerald D. Hines School of Architecture Posters feature striking graphic designs advertising course offerings as well as lectures and other events. The School of Architecture had a screen printing press in the 1970s, and many of these posters were produced by students, faculty, and staff in-house. They come in a variety of sizes, some as small as legal paper size, while others are much larger. Although many of the posters are undated, the bulk of the posters are from the 1970s. There are more than 80 posters in the collection.
Architecture first appeared at the University of Houston in the 1945-46 school year. At that time, it was a two-year program offered through the College of Technology. Beginning in 1946, both architecture and architectural engineering were offered within the College of Engineering. While the study of architecture remained within the College of Engineering through the 1956 school year, a “new plan” for architectural training incorporating elements of design, construction, aesthetics, and graphics was initiated in 1950. Eventually the program was moved to the School of Architecture in 1956, and in the fall of 1961 it became the College of Architecture.
Significant to the architectural history of Houston was the work of architect Kenneth Franzheim (1890–1959). The Kenneth Franzheim Collection is comprised of photographs and architectural drawings and models of Franzheim’s work. In addition to Houston landmarks such as the Foley’s Building and the Gulf Building, the collection surveys a broad range of works; included are corporate offices, high-rise apartments, theaters, private residences, airport facilities and others. Beyond Houston, the works contained herein were built and/or proposed for a variety of locales within and outside Texas. Represented are Franzheim’s contributions to the architectural landscapes of New York, Boston, Chicago and elsewhere. The collection’s images comprise the collected works of Franzheim as they appear in three self-published volumes: Kenneth Franzheim, Architect, New York City (1940), Drawings and Models of Some of the Recent Work of Kenneth Franzheim, Architect, Together with Sketches of a Few Proposed Buildings (1952ca) and Drawings and Models of Some of the Recent Work of Kenneth Franzheim, Architect, Together with Sketches of a Few Proposed Buildings (1960).
The Medieval Manuscript Leaves and Fragments collection contains individual leaves and partial fragments from handwritten books which date from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The original books were all created in Western Europe. They were intended for religious study or liturgical use, and all but one were written during the Middle Ages. Although the original books are no longer complete, these leaves and fragments still convey the rich history and artistry of the Middle Ages.
The collection includes four leaves from 13th century Bibles, one from Cambridge and three most likely from Paris. The most ornate leaf in the digital collection is a hymnal page from a 14th century book (probably a psalter) which bears historiated initials, one featuring a youth carrying the True Cross and the other featuring John the Baptist with his symbolic lamb. The collection contains several other psalters and breviaries, including a “pseudo-Gregory” incorrectly attributed to Pope Gregory the Great. Written music is represented in this collection by two simple antiphonary leaves, one from the 15th century and one from the 16th century.
From the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room at the University of Houston’s William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library comes Moderner Volkskunst Zierat (Modern Folk Art Ornaments). This undated German volume features 18 vivid color plates. Designed for use as templates in the decoration of household items (furniture, ceramic ware, and the like), these bold, ornamental motifs offer a unique glimpse of the vernacular aesthetic found in early twentieth-century German home décor.
Stylishly dressed rappers, diamond encrusted jewelry, piles of cash, and champagne bottles epitomized the bling aesthetic associated with many 1990s hip hop artists. During this time, Houston-based firm Pen & Pixel Graphics, Inc. began using these visual elements to create album covers that portrayed the high life. This collection comprises 91 images related to the firm, including digital files of album cover artwork, a catalog, and photographs of offices and staff.
Pen & Pixel was innovative in its use of early Adobe Photoshop; their designers used as many as 200 layers to build up a single images. The company typically photographed a client in the studio, then used Photoshop to surround the portrait with a collage of cars, models, and luxury items. Pen & Pixel also developed highly stylized title lettering that suggested diamonds or precious metals.
Pen & Pixel Graphics, Inc. was founded in September 1992 by brothers Shawn and Aaron Brauch. The Brauch brothers got their start by working for Houston’s Rap-A-Lot Records before recognizing that demand for their graphic design work was high enough to enable them to start their own company. Shawn became the firm’s creative director and vice president, and Aaron served as its general manager. They worked primarily with rap musicians, including renowned artists such as Lil Wayne and Master P and record labels Cash Money Records and No Limit Records.
In addition to album covers, Pen & Pixel produced artwork for posters, logos, and videos. The firm closed in the early 2000s.
SEM (1863–1934), né Georges Goursat, was a French illustrator and caricaturist who rose to fame during the Belle Époque. The Digital Library’s SEM Collection is comprised of four volumes from the UH Architecture and Art Library’s Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room. Le Vrai & le Faux Chic (1914), White Bottoms (ca. 1920), the self-titled SEM (ca. 1920) and Le Nouveau Monde (1925) affectionately and mercilessly document the Parisian high society of a bygone era, and showcase the wild and whimsical work of SEM.
This digital collection presents examples of notable works housed in the University of Houston’s Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room. The room contains approximately 1000 rare or unique books, journals, and pamphlets on fine art and design. Highlights of the collection include portfolios of building types, architectural product catalogs, and first editions of some of the 20th century’s greatest books on art and architecture. The books in the collection date from the mid-16th century to artists’ books published in the 21st century. The Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room is located within the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library on the first floor of the College of Architecture.
This binder’s collection of sheet music contains twenty-seven duets bound in two separate volumes, the first for flute and the second for violin. The first thirteen compositions were written for flute and violin, and although undated, they were most likely published in the first two decades of the 19th century. The remaining fourteen pieces consist of operatic transcriptions arranged by Charles de Bériot (1802-1870).
Composers of the first thirteen compositions include Friedrich Ludwig Dulon (1769-1826), François Devienne (1759-1803), Jérôme Duval (fl. 1810-1830), J. Martin (no dates found), Franz Alexander Pössinger (1767-1827), Alessandro Rolla (1757-1841), F. de Salin (no dates found), Heinrich Simrock (1754-1839), Louis Vogel (fl. 1781-1798), and Eugène Walckiers (1793-1866). Among these composers (excepting Duval and de Salin, for whom no biographical information has been found), four were flautists: Louis Vogel, Friedrich Ludwig Dulon, Eugène Walckiers, and François Devienne, who is perhaps the best known.
The Bériot arrangements feature six selections from the operas of Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), two from the operas of Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), one from Don Juan by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), three from the operas of Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), and two from the operas of Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), as well as one composition by Charles de Bériot himself. A violinist by training, Bériot enjoyed a successful solo career and later, in his 40s, accepted an appointment as head of the violin faculty at the Brussels Conservatory. Failing eyesight forced his retirement by age 55, though he continued to be active as a composer for the remainder of his life.
Binder’s collections of sheet music were common in the 19th and early 20th centuries, providing the means to social entertainment in homes and other informal settings beyond concert venues. While often unorganized, some collections are ordered according to genre, instrumentation, composer or chronology.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections.
Beginning in 2008, the University of Houston Libraries hosted an annual juried exhibit of student artwork, open to all students of all classifications and majors. A jury of professionals from the Houston arts community as well as UH School of Art faculty members selected work which was mounted each spring semester at the M.D. Anderson Library. After spring 2014, based on the positive response of student artists and audiences, this annual exhibition was discontinued in favor of a year-round rotation of student work. The location was also moved to a more complementary location in the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library. This digital collection contains all student artwork exhibited in UH Libraries since 2010.