The Architecture Retail Catalog Collection features catalogs and other marketing material for products intrinsic to the built environment. It is comprised of a diverse array of historic retail brochures, pamphlets, catalogs and even product samples from the William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library’s Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room. The collection spans more than 100 years, from advertising for the Rogers Fence Company printed in 1880, to Herman Miller's Action Office System catalog, which features corporate furniture for the business environment of 1985.
This collection consists of images taken from an early 20th century promotional pamphlet encouraging Americans to visit Havana, Cuba. The color illustrations depict palaces, beaches, parks, boulevards, harbors, and other tourist attractions. All 23 pages of the booklet are represented, including the colorful front and back covers.
Titled Havana, Cuba: The Summer Land of the World, the booklet itself was published sometime in the years 1921-1939, capturing the allure of the island in the pre-Cuban Revolution era. The introduction page extols the many activities that might entice American travelers to visit Havana – especially to escape the “icy gales” of winter – such as sailing, sun bathing, deep sea fishing, golf, tennis, polo, and dancing. While trumpeting the city as a top tourist destination, the introduction also adds historical and contextual information about Havana’s harbor, architecture, commerce, and culture. Americans are assured that passports are not required and that their “personal liberty is unrestricted.” A full transcription of the page is provided beneath the image.
Highlights of the collection include colorful images of the Country Club of Havana, the Presidential Palace, City Hall, La Fuerza Fortress, the Senate Building, and the Malecon, a broad avenue and esplanade curving along the coast. Other images showcase parks, monuments, a tobacco field, and views of the water as both background scenery and a center of recreation and transportation. Titles of the images are taken directly from the booklet.
The Houston Chamber of Commerce and other business entities presented the city of Houston as a center of growth, industry, opportunity, and scenic beauty in the early 20th century, and this digital collection includes several publications detailing these efforts. Complete with the covers and every page of each item, the collection comprises eight individual books and one that spans 12 volumes.
The collection’s titular item, Houston: The Magnolia City, is a 13-page pamphlet published in 1912 that features illustrations of prominent downtown buildings. The 12-volume set titled Art Work of Houston, Texas was intended to provide a pictorial, artistic perspective of the city. Published in 1904, the set contains photographs, illustrations, and textual descriptions of the neighborhoods, residences, and buildings that made up the city of Houston at the time.
Dating from 1891, Souvenir Album of Houston Texas is the oldest book in the collection, and it features more than two dozen black and white illustrations of pre-1900 buildings, including City Hall, the Opera House, the Cotton Exchange, hotels, churches, and private residences. Houston: Where Seventeen Railroads Meet the Sea, published in 1923, was one of the earliest books to contain color photographs of the area.
The longest book in the collection at 101 pages, The City of Houston aims to attract new residents and capital investors by stating a vigorous case for Houston as a bustling center of commerce; the author describes Houston as not only “the Chicago of the Southwest,” but also as “the foremost city of the grandest state of the greatest country on the face of the globe.”
Other titles in the collection include Greater Houston, Texas and the Southwest, Industrial Advantages of Houston, Niels Esperson Building, and The Gulf Building: Thirty-five Floors, One Thousand Offices.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections.
The 1977 National Women’s Conference, held in Houston November 18-21, was the first conference of its kind since the Seneca Falls Convention of New York in 1848. Dubbed Seneca Falls South, over 2,000 delegates representing 50 states and 6 territories as well as over 20,000 other participants gathered in Houston during this historic event in November. The conference was supported by $5 million in federal funding and charged under federal law to assess the status of women across the U.S. and identify barriers that prevented women from full participation in national life.
Leading up to the National Conference, a team of relay runners carried a torch to Houston from Seneca Falls, New York. This was a symbolic gesture of honoring the site of the first U.S. women’s rights convention in 1848 and the passing of the torch to Houston to carry on the work.
During that historic weekend, the Conference’s goal was to create a national plan of action for gender equality. As a result of discussions during the pre-conferences, 26 issues or planks were created for consideration at the Conference, including abortion, lesbian rights, minority rights, education, healthcare, rape, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
At the conclusion of the conference, the assembly of delegates submitted their recommendations and a report to the President and Congress on means by which barriers to women’s equality could be removed. Although, the Equal Rights Amendment ultimately failed to pass in 1982, the conference’s legacy resulted in increased political activism and membership by women across the spectrum, and expanded the dialogue of women regarding reproductive rights and sexual identity that persists to this day.
This digital collection contains approximately 150 items documenting the planning and activities leading up to, during, and after the 1977 National Women’s Conference and includes brochures, flyers, newsletters, invitations, correspondence, and publications. Materials in the collection date from 1974-1982, with the bulk of the collection dated 1977.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections in the Marjorie Randal National Women’s Conference Collection.
This digital collection includes 109 socialist, communist, and anarchist pamphlets from a larger collection of radical political pamphlets held by the UH Libraries. The pamphlets date from 1872 through the 1940s, including the period leading up to and during the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Most of the pamphlets in this part of the collection are American or British, created primarily in the urban hubs of New York and London. Their publishers include the British Socialist Party, Charles H. Kerr & Company, the Socialist Publication Society, and many other outlets for radical thought. Well known authors are Nikolaĭ Bukharin, Friedrich Engels, Peter Kropotkin, Vladimir Lenin, and Leo Tolstoy.