Who We Are
The Briscoe Center for American History’s archives, museums, and historic buildings document the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States. The center houses a vast collection of historical evidence, such as the most significant collection of Texas-related materials, one of the top three archives on the American South, unmatched holdings on news media history, and the official archive of The University of Texas.
The Briscoe Center’s collections support the teaching and research of American history. Students, faculty, and other visitors access the archives in the reading room, galleries and online to seek evidence to answer questions and deepen their knowledge of our nation.
What We’re Fundraising For
Digitization equipment to provide students and faculty with online access to collection material for class assignments, projects, papers, theses, dissertations, articles, books, and other projects from afar.
Director’s Initiative-Expand Digitization and Online Access
Traditionally, most researchers visit the reading room to explore the center’s collections. With necessary social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, the reading room is currently closed. It may be some time before onsite research operations can safely return to full capacity. The time is now to ensure that students and faculty do not fall behind in their work due to social distancing requirements. It is imperative that the center expand its capacity to meet the demand from remote researchers for digital versions of material as well as to scan, prep and upload even more of the archives to our online platform for access by researchers remotely during social distancing and afterwards.
Your gift will help students stay on track in their coursework by making more of the Briscoe Center’s archives available online. Help the center raise $50,000 to expand our digitization capacity with the purchase of two additional high-resolution, high output, face-up scanners to create digital surrogates of photographic and manuscript documents and searchable PDFs of print documents and selections from books. Every gift, in any amount, will help us reach this goal as soon as possible.
Without records, there is no history—only myth and legend. By collecting, preserving, and making historical material available for study we can ensure that what is said about American ideas, identities, origins, and values is rooted in evidence. Your support for the Briscoe Center during the 40 for Forty campaign ensures that students and scholars can access even more of the center’s historical resources.
During social distancing, and with your support, two additional bookeye scanners will be purchased and deployed to produce digital copies of material requested by students and faculty for class projects and research. These digital copies will be electronically delivered directly to the requesting researcher. The scanners will also be used to digitize even more collection material at high resolution and facilitate its preparation for uploading to the center’s online collections for anyone, anywhere to access.
Once the center reopens to in-person visits by researchers, one of these scanners will be placed in the reading room for patrons to access its self-serve, digitize-on-demand capabilities. The other scanner will continue to be used to support remote research requests, preparing material for our online platform, and for use in curated digital projects.
With the addition of two bookeye scanners, students, faculty and other researchers will be able to:
• Access more resources digitally from the safety of their home.
• Document their research in digital form.
• Create course materials with excerpts from many sources.
• Scan books, periodicals and printed documents and create searchable PDFs for research.
• Utilize digital reproductions to enhance presentation, online exhibits and reports.
Help us raise $50,000 to purchase digitization equipment to ensure the research collections remain accessible during this unprecedented period of social distancing.
“Briscoe Center Archivist, Hal Richardson photographing and creating digital images of quilts from the Briscoe Center quilt collection for use on the online collection repository.”