Special Collections is pleased to announce that Texas Missions is now available online through the TCU Digital Repository. The Texas Christian Mission Board in Dallas published this “monthly magazine devoted to the interests of Texas Christian Missions” from 1904 to 1907, then quarterly until 1914. At the time, Texas Missions had the largest circulation of any publication produced by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. The newsletter provided regular updates on TCU and mentions many familiar names in TCU history. We are very excited to make these available to researchers and the TCU community.
Special Collections is pleased to announce that Commencement Programs dating from 1891 through 2015 are now available through the TCU Digital Repository. These programs are frequently requested by researchers and document where and when the ceremonies were held, the names of graduates and degrees awarded, honored speakers, and more.
Commencement ceremonies were held once a year until 1924. Beginning in 1925, two ceremonies were held, a Spring commencement in late May or early June, and a Summer commencement held in August. This tradition continued until 1990, when Spring and Winter commencements were held in May and December, respectively. During World War II the university shifted to a trimester program with shorter courses held in between. This allowed students in the V-5 and V-12 programs to fit more courses into their schedule, graduate earlier, and become commissioned officers. As a result, four graduation ceremonies were held each year in 1944 and 1945. After the war, regular semesters and graduations resumed.
Commencement exercises have been held in a variety of locations across the campus, including the former Administration Building (now Dave C. Reed Hall), campus lawns, Ed Landreth Auditorium, Amon Carter Stadium, and Daniel Meyer Coliseum. In recent years, commencement has been held at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
TCU has hosted many notable commencement speakers including the presidents of UT, Texas A&M, SMU, Baylor, Texas governors, congressmen, mayors, and journalists. In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave the commencement address.
We are excited to make this collection widely available to our researchers and the TCU community.
Allison Kirchner contributed to this article.
Through the generosity of the Friends of the TCU Library, the library has acquired a late 18th century, illustrated manuscript of Spanish adages and proverbs, Manuscript Iluminado: Décimas y Sentencias Morales. The book contains 96 décimas, ten-line poems popular in Spanish-speaking countries, illustrating the adages followed by a sentencia, or moral judgment. Each page contains one décima and sentencia and is headed by a folk art ink and watercolor drawing illustrating the proverb. The volume showcases the tradition of the décima, folklore, and culture of poetry in Mexico. The décima was a very popular poetic form among the common people and contests were often held for the composing or singing of the décimas. The poetic form was used to drive home secular or religious truths but could also be used to poke fun at those in authority. In addition to the décimas the volume contains an index followed by an alphabetical list of popular adages complied by Josef Antonio Rosales y Yepes.
Many thanks to the Friends for their continued generous support of the Library.
Special Collections has acquired a copy of the scarce first novel of the Scottish feminist writer, Lady Mary Walker (1736 – 1822): Letters from the Duchess de Crui and others, on Subjects moral and entertaining, wherein the Character of the female Sex, with their Rank, Importance, and Consequence, is stated, and their relative Duties in Life are enforced. The novel, published in 1776, was written, according to Lady Mary, “in her nursery, surrounded by her children” in order to support herself after her first husband, Dr James Walker, abandoned her and their four young children. Later in life she elaborated on her situation, saying, “Notoriety to women is destructive . . . but with a family of young children left on my hands, abandoned by their father, I was necessitated to hazard the effronterie of publication to clothe, feed, and educate them!”
Letters is a novel of ideas rather than plot, though the Duchess’s correspondence relates the story of the cautiously feminist Lady Filmer, whose own letters also appear. The Duchess’s primary correspondent, Mrs. Pierpont, is, like the author, separated but not divorced from her husband. There are many side stories, references to both modern and ancient literature, as well as historical anecdotes.
The novel was well received by the critics. The anonymous reviewer in The Critical Review, or, Annals of Literature by a Society of Gentlemen proclaimed that the “letters in general discover the author to have great knowledge of the world, and that her observations have been made with much discernment. She seems to have improved a natural acuteness of judgment both by reading and reflection. Considered as a female writer, (we beg pardon of the ladies for this distinction) her acquaintance with ancient authors is extraordinary, and the solidity of her remarks might do honour to those of the other sex. From the approbation which this production will probably receive from the public, we cannot but entertain a hope of being soon informed to whom we are indebted for a novel in which virtue and good sense are so conspicuously blended, and where entertainment is so enriched with just and useful observations on human life.” It is interesting to note that in the same issue of The Critical Review that reviewed Lady Mary’s novel, there also appeared reviews of the first volume of Charles Burney’s History of Music, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
The library’s copy is the five-volume first edition published anonymously in London in 1776. It is bound in contemporary quarter calf, red morocco with contemporary ownership inscriptions of Anne Brodie (Who was Anne Brodie?).
There were two additional editions: the second edition printed in London in 1777 and the third edition published in Dublin in 1779. Both editions claim to have been revised and both appear with Lady Mary Walker as author. There were also a German translation, published in 1776, and a French translation published in 1782.
More information about Lady Mary Walker and her work may be found at Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present (http://orlando.cambridge.org )