Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rare Dallas Times Herald photos and thousands of Dallas documents now online

Some interesting things here.

The so-called "three tramps" (front to back: Harold Doyle, John Gedney and Gus Abrams who is hidden behind Gedney) being escorted to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office by Dallas Police officers Marvin Wise (front) and Billy Bass following the assassination( William Allen/Dallas Times Herald from the University of North Texas Libraries' Portal to Texas History/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza )

John Slate, the city of Dallas’ official archivist, says he doesn’t want to use “happy words” to describe how he feels about reaching the finish line of this particular project, now four years in the making. But it’s clear he’s … relieved, let’s say, to finally see all 11,406 pages worth of the Dallas Police Department’s investigative materials connected with the assassination of John Kennedy online, under one virtual roof, searchable and complete and in color for the first time.
“It’s overwhelming,” says Slate, who’s still recognizable as the conspiracy theorist haunting the old Austin Half Price Books in Richard Linklater’s Slacker. “I am very proud we’re able to do this. It’s a major leap forward for the municipal archives. It does no good sitting on shelves.”
The docs, which include everything from Kennedy’s original homicide report and autopsy to the paperwork related to the slayings of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit and Lee Harvey Oswald, are now searchable on the University of North Texas’s Portal to History. There, they they join 404 photos from the Municipal Archives that bowed there in 2009.
The digitization, which also includes items from the collection of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, wad funded with a $21,945 TexTreasures grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. And keep in mind: This has been a 21-year-long process, which began when Wang Laboratories first scanned the documents that were eventually posted to the city’s website in 2001. But back then docs weren’t in color, they weren’t complete, and they certainly weren’t searchable.
“It’s very … humbling? That’s not the right word for it,” Slate says. “I wish I could find a good word for it. But it’s humbling to look at the homicide report, as it’s plain as can be: ‘White male, 47, with the word ‘President of the United States’ in brackets.”
Joining the city’s documents are dozens of photos from the archives of the Dallas Times Herald, which have been in the collection of the Sixth Floor Museum. It’s an intriguing collection of stills, ranging from a photo of Kennedy’s casket being brought out of Parkland to shots of the “three tramps” being taken into custody to several shots of an empty downtown on the night of the assassination. (There are also several views of the late newspaper’s newsroom on November 22, 1963.) The Sixth Floor Museum has also contributed handwritten journals kept by three jurors during Jack Ruby’s trial in 1964, as well as a journal from the wife of one of the jurors.
“The eyes of the world will turn to Dallas during the commemoration of President Kennedy’s assassination, and people will be seeking information about the events that took place here 50 years ago,” says Dr. Martin Halbert, dean of the UNT Libraries, in a prepared statement. Slate adds the “main goal” is to make the archives available to student and scholars. But he also knows that locals will spend hours browsing the collection as well.
The original scanning, done in 1992, was “groundbreaking at the time,” says Slate. “But to have it all up now is breathtaking.”
The presidential motorcade turning from Harwood Street onto Main Street in downtown Dallas. Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, assigned to Jacqueline Kennedy, occasionally rode on the rear bumper of the president's car, as seen in this image, when the crowds grew heavy.Darryl Heikes/Dallas Times Herald from the University of North Texas Libraries' Portal to Texas History/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza 

No comments:

Post a Comment