"Earth, Wind and Fire: Texas Energy Resources"

The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library partnered with The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum and The Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site to digitized historic materials pertaining to energy resources in Texas.  The goal of this joint venture is to provide access to a wide range of materials dealing with such energy topics as petroleum, wind, water, and other natural resources found in the State of Texas.  Materials digitized as part of this project include oral histories, photographs, maps, and manuscript materials.

This project was partially funded and supported by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission from 2009-2011 as part of the Train to Share program, which was funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant.  The digital files in the collections below are protected by copyright law. No commercial reproduction, repackaging or distribution of these files is permitted without the written permission of the copyright holders. Copyright information is included in the metadata record for each item.

Numerous historic materials from the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library's holding have been digitized for this project and are available for viewing here. Below is a listing of the materials available:

The Abilene, Texas, 1918 Oil Boom Days Photograph collection, dated 1918-1919, is comprised of 6 images of picnic for oil workers in Abilene, Texas.

The John D. Alexander Photograph collection, dated 1908-1978, contains 11 images of the Alexander family's experiences in the oil industry.

The Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center Photograph collection, dated 1908-1920, contains 6 images of artesian wells and oil wells near Artesia, New Mexico, including one of the world's largest artesian well, owned and operated by C. G. Ditto.

The Breckenridge, Texas, Photograph collection, dated 1898-1925, contains 41 images of oil derricks, a devastating petroleum fire  in the 1920s, and a panoramic view of the town from 1925.

The Brown County, Texas, Photograph collection, dated from 1880-1938 and 1956-1972, includes 8 images of a drilling rig, a pump, a water tank, a well, and group portraits from the Texas Power and Light Company's centennial celebration.

33 images from the Burkburnett, Texas, Photograph collection, dated from 1900-1936, consist of several panoramic views of the town as well as oil field and drilling images. The materials are available for viewing here.

The 2 images from the Cisco, Texas Photograph collection, dated 1918-1920, consist of images of an image of men with hitched horses and an oil derrick.

The Colliton Discovery Well Photograph collection, dated 1923-1925, is comprised of 1 negative and 5 prints. Containing images of oil and gas wells and equipment, the petroleum industry, and groups of individuals at the sites.

The Crosbyton Solar Power Project was a project between Texas Tech University and the city of Crosbyton, Texas, that was begun in 1974 to find an alternative energy source to slow rapidly rising local utility rates.

The 24 images from Desdemona, Texas Photograph collection, dated 1917-1966, consist of panoramic and street scenes of the town, drilling rigs and oil wells. The materials are available for viewing here.

The Electra, Texas Photograph collection, dated 1900-1930, contain images of early town life and the oil boom days (1909-1918). The materials are available for viewing here.

The Bennett Freeman Photograph collection, dated 1920, contain a "bird's-eye view" of the oil fields in Ranger, Texas. The materials are available for viewing here.

The John Kay Photograph collection, dated 1918, contains images of geologists in the oil and gas industry and their equipment. The materials are available for viewing here.

The Locating Board Collection contains proposal books and supplemental materials related to the establishment of Texas Technological College in 1923. 36 applicants vied for the new college and their proposals were basically a time capture of those cities and towns in the early 1920s. These books gave detailed information on resources such as transportation; water, land and other natural resources available; medical and education facilities; and demographics. The materials are available for viewing here.

  • Cities/towns represented in this collection include Abilene, Amarillo, Ballinger, Boerne, Brady, Buffalo Gap, Claude, Clyde, Coleman, Crosbyton, Knox City, Lampasas, Lubbock, Memphis, Midland, Miles, Munday, Post, Quanah, and Seymour.

The Thurber, Texas Photograph Collection, dated 1888-1998, is comprised of 274 negatives and 206 copy prints and postcards. The collection contains historic images of the people, buildings, industry and social life of Thurber, Texas, which was a coal mining town owned and operated by the Texas & Pacific Coal Company to provide fuel for the Texas & Pacific Railway Company, which had no affiliation to the coal company.  The materials are available for viewing here.  (22 of the images deal specifically with the coal and brick industry)

Below are numerous oral histories in the Southwest Collection's sound recording collection deal with Texas energy resources and concerns:

Digital Collections from our project partners

Historic photographs from the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum's collection are available for viewing here.

  • Digitized materials include the Lee Jones and Curtis Rogers Photographic Collections.

Historic materials from the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site's collection will be available for viewing here.

  • Oral histories will be digitized in the near future.

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For more information about the Southwest Collection's "Earth, Wind and Fire: Texas Energy Resources" materials, please contact the University Archivist or call (806) 742-3749.

Last updated 4/6/12

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