Challenges: The Restoration Movement in Texas film now available online

In 1986 Herald of Truth and Abilene Christian University collaborated on a video retelling 150 years of Restoration history in Texas.  It features R. L. Roberts, Bill Humble, Richard Hughes, Ethelyn Mitchall, John Stevens and William Teague and was filmed on location at historic sites across Texas.

The film is now available online for free streaming and download.

Challenges – The Restoration Movement in Texas from ACU Library on Vimeo.

Mixed Up in History, Part 1: Recipes from the Archives

We will participate in Preservation Week 2019 by hosting three preservation-themed webinars in the Special Collections and Archives reading room on the lower level of the ACU Brown Library from 1-2 pm on April 23, 25, and 26.

The one-hour webinars will focus on very practical strategies anyone can employ to preserve their family history.  At each webinar we will feature three different recipes from the archives, primarily drawing on the 1974 Women of ACC Cookbook. If you’re in Abilene please come join us, and if you can’t make it in person we’ll share links so you can watch the webinars online.  We will also share the recipes and some additional historical context about their authors. Below are the first three recipes we’re trying out– stay tuned for more!

Below are the recipes we’ll feature on Tuesday, April 23. Join us from 1-2 pm to learn about preserving your family history.

Fudge, Can't Miss
From the kitchen of Marie Wilmeth and Mrs. J. P. (Maxie) Sewell

Abilene Christian College. Prickly Pear, Yearbook of Abilene Christian College, 1948, yearbook, 1948, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.

Thank you to Librarian Shan Martinez for sharing her research on Dr. Wilmeth.

[Portrait of Mrs. Jesse P. Sewell], photograph, 198u, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.

Page 158, Women of ACC. 1974. Women of ACC cookbook: recipes from members, ex-students and friends, and ACC specialities. Abilene Tex: Abilene Christian College.

Cheezies 
From the kitchen of Mrs. Ernest (Opal) Walls

Opal Kathleen Sloan Walls contributed this recipe shortly after she and her husband, Ernest Walls, moved to Abilene in retirement to be near family and friends.

Abilene Christian College. Catalog of Abilene Christian College, 1938, book, February 1938; Abilene, Texas, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.

Opal (Sloan) Walls taught children’s literature and art methods at Abilene Christian College for several summers during the 1930s.

The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 78, No. 48, Ed. 1, Friday, March 30, 1990, newspaper, March 30, 1990; Abilene, Texas, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.

Mrs. Walls was active in the Abilene community, including serving as the vice president for publicity for the Friends of the ACU Library board for the 1990-1991 school year.

Page 7, Women of ACC. 1974. Women of ACC cookbook: recipes from members, ex-students and friends, and ACC specialities. Abilene Tex: Abilene Christian College.

Hot Cherry Punch
From the kitchen of Mrs. Lefty (Blanche) Walker

Blanche Walker was a member of Ko Jo Kai during her time at Abilene Christian College. She married Lefty Walker, pictured below.

Abilene Christian College. Prickly Pear, Yearbook of Abilene Christian College, 1932, yearbook, 1932; Abilene, Texas, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.


Page 18, Women of ACC. 1974. Women of ACC cookbook: recipes from members, ex-students and friends, and ACC specialities. Abilene Tex: Abilene Christian College.

Check back soon for more recipes and history!

Brava, Brava Signora

The opulent majesty of the Italian opera has come right to Abilene’s doorstep. Special Collections is proud to announce the acquisition of the Martha Helen Pender Papers. Now open to the public, researchers and fans alike may peruse the artifacts of Martha Pender’s adventures abroad as an operatic star amid the classical, venerated streets of Rome. They may also witness the heart and work Martha Pender put into operating the Abilene Opera Association (AOA).

Martha Helen Pender

Martha Helen Pender 1954

Born and raised in Abilene, Pender quickly spread her wings and chased her dreams all the way to Rome in 1949 to study voice under the tutelage of Fernando Calcatelli. She successfully made her operatic debut in 1954 as the leading soprano in “Cavalleria Rusticana,” alongside famous tenor, Beniamino Gigli. Received with emblazoned applause, Martha Pender spent the next 17 years traveling throughout Europe, performing in multiple operas with the Association of Lyric Artists. Pender, with the gypsy-soul of most artists, didn’t stay in one place for long and by the 1960s she had returned to her native-land of Texas. Back in Abilene, Martha Pender founded the AOA and served as its producer for many years. Among Pender’s many other illustrious accomplishments, she earned a Masters from the University of Texas in Austin and taught at various universities throughout the country.

Bequeathed to Special Collections are numerous programs, performance reviews, and fan mail from Pender’s days in Rome. Many pictures from Martha Pender’s career as an opera singer are also included in the collection. The collection is divided into two series. The first being Martha Pender’s personal papers and the second being materials related to the AOA. In this series one will find administrative files on the shows organized by the AOA and memorabilia from performances such as, pictures, programs, and posters.