Monday, July 18, 2016

Adventures in the Archives: Dean Davis' brand and his legacy

Adventures in the Archives continues... 

Photo of Dean Davis in Cross Timbers Historical Images Project
Recently, the Collections Archivist, Gary Spurr, discovered the personal brand of Dean J. Thomas Davis in a volume of the Erath County Record of Marks and Brands 1893 - 1943 (ERA 121). J. Thomas Davis became the dean of John Tarleton Agriculture College (JTAC) in 1919. For twenty-six years, he "guided the school through a period of unprecedented growth, prosperity, and prestige" (Chamberlin).  

Davis knew the importance of involving the community in the affairs of the college and therefore provided ways for the college to assist local farmers, as agriculture was the primary venture of the college at the time. An example of this partnership with the community was a new policy inviting community livestock owners to utilize the services of Tarleton’s veterinarian. This arrangement provided the community with convenient veterinary assistance and gave Tarleton Agricultural students usable and valuable first-hand experience. 

It is not known if Dean Davis kept his livestock out at Tarleton's farm, but it would make sense for him to set an example for his students and the community by utilizing some of the agriculture initiatives he himself established (like the one mentioned above).

Scan of Marks and Brands record depicting the brand of J. Thomas Davis
Davis helped John Tarleton Agriculture College expand over his twenty-six years; not only with educational programs, but also with buildings. He added an Administration building (currently the E.J. Howell Education building), the Wisdom Gym, an Auditorium, a Science building, the Smokestack, the first Dining Hall (now the green space next to the O. A. Grant Building), Davis Hall (built as a boys dorm), and added several annexes (Chamberlin, Lewis, Moody, & Gough) to the Mary Corn-Wilkerson Dormitory. Many of these and other buildings have been torn down to contruct new buildings or have been extensively renovated over the years. Check out our Historypin project highlighting some of the buildings that came about as a result of Dean Davis' hard work.

Photo of Dean Davis with animals in Cross Timbers Historical Images Project

Davis stepped down as Dean in 1945. He was given Dean Emeritus status and continued to teach at Tarleton. He finally retired in 1950 and passed away shortly after on May 12, 1950. Thomas Davis was the epitome of a Tarleton Texan ("Plowboy" during his time at Tarleton). He worked hard to make Tarleton a better place and always had the best interests of the students and the local community in mind.

For assistance or to request materials, contact Gary Spurr by phone at (254)968-1808, email at or

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Made in the Maker Spot: June 2016

Even though campus is more quiet for the summer, the Maker Spot is still running! Here are some of the items we've made recently.

If any of these inspire you, come see us in the Maker Spot! Visit The Maker Spot's website at or come visit us in Dick Smith Library Room 250.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Adventures in the Archives: Robert "Bob" Glasgow Legislative Papers

Archival boxes housing materials from Glasgow Collection
Today, we are going to take an adventure through the archives and learn about Mr. Robert "Bob" Glasgow. He was born in 1942 and graduated from Stephenville H.S. After graduating high school, he served three years in the United States Army. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts from Tarleton State College in 1967 where he served as class president and student body president. After his time at Tarleton, he went on to the University of Texas in Austin where he received his J.D. (Juris Doctor). In 1970, Glasgow started his own law practice in Stephenville, TX. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus at Tarleton State University in 1987. For eight years (1972-1980), Glasgow was the District Attorney for the 29th Judicial District that served Erath, Hood, and Palo Pinto counties. He was then nominated to the Texas Senate, serving the 22nd District of Texas from 1981 to 1993 (67th-72nd Legislature) as a Democrat. He has been a member of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce since December 1979 and continues to serve Erath and the surrounding counties through his law firm and local affiliations.

Bound materials from Bob Glasgow Collection

The Bob Glasgow Texas Legislative Papers were donated to the Dick Smith Library by Glasgow circa 2008. The collection is housed in the Archives and is maintained by the Collections Archivist, Gary Spurr. Today, the collection is fully processed with a finding aid completed by Archives and Reference Assistant Crystal Stanley. The finding aid can be found on a web page that has been created to briefly describe the collection. The Bob Glasgow Texas Legislative Papers consists of bound copies of legislation, press clippings and releases, committee minutes, and redistricting minutes/information during the time Glasgow served on the Texas Legislature. Some materials originally housed in binders have been placed in folders and boxes. This collection is open for research, but advance notice is required before conducting research. 

For more information, contact the Collections Archivist Gary Spurr at, (254)968-1808, or email

Check back in later this summer to learn more about collections in the archives.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Blood Drive June 21

The Dick Smith Library is sponsoring a blood drive! 

Tuesday, June 21st 
Thompson Student Center ballrooms 

To reserve your spot, visit and in the “Find a Blood Drive” box enter "Purple" or "76401".

Monday, June 6, 2016

Study Grounds Café Summer Hours

As of today, the Study Grounds Café has re-opened for the summer sessions with limited hours and items.  Currently they will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 AM until 2 PM.  Coffee and tea drinks and breakfast pastries will be available, along with bottled water and Simply To Go pre-packaged food items.  There will be no Sandella's items (all hot foods: flatbreads, etc.) at the present time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Made in the Maker Spot - April & May 2016

We've had an explosion of cool stuff made in the Maker Spot in the past couple of months!  To join in on the fun, visit The Maker Spot's website at or come visit us in Dick Smith Library Room 250.

Headphone Holder
MineCraft figures with moving parts
Longhorn Keychain

VW Bug Keys
Quilling Swan
Dice Tower

Quilling Jewelery Box
Thor's Hammer cookie cutter
Batman Bottle Opener

Tarleton Phone Case

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Get Comfortable, Relax, and READ!

We are now in our summer hours. What better time to grab a book, find a comfortable spot, and read?! You can search the catalog to find materials. Maybe you want to reread a classic or listen to the audio book version.

Are you interested in seeing what new materials we have? New books arrive monthly and you can find them in several locations. New Books are displayed on the lower level at the information desk and on the shelves located next to the Sara Tyler Memorial Area in front of the Archives offices; these materials are from the Curriculum Collection (juvenile or young adult). 


You can also find new books  at the Reference desk in the Learning Commons (main level) and in the front lounge of the library. These materials are a mixture of subjects and genres. If you can't find what you're looking for, remember to browse the General Stacks on the upper level. 

While you're checking out the new books in the lounge, take a seat and relax for a while. This little nook would make a great place to read your desired book. You could bring a snack and a drink and make a day out of it. There are several other places you could "curl up" and read a book or listen to an audio tape. We have new comfortable furniture on the lower level and some nice little spaces on the upper level of the library, as well.

Now don't forget that we also offer OverDrive! You can access OverDrive through the library's Databases: A-Z or by getting the app (available on iOS, Android, and Windows). You will need to use your NTNET login and password to gain access.  You'll be able to find eBooks and audio books of all subjects and genres.

If you have questions or need assistance, call the Reference desk at (254)968-9249 or email

Check our Facebook and Twitter for events and updates! 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Summer Hours

The Dick Smith Library is in the midst of extended hours for finals, with all-night study continuing midnight through 7 AM today (Thursday, May 5) and tomorrow (Friday, May 6) - don't forget to bring your Texan Card!  The library will close at 10 PM on Friday, May 6, and remain closed on Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8.

Here are the hours for the Summer term, starting on Monday, May 9:
Monday - Thursday 7:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 1:00  - 6:00 PM
Sunday 1:00 - 10:00 PM

We will be closed for Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30) and July 4 weekend (Saturday, July 2, through Monday, July 4).

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Made in The Maker Spot

Since our Maker Spot opened, we have had some pretty cool stuff to print on our 3-D printer! Below are just a few of the things our Tarleton community has designed or found to print:


If you want join in the fun here are some resources to get you started:
TinkerCAD  - A free 3-D design program that you can use right in your web browser. Start from scratch with the building blocks available, or import other objects and modify them. Be sure to check out their tutorials for more ideas and lessons on how to use it to it's fullest.

Thingiverse - An online library of 3-D printable objects. Find objects to print right away, or to modify to fit your needs.

YouMagine - Another online library of 3-D printable objects. Not quite as large as Thingiverse, but it has some different designs.

When you are designing for the 3-D printer, keep in mind that our print capacity is 9"X9"X20", or 229mmX229mmX508mm. 

Happy designing and we hope to see you in the Maker Spot soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New Bike repair station

Hey all you bike riders! The library has just added a bike repair station in front of the building. You can air up your tires and use a variety of tools to keep you rolling!

The fix-it station has a lot of  tools tethered to the unit. Tire pump in the the back and a rack to put your bike up on so you can do repairs.  There is also a QR code that takes you to a bike repair guide. 

Do you have any other ideas of cool things or ways the library can help our students?  Post a comment and let us know! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 READ Posters Revealed

Today, the Dick Smith Library unveiled the 2016 READ posters. This year's representatives were the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and the Horticulture Club. 

Each year, the library selects two outstanding groups/individuals from the Tarleton community to participate in promoting reading and literacy.  Participants appear in posters with some of their favorite books.  The participants and posters are kept secret until the big reveal during National Library Week.
If you didn't get a chance to stop by the reveal party, you still have time to enjoy the posters!  Stop by the library's Administration Office in the upper level to get a close up view of the full sized posters.  You can still snag free mini-posters at the Circulation desk on the main level, which also include information about the organizations on the back.

Thank you to those who attended today's READ poster reveal and to all of the individuals and groups who have posed for our READ posters. For more information on previous READ posters, checkout our READ poster archives

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 Texas

Did you know?

Free access to Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) records that have been digitized by Ancestry is available to Texas residents. 

Go to and follow the instructions given on that page!  I have a membership with, but I followed these steps to successfully create a free account for access to these Texas records only for my husband.

1.  Enter your Texas zip code at the bottom of the web page linked to above, and click Submit.

2. This will open a page like the one below.  Do a search first - ideally a last name - as you need to search for something to get to the next page, in order to create the free account.  I chose to search a unique last name in my family tree (my native Houstonian mother's maiden name, as her grandfather by that name settled in Texas about 1880).  Enter your search term, and then click the Search button:

3.  You will get a page with some results.  None may pertain to your family, but at this stage, it does not matter.  Click on the name of the result (NOT on "View image"!).  In this case, I actually got a relevant result - Anton Guokas is my great-grandfather's brother, so I clicked on "Texas, Prison Employee Ledgers, 1861-1938" opposite his name:

4.  At this point, you should see a screen inviting you to create a free account. Click the link to sign up with your e-mail address.  Do not click on any “Start A Free Trial” button. If you have an existing Texas or paid account you may proceed to the “Sign In” link in the upper right corner.

5.  Enter your name and e-mail address, create a password (no rules!), and click the Continue button:

6. You can now access the result you clicked on, and view its image, save it and create a family tree, print it, and in some cases share it, and search for other records from TSLAC.  You'll see your name appearing in the upper right corner.  Note, however, that you can't access many of the links below it on the right without a paid account.  Some, such as the 1940 Census and the Find A Grave index, ARE free, but most will required a paid membership.

For more information, check the Frequently Asked Questions on the Texas web page.  To avoid frustration getting lots of results for records you can't access without a paid membership, it is recommended that you go to the Texas web page, enter your zip code, and then sign in in the upper right-hand corner each time you use the site..