Ratchford Photo collection
An Inventory of the Fannie Ratchford Photograph Collection at the Texas State Archives, about 1933-1947
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Creator: Ratchford, Fannie Elizabeth, 1887-1974.
Title: Fannie Ratchford photograph collection
Dates: about 1933-1947
Abstract: The Fannie Ratchford photograph collection contains photographic material gathered and created by Ratchford for a project to describe and document architecturally noteworthy Texas houses built in the nineteenth century. The collection includes over 2,500 photographs, nine postcards, seven pencil sketches, and one woodcut, dating from about 1933 to 1947. Apparently lack of funds and time combined to prevent the completion of the projected book, but the images documenting her research are an invaluable resource of the Texas building arts. These materials have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
Quantity: 6.25 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written predominately in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.
Other Formats for the Collection
A description of the original records referenced in this finding aid, including those not digitized, is available at https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/50109/tsl-50109.html
Arrangement of the Collection
The collection is arranged alphabetically by town or county, and alphabetically by the names of the home owners or builders within each town or county division. The last two boxes contain smaller prints of all previous photographs, arranged numerically by the photograph item number. A detailed inventory of the individual photographs is available at the Texas State Library and Archives. Please contact the Archives reference desk for more information.
Fannie Elizabeth Ratchford, librarian and scholar, was born on June 5, 1887, in Paint Rock, Texas. She taught school in Brownwood, Fort Worth, and various West Texas towns while attending college intermittently. She entered the University of Texas in 1905 and completed one year of study, then attended Daniel Baker College in Brownwood (1911-1912) and the University of Kansas (summer 1914) before returning to the University of Texas for two summer sessions (1918 and 1919). She graduated in 1919 with a B.A. from the university and did subsequent work by correspondence at the University of Kansas. She was awarded a master’s degree in 1921.
From 1919 until she retired in 1957, Ratchford was associated with the rare book collections at the University of Texas at Austin. During her tenure as librarian—a term she considered inappropriate because of her lack of formal training in library science—Ratchford insisted on special cataloging and treatment to preserve the materials under her care. She also promoted recognition of the collections in the scholarly community through exhibitions and publications.
Ratchford’s scholarly interests had their genesis in the Wrenn Library, now a part of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She wrote or edited numerous books and articles in her lifetime, ranging from her first publication, Some Reminiscences of Persons and Incidents of the Civil War (1909), as told to her by her father, to works on genealogy, folklore, local history, and English literature. In addition, as a member of the first Book Club of Texas she did pioneering work in promoting fine printing in the state. Her edition of A.W. Terrell’s From Texas to Mexico and the Court of Maximilian in 1865 was named one of the “fifty books of the year” by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Ratchford’s endeavors were supported in part by Guggenheim fellowships for 1929-1930, 1939-1940, and 1957-1958, and by Laura Spelman Rockefeller research fellowships for 1934-1936. Other honors conferred on her included the Texas Ex-Students’ Association Centennial Lecture Award (1936) for a series of lectures she delivered in Texas colleges and an honorary LL.D. from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio (1954). After her retirement in 1957, Fannie Ratchford assisted in editing the Oxford edition of the complete works of the Brontës. She died in Austin on February 9, 1974.
(Source: Leach, Sally Sparks, Ratchford, Fannie Elizabeth, The Handbook of Texas Online, accessed on February 14, 2018.)
Scope and Content of the Collection
The Fannie Ratchford photograph collection contains photographic material gathered and created by Ratchford for a project to describe and document architecturally noteworthy Texas houses built in the nineteenth century, the majority of which were built prior to the Civil War. Ratchford surveyed houses from over 180 different towns in Texas during this project. Funding for the project was provided by a Rockefeller fellowship, and a lack of funds and time may have combined to prevent the completion of Ratchford’s projected book. The collection includes over 2,500 photographs, nine postcards, seven pencil sketches, and one woodcut, dating from about 1933 to 1947. The images and prints vary in size, ranging from small 2.5 x 3-inch snapshots to larger 8 x 10-inch photographs. A small number of 8 x 10-inch prints were created by the Historic American Buildings Survey and can be identified by the “TEX ###” sign that appears in each image. All other images were created by Ratchford. Modern 8 x 10-inch silver gelatin copy prints were most likely printed from vintage negatives by State Archives contract photographer Bill Malone in the 1970s. Descriptions are taken directly from the notes on the backs of prints where possible; otherwise, descriptions have been adapted from these notes or from manuscript material that originally accompanied the prints.
These images were originally donated with manuscript material as a part of the Fannie Ratchford collection. Correspondence, questionnaires, notes, clippings, and lists created during Ratchford’s survey project can be found in the Fannie Ratchford collection, about 1933-1947, 11.59 cubic ft.
Restrictions and Requirements
Restrictions on Use
Under the Copyright Law of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished works are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. The term of copyright for published material varies. Researchers are responsible for complying with the Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.
|Texas State Archives|
|Fannie Ratchford collection, about 1933-1947, 11.59 cubic ft.|
|Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Collection|
|Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey|
(Identify the item), Fannie Ratchford photograph collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1970/101
These records were donated to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Fannie Ratchford on April 30, 1970.
Processing and EAD finding aid created by Halley Grogan, June 2013