Current Exhibit

Special Collections Exhibit Image

Celebrating and Forgetting, Lamenting and Remembering: The U.S.–Mexico War, 1846-1848

April 1-August 30, 2014

A new exhibit focuses attention on the “forgotten” U.S.-Mexico War through letters, diaries, daguerreotypes, sketches, maps, and other materials. The U.S.–Mexico War was a formative event in US and Mexican history that continues to have repercussions. The struggling Republic of Mexico lost over half its territory while the U.S. gained Texas, California and the Southwest. Today, however, the war is largely overlooked in popular culture. 

Online Exhibits

"Howdy, Mr. President!" A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK
“Howdy, Mr. President!” showcases over 80 intriguing photographs taken by Fort Worth Star-Telegram news photographers. The Star-Telegram JFK collection contains almost 3,000 photo negatives taken during the visit by President John F. Kennedy to Fort Worth and the subsequent events following his assassination in Dallas, November 1963. 


Time Frames Online
Since 2003, items from Special Collections have been showcased in a recurring Fort Worth Star-Telegram feature. Time Frames regularly spotlights a photograph, map, or document drawn from a broad spectrum of subjects in our extensive collections of the history of Arlington, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Texas, Mexico and the greater Southwest. Now with "Time Frames Online" (TFO) you have an opportunity to view selected Time Frames features as a video!


The Reeder Children's Theatre Presents...Memories of Fort Worth's Reeder School
Drawing on the Dickson and Flora Reeder Papers and Reeder School Records, the journey begins with the origins of Reeder School and explores the selection, production, and performance of the school's plays as well as the students' immersion into the art, history, music, dance and culture of a play's era. Original hand-painted Reeder School costumes, headpieces, and props colorfully accent original play scripts, musical scores, programs, production notes, photographs, and costume and set design sketches. The exhibit was a collaborative effort between UT Arlington Special Collections manuscript archivist Brenda McClurkin, Information Literacy librarian Evelyn Barker, and Hip Pocket Theater producer and costume designer, Diane Simons.

Past Exhibits

“Howdy, Mr. President!" A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK   

September 2, 2013 - February 8, 2014

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Special Collections' fall 2013 exhibit explored his enthusiastic visit to Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, before his tragic assassination in Dallas later that day. Exhibit Photos




Making Mavericks: Expanding Horizons at UT Arlington   

March 11, 2013 - May 4, 2013

From the time of its inception, UT Arlington has had a relationship with the city of Arlington and its leaders. In 1895 Edward Rankin, in an effort to improve education in Arlington, approached Lee Hammond and William Trimble about starting a private school. Investors soon lined up, and thus began Arlington College. With seventy-five students and one two-story wood frame building built where University Center now stands, the college embarked on a journey of campus improvement and student enrichment. From a graduating class of eight young men, to a diverse student body of 33,239, UT Arlington has grown well beyond what its founders early conceived. Making Mavericks: Expanding horizons at UT Arlington explores the growth and development of the University under its various presidents. Exhibit Photos




Pearls of the Antilles: Printed Maps of Caribbean Islands  

October 1, 2012 - February 9, 2013

Few people would argue that Caribbean islands have not played pivotal roles in American history.  From Columbus’ discoveries to the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison debate, events on islands of the West Indies have impacted our history.  While most of these islands are not that distant, our personal knowledge of them is often scant.  With the help of old maps, there are interesting facts to learn and more importantly, connections for us to make.  Old printed maps of the Caribbean islands depict not only the geography of the islands but also reflect many of the themes of Caribbean (and American) history as well as cartographic history. Exhibit Photos




Texas "Identity" Politics: 1900 - present 

June 2012 - September 2012

What is politics? When you think of politics, does it apply only to certain parts of your life? Or can everything be considered political?
Every person has multiple axes of identity: gender, sexual orientation, religion, race/ethnicity, political affiliation. As we go through life, we also have more changeable and/or ephemeral identities: student, parent, family member, professional, and so on. This exhibit focused on political identities in Texas from 1900 to the present and the ways in which politics have become intertwined with our identities. The word politics, like propaganda, often has negative connotations, but it's really just a descriptive term that can be fraught with complexity and emotion.
Texas "Identity" Politics: 1900 - present showed different groups advocating for their civil rights in relation to various aspects of their identities, such as worker, mother, or citizen.



Impressions of the West: Works of Art from Special Collections 

August 22, 2011 - May 28, 2012

Impressions of the West: Works of Art from Special Collections featured over 30 paintings, sculptures, and prints which showcased how the American West has been viewed by artists and popular culture. The exhibit looked at how artists interpreted the land and peoples of the southwest and west. Focusing on artists who worked during the twentieth century, Impressions of the West explored whether western art is a truthful recording of a bygone era, or an idealized version of history, or merely kitsch created for the popular market. Exhibit Photos



What You Wish the World Could Be: The Early Years of Six Flags Over Texas 

February 14, 2011 - August 13, 2011

Six Flags Over Texas. Just the mention of the theme park is enough to prompt people to giggle with delight and reminisce about the rides. Since 1961, Six Flags Over Texas has been a destination for birthday parties, first dates, first jobs, family reunions, school outings, summer vacations, spring breaks and more. In 2011, the Arlington landmark celebrated its 50th anniversary and partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections for a magical look back. Exhibit Photos

Charting the Cartography of Companies: Company Mapping, 1600-1900
September 2010 - January 8, 2011

The exhibit focuses on maps, and how they reflected and shaped the histories of chartered companies. A charter defined and limited the companies' rights, privileges, obligations, and the localities where these were in effect. Often this involved a trading monopoly in a specific geographic area -- a geographical component that necessarily involved cartography or the representation of company-related jurisdictions and/or assests on maps.

For All Workers: The Legacy of the Texas Labor Movement, 1838-2010
May 18, 2010 - August 7, 2010

For All Workers: The Legacy of the Texas Labor Movement, 1838-2010, featured the personal papers of labor and political activist John "J.W." Jackson, as well as numerous items from the Texas Labor Archives at UT Arlington. Inspired by J.W. Jackson's generous donations of labor archive records and personal papers, it explained what labor unions are and why they are important, shows the importance of the labor movement as seen through the life of J.W. Jackson, and concluded with accounts of labor events that have impacted Texas history. The labor movement, a little-known aspect of Texas history, is nevertheless inextricably intertwined with the legacy of what it means to be a Texan, shaping the makeup of who we as a state are today. Exhibit Photos

Mexico: The Revolution and Beyond
March-April 2010

To celebrate the centennial of the Mexican Revolution Special Collections, along with the Center for Southwest Studies, presented an exhibition of three photographic collections: Images of Conflict: The Mexican Revolution, Mexico: The Revolution and Beyond, and La Tierra y su Gente: The Rio Grande Photography of Robert Runyon. The Mexican Revolution, more than any other event, lead to the modern Mexican nation-state. It was also the impetus for the flight of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Mexico to the United States which changed the demographics of the American Southwest and Texas in particular.Exhibit Photos: 1, 2, 3

Everything is Interrelated: Alexander von Humboldt and Our Nineteenth-Century German Connections
September 17, 2009 - January 9, 2010

United States President Thomas Jefferson once called Berlin-born Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) the most important scientist whom I have met. Humboldt was the most internationally recognized scientist and explorer of his time. The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections commemorated the 150th anniversary of the death of Alexander von Humboldt, with an exhibit celebrating this remarkable man whose influence dominated United States exploration and cartography for more than half a century between the time of the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the American Civil War. Exhibit highlights included a rare manuscript copy of Humboldt's map of New Spain, nineteenth-century German hand atlases with thematic maps of the United States, Texas, and Mexico, and printed panoramic views depicting the valley of the Humboldt River in Nevada and the German settlement of New Braunfels in Texas. Exhibit Photos

The Road West: Travel through America
June 1 - August 8, 2009

Throughout American history, people have moved westward across the landscape. From early travelers plodding across the plains in wagons and stagecoaches, to modern wanderers racing down paved interstates, people have always required information about where they are going and how they are going to get there. "The Road West: Travel through America" looked at what travelers used to trek across the country, what they saw and how they remembered their trips. Exhibit Photos

Collecting Our History: 35 Years of Special Collections
January 20, 2009 - May 16, 2009

In honor of the 35th anniversary of UT Arlington Library's Special Collections, the Library invited the community to learn more about Special Collections' holdings through a new exhibit "Collecting Our History: 35 Years of Special Collections." Using photographs, documents, and artifacts, the exhibit showcased five areas of interest within the collection: university archives, local history, Texas history, labor union archives, and cartography.

Revisualizing Westward Expansion: A Century of Conflict in Maps, 1800-1900
August 25, 2008 - January 3, 2009

The exhibit focused on conflict in the nineteenth-century American West and included numerous impressive maps from UT Arlington's collections as well as some significant maps generously loaned by the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University and a private collector.

Items on display included a manuscript map of Mexico relating to the 1803-1804 North American trip of Alexander von Humboldt, the German geographer, scientist, explorer, and intellectual genius of his time. Also on exhibit were original printed maps of the period associated with other famous men of that century of conflict such as Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Zebulon Pike, Albert Gallatin, John C. Fremont, Zachary Taylor, William H. Emory, and John Wesley Powell.

Special Collections