The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board recently announced that it would present its 2019 Archival Award of Excellence to The University of Texas at El Paso’s C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department for its Casasola Studio Photo Identification Project done in collaboration with the El Paso Times.
The award recognizes significant achievements in the preservation and improvement of access to historical records in any format by a Texas archival institution and individual.
“The Casasola Project has allowed us to hear so many stories from people in El Paso who don’t usually make it into archives – much less into history books – that I feel that the effort has really been worthwhile,” said Claudia Rivers, head of special collections in her department office on the library’s sixth floor. “We are especially pleased to get this statewide recognition of the continuing collaboration with the El Paso Times.”
The Casasola Project involves the submission of an unidentified photo from the archive of an individual, couple or group to the newspaper, which prints the snapshot in its Sunday paper along with a request for the public’s help to identify the person or people in the photo.
This project involves the community members, who have shared their personal histories to expand the context and research value of the photo collection.
The state board also recognized Brenda Lincke Fisseler for her extensive efforts to rescue and preserve historical records for Lavaca County in East Texas.
“This year’s recipients serve as stellar examples of how dedication and ingenuity can help ensure that archival records are not only preserved, but made even more useful for future generations,” said Jelain Chubb, state archivist and the board’s coordinator.
The board, which recognized UTEP’s Special Collections in the institutional category, will present the award at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in the McNeely Room on the sixth floor of the University Library.