Denton Municipal Archives

Article Originally Published by City of Denton Library

Emily Fowler Central Library. Abernathy, 2005.

In October of 2018 The City of Denton established a Municipal Archives operating out of the Emily Fowler Central Library. While the remainder of 2018 was spent drafting collection development policies, forms and procedures, and processing manuals, the processing of collections began in earnest in January of this year. In order to validate procedures and identify changes, it seemed prudent to begin with our smallest collections and work our way up. The library’s archival holdings are rather modest at the moment but are steadily growing.

List of Articles, 14 May 1927, Box 4, Folder 10, City Secretary Records 1892-1976. Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library
List of Articles, 14 May 1927, Box 4, Folder 10, City Secretary Records 1892-1976. Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library

The library’s holdings consists of, the Denton Municipal Archives with materials transferred from city departments and employees and the Denton, Texas Collection with materials donated by citizens of the City of Denton. The Denton Municipal Archives is currently made up of the City Secretary Records 1892-1976, Parks and Recreation Department Collection 1876-2006 and Water Utilities Records 1947-2012. The City Secretary Records, contain reports from city departments, financial and administrative records, correspondence, clippings, maps and subject files. Of note, while processing this collection it was discovered that City Hall West, a Spanish Colonial style building erected in 1927 and in the planning stages of a possible restoration, had a time capsule, for lack of a better term, placed in its cornerstone (see image above). The Parks and Recreation Department Collection contains the Sexton’s records for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery beginning in 1876 and the Oakwood Cemetery beginning in 1954. The collection also contains photographic materials with further accretions expected. The Water Utilities Records contain work orders with hand drawn maps, reports, bond ledgers, drawings and plans.

Claudette Yancey, 1954. Box 1, Folder 7, Miss Denton Pageant Collection 1953-1981. Denton, Texas Collection, Special Collections, Denton Public Library.
Claudette Yancey, 1954. Box 1, Folder 7, Miss Denton Pageant Collection 1953-1981. Denton, Texas Collection, Special Collections, Denton Public Library.

The Denton, Texas Collection is currently made up of the KDTN Channel 2 Collection 1977-2013 and the Miss Denton Pageant Collection 1953-1981. The KDTN Channel 2 Collection, contains documents regarding the establishment of an educational television station on the VHF frequency designated for Denton, Texas which would later become a part of KERA. The Miss Denton Pageant Collection, contains souvenir pageant programs, photographs and negatives, clippings and ephemera that chronicle the Miss Denton Pageant, an official preliminary to the Miss America Pageant. There have been three holders of the title Miss America that have hailed from Texas and two of those also held the title of Miss Denton, Phyllis George (1971) and Shirley Cothran Barret (1975).

There are still a number of collections to be processed including Denton Public Library Records and History and the Mayor Euline Brock Papers. The Engineering Department Records have also been identified for processing which contain nearly 20 cubic ft. of maps, plans and drawings.

Completed collections are open for research and the finding aids have been published online and can be found through the Denton Public Library’s online catalog or by following this link: https://denton.lyrasistechnology.org/repositories/resources. Select digital objects chosen to be representative of their specific record series are also available to view through the archives website.

For additional information regarding the Denton Municipal Archives contact:

Matthew Davis
Archivist
Special Collections
Denton Public Library
502 Oakland St.
Denton, TX 76201
940-349-8782
Email: matthew.davis@ciytofdenton.com

Source: City of Denton Library