In October 2020, President Jay Hartzell created the Eyes of Texas History Committee to chronicle the full history of the university’s alma mater, “The Eyes of Texas.” From October 2020 until February 2021, a volunteer committee comprised of scholars, alumni, staff, and students, including current and former athletes and Longhorn Band members, researched, discussed, and wrote an extensive report.
As the official repository for documentation on the university’s history and development, the Briscoe Center is home to the University of Texas Archives. The center’s archival staff provided a wealth of primary source materials to the committee, including files on “The Eyes of Texas” and John Lang Sinclair; the papers of W. J. Battle; official records from the University of Texas Archives, including the Office of the President and the UT System; and university-related publications, including The Ranger, The Cactus, The Daily Texan, and The Alcalde. The archival staff presented to the committee the full range of archival materials available without making any deletions. The digitized materials from our collections that were provided to the Eyes of Texas History Committee are available through the center’s digital collections.
In addition to unique materials from the Briscoe Center, the committee also consulted a number of other sources including newspapers and magazines across the state, peer-reviewed historical articles, and university press history books. The Austin History Center provided archives related to the 1903 minstrel performance, including copies of the Austin Statesman.
For full details on the Eyes of Texas History Committee, including the committee’s full, book-length report, please visit the official site: https://eyesoftexas.utexas.edu/.